Sola Scriptura in Kids and Youth Ministry

I do believe that some people die and go to heaven and come back again. I also believe that some people make things up or embellish their stories to gain influence and credibility.

Recently this has come to light. Through an open letter from one of the children who supposedly died and went to heaven. This brief letter is thoughtful and profound. It’s God exulting and pushes people back to the authority of scripture.

An Open Letter from Alex Malarkey “The boy who came back from heaven”

Please forgive the brevity, but because of my limitations I have to keep this short.

I did not die. I did not go to heaven.

I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough. The Bible is the only source of truth. Anything written by man cannot be infallible.

It is only through repentance of your sins and a belief in Jesus as the Son of God, who died for your sins (even though he committed none of his own) so that you can be forgiven may you learn of heaven outside of what is written in the Bible . . . not by reading a work of man. I want the whole world to know that the Bible is sufficient. Those who market these materials must be called to repent and hold the Bible as enough.

In Christ,
Alex Malarkey

This letter was written by a boy whose body is broken due to an unfortunate car accident, and it appears that his heart was broken by those who leveraged his situation for personal gain.

What I love about Alex’s letter is the clarity in which he articulates our need for Christ and for the supremacy of scripture in our lives. What is evident in this story is when we try to create something that we put our hope in that isn’t Christ we will always be disappointed. For me what I find more amazing that a child visiting heaven is a 16-year-old in a wheelchair saying Christ is enough the Bible is my authority. That my friends is amazing.

The question we must all wrestle with is Christ enough for me? Is scripture enough for me? As parents, pastors and those who lead kids and teens weekly we must fight the urge to add embellish and alter God’s word in ways the minimize Scripture. We must be careful not to elevate any truth we find in other books which are helpful but not inspired. We as Christians must fight for the proper place of scripture in our lives. The Reformers referred to this as Sola Scriptura. Sola Scriptura is the Protestant Christian doctrine that the Bible is the supreme authority in all matters of doctrine and practice. Sola scriptura does not deny that other authorities govern Christian life and devotion, but sees them all as subordinate to and corrected by the written word of God.

When scripture has, it’s proper place in our lives it will exult Christ and magnify his work in our lives.  It will at the same time give us a grid by which we see all other things. In the post modern world, we now live in we must fight for Sola Scriptura. We need the authority of scripture to challenge our assumptions, to change us and conform us into his image. Our kid and youth need this desperately but it starts with you and me. I am so encouraged by Alex’s loving, thoughtful, Christ exulting rebuke. We need more 16 year olds like Alex in our world.


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