The Gospel vs Morals and Core Values

The Gospel vs Morals and Core Values

Several of the children’s ministry curriculums that are popular today teach morals and core values such as kindness, sharing, being more loving, and how to be a good Christian moral person.  All of this sounds very Christian until you realize that none of these things save a person. Morals and core values come from the new birth; they do not produce the new birth. To teach children how to be moral people with biblical core values without teaching the change that happens when one is Born Again gives a false sense of salvation that relies on our good works instead of the grace of God. In the long term what this type of Children’s Ministry teaching produces is teens and adults that are moral and have biblical core values, but are not born again. They have never truly been changed by the Grace of God. This is why I believe, we have lost the last few generations of children coming up through our children’s ministries in America.

It has seems to me that many churches that teach these types of curriculums never give the opportunity for children to make Jesus Lord of their life and be born again. Somehow, they believe that because kids are coming to church that they must already be born again, or if they come long enough that maybe they will be born again through osmosis or something. Several churches have told me that it is the parent’s job to lead children to the Lord, therefore we are not going to do it. To which I ask what if the parents are not born again themselves, or what if they are baby Christians and have no idea how to lead their children to the Lord? Are we going to drop the ball and let these children slip through the cracks of our pet doctrine that we learned at a conference to sell more curriculum?

We need to be purposeful about teaching the true gospel and giving children an opportunity to make Jesus Lord of their life and receive the gift of salvation by being born again. If not I am afraid we will continue to loose generation after generation of children to a watered down fad curriculum.

The Gospel teaches us that in ourselves we are not good enough to be in right standing with God and we do not measure up to a holy and perfect God. There is nothing we can do on our own to measure up. We can be the best church going person in the world but that does not make us worthy of salvation. The Bible says, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. Sin is when we do things our way instead of God’s way. It’s not only lying, stealing, cheating or killing someone. James 4:17 says if we know to do good and we do not do it, that it is sin. Any time we do anything our way instead of God’s way it is sin. So simply not praying for some one that the Holy Spirit puts on our heart to pray for because we are afraid of being laughed at is also sin.

We all have done things our way instead of God’s way and because of that we earn spiritual death Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin “doing things our way instead of God’s way “is death. Separation from God. But the gift of God is eternal life. Jesus paid for our salvation on the cross when he shed his blood. It’s up to us to receive this free gift by making Jesus Lord of our life. When we make Jesus Lord of our life by faith, there is a supernatural change that happens to our spirit. Our spirit man is recreated with the life and nature of God. This change produces Love, Joy, Peace, Kindness, and all the other fruit of the spirit that many curriculums teach as morals and core values. Trying to be more loving, kind, and less selfish do not produce the change of being born again. What it produces is religious children that have never been born again and do not really know God.

It is detrimental to the spiritual health of our children that this is taught in the right order. Surrender your life to Jesus, make Him Lord of your life, and he will change your heart, so you can be more kind, loving, and less selfish. Not try your best to be kind loving, and less selfish so you can be a nice Christian person.

None of us are capable of being good enough on our own. God gave Israel 613 laws to show them how good, holy, and righteous he was.  He said if you obey all 613 laws you can be made righteous in my eyes. This is what makes you good enough. NO ONE could do it because even if they obeyed 612 of the 613 laws and only disobeyed one law they were guilty of the entire law. No one, not even the best most religious Israelite could do it. The Bible says in Galatians 3:24 that the law was our schoolmaster, tutor, or guardian to bring us to Christ. That we might be justified by faith. It showed us that we could not measure up, that all of us have fallen short of the glory of God, and it showed us that we needed a savior.

Because of what Jesus did on the cross, God is not imputing or holding our sins against us. We can become right in God’s eyes by putting faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross.

To teach morals and core values without the new birth, is equal to trying to bring someone under a new law of love without giving them the love they need to have the morals and core values. It is just impossible. When we are born again God puts his love in our heart so we can do the things that please Him.

I do not understand why pastors that are sticklers of being biblically correct and strong teachers of the word of God are allowing this to go on in their children’s ministries. They would never allow this to be taught from their pulpit to the adults but feel it’s ok to allow it to be taught to the most impressionable people in their church. Many Pastors do not even know what is being taught to the children because they have put someone in charge of that department. God will hold Lead Pastors accountable if children are being led astray under their watch. It is nothing to take lightly. I would personally make sure that the children are being taught the same thing as the adults in my church or when they do graduate to big church they will walk away because they were taught and believed something else as children. Doctrine is important!

Jerry Moyer
Jubilee Gang Ministries