Sunday, April 29, 2012

If Only this Was What Sunday School was Really Like

I was blown away today by my church's adult Sunday school program. I rarely go for personal reasons. My youngest son is usually in town on Sundays. He and I go out for coffee then to the main service of my church. If I to go to Sunday school, he would not go with me to either.

My son wasn't in town this week.  The church was having a special program about the conflict between science and Christianity.  I went.  I think I can say, hands down, it was the best Sunday school class I've ever attended in my 50 years of going.  The guest teacher has two PhDs, one in science history and the second in theology. It was simple excellent. We talked about a lot of things I've been discussing here. There about 60 in attendance today.

I will put this in the context that most of the 50 years of Sunday school attendance has been totally wasted time I can never get back.  I just wish I had brought up kids in this environment rather than the one they've endured.

I believe that Sunday school is usually an exercise in penitence, going to win God's favor. I actually came out of this morning's session a better person, though by a millimeter.

Here is my least favorite song of all time . . . because it reeks of penitence. I've never liked the word "ought," and when said, I try my best to do the opposite. But this morning . . . all I can say is that you ought to have been there:>)


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have yet to find the command in scripture to go to Sunday School. Still looking! (And Wednesday nights for that matter.)

Dana said...

Mike,

Did you know that Sunday School was originally started in England in order to eradicate the illiteracy of children who worked in factories all the rest of the days of the week, in the days before child labor laws and compulsory education? Some concerned Christians decided they were going to give those kids a better chance in life - at least a chance to learn to read the Bible - and the only opportunity they had to teach them to read was on Sunday, when nobody was working and everyone was expected to be in church. So that's what they did.

It's kind of ironic that in a lot of churches with Sunday Schools, such a social welfare kind of ministry would be denigrated.

My 9 years in the PCUSA congregation in my town was generally a good sojourn.

Dana

Anonymous said...

Our congregation was recently berated by the preacher because not many of us came to Sunday School or Wednesday night bible study. He tried to make us feel like bad Christians if we didn't attend. (He's the one who taught the classes of course). I tried to go for a long time, but it became insufferable. He was answering the same old questions with the same old stock answers that I have been hearing all my life, (I'm 54). Anyway, if someone veered out of the tired old evangelical way of thinking when expressing an opinion during Sunday School or Bible study, he'd get belligerent and try to make you feel an inch tall.

Tapji said...

"true science & true spirituality are the same desire".

jmj said...

There are so many programs created, for the sake of having another program, then you try to get people to come through guilt manipulation.

One thing said in my class on Sunday that I will take with me forever, and maybe you already knew this. I think it was Galileo who said that God communicates to us through scripture and nature. The language of scripture is words and the language of nature is math. Since math is much more precise, if there is a solid disagreement, then the words should be reconsidered as a possible mis-interpretation, rather than the math which yields to errors of computation, but does not vary in interpretation.