Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sunday Schools and Their "Injurious Effect"


Do your children attend Sunday School?  If so, wisely consider this caution and word of advice which was penned one hundred years ago, in 1813.

"Our Sabbath school system, in the measure in which it tends to separate parents and children, cannot but have an injurious effect. It causes a separation of them beyond what is immediate. The Sabbath school is becoming the children’s church, as distinguished from the parents’ church, and it is becoming a rarer thing than once it was to see the parents and children together in the house of God."


  1. Yes, our family all attend Sunday school. We like it. Growing up it was my favorite part of church. Now I enjoy studying and sharing with other women my age in Sunday school and enjoy worshiping and learning and being encouraged/challenged with the collective group later. I would guess the danger is not from division in age groups during particular parts of worship but from a failure to demonstrate true, active, growing faith. For some, faith is nominal and for others it is a life of rules and restrictions when it needs to be full of the fruit of the Spirit, growing and becoming more like Christ.
    Okay, just my two cents. :)

  2. Hi Holly, thanks for your comment. :-)

    I couldn't agree more about demonstrating true, active, and growing faith before our children. I think what the author of this piece is getting at though, is the propensity of parents to foist their God-given responsibility, to teach their children the truths of God's Word, onto someone else's shoulders, and he also provides a valid caution, we believe, that children who do not regularly remain and participate in the general meeting of the church each Lord's Day may grow up minimizing the importance of it, possibly abandoning attendance altogether or embrace a hit and miss mindset. We think he's made some very good points, and has also offered a very interesting challenge to pastors and elders to train parents in this very important task.

    How's the weather been in your neck of the woods? We haven't received that much snow, really, maybe have roughly 18 inches or so down, but boy have we had a lot of bitterly cold temps. It was positively balmy yesterday though. :-)

  3. Hmm...I'd love to discuss it in person. :) I hope we are training our children; we do try. We have also involved other people in encouraging our children to put their faith in Christ in situations like Sunday school. I totally agree that as parents we can't/shouldn't totally delegate the responsibility of teaching our children to others.

    Weather: snowy and blowy, cold for us...I'm not sure about you Canadians. :P
    Maybe you should come see. :)

    I see that you have another precious grandbaby on the way. Congratulations!

  4. One more, sorry! One reason I hugely admire and enjoy china4 is because you are so articulate, a gift I don't have.

    I thought again about this during Sunday school this morning. In our church and the one I grew up in in Minnesota, the parents who demonstrated the most fruit of the Spirit were/are very committed to having their children involved in Sunday school. It tends to be the more casual/less mature believers that are pretty sporadic in their attendance. I think many of us in this congregation tend to think of Sunday school as enhancing the spiritual training we try to do at home.
    Interesting for me to see a different viewpoint on this topic. Thank you. :)