LifeWay’s blasphemous new Gen Z “bible devo”

UPDATE: LifeWay pulls book after outcry (see statement)

There’s a rad new Bible devotional in the hood, a whole new reimagining of God’s Word, and it goes a little something like this:

Sunday Cool, a T-shirt screen printing company founded in 2016, has partnered with LifeWay to write a “devo” (which is GenZ language for devotional, because saying three whole syllables is exhausting). Or as they put it in the video below, a devo is “a fancy book about Jesus and stuff.”

 

Sunday Cool’s YouTube video channel is incredibly popular, and includes one of their most-watched creations with more than 2 million views:

The problem is, young people are not learning God’s Word. They’re not memorizing it and they’re not meditating on it. And shame on churches allowing their youth ministries to dumb down the Good News.

Putting the Scriptures in street language gets us no closer to the goal of discipling the next generation. Reinventing our Holy and magnificent King of Kings and creator of the universe to sound gangsta is just more of the same goat herding we’ve always seen from hired hands; using worldly tricks to attract carnal people is about as far from biblical Christianity as one can get.

The Word According to Gen Z: A 30-Day Devo Challenge retails for $6.99.

LifeWay (Publisher of some of the most heretical books and authors in modern history) of course, claims to want to reach Generation Z. Born approximately between 1993 and 2012, “Generation Z is the first truly post-Christian generation, and they are poised to challenge every church to rethink its role in light of a rapidly changing culture,” LifeWay’s editors say in their summary of Meet Generation Z: Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World.

Generation Z’s oldest “kids” are 25. They were adults seven years ago. Yet they are regarded by LifeWay and Sunday Cool as imbeciles still living in their parents’ basements, failing to launch as productive members of society or seasoned veterans of God’s Word.

They never will be as long as they think “Big J is Chillin.”

Update: within an hour after posting this, article, I was informed LifeWay would pull this book:

 

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45 Responses to LifeWay’s blasphemous new Gen Z “bible devo”

  1. Paul Froese August 20, 2020 at 5:17 pm #

    The book has already been taken down from LifeWay’s website.

  2. Amy Spreeman August 20, 2020 at 8:12 pm #

    Yes, isn’t it amazing! And all it took was people speaking up. But what were they thinking in the first place?

    • Bianca August 20, 2020 at 10:07 pm #

      No it’s not amazing. But hey, we can just give them My Utmost for His Highest right? That will really help 14 year olds connect ! -____- Phariseesthink you’re protecting the Lord’s honor and holiness or something by keeping ministry status quo and dry.

      • Dan August 26, 2020 at 11:22 am #

        Thinking that we need to get “relevant” and “fun” in order to lead kids to Christ is an insult to our Lord and His sacred Word. Jesus never taught that we need to get clever to lead kids to Him. What kids need is to see is the love and fear of God lived out by their parents and other influences in there lives. If kids are taught to love God at a heart level they will remain faithful. We don’t do this by manipulating His sacred Word in to an inaccurate lingo that is funny. All this will do is teach kids to have a low view of God and His word. Certainly not to develop an above all fear of Him..

        • Cap G. August 27, 2020 at 3:34 am #

          So only the original KJV for everyone, right?

        • Bria LaPoint August 27, 2020 at 7:36 pm #

          Your beliefs are the real insult. i watched my family fight over Jesus. The fellow thats supposed to unite all chrstians does nothing but spread hatred. this is why kids these days arent chrstian. they see what it does to people. also being called a sheep is an insult.

  3. Jacob August 20, 2020 at 10:03 pm #

    Ugh this article is trash.
    our students who have struggled with sticking with their daily times (“devo/”quiet time’/ etc.) with God were actually looking forward to following this 30 day challenge. But b/c you hopelessly out of touch boomers can’t see this as a funny tool to help connect our obviously young immature unchurched teenagers to God’s Word, Lifeway has given in to Cancel Culture.
    I love you but you’re legalism is pathetic. It was going to be a great month of Devos but YOU RUINED IT. stay out of youth ministry if you haven’t been called to it. “KARENS COMPLAIN TO THE MANAGER AND WIN” is an apt headline for this wasted opportunity.

    • Austin August 20, 2020 at 11:07 pm #

      You dont have to be 27 to have reverence for the Word, friend. Lets not try to entertain people into heaven… Preach Christ and Christ Crucified.

      • Bria LaPoint August 27, 2020 at 7:33 pm #

        Christianity is far from entertaining. that is child abuse and if your kids end up going to jail its your own fault for being the ignoramous that thinks there is nothing wrong in teaching a child that someone else is accountable for their actions. In short, you are an uneducated troglodyte as are all chrsitians and i hope some day your offensive cult dies off for the sake of humanity.

