[forthright] The Rapunzel Bible

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From: "Forthright Magazine" <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2011 08:42:19 -0200
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross

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The Rapunzel Bible
  by Barry Newton

It was a beautiful crisp Sunday morning in
Cultureville as the Sunday school teacher headed to
class. Confident that the lesson would connect with
the hearts and minds of the students, thereby filling
the room with a lively discussion involving practical
application, the teacher thought, "I've got a real
winner here."

The plans for the class were straightforward. First,
significant clips from the movie "Tangled" would be
viewed before a comparison would be made with salient
quotations from the classic Rapunzel. The class would
then be guided into interacting with the material by
sharing their personal opinions about moral principles
and everyday life applications. The teacher felt
poised to unleash a killer class!

Truly such a Bible class would be a killer, but not in
the sense of a winner. Would anyone confuse this group
exercise as a Bible class? Hopefully not.

If not, then why might some teachers be planning just
such a class for this Sunday?  Are we so naive as to
believe that if we substitute a Biblical text in this
exercise for Rapunzel  that suddenly we are engaged in
Bible study?

If a Bible class involves nothing more than one or
many individuals using a text as a springboard for
airing their own moralizing opinions, then the same
goal can be achieved with a Rapunzel Bible or The
Three Little Pigs Bible.

If on the other hand, after serious contextual study
of the scriptures the voice of God is heard, an
authoritative voice which may even challenge our
notions of what is right or how things ought to be,
then we have a Bible class.

We need Bible teachers. However, if the teacher places
greater value upon a democratic discussion of what
this text means to me or accommodating the viewpoints
of those in class rather than upon discovering the
message God intended to be heard, then maybe it would
be good to read James 3:1 again.

"Not many of you should be teachers, my brothers,
knowing that we will receive a more strict judgment."

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