Sun, Nov 08, 2015

Can I Ask That? -- Easy Answers Aren't Cutting It

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43 mins 52 secs
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Big Idea: Our world has rapidly changed around us in ways we cannot ignore. Our children are facing pressures at levels we have not dealt with. Many of our answers are sufficient for the kinds of pressures we faced, but these answers are insufficient for our children. We have the opportunity to actively engage in equipping our children so that they are ready for the challenges that lie ahead.

  1. Where are we and how did we get here?

    1. Review: America has become much more secular.

    2. Attitudes and beliefs on keys issues are changing rapidly.

    3. Our kids are facing pressures we have not faced.

    4. Adults have drifted into easy answers. (Christian world view numbers - Barna)

    5. Christian “don’t ask, don’t tell”

    6. Result: the perfect storm. Easy answers and an entertainment culture have combined with greater peer pressure for substantive answers and an increasingly adversarial environment, with the net result being millennials turning from the faith.

  2. Timeless Truth

    1. Always be ready to give an apologia.

    2. Put on the full armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

    3. We actively work in our spiritual life as God works in us. (Philippians 2:12b-13)

  3. A Call to Action

    1. Adjust your thinking. Become aware of what is going on. Have hard conversations.

    2. Do you have a Christian worldview?

    3. Central call: your kids need protection spiritually, so protect them.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you noticed a shift in public opinion on moral issues in America? If so, how would you describe it? How would you describe the rate of change? Is it steady, decreasing, or increasing?

  2. Some people say that all the problems we have today have always been there. Others say our kids are facing challenges that we never had to face, or the same ones but at a much earlier age. Which do you think it is? How much has changed? Do you have good access to the information you would need to answer this question? If someone is out of touch with the real situation, how do they become aware of that? Is everyone who is out of touch aware that they are? If you were out of touch with the dangers, how would you know?

  3. Why do you think so many Christians don’t have a “Christian” world view? How is that possible? Is Christianity being “dumbed down” or not? What would you point to in order to answer this question? What are the dangers associated with an anti-intellectual version of Christianity? What dangers are there if Christianity becomes too intellectual?

  4. Is remaining silent on hard issues a good way to keep the peace?   Is forced silence on important issues really unity? Should we keep the peace at any price? Do the opponents of the faith have the same perspective? Is simply believing “by faith” without engaging the mind more spiritual than being convinced by your God-given faculty of reason? Does belief or faith require a lack of evidence?

  5. Are you ready to give a robust and reasoned defense of your faith? Can your explanation of your faith stand up to your opponents’ common objections and arguments? Do you feel that you could answer hard questions about your faith regarding sanctioned violence in the Old Testament? Do you have good answers to apparent discrepancies in Scripture?

  6. What does it mean to put on the “armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10-18)? What do you do to protect your mind? What does it look like for you to put on the “helmet of salvation”? Are you adequately protected relative to the dangers out there?

  7. Are you willing to push outside your comfort zone for the sake of the next generation? What if they needed to have hard conversations that made you uncomfortable? Would you break the silence on hard questions for their spiritual wellbeing?
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