        • Stacey August 29, 2020 at 3:23 am #

          Thank you! My thoughts exactly.

        • ConcernedCitizen September 2, 2020 at 8:26 am #

          Where does it say in the Bible that someone else is accountable for your actions?!? You show your ignorance of the Bible by simply speaking! People are held accountable for their actions by God. That is what the Bible says. And please explain to me how Jesus is spreading anything?? Its funny that you said all Christians are ignorant…Only 50% of the population pay taxes, and of those 50%, over 75% of them are Christian! So you must be one of the “brilliant” statistics who does not contribute to society at all. And why are you even on a Christian based post if you disagree with it?? Also, your family fights over worldly things, not Godly things, that I can guarantee you. It’s so wrong to tell people to love one another, right?!?? Thats awful right?!?? Be kind to your neighbor, pay your taxes and work hard…But im sure you dont work, because you are so much smarter than everyone else! And just so you know, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking both admitted that there had to be a God on their death beds. But Im sure your IQ is higher than both of them combined… I feel sorry for you honestly, because the hatred in your heart will lead to your destruction, either in this life or the next. You need to search your soul and figure out who it is that is feeding you energy, because it is a dark energy! We had a saying in the military; there are no atheists in fox holes. And oh it is oh so true! Once your life starts to slip from your grasp, you will beg God to forgive you for every vile thing you have done, including what you posted. Get right with your maker before it is too late!

    • Ryan August 22, 2020 at 1:15 am #

      Let’s entertain kids onwards to heaven then.

    • Amie August 24, 2020 at 10:39 pm #

      This “devo” is not an accurate translation of the Bible so it is trash. Mutilating God’s word is specifically addressed in the Bible. We should be teaching and training our children how to correctly study God’s word, not dumb it down. What an insult to the intelligence of our youth that they aren’t smart enough to understand accurate scripture. My kids are reading the entire Bible with us chapter by chapter. The two youngest are 9 and 10 and with the exception of a few OT books it’s very doable.

    • Ty August 25, 2020 at 6:29 am #

      You clearly do not hold God in a high and lofty manner. God is not your ‘buddy’ or ‘chum’ he is your KING and he deserves and demands the reverence and loftiness of a king. Anything that speaks about God in a lower manner is nothing short of blasphemy.

      It has nothing to do with ‘cancel culture’ or ‘boomers’. Christ himself would have rebuked child like behavior like this as it is the epitome of injecting yourself into worldliness and not setting yourself apart as holy and christlike.

      God has never used catchy lingo or ‘coolness’ to win over his people. He calls to them and changes their heart with TRUTH. If your youth cannot find interest in Gods holy word it is not a failure of God’s word, it is a failure of the ones teaching it.

    • Celeste Marchan September 12, 2020 at 2:41 pm #

      100% agree with everything you wrote!

    • Celeste September 12, 2020 at 2:43 pm #

      100% agree with you Jacob!

  4. Teresa Biggs August 21, 2020 at 12:25 am #

    The full gospel death-burial-ressurection JESUS of Nazareth is Risen-Risen indeed

  5. William Thompson August 21, 2020 at 1:15 pm #

    At least they are still selling The Message Bible! (big sigh of relief)

    ….also this is sarcasm.

    That was an absurd decision by lifeway, but in the cancel culture we live in that’s just what happens.

    …I guess I need to go get my boycott lifeway sign out and start up a hashtag. I’m going to go eat some chick-fil-a before I do something drastic like write a facebook post.

    • Marva Banks August 26, 2020 at 7:39 pm #

      Evangelical Christians are the founders of cancel culture. How many products have been pulled because of evangelical cancel culture? How many, shows and movies were boycotted or banned by the “moral majority” to get them off the air? Worse, how many lives have been ruined because the person didn’t live up to evangelical standards of holiness? I well remember the fight against Disney in the 1990s. But I guess when evangelicals want to cancel, it’s God’s work. When others do it, they’re been petty and unyielding.

  6. Thomas Fletcher August 21, 2020 at 2:09 pm #

    What did they say in the book that was heretical?

    Life starts with the Word.
    The Word transforms us.

    If you want to go back to the KJV, go for it.
    Probably should just stop preaching all together and read a few chapters in a monotone voice every Sunday to ensure no one distorts the Word.

  7. Brandy Phipps August 21, 2020 at 4:41 pm #

    Ok Boomer! I have two kiddos that know the word because it’s being taught to them through multiple avenues. At Home, Worship Music, Sunday Church, Youth Service, Camp, VBS etc etc. ONE devotional is not going to “undo” the Word. It will not return void and the Spirit can even use this devotion to draw them to Jesus.
    Honestly relax Karen.

