The New Testament is primarily a record of the mortal life, teachings, and Atonement of Jesus Christ, the establishment of His Church, and the ministries of His early disciples as He continued to guide them after His Ascension into heaven
Let’s compare this intro to Wikipedia’s
The New Testament (Koine Greek: Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Hē Kainḕ Diathḗkē) is the second major part of the Christian biblical canon,… The New Testament discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. Christians regard both the Old and New Testaments together as sacred scripture. The New Testament (in whole or in part) has frequently accompanied the spread of Christianity around the world. It reflects and serves as a source for Christian theology and morality.
Not terribly different; but the differences there are key. We have some Greek, we have a time frame (First Century) and that it is key for just Christianity.
Activity: What are some difficult burdens that youth experience in our day?
Seriously? Eye-rolling must commence. I can’t catch pokemon during Seminary. Tina likes Jimmy and Jimmy won’t go out with her because she’s only 15, and so she totally made out with Tom between periods which means Jimmy called me up and talked, like, forever so I didn’t get my reading done and now I’m behind in Seminary and its DAY 1!
Bring a backpack, put heavy stuff in until a student groans. Then tell them the church totally removes burdens via the New Testament. Ignore the hundreds of rules, including the invention of Masturbation of a Sin in 1956, that make life harder on the average teenager.
Jesus Christ’s mortal and post-resurrection ministries, including His teachings, miracles, atoning sacrifice, and visits to early church disciples. Throughout His teachings and interactions with others is a repeated truth that can help us with the burdens we carry.
Let’s talk about the Atonement of Christ, right now; up front. How does it make any sense? How is it that human/deity sacrifice can “save” someone who is guilty? How does it actually make a burden light?
Imagine we had a room filled with innocent babies. Now, a mob comes in and nails a baby to the door. And then people tell you how wonderful it is that baby died, and you’re school homework/hormonal growth issues are going to be better because that baby was nailed to the door. It makes no sense. None.
It’s grim to think of humans killing the innocent half-deity Jesus; but it is down right suicidal inducing to teenagers to introduce them to the concept that they are making their lives harder by refusing to believe in dead-door-baby. I had friends who beleived that because they masturbated, french kissed or cheated on a test, they were unworthy of Dead-door-baby’s help; and it pushed them to call me crying, late into the night; and to beg for help as to why they shouldn’t commit suicide.
No. Stop right here. Jesus doesn’t help you with your backpack weight. He didn’t die for your first world problems of not getting to date both Janet and Clarissa. He doesn’t make it so you family will buy cable and you won’t get the static during storms of Direct TV.
Teaching students to take responsibility for their own lives, to seek help from real, living people when life gets too tough, and to critically think through problems will do far more for them than dead-door-baby.
Oh that yoke. It’s easy and burden is light if you’re “Yoked” with Christ. This is literally telling kids to climb into servitude; but as long as Dead-Door-Baby died for them, it’s okay if they’re pulling a plow all day long.
I’d like to propose a test. We actually put kids into yokes. Yes, have them plow a field. Mormon ones get to call on Jesus to help them plow, just them and an empty yoke waiting for Jesus. And we get atheists in the other ones, two by two. The trial must include enough students to be statistically significant. And ya know what, I bet that Jesus doesn’t actually give them equal yokes at all.
“But Jesus doesn’t work like that, its a metaphor”
You’re promising kids that Dead-Door-Baby is going to help. If you can’t back that claim up, you shouldn’t make it. If He isn’t willing to help prove to them He actually helps in measurable ways, maybe you shouldn’t be promising students the intangible. Just saying.
Point out that the Savior’s promise of “rest” in Matthew 11:28–29 does not necessarily mean that He will always remove our problems or challenges.
No kidding. You think? Maybe we have very few recorded incidence of anyone having any challenged actually removed by deity. When offered $1 million by James Randi, not one deity actually helped the people who trusted in them. Science, it seems, makes gods run and hide. That’s funny, isn’t it?
Make sure to tell your students not to try and have god take their yokes in science class. It never works.
Emotional manipulation and peer pressure
Ask students to ponder how the Savior has given them rest when they have come unto Him. Invite a few students to share their experiences with the class.
I have family who love to chant at parades. They will chant until they can get the other side of the road to start chanting too. Then, with glee they will chant “Peer Pressure Works!” to the stunned other side of the road who only wanted to get in on the fun.
And that’s what’s going on here. The teacher is being encouraged to have students come up with experiences where Dead-Door-Baby helped, and then it convinces the others students that Dead-Door-Baby might help them too. But the teacher isn’t supposed to point out bias, or flaws in logic that lead students to feel helped. Anything goes. I bet this is where Paul H. Dunn got his start.
Now it’s your turn
Invite students to set specific goals regarding ways they can come unto Jesus Christ throughout this year of studying the New Testament.
That’s right, before we tell you anything about Jesus, make goals to come to him. Nothing Cultish about that.
Disciples of Jesus Christ have a responsibility to help others come unto Him
That’s right, missionary work is encouraged from day 1. The BITE model of Cult behavior states that groups that are cultish in nature have a preoccupation on conversion or missionary work. I issue caution here.
But as you’ve now read through Mithryn’s Home Seminary guide for Lesson 1 I’ll invite you to missionary it as well. Please share this lesson on social media; with friends and especially with teenagers (Because that is who the LDS system is targeting, so it’s fair to target back, right?) this lesson.
Let them think about Dead-Door-Baby and whether it would help them to have lighter burdens if more innocents were murdered. Challenged them (With a direct “Will you” question) to come back for future lessons.
Okay, milk and cookies time. See you tomorrow.