Friday, 03 April 2015 19:45

Better News? Really?

Written by  Bob Crittendon
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In Churchville, New York, a new student group has been formed called The Better News Club.  Unfortunately, it has been established to counter the Biblical truth being shared in a local chapter of the popular Christian outreach called The Good News Club, sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship.

You may be familiar with CEF – its ministry offers powerful tools that God is using to bring children to Jesus Christ.  Through their Good News Clubs in schools across the nation, the 5-Day Club programs during the summer, and a host of quality resources, CEF is bringing truth to children.  In 2013, CEF reached some 15.6 million children with the gospel in almost 190 countries, according to its website.

 

The website, ChristianNews.net, reported on this so-called Better News Club, which is offering a Young Skeptics program to elementary school students.  The website for the group states, “The organization was created first as an alternative to the Good News Club, a Christian evangelical group who enters public schools to proselytize to children and, according to their own materials, declares them all sinners in need of salvation.”

 

The Better News Club people say that they see the Good News Club as “a form of psychological abuse, akin to telling small children they’re flawed or evil, and must subscribe to a dogma in order to avoid eternal punishment.” According to the permission slip for the Young Skeptics, the program serves as “an educational club dedicated to helping our kids find answers themselves, through critical thinking and problem solving.”

 

As previously reported by ChristianNews.net, a summer camp hosted by CEF in Portland, Oregon, came under fire last summer for teaching children that each person is a sinner in need of the Savior. Those who opposed the group asserted that CEF does not present “Jesus loves you” mainstream Christianity, but is rather “hardcore evangelical fundamental.”

 

CEF Vice President of Ministries Moises Esteves responded to the Portland situation, telling local television station KOIN, “Listen, the message of the gospel, the teaching of the core Christian tenets of the Christian faith that have been taught for 2,000 years in the Bible is what we’re teaching...There’s nothing new here.”  The ChristianNews.net article relates that CEF says that it is not teaching anything outside of the basic and fundamental truths of the gospel—and that mankind must understand the bad news to know why the good news is so good.

 

I contend that if you’re going to claim to have “Better News,” then you need to be prepared to back that claim up!   The Good News Club, which really has the best news of all, actually has answers for the challenges we face in life.  Yes, as the Bible teaches, we are all sinners - thankfully, He offers a way out of that state of separation from God in our sin, through the new birth! 

 

What does the “Better News” crowd offer?   Where is the hope in the atheist or “skeptic” message?   Seems to me that their message would only leave children with a sense of hopelessness – without the true love that Jesus offers.

 

I guess that the “Better News” purveyors somehow think that being free from submission to God is a good thing, but only through a relationship with Christ can you experience true freedom, the ability to not be bound by the weight of sin, the ability to live a life of love and joy.  A life not dependent on human fallibility, but on God’s ability!

 

One of the aforementioned articles says that Protect Portland Children, which seeks to speak out against CEF’s message and influence parents not to allow their children to attend its events, has a profile photograph of a child holding a sign that reads “I am not a sinner.”  That’s Biblically incorrect!! It is true, we are sinners!  The awareness of our own sinfulness is a catalyst for our accepting Jesus as Savior and experiencing redemption and true freedom in Him.

 

The world we live in today, in a sense, is one in which significant numbers of people do not accept truth - and looking back through the ages, we recognize that there has been, and will continue to be, hostility toward the gospel message.  We have to be prepared for that, and also recognize that the Holy Spirit is at work, dealing with the hearts of people to cause them to be more receptive to the gospel.  God will use us to share the very, very good news - the best news of all.   

 

The best news is God has provided us a Savior to save sinners – to redeem our lives, give us a new start, to inhabit our hearts, and lead us daily.  We can be recipients of the greatest love of all, the love that motivated Jesus to die for you and me!

 

Last modified on Thursday, 23 April 2015 19:49
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