Is Your Church Teaching Pagan Earth Worship In Sunday School?

Many parents have sought to protect their children from the behavior-modification programs that have taken over public schools. To escape the assault of Outcome-based Education (OBE), Goals 2000 and School-to-Work, parents, in ever-increasing numbers, are placing their children in private schools or are home-schooling.

Public schools, and even some private schools, spend valuable classroom time engaged in “cooperative” learning (group learning) encounter sessions and discussion groups that employ pop psychology that teachers are simply not qualified to apply. These programs are designed for a very specific purpose – to change the attitudes, values and beliefs of your children. Such behavior-modification programs are the very root of the destruction of America’s education system.

In spite of the “school wars,” parents have felt safe taking their children to Sunday School to help build a solid moral foundation. But, have you looked at your church’s Sunday School curriculum lately? You may be shocked to find tree-hugging, earth-worshipping paganism intermixed in the class lessons.

Many churches are now using a Sunday School curriculum created by an organization in Colorado called “Group.” There is nothing in Group’s publications that tell who they are, what they believe in, or anything about the backgrounds of the creators of the materials. But Group curriculum is now sold in most Christian books stores. The Group material offers “Hands-on Bible curriculum” and advocates a “new approach to learning.”

However a close inspection of Group’s materials and teaching methods shows it bears a close resemblance to the behavior-modification techniques of OBE. For example, under the sub-head “Successful Teaching: You can do it!” the teacher’s manual asks the question – “What does active learning mean to you as a teacher? It takes a lot of pressure off because the spotlight shifts from you to the students. Instead of being the principle player, you become a guide and FACILITATOR…” This is basic OBE classroom organization, where students are not taught by a teacher, but told to learn on their own, as the class FACILITATOR simply suggests, and gently directs toward a pre-programmed lesson plan.

Just as in OBE behavior-modification exercises, the Group curriculum provides “Problem Cards” for student discussion of personal and family issues. Some examples from the workbook for fifth and sixth grade Sunday School classes:

    1. PROBLEM CARD: “It seems like my parents fight all the time. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m afraid they’re going to split up.” 2. PROBLEM CARD: “The cool kids at school treat me like a total nothing. It’s like I don’t even exist.”

    3. PROBLEM CARD: “My dad is afraid he’s going to lose his job, so we don’t get to go anywhere on vacation this summer.”

    4. PROBLEM CARD: “I got in trouble for not cleaning up my room. Now I’m grounded for the weekend and can’t go to my friend’s birthday party. Doesn’t that stink?”

Each of these examples are designed for group discussions in which the entire class takes on one child’s personal problem. Personal family business is disclosed, parental authority is questioned and student “self-esteem” becomes the central concern. This is Outcome-based Education at work in the Sunday School class – led by a volunteer teacher (facilitator) with no qualifications to do so. Worse, all of it is done under the authority of the church.

And how about that pagan earth-worshipping? In a Group lesson entitled “hug a tree” students are led outside to an area with trees. Children are blindfolded and led to a tree where he is to hug it, and then feel the tree very carefully. “Try to learn everything about the tree that you can without looking at it.” The student is led back to the group, spun around three times and the blindfold is removed.

The Group tree-hugging lesson goes on to instruct the facilitator…” after everyone has hugged a tree, been spun around and sat down, remove the blindfolds and find out how many kids can identify the trees they hugged. If it’s a nice day, sit down on the grass and discuss the experience.”

Questions for the “facilitator” to ask:

    * How did it feel to hug a tree?

    * How did you feel when you recognized the tree you  hugged? * What do you like about trees?

Here’s another part of the lesson called “Life Applications.” Children are to be taken on a walk around the outdoor area of the church. Once back inside “ask about the natural surroundings and human-made sounds. Talk about natural beauty and human-made pollution. If you want, have the kids go back outside and pick up any trash they saw on the walk.”

Questions to ask: How do you think God feels when he sees how people have messed up the beautiful world he created? Children are then given a game to play to simulate pollution.

These are one-sided discussions, designed for only one purpose – to entrench in your child – the “proper” (pre-selected) attitudes, values and beliefs.

The Group lessons are full of environmental “teachings.” In a Group Workbook entitled: “Sunday School Specials” a chapter tells students that “real conservation means remembering to turn off lights, hiking or biking instead of hitching a car ride, and cooling off in the shade instead of in the air conditioning. Kid’s are often tempted to do things the easy way instead of the ‘green’ way. They need lots of encouragement and affirmation to develop and stick to an environment-conscious lifestyle…”

That one line demonstrates the key to the entire purpose of Group’s Sunday School curriculum – to encourage, affirm and develop specific attitudes, values and beliefs – pre-selected by the authors of Group’s curriculum. That is OBE at work.

Are your children safe from pre-programmed, behavior-modification, controlling attitudes at your church? Will they gain the solid moral values that you want them to have? Not if they are subjected to the Group curriculum. The Group curriculum has a specific political agenda. The same agenda as the National Religious Partnership for the Environment. Is Group in your Sunday School?

Tom DeWeese
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Tom DeWeese is President of the American Policy Center and National Grassroots Coordinator for CFACT (Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow) working to help local activists organize into Freedom Pods ( He is also the author of three books, including Now Tell Me I Was Wrong, ERASE, and Sustainable: the WAR on Free Enterprise, Private Property, and Individuals.