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Americans Still Love Vacation Bible School–Even Non-Church Goers

VBS, however popular, is not without its critics.

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A survey conducted by LifeWay shows that most Americans hold a positive view of Vacation Bible School, the educational Bible program that thousands of churches across the nation put on for young children during the summer vacation.

“Six in 10 Americans say they went to VBS growing up. Two-thirds of American parents say they plan to send kids to VBS this summer — even if they skip church themselves,” says the report, “Even If They Don’t Go to Church, Americans Still Love VBS.”

This includes even those who don’t regularly go to church.

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60 percent of parents surveyed said they are planning on sending their children to VBS programs put on by churches they don’t regularly attend, while 69 said they’d send their child to a different church if their child was invited by a friend.

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“Each week of the summer there are thousands of VBS programs going on around America,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, in a statement following the release of the report last week. “It’s one of the things that people love about church.”

“People still believe Vacation Bible School is good for kids,” he added. “Even parents who don’t go to church want their kids to go to VBS.”

The Christian Post explains that the study drew from 1,200 American adults interviewed between March 7-10 at a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

“Other findings included 60 percent of respondents saying they attended VBS as kids, 88 percent of those who attended saying VBS helped them understand the Bible, 95 percent saying VBS was a positive experience for their children, and 61 percent of respondents who did not attend VBS still holding positive views about the program,” CP notes.

Thom Rainer, the president of LifeWay, is a vocal proponent of VBS, and, In a recent column published by The Christian Post, he referred to it as “the No.1 evangelistic tool in America” and urged churches to continue the program.

VBS, however popular, is not without its critics.

Pastor and author Peter M. Burfeind argued in a 2017 column for The Federalist that the programming relies on a “bait n’ switch philosophy” which he likened to “trying to get your child to eat vegetables by embedding them in a Twinkie.”

“Sure, the child will hear some good things about God, but the medium of the message — the razzle-dazzle theme, characterless music, throwaway crafts, forced theatrics, the theological minimalism — is what the child internalizes,” he wrote.

“The deeper message conveyed is that what is meant to be an eternal truth is derivative, unserious, inauthentic, forgettable, commercial, frivolous, and cheap.”

Frivolous or not, LifeWay clearly demonstrates that many adults still remember VBS fondly and are happy to send their kids to the program as well. Whenever the Gospel is preached, that’s a positive thing in my opinion–with or without the bells and whistles of a fun and entertaining children’s program.

(H/T The Christian Post)

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Catholic Priest Says A Prayer For ‘Unborn Child In The Womb’ During The DNC

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A Catholic priest who was called upon to deliver a prayer during the Democratic National Convention no doubt made quite a few folks very, very angry by praying for and making a plea on behalf of unborn children at the end of the event. Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit who has caused quite a stir in the Catholic Church for his writings about gay and transgender issues, prayed that folks who were watching the event would open their hearts to “those most in need,” which included “the unborn child in the womb.” Here’s more on this from The Washington Examiner: “Help to be a nation where every life is sacred, all people are loved, and all are welcome,” he said. Martin confirmed to the Washington Examiner earlier in the week that his prayer would contain explicit references to the unborn. Although a hot-button issue for much of the Democratic primary, abortion did not play a major role in the Democratic convention. Aside from Martin’s prayer, the issue received only minimal attention, with some speakers mentioning it in their speeches. Republicans, by contrast, are gearing up to make a major issue of abortion at the Republican National Convention next week. In addition to several anti-abortion speakers, the Republican National Committee invited Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, to deliver the convention’s opening prayer. Dolan has previously done so at both the Republican and Democratic conventions, during which he prayed for the protection of the unborn. At the end of the day, abortion is one of the most critical issues to face our culture in modern history. The reason, of course, is because fundamentally, at the core of the issue, is the defense of the most basic right we all have. The God-given right to exist, to live. If we cannot…

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President Trump Says He’d ‘Go In And Do A Number On Middle East Countries Persecuting Christians’

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President Trump recently said that he would “do a number” on countries located in the Middle East that are persecuting Christians if he could find solid proof and evidence that sort of thing was happening. Christians in that part of the world are heavily persecuted, mostly by radical Muslim government regimes and terrorist groups, for daring to stand up boldly for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here’s more on this from The Washington Examiner: “If you look at the way Christians have been treated in some countries, it’s beyond disgraceful,” Trump said Thursday during a news conference at the White House. “If I had information and if I had absolute proof — some of the stories that we’ve heard, which are not easy, which is not easy to get — I would go in and do a number to those countries like you wouldn’t believe. He added, “What they do to Christians in the Middle East — it’s disgraceful.” Trump made the comment while discussing the nascent “Abraham Accord” treaty to normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. This is not only going to be a big help to Christians in that area of the world, but it will also help Israel as well. For many, many years, the Jewish Nation has been surrounded by countries who do not recognize it’s legitimate right to exist. Striking this deal is a first step in changing that way of thinking in that part of the world. It’s something a lot of folks probably never dreamed possible before. Christians are told in the Bible to expect persecutions and to rejoice in suffering for the cause of Christ. However, that doesn’t mean we should allow persecution to continue on as if it’s a good thing. It’s not. If we have an opportunity…

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