RITE OF PASSAGE: If the Bible were written by teenagers
I read about a young child who was trying to explain to another child where babies came from. He said in the beginning, God created Adam and Eve, but soon found that making two grown-ups was too difficult. From then on, He decided He was only going to make babies.
When I was a child, I thought like a child, but now that I have grown up . . . I have not come very far. Most of the Bible knowledge we have as adults comes from our childhood. I admire Sunday School teachers who, week after week, pour the Word of God into young, impressionable lives. One day, these children become teenagers. At that point, all the knowledge they have gained is mysteriously sucked out through some global black hole. They enter the youth department unable to find their Bibles-much less read them. Even if they can locate a Bible, they never remember it contains a book called . . . Deuteronomy.
Have you ever wondered what the Bible might look like if a group of today’s teenagers had been given the job of writing it? I think it might have turned out a little differently.
The loaves and fish Jesus multiplied would have been cheese pizza and breadsticks. The Ten Commandments would have been limited to five-double-spaced and printed in a large font in an attempt to fool readers into thinking there were actually 10. Since the forbidden fruit looked a lot like cafeteria food, it would never have been eaten. Paul would communicate to the churches, not through letters, but e-mails. And the reason Cain killed Abel? Of course: they were roommates.
Later, after further study, the teens would decide that Cain was psychologically scarred because he didn’t have loving grandparents in his life. (You will have to think on this one for a minute). The disciples would be referred to as the “homeboys.” Judas would have carried not money, but an ATM card. Instead of Jesus praying each morning, He and God would have sent text messages back and forth. Joshua would have led the Hebrews into the battle of The Geritol. The Book of Psalms would not have been written, but rapped . . . and available for iTunes download at 99 cents per copy. In the teenage version of the Exodus, what do you think would be the reason Moses and his followers walked through the desert for 40 years? Of course. The batteries went out on his GPS, leaving him trying to figure how to read a roadmap.
The teenagers would also say God led Moses up Mt. Cyanide to get the Ten Amendments. The Tower of Babel story would be a saga of the origin of high school foreign language requirements. Instead of God creating the world in six days and resting on the seventh, He would put it off until the night before it was due, pull an all-nighter, and hope no one noticed. The people who followed Jesus would be called the 12 Decibels, with Peter being the loudest. The wives of the apostles would be known as the epistles. Jesus would be quoted as saying, “Upon this rock I will build my fellowship hall.” We would also read that God hit Paul with a laser beam because he started the Hard Rock Caf‚.
One of the best ways you can help your child is to get him a Bible he can understand. Even as an adult, it is hard for me to read 16th Century English, so I don’t expect the young people to grasp it, either. Today, you can choose from many popular versions such as The Message or the New Living Translation. There are also different types of Bible computer software children and teens will enjoy using. For example, they can have fun looking up how many times the word “the” occurs in the Bible (23,167 times in the New International Version).
Do whatever it takes to get your child hooked on God’s Word, or you may find yourself quoting that famous passage, “Children, humor thy mother and father.” Remember, sin will keep your child from God’s Word, and God’s Word will keep your child from sin. Want to keep your child’s way pure? God tells us . . . the Way.
Dear Father, I want more than Your words to be hidden in my child’s heart. I ask that my child’s heart may be hidden in Your Word. I claim the promise that Your Word will keep us from sin. May that Word be our living water and everlasting bread. Amen.