Feb 1 discussion question

I think I’m going to post, a little later, about what an amazing service today was.    The discussion questions follow.

If you click this link it’ll take you to the portion of the Fellowship Church website dedicated to video feeds.  Once you get here, click the button on the top of the screen for services on demand, then click the “February 1” button. 

It’ll be so worth it.  The music and sermon were exceptional today.  And I think that Marty, Al, Steve, and Billy consistently do an outstanding job anyway, so I don’t bandy the term “exceptional” lightly.

1.  Marty stated that there are several reactions Christians have historically had to culture.  The truth is that most of us probably respond to different aspects of our own culture in all these ways.

What are some aspects of culture that you condemn?  What sorts of good has come from this condemnation?  What sorts of bad has resulted from this condemnation?

2.  What aspects of culture do you critique?  Do you commit what Marty called “The Academic Fallacy”… Do you sometimes act as if analyzing a thing means that you understand everything about a thing?

3.  What aspects of culture do you copy?  Is there anything that you simply put a Christian veneer on top of in order to fool yourself or others into thinking your doing something holy?

4.  What aspects of culture do you simply consume? 

5.  How can you move from condemnation, critiquing, copying, and consumption into redemption?  What does it look like to redeem culture?

6.  We can treat more than just culture this way.  In fact, we can treat people this way to.  We might be most tempted to do this with people who are not Christians.  Do you tend to condemn people?  Do you tend to critique people?  Do you simply copy them?  Consuming a person might be simply using them for whatever they can do for you with out considering there need for Christ.  Do you consume them?  How can you move from treating people this way to redeeming them?

7.  What does the word “redemption” mean to you?  How have you heard the word used in churches?  In what sense does God do the redeeming?  In what sense does He want us to do the redeeming?

8.  What do you think of the idea that Adam and Eve were meant to be stewards of the Earth?  What would the Earth look like today if we followed this expectation?  What do you think God thinks of your daily actions toward the environment?  (For example, how does God feel about how much you consume, recycle, etc.)

9.  Why do you suppose God wants to redeem the Earth through us?

10.  Have you followed Marty’s challenge to assess your consumption?  What conclusions do you come to when you do this?  What should you change?  How can you make these changes; what can the group do to support you in this.

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jeffsdeepthoughts

The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

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