—By Father DavidDFO 104712 May, 1977
1. I THINK SUNDAY SCHOOL IS THE BEST PART ABOUT CHURCH & about the only place where you really hear the Truth & the Gospel & see pretty pictures of the Bible stories—it's about the only place in most churches where you even hear the Bible very much! So I really think Sunday School in a way is good for kids. Our little classes for our kids are just almost like Sunday School, with pictures, illustrations & Bible stories!
2. THEY'VE ALWAYS GOT GOOD MUSIC IN SUNDAY SCHOOL, that's lots of fun too, & lots of other kids. So I wouldn't be afraid to send my kids to Sunday School if there was one nearby & handy that really believes in the truth! There were a few churches which really preach the Gospel & preach the Bible & preach the Truth, & where at least the kids won't necessarily get poisoned in Sunday School, especially if you go with them & make sure they're getting the right teaching.
3. THEY CAN ENJOY THE FELLOWSHIP OF OTHER CHRISTIAN CHILDREN & LEARN THE MUSIC OF CHRISTIANS OF GENERATIONS, some of which is good, some not so good‚ & you can teach them to differentiate between the two.—Just be sure you don't let them know you are or they probably won't let you in the front door! But it's possible! I took my kids to church off & on for a few years just to give them a sample & let them know what it was like so they could take it or leave it.
4. THEY LEARNED TO SING, & SING THE SUNDAY SCHOOL SONGS WHICH ARE GOOD SIMPLE LITTLE CHILDREN'S SONGS which usually carry a Gospel messages like "Jesus Loves Me", "Jesus Loves the Little Children"‚ "Bring Them In" & all those sweet little Sunday School Songs! I enjoyed them when I was young & I enjoyed going to Sunday School—that was my favourite part of church because they had such pretty teachers!
5. I ALWAYS FELL IN LOVE WITH ALL THE PRETTY YOUNG GIRL TEACHERS! They usually had teenagers teaching very young ones, & I was enrapt with the beauty to behold, as well as the beautiful Sunday School pictures they had on the walls of Jesus & the little children & the disciples! And then we always got these pretty colour picture–cards to take home with us, or little coloured papers with pictures, & they were so nice! Then when we were old enough to read we enjoyed reading those little stories etc.
6. LATER ON DAVID C. COOK BROUGHT OUT THE WORLD'S FIRST RELIGIOUS COMICS for Evangelical churches like Baptist & Pentecostal churches, & those were fascinating because they had not only pictorialised Bible stories but also stories of the history of the church & the martyrs, & then some fictional stories about Christian young people & their trials & tribulations & victories, & even a few little love stories! Those were designed mostly for the teenage level‚ but I thought they were very good! That's the David C. Cook Publishing House in Chicago, Illinois, in case any of you are interested!
7. I LOVED THOSE BIG BIBLE-POSTER CALENDARS! They're about a yard wide & seemed like they were longer than that, & they hung on the wall. You turned over one page each week which had the picture of the theme of the Sunday School lesson for that week‚ & you sat there gazing at that beautiful picture of Jesus & the little children while the teacher read you the story out of the Bible or the Sunday School leaflet. Then she told you, "Well‚ next week we'll have another one!"
8. I REALLY ENJOYED THOSE WHEN I WAS A LITTLE KID!—And you got a new one of these big picture poster calendars every quarter! I used to snitch a little bit & when the teacher wasn't looking I'd look at all the pictures. I'd go up to the calendar & lift each picture up & look at the next one to see what it was! Because they were not only Jesus & all these other people but there were some pretty girls in there too!
9. I'LL NEVER FORGET THAT ONE OF THE HALF-NUDE EGYPTIAN PRINCESS taking Moses out of the Nile River, that was really a beauty! And every now & then they had some pretty ones like that. Flannelgraphs hadn't been introduced when I was still in Sunday School, that came later, but I remember when my kids were small they had invented flannelgraphs & Mama Eve got a flannelgraph board & started showing flannelgraphs to our children & the neighbourhood children, & I thought that was very interesting!
10. BUT I LOVED TO LOOK AT THOSE BIG SUNDAY SCHOOL POSTERS‚ & then they always gave you one on a little card that was just like it to take home with a little lesson & Scripture on the back which was very good! And if your parents weren't saved & didn't know the Lord, that kind of was a little infiltration propaganda to take home to the rest of the family!
