We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

High School Musical Bible Study?

One of my favorite biblical passages is 2 Timothy, 4:3: For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. It seems to me that this passage is proven true on a daily - and sometimes almost hourly - basis.

The latest “Bible study” comes from “Simply Youth Ministry” and Saddleback Church youth pastor Kurt Johnston. Believe it or not, it is based on the new movie, “High School Musical 3.” As a matter of fact, while learning this piece of information I also found out that there are other organizations who have produced “Bible study” resources based on the “High School Musical” franchise.

Johnston said his church has “rented out a whole theater just to take our kids to go see this movie because it’s such a big deal to them.” I don’t know about you, but if my church did something like that, it would be the end of my offerings to that assembly!

Whatever happened to using the Bible as a source to teach kids about the Bible? I’ve been told so many times that we are appealing to a whole different culture and therefore we have to devise new ways to reach them. My response to that is - BALDERDASH! Kids will learn what you teach them. If you feed them milk, that’s all they’ll want. If you feed them junk food that’s all they’ll want. BUT, if you feed them meat they will thrive!

I taught high school Sunday School for ten years and never once had to use such nonsensical spiritual junk food. And I kept my students interested and always desiring to learn more. Perhaps the junk food churches are bringing to their youth groups says more about the lack of the teacher’s abilities than it does about the students' ability to learn?

If you attend an assembly that uses this sort of junk, I encourage you to go to your leadership and seek its replacement with the solid meat of the Word of God.


Marie said...

Oh my. Yikes! "Balderdash" is putting it mildly!!

'K, my oldest is 11; almost 12. She loves High School Musical; went to see the movie a week or so with her friend and said-friend's mom; not a thing wrong with the film per se. But basing a BIBLE STUDY on it???? (I thought it was a bad idea when they did that with all the "Narnia" merchandise - I love Narnia, but....)

This is wrong for much the same reason the tacky Christian kitsch is wrong -- it's trivializing the sacred (God's eternal WORD) and, in a sense, "pimping the Lord". How do pastors not see this???

If kids are taught to know and love the Lord from an early age, especially in a Sunday School/Junior church setting, they will develop a healthy respect for His Word. Doing a tie-in, like McDonald's does with it's Happy Meal endorsements, cheapens it and I think the kids can see right through that. They know very well what's true and what's fantasy. (Even my 3-year-old knows Disney princesses are "just pretend", but Jesus is real and loves her).

This is insanity. (But then again, we live in an upside-down world, eh?)

Anonymous said...







Is it all right to be Conservative theologically and liberal culturely?

Why is he wrong or is he wrong? Biblical proof please.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi anonymous,

I watched all those videos of Mark Driscoll and I really didn't see any connection to what he was saying and this commentary of mine. Although I have problems with a lot of what Driscoll does, I have no argument with what he is saying in these videos. In fact, I regulary - almost weekly - immerse myself and my wife in the local culture of homeless, homosexual, drunks, atheists, and perverts of every sort as we do a street ministry with a Christian book table downtown Iowa City.

I guess I am missing the point of what you're getting at.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Oh, I forgot to answer that last question:

How can one be liberal culterally if they are a Christian? The two worldviews collide!


Anonymous said...

Ohh sorry about that I guess when I posted them the made sense in some way to me. Mars Hill immerse its self in the local culture and then uses and adapts the non sin part of that local culture to spread the word of God. Maybe I need to find videos that explain that differently.

Ok I did go back and watch them and some dont make any sense in relation to you comment. Sorry about that.

Conservative theologically and liberal culturally not liberal political. This is the statement on their wikipedia page.

Last question I just recently started to listen to Mark Driscoll. In what areas do you disagree with him?

God's Peace


Glenn E. Chatfield said...


I guess one would have to define their terms of "culturally liberal." To me that means accepting abortion, homosexual behavior as normative, class warfare, etc. I don't think that's what they mean - at least I hope not.

As for what I don't agree with Driscoll on, let's just start with his crass and foul language that he thinks is culturally necessary. I'd say the Scripture is quite plain that we are not to speak that way. Doesn’t Paul say our conversation should be “seasoned with salt”? (Col. 4:6)
Rather than quote it, look at Eph. 5:3-20 to see what Paul says about the use of obscene words and similar behavior such as crude jokes. What about James 3:9-12? Especially look at James 5:12. Prov. 4:24; Prov. 10:19; Prov. 10:31-32 - the Proverbs say much about proper speech.

Driscoll is in error when he uses foul language.


Lucky Lucky Me said...

Is your whole blog filled with negativity and condemnation? What happened to grace and love and mercy? You guys have nothing positive to say. In case you haven't heard, you catch more flies with honey.

Jesus did not waist his time condemning churches - and boy could he have. He could have spent all his days talking about how the Sadducees and Pharisees were evil and skewed God’s doctrine; instead, he spent his time being a good example of love, kindness and everything that God IS. He filled his days lifting people up, not tearing them down.

Give it a try.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hello again Lucky Lucky Me,

You didn’t like my comments about “Dr Seuss Sermons” and now you are unhappy with my comments about a so-called “Bible study” based on “High School Musical 3.” Would you be so kind as to explain where in this blog you find “negativity?” Or was Jesus “negative” when he condemned the Pharisees and false teachers? Perhaps Paul was “negative” when he said false teachers should be “eternally condemned”?

Is there condemnation on this blog? Absolutely! Jesus and Paul both condemned false teachings. Can you explain to me why condemning false teachings is wrong? Did Jesus show grace and mercy to the Pharisees? Did Paul show grace and mercy when he said false teachers were to be condemned? I don’t understand why you think exposing false teaching is wrong. Why is it wrong to warn people where the minefields are - should we just let people flounder spiritually with every whim of man’s doctrine? Should we just let them get bound up in legalism or cults or other false teachings just because you feel grace and mercy would just leave it all alone? This is one of the reasons the Church is in the state it is - too many people are afraid to expose what is false. Too many shepherds are willing to let the wolves chew up their sheep.

There is absolutely NOTHING positive anyone should say about false teachings. If you find something different from this in Scripture, could you show me where?

Jesus did not condemn “churches” because they didn’t exist yet. BUT, Jesus DID condemn false teachers and false prophets. He did indeed expose the Sadducees and Pharisees for what they were. At least He did in the Bible I’ve been reading.

Nowhere on this blog will you find anyone tearing people down. If you find anything unkind or unloving, please tell me where it is. But remember, it is not unkind, unloving or tearing people down to expose false teaching and false teachers. In fact, it IS unkind and unloving to allow people to be led into false teachings and away from the truth.