Sun, Sep 28, 2014

The Enemy Within

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  1. Our Situation
    1. Notable ministry failures
    2. The danger of distraction — Fighting for marriage, we lose ours.
    3. Movement to top-down control
  2. The Biblical Response
    1. Hold marital purity in high regard. (Hebrews 13:4)
      Uphold marriage by building a strong one.
    2. Why marriage is worth protecting
    3. Reject striving for the power position. (Matthew 20:24-28)
    4. God calls us to control ourselves.
  3. Application
    1. Make purity a high priority.
    2. Examine your motives.
    3. Let’s focus on our central stewardship and then go from there.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you react when you see another ministry leader caught in scandal? Is it right or wrong to report these things? Is this newsworthy or not? What is the difference between gossip in newspapers and appropriate accountability for public figures?
  2. How did you handle the recent votes to redefine marriage? Did you engage or not? Is it a political question or a religious one? Can a private Christian citizen engage in the democratic process? Do non-believers let their worldview inform their voting? Is it possible not to let your worldview affect your voting?
  3. Is marriage held in honor in our culture today? How about in church culture? How is marriage dishonored today? How is it honored?
  4. Is modern American Christianity too political? What should our place be in the public forum? If law is the establishment of a moral code, which moral code should it be?
  5. Why do divorce rates remain relatively high today among Christians? What effect does our track record in divorce have on the question of marriage in the public square?
  6. How much do leadership principles cross over from the world into the church? Jesus stated that “it shall not be this way with you.” What does that mean for leadership ideas? Is the church a completely unique sphere into which no broader leadership principle may go? Or was Jesus saying that the general attitudes toward power and control don’t fit in His kingdom?
    Is there too much adoption of leadership principles from the world into the church, or too little? How would we know when it’s too much or too little? Is this a matter of preference, or is there an objective standard?
  7. Can you tell when a politician is using religious words but doesn’t really believe them? How do you know when you might be scorning people who really believe? Or how do you know if they don’t really believe it but want to gain the support of those who do?
  8. Are you ok with a Christian obeying their sense of what to do even if you are not called to do the same thing? Is it insulting if one does something but others don’t join in? Do you think there is such a thing as a calling to be a voice in the public square? Is that honorable or is that pushing Christianity in a political direction?
  9. What is your primary stewardship, and what must you do before anything else? How do you keep that central?
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