From the looks of what is being advertised on the centrifugecamps.com site, this summer may be no safer than last summer for teenagers who are innocently set off to camp by parents and churches. This site offers the first day's lesson of the summer Centrifuge Camps. The Bible Study Leader's Guide for "Fuge 2006" is entitled, Thrill Ride and is written by Christopher S. O'Dell. The author is described in the preface as "a full-time stay at home dad of four children" who "served as a youth minister and worked Centrifuge camp" before becoming a dad.
If the posted first day's lesson is any indication, this may be another infamous "Fugegate" offered up by Lifeway. According to Sephen Underkofler's blog about this, that is precisely what is going on. Stephen received the whole teaching guide in the mail and says, "there is no cross" in it. Specifically, he laments, "Yes, they want me to teach the 'gospel' without mention of the cross, resurrection, sin, or God's holiness." I searched the lesson that is posted and did find 2 quick references to sin, but none to forgiveness, repentance or hell. I did find this:
Ask: What’s the point of riding a roller-coaster in the first place? [The thrill!]
Say: We can go to a carnival and see the most rickety, old, squeaky, rusty roller-coaster with a sign posted out front that says "WARNING: Not safe! WARNING: Really!" And still get on it. Jesus calls us to "step right up," yet we let uncertainty cloud our senses. In this lesson, we will see that Jesus is the most entertaining and thrilling ride we could ever choose. May we allow God to tighten the bolts and oil the gears of your faith. Jesus offers you a life full of LIFE. We should not be satisfied with waiting for everyone else to finish the thrill ride. We are to strap ourselves in and enjoy the ride.
Read Stephen's full account and get his take on this material. Regularly I am asked if I really think that we have lost the Gospel in our day. Things like this make it easy to defend my answer.
And before anyone emails me accusing me of "pushing Calvinism" again, let me state the obvious that too often seems to be missed by some: This is not a Calvinist issue. It is a Gospel issue. My Arminian friends are just as appalled by this kind of whiz-bang, supercool substitution for the Gospel as we Calvinists are.
HT: Alex Forrest.