11. SO MANY OF THE KIDS' FAMILIES DIDN'T EVEN COME TO CHURCH, they just sent their kids to Sunday School or let the church people pick them up, so it was good Christian propaganda & good Bible Truth to get into the homes where the kids lived! I think Sunday School is a great thing, in fact I think it's the greatest thing the church has done outside of actual missions abroad! A real missionfield!
12. I THINK SUNDAY SCHOOL IS THE GREATEST HOME MISSION WORK THAT THE CHURCH DOES—probably the greatest good that it does at home in its homeland in N. America & Northern Europe. I notice Southern Europe does not seem to know what Sunday School is, & even in the English churches & churches of other denominations they don't seem to know anything about Sunday School yet. But it's a great thing in the States & sometimes they have more people in Sunday School than they have in church! Of course then you got a special reward if you stayed for church, you got an extra merit, & if you had enough merits you got a special prize at the end of the quarter!
13. I THINK THE MINISTRY OF THE SUNDAY SCHOOL IS THE GREATEST MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH AT HOME, aside from their ministry abroad, & believe it or not, their ministry abroad in most countries where the people are simple childlike natives is very much like the ministry of the Sunday School. They use pictures & slides & flannelgraphs out in the villages to depict the stories they're telling as the natives gather around just like little children & are as thrilled about it as us little kids used to be in Sunday School!
14. MARIA IS JUST REMINDING ME ABOUT VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL. That was something, believe it or not, that they hadn't yet invented when I was young, that came along when my kids were young! During school vacation you came to "Sunday" School every day for a whole week, sometimes two weeks, & they had Bible stories & various activities & games & art & painting & clay modeling—all kinds of things for children to do which were very interesting! They stayed for half a day all morning‚ & if they brought their lunch they stayed all day.—Or did they sometimes give them a lunch?—I think so.
15. I KNOW A LOT OF KIDS GOT SAVED BOTH AT SUNDAY SCHOOL & VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL & some of our own kids who are now with us in the Family have testified that they first found the Lord in Sunday School or Vacation Bible School! Although their own parents never darkened the door of a church, they themselves got interested & went to Sunday School, or somebody invited them or took them to Sunday School or to Vacation Bible School & they got saved!
16. SO I THINK THAT IS PROBABLY THE BEST MINISTRY OF THE CHURCHES! They're not reaching the lost hardly anywhere else & most of them have no other program for reaching the unsaved. Sunday night was supposed to be the Evangelistic Service & you were supposed to bring out your sinful neighbours to be evangelised, but very few people ever did or could because their sinful neighbours weren't interested in anything so dead as church & getting preached the same old thing every time!—So only the sinning saints came!
17. CHURCHES ACTUALLY DIDN'T HAVE MUCH APPEAL TO ANYBODY THAT HAD ANY LIFE TO THEM, & the church has such narrow-minded ideas about so many things, they had to quit almost everything in life that they enjoyed, or were supposed to quit it, in order to become a Christian & go to church! The kind of churches we used to go to & the kind that preached the Gospel & really believed the Bible were usually very narrow-minded about everything, not only just sex but even about going to the movies!—That was a sin, & of course smoking & card-playing & dancing were very wicked! They just about took all the joy out of life—all Earthly pleasures!
18. I THINK CARD-PLAYING & CHESS–PLAYING TOO, BY THE WAY, IS A HELL OF A WASTE OF TIME, including checkers or any other kind of stupid little games! I don't see how any of you have time for that kind of trash, & it becomes almost addicting! It's demonic! I think card-playing & chess–playing have a demonic fascination‚ & any of you folks who are wasting time on that kind of stuff ought to get your head down in a bucket of cold water to wake you up!—Except for little kids.
19. WHO IN THE HELL HAS TIME FOR THAT WASTE? That to me is the biggest time–waster! When I was younger I was fascinated with it & loved to play chess & I loved to play cards‚ but I soon woke up to the fact that it was a hell of a time-waster!—Hours & hours spent accomplishing absolutely nothing! Totally absolutely nothing! No accomplishment at all whatsoever.
