Lifeway’s “Gospel Project” Will Keep Children From Entering the Kingdom
Proponents of New Calvinism’s false gospel of progressive justification are targeting children through Lifeway Publisher’s Gospel Project. The church now stands silent as this massive program will prevent untold thousands of children from entering the kingdom. And I have news for American pastors: your ignorance on this issue will not excuse you before Christ in regard to the eternal wellbeing of Children, especially if you are soliciting them to attend your VBS. Spiffy teacher’s manuals with the word “gospel” on them doesn’t equal truth-driven gospel.
Much could be said biblically about God’s preference for children, but it’s interesting to note that God made a specific covenant between Himself and children, and New Calvinism seeks to interfere with that covenant. The apostle Paul explains the covenant as follows:
Ephesians 6:1 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
The fifth commandment is the command with a promise, and the four after it are uncharacteristic of the first five in regard to being short statements. This means they probably relate back to the fifth commandment: children dishonor their parents by stealing, etc. New Calvinism circumvents this covenant (which is obviously still in force or Paul would not have referred to it), and thereby circumvents the promises to children associated with it, circumvents their ability to honor their parents, and circumvents their ability to love God.
How so? New Calvinism’s gospel-centered theology is progressive justification and sanctification by faith alone. The “big picture” method of “Bible learning” is the vehicle for enabling Christians to live by faith alone in their Christian lives. This is nothing new and is the mentality that James pushed back against in his epistle. The Bible becomes a tool for gospel contemplationism, and whatever we see in the “gospel story” is imputed to our lives. This imputation is always accompanied by gratitude (fueled by the “crosswork” that we see in the Bible), joy, and a willing spirit. All obedience out of duty is “obedience in our own efforts” which would include anything that we don’t feel like doing. Ya, teach that to kids. Brilliant.
Kids will be instructed to see all of the commands in the Bible as works that Christ accomplished for us while He lived on earth. That’s what the term, Christ for us means. We are still totally depraved and unable to keep the law in sanctification, so Christ lived for our sanctification and died for our justification. As we see all of the commands in the Bible that Christ kept for us, that obedience is imputed to our account by faith alone.
Worse yet, it makes the standard for sanctification a perfect keeping of the law; therefore, part of the atonement was Christ’s perfect obedience during His life on earth so that His works can be imputed to our sanctification by faith alone—the same way we were saved. This effectively keeps us “under the law” which is a designation for the lost throughout the New Testament. For all practical purposes, we are still under the law and that’s why Jesus must obey for us. Since sanctification finishes our justification (really progressive justification), if we don’t live the Christian life by faith alone—we are toast. Supposedly. Children will be taught that “making every effort” (2Peter 1:5-11) to obey mommy and daddy is works salvation.
Hence, there is really no choice to obey “in our own efforts” and therefore no way to love God and please Him. Supposedly, If we really love Jesus, it shouldn’t take effort. As Francis Chan states: “If it feels like work—it’s work. If it feels like love—it’s love.” There are just no words for the vileness that is behind the efforts to teach this to our children.
Moreover, it’s plainly a false gospel that denies the new birth. In the new birth, the “Helper” enables us to appropriate the fact that our minds are now enslaved to the law rather than sin (Romans 7:25). The ability to obey the law and please God is the very definition of a born again believer (Romans 8:7).
Of course, these doctrinal ideas will be assimilated into their minds by methods that teach on their level of understanding. The production is also top notch and designed to mesmerize children.