One of the ongoing issues when teaching young people the Bible is how to help them take God’s principles and commands and apply them appropriately to their lives. We live in a world where ethics are situational. Ask the average person on the street and they can easily list multiple times where lying, for example, is not only acceptable, but admirable. With all of this input coming at them, your Bible students need a lot more practice thinking and talking through complex real life situations and what God would want them to do.
One of the struggles for many teachers who want to give young people more practice is the process of writing appropriate scenarios for young people to discuss. It can be time consuming and the results may not be what you wanted. We have finally found a resource you can purchase to help.
What Would You Do? by Michael O. Baker comes in elementary and 6th through 12th grade versions. The teen volume has twenty nine problems for students to discuss. It doesn’t sound like much for about $9, but the added complexities could start a discussion that would last an entire class period.
Each problem starts out with a fairly simple scenario, like you found out someone stole something. The author then starts layering on alternate or additional complexities. What if, for example, the person had made you promise not to tell before he told you he’d stolen something? Or what if the thief were starving and had no money?
These are many of the same types of problems young people are given and told there is no absolute right or wrong. They are trained that whatever they decide is right or wrong is acceptable as long as they can justify it. The good news is that these books come with no options or answers. This allows the Bible teacher to frame answers according to what would be pleasing to God.
This, however, could present a problem with some volunteers Bible class teachers. There are plenty of Christians who have knowingly or unknowingly accepted the situational ethics belief system. They believe they can even over rule what is in the Bible if it is not to their liking. When using these in a Bi Le class with young person, it is critical that the teacher carefully researches biblical answers, including Bible stories or scriptures that would apply.
If used carefully, this resource can give young people some more challenging, real life scenarios to begin analyzing for the ways they can live their faith should they ever encounter these situations. It also teaches them a process for making godly choices in any complex situation. It is a great way to teach young people important, counter-cultural ways to live their faith.