Today I had someone ask me about my upcoming class at Stonecreek Church — the one where we’re going to methodically walk through the great stories of the Bible, show how they’re connected to one, big, over-arching story. They wondered if it would be okay with me if middle or high school students attended.
I said, “Of course!” of course. I love inter-generational church stuff, and I think it’s important for teenagers to start linking the great characters and stories together. I also love the fact that the last portion of each session will be devoted to discussion around tables of six or seven people. The idea of teenagers sitting next to adults, talking about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — even better talking about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — that’s thrilling.
I did feel a slight twinge of conscience. These are teenagers. And we will be discussing the Book of Genesis. Genesis has stories about murder, polygamy, Sodom and Gomorrah, rape, circumcision, the sacrifice of Isaac, Abram’s tryst with his maid, at least one hooker and a hint of incest. It’s not a G-rated book — not by any stretch of the imagination — and if we’re to be true to the Bible we’ll have to read some of that stuff and comment on it.
Now, if parents are cool with that, I’m cool with that. But don’t say you weren’t warned.
One of the things I love most about studying the Old Testament is that, while the Jewish people can be accused of a lot of things, whitewashing their history is not one of them. God uses incredibly screwed up people — always has and always will.