  8. Peggy Summers August 21, 2020 at 4:56 pm #

    Perhaps some of the people who actually approve of this type of blasphemy should consider reading R.C. Sproul’s “The Holiness of God”. Or here’s an idea: try reading some Scriptures regarding God’s name, such as Is. 42:8 – “I am the LORD, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another” or Phil. 2:9-11 – “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

  9. Peter August 21, 2020 at 5:30 pm #

    This is what happens when the fear of the Lord is replaced with pragmatism. This is becoming more the norm for the SBC and its entities.

  10. Jose August 21, 2020 at 8:43 pm #

    I miss the days when students were mature enough to sit and actually read and engage with God’s word as young adults instead of dumbing everything down with comedy like an insurance or beer commercial and talk show entertainment rhetoric.

    • Mr. Wonderful August 25, 2020 at 9:26 pm #

      Well said Jose, and we wonder why many of our youth treat God like god

  11. Name August 21, 2020 at 9:45 pm #

    Karen is a racist term….note who is using it in the comment section. False converts?

  12. Liz August 22, 2020 at 7:28 am #

    From my understanding of the New Testament, Jesus made a habit of meeting people where they were. He taught in parables that would resonate with the people he spoke to. He discipled fishermen by using illustrations fishermen would relate to. Why then is it heretical for a company to look to engage a generation of people by meeting them where they are, using illustrations and stories they can relate to? Are they not worthy of the gospel? Does the gospel lose its power if it’s not written in traditional English, a language incapable of properly conveying the original Hebrew text? If this devo could save one soul it’s worthy of publication

  13. Lisa K. August 23, 2020 at 11:21 am #

    Now do Beth Moore.

  14. Vasanthi August 24, 2020 at 7:19 am #

    We don’t need to reconstruct the Bible to accommodate the next generation. We are running a Bible school for children and believe me, the children do not need to hear anything other than the word of God as it is to get interested. Our children as young as 6 years old are falling in love with the word of God as it is. Please don’t underestimate next gen’s intellect. Our school is witnessing children including next gen journeying with us to be equipped with the word of God.

  15. Areader August 24, 2020 at 4:42 pm #

    Did you actually ready any of the devotional? I’ll paste a snippet below.. please tell me what is blasphemous about it? They are literally making a “Gen Z” headline for fun and pointing the reader directly to the ESV… and actually asking them to write it out. This is top notch journalism Amy….. From the Sample — Each day, you’ll have one verse that goes with the section’s theme translated into the GZT (Gen Z Translation—our made up translation). If it doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry. That’s kind of the point.
    We will follow that up with the ESV translation, which
    is one of the best translations when it comes to being theologically precise and easy to read. The GZT is the best for entertainment purposes.
    We would encourage everyone to have a physical Bible open when you go through the daily devo. None of the devos are super long, so make sure to read over each one well, taking in every word. Intentionally focus on what you’re reading.

  16. RSwede August 25, 2020 at 11:00 am #

    You teach children who fluently read Aramaic, Vasanthi?

  17. John Frum August 25, 2020 at 8:06 pm #

    You folks are delusional. And this shit is hilarious.

  18. Steven August 26, 2020 at 1:56 am #

    Ugh, I am so glad that I converted away from protestantism and it’s longing for relevancy; as well as the never ending divisiveness that results from it. CH Spurgeon would be rolling over in his grave right now if he cared enough about modernist revivalism to read comments about things like this. Lifeway filed bankruptcy because of horrible ideas like this, and the youth aren’t leaving the Church because the text isn’t on their level, they’re leaving because they see through the hypocrisy of people tearing each down due to a difference of personal opinion instead of building each other up as the body of Christ.

  19. Amy_isaFool August 26, 2020 at 6:13 am #

    Amy Spreeman because of your narrow mindedness you are responsible for removing a book that would have brought some youth to Christ. You should focus on advancing the kingdom instead of your vomit articles.

  20. Words Matter August 26, 2020 at 10:03 am #

    My daughter has listened to God’s Word sense she was 3 years old and now at 7, she wants the meat. I read from the ESV and NLT to her. Why is it that my 7 year old will listen but you say many young folks find it not fun, not cool, etc? Its the same reason many grown ups find the Word of God dry and prefer a watered down Gospel where Jesus is a “buddy” instead of the King and the Judge, where sin is a mistake instead of rebellion against God, etc. The reason many youth and grownups may find the Word of God dry is because they are unregenerate. They have not been born again. I was a very common, simple minded person when I first came to Christ and my reading level was not so great. I knew the Word of God was God’s means to renew my mind and because of that, I actually wanted to learn and understand grammar, translations, exegesis, hermeneutics, etc. Words matter. Context matters.