20. YOU'D SPEND YOUR TIME MUCH BETTER EVEN READING THE NEWSPAPER, you'd learn more, or news magazines or books or anything is more profitable than playing chess‚ checkers & cards, it's such a waste of time! Even to go out & play a good game of tennis or go swimming or get some bodily exercise is a little bit profitable. It profits nothing spiritually but at least it profits you physically! But for you who already have a great big fat tire around your middle, to sit here getting fatter by the moment playing chess or whatever it is, is just absolute stupidity! Just stupidity! Ridiculous!
21. I'VE HEARD THAT SOME OF OUR OWN TOP LEADERS EVEN WASTE THEIR TIME & HOURS & HOURS EVERY NIGHT PLAYING CHESS, of all the ridiculous things! Our very top leaders, at least‚ thank God, haven't got time to waste on foolishness like that! Everyone needs a little relaxation, you need sometimes to get away from it all & just have a good laugh—go see a funny movie or watch a little TV‚ news or something educational or something that's recreational, just to sort of get your mind off all of your work & your problems a little while & just enjoy a little something that's not too heavy!
22. BUT TO WASTE YOUR TIME ON SOMETHING THAT'S UNEDUCATIONAL & UNPROFITABLE & UNEDIFYING & UNRELAXING as chess & checkers & card—playing & stupid stuff like that which doesn't even give you any exercise, that's utterly ridiculous!—Neither educates nor exercises nor edifies nor anything! Just a game of wits to try to see how smart you are to overpower the other fellow, who's the smartest to think the farthest ahead to outsmart each other! It's another game of aggression, another game of competition which creates a bad spirit! (Except Bible & ML games!)
23. ANYWAY, THE CHURCHES JUST ABOUT TOOK ALL THE PLEASURE OUT OF LIFE; if it was anything at all that was pleasant or pleasurable, why that was a sin! It was a sin to enjoy almost anything except going to church—that was supposed to be your only enjoyment, the thing to look forward to! So who the hell wants to go to church for all that dead stuff, as dead as they usually are now? I must say the church services I used to conduct I used to try to put some life in them & make them sing the songs from their hearts & really liven things up & really get things moving!—And what I preached was hot as hell & that's why they finally threw me out!
24. SO I WAS TOO LIVELY & THERE WAS TOO MUCH EXCITEMENT & I wanted too much change & too much life, & the people who wanted to sleep didn't want to be waked up, so they got rid of me! Most churches are like the guy who said, "Everything I like is either fattening, illegal or unhealthy!" So that's about the way the churches have made things.—They've made everything that's enjoyable either fattening, unhealthy or illegal!
25. SO OUTSIDE OF SUNDAY SCHOOL, I NEVER SAW MUCH IN CHURCH! Well, we did have a few evangelists who came along & kind of brightened & livened things up by really preaching some exciting things on Bible Prophecy & World events or preaching against certain politics & blah blah! One of the first evangelists I remember coming along was a Child Evangelist who had meetings every morning for the children, which was about the first thing I guess like Vacation Bible School. He was also a magician & did all kids of tricks, & then he had all kids of equipment to illustrate things for the children!
26. UNCLE CHARLIE WAS HIS NAME! He was an old white-haired man & he was so cute & so funny & we kids really enjoyed him! They came out to our Tabernacle by the hundreds during vacation to watch Uncle Charlie do his tricks & tell his funny stories & illustrate on his board & all kinds of things! He had all kinds of equipment with him to illustrate things, it was really interesting.
27. ANYHOW, THERE WAS SUNDAY SCHOOL & CHILDREN'S MEETINGS & VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL & sometimes & Sunday Evening Children or Young People's Meeting just before church time that they used to have at 6:30. It was a nice little fellowship time & Bible reading or Bible lesson of some kind, & sometimes illustrated picture stories or something for the kids & the young people, just before church time. They'd have that at 6:30 before church began at 7:30, so those were pretty good!—We kids really liked'm!
28. ANYTHING THAT REACHES YOUNG PEOPLE & GETS THE ATTENTION OF CHILDREN & TEACHES THEM THE BIBLE & THE TRUTH & salvation is I certainly think worthwhile, & to me that's the greatest ministry of the church in America & Northern Europe that I have seen, & has probably won more souls at the age when most people make their decision as young people. Did you know that the usual age is around 12 years of age in the average Christian churchy family? I don't know why they don't make earlier decisions than that, but I guess they don't expect them to.
29. BUT ANYWAY, I THINK SUNDAY SCHOOL IS GREAT & IT DOES A GOOD JOB, a good ministry, if it's a Bible-believing church that preaches the Gospel & real salvation! Of course you're apt to get into a lot of other false doctrines at the same time along with it which you've got to watch out for, but the Baptists & the Pentecostals are pretty good folks usually. There are a few Presbyterians who are fundamental, & some Lutherans, but very few Methodists—they're absolutely almost the most modernistic, unbelieving church there is today! But there are a few good fundamental evangelical churches.
30. IT DEPENDS ON THE INDIVIDUAL CHURCH & THE INDIVIDUAL PASTOR JUST HOW MUCH BIBLE & HOW MUCH TRUTH THEY PREACH & how much salvation they're for. But one thing I know is that our Family certainly preaches salvation & strong evangelism! There's one thing that the churches didn't preach much, & that was personal evangelism. Their idea of personal evangelism was to get out & invite everybody to church or Sunday School or Vacation Bible School!—Everybody that brings one gets a prize‚ if you bring more than that, you get more prizes‚ & the blues win over the reds, or the reds beat the blues & blah blah!
31. THAT WAS THEIR IDEA OF PERSONAL EVANGELISM—"You invite them to church & we'll get them saved!" It was not church idea at all of your really being able to officially give them the Gospel & officially get them saved, the church had to do that. You were just to try to get them to church & let the church do the job. But we are certainly for personal evangelism‚ & even FFing, which is of course taboo in all churches that I know of!
32. IT IS HORRIFYING THE CHURCH TODAY WHEN THEY HEAR ABOUT US USING SEX AS A WEAPON TO WIN SOULS‚ which as some have brought out is really nothing new! It's been done before & you'll even find it in the Bible several places‚ including Abraham & Sara of the early Jews & Queens & whatnot! It seems they'd gotten pretty straitlaced & pretty narrow-minded by the time Jesus came along & tried to crack'm open again‚ & even dear Paul had a hard time really opening up to the liberty & freedom that he had in the Lord‚ & was afraid to have others do it, so he said down some rules that not even Jesus laid down to try to keep things under control.
33. SO I THINK SUNDAY SCHOOL'S A GOOD THING, IF YOU HAVE A NEARBY SUNDAY SCHOOL MAYBE YOU'LL BE A REAL WITNESS THERE & your kids will be a blessing to their kids, really set them on fire about witnessing & litnessing & getting out on the street & winning souls! Of course I found out most of the churches I went to & tried to wake them up & set them on fire for that didn't like the message & sometimes they wouldn't even listen & threw me out! Witnessing sounds too much like work for most church folks!
34. THANK GOD YOU & I ARE WILLING TO WORK FOR SOULS!—And Sunday School is about the only place in church a real Christian can really work for Jesus & evangelise souls!—Little children are a real mission field!—Big ones too!—Hungry teens! So I consider
35. CHILD & YOUTH EVANGELISM ARE ABOUT THE ONLY FRESH MISSIONFIELDS LEFT IN NORTH AMERICA! Christian school-teaching there is also a real opportunity for soul winning & disciple teaching & witnessing activities. The kids love action, & witnessing is action!
36.—THAT'S WHERE WE GOT OUR START!—Especially in churches that don't preach much Gospel! We sometimes found them more open-minded than the narrow-minded bigoted sceptical suspicious evangelicals!—And more thankful for help with their unruly kids!
37. SO THE KIDS ARE ABOUT THE ONLY MISSIONFIELD LEFT IN NORTH AMERICA—a real suicide mission if you're willing to go down with the ship when she blows!—Maybe you've got a real burden for'm & are willing to die with them! Maybe that's your bag, if you just can't get out for some reason—Sunday School, DVBS, kids homes‚ schools, orphanages, reformatories, kids hospitals, child evangelism in the streets, parks, neighbourhoods, under-privileged areas etc.
38. BUT YOU'LL FIND IT SO MUCH EASIER & MORE FRUITFUL ON FOREIGN FIELDS WHERE THE KIDS HAVE NO SUNDAY SCHOOLS, NOTHING!—They're so much more eager & receptive & responsive & appreciative where they have nothing else but you & your flannelgraphs or puppets or videos or clowns or skits or games or clubs or music or just plain Bible stories with or without pictures! GBY! Whatever you do or wherever you are, "Open the Door for the Children!" for of such is the Kingdom of God!—Amen! Hallelujah! Praise God! I love'm!—Don't you?