    Gen Z is no translation at all and I don’t care how “cool” kids think it is. If this is not being conformed to the world instead of being transformed by the renewal of your mind, I dont know what is. The issue with modern churches today is that they cater to the world, they do not believe in the power of the Holy Spirit working through the Word of God to give understanding. People think God needs help. God does not need you. Be faithful and plant the seed of rich truth and you will see good fruit. These modern “hip” churches that many think are so cool just want to throw water where there is no seed and they leave a muddy mess in the path. You are doing more harm than good.

    Please youth pastors and even adult pastors repent from the damage you are doing. Share the Gospel in all confidence, INCLUDING the part about judgement to come and eternal wrath. If you dont preach about God’s righteous wrath, you aren’t sharing the Gospel. Its usually because you do not want to “offend”. Well, step out of the way and let others who fear God more than man do this work. You are not qualified.

  21. Warren August 26, 2020 at 9:11 pm #

    This kind of blasphemy is how we ended up with religious people supporting trump

  22. Shayne O'Neill August 27, 2020 at 4:59 am #

    This is the funniest thing I’ve read all week.

  23. Morse August 27, 2020 at 6:29 am #

    “Devotional” is four syllables, actually.

  24. Bria LaPoint August 27, 2020 at 7:30 pm #

    Meh, i deconverted at the tail end of 2004. I became a Buddhist in 2014. Dont raise kids christian, they become racist, selfish and ignorant. Studies show kids raised non christian are more compassionate, tolerant, and probably can think for themselves and question the crap their parents taught them. My take: absolute power corrupts absolutely, and research how Zorostrianism became monothestic, because if you actually take a world religion class, you will see how far off base monotheism in general is.

    • antodav August 31, 2020 at 1:28 pm #

      The attitude you’ve demonstrated in your comments on this article demonstrate that Buddhism hasn’t made you any more tolerant, compassionate, or less bigoted. It does seem however to have given you a sense of license to do and say whatever you want while feeling morally superior to others. Bully for you.

    • ConcernedCitizen September 2, 2020 at 8:47 am #

      I would like to see this study you speak of! Who published it, who were the test subjects, and at which Nazi concentration camp was it performed at?!?? Exactly how many kids do you have?? My guess would be none due to your ignorance on the subject. Your post is absolute garbage and based on lies with no facts! How can teaching children to love their neighbor and their God, make them less compassionate?!?? I would wager that you have never finished a single book of the Bible. You also probably know little about Buddhism as well. I dont care what religion you claim to be, you obviously have hatred in your heart for people and things that you know nothing about! You should convert to radical Islam, you would fit in better there! People like you “deconvert” (not a word btw) because you want to be told that the things that you want to do are ok! You want religion to make you feel better about yourself instead of holding you to a standard and being accountable for your actions in front of the mightiest Being in the Universe! So you lash out at Christians to make yourself feel better about your own sins, and to negate them by claiming there is no God! And if anyone disagrees with you, their racist, sexist, prejudice, homophobic, transphobic, bigots, and 30 more isms, or phobics! But I forgot, your smarter than everyone, so you probably solved the Theory of Everything, and know how God made the Universe, right!

  25. greg August 31, 2020 at 9:00 am #

    Why the outrage? Unlike almost everybody else who has commented, I have actually read the devotional. One page has the humorous new interpretation, not a translation. The opposite page has the full passage in the ESV and the devotion. It’s well done and, more importantly, it’s very engaging. Thankfully, we can still order it from the writers. If your kids spend every day reading their bible for an hour, then good for you. Unfortunately, that is not the case with 98% of teenagers.

    • Lester September 3, 2020 at 4:45 am #

      Humor as engagement? If Jesus supported your theory, the Bible would have portrayed him telling jokes instead of parables.

  26. Hypocrisy September 15, 2020 at 11:25 am #

    I for one am glad to see how God is working in each and everyone’s lives today through this thread. It is amazing how people who probably only read one translation of the Bible condemn something because they do not understand it. If it truly is “sacrilegious” then you would condemn every single devotional out there because every devotional has an attention grabber for the reader. Why do you need to read about someone’s life event in order to read a couple of passages of Scripture, if the Bible is the end all be all, then any extra-biblical source is to be condemned as heresy, correct? How many times do you misquote Scripture? I am guessing more than you would care to admit, but that is okay because it is not published right. What about those of us raised in a KJV only church, but also read from the ESV as an adult, am I a blasphemer because I combine the two translations?

  27. Not a Karen September 23, 2020 at 9:06 am #

    No wonder LifeWay stores went out of business. Boomers and Karens, my dudes.

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