Sun, Jan 31, 2016

The Heart of Hatred

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46 mins 35 secs
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Big Idea: The heart of hatred has not changed. The enemy of our soul seeks to use hate to destroy life. We as Christ followers need to wake up to the battle raging around us and actively resist destructive hatred in its many forms as we advance the Gospel of peace.

  1. Telling the story

    1. Anger over not being worshipped (3:5)

    2. Informants tell of Mordecai’s race. (3:6a)

    3. Haman’s anger boils into genocidal hatred. (3:6b)

    4. Casting lots (3:7)

    5. Haman presents his genocidal plan to the king. (3:8-10)

    6. The king gives the money and the Jewish people into Haman’s hands. (3:11-13)

  2. Timeless truth and living differently

    1. The rationale for genocide

      1. The case for killing?

      2. Hatred and genocide in our generation

    2. Spiritual battles are real and rage beneath the surface of world politics.

      1. Spiritual warfare 101

      2. The state of the persecuted church

      3. Why does persecution exist?

      4. Understanding our situation and our necessary response

    3. Over delegation leads to disastrous consequences.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you ever indulged morbid curiosity to see how something was going to play out? If you were Mordecai’s co-worker, what would you have done? Should you blow the whistle about him not bowing to Haman?

  2. Do you have direct experience with a conflict that grew far worse than the precipitating cause? Have you ever had to explain a conflict and were almost embarrassed to say what such a big conflict was about?

    Why do big conflicts grow out of relatively small matters? We have here a small personal offense that leads to a genocidal plan. Why such a huge reaction?

  3. Do you believe the devil is real? Is spiritual warfare real? Is it rational for people in the West to believe in angels and demons?
    What do you think Jesus meant when he said Satan is a murder?
    What role does spiritual warfare play in this narrative?

  4. Why do you suppose so many people want to persecute Christians today? Are religious acts of violence evenly distributed against all believing people? If not, why not?

  5. Where would you put America on a continuum of attitudes toward Christ-followers?

    [strongly supportive ---------------------------------------------------------- strong persecution]

    Which direction have we been moving in?
    How quickly have we been moving?

  6. Why do you suppose mainline media largely ignores violent crimes committed against Christ-followers? Why do we focus on certain areas and ignore others?

  7. Have you ever been too aggressive in delegating a task only to realize that doing so was costly? Would you share the story? The King delegates enormous power to Haman to kill a people without even asking who they were. What does overdelegation look like today?
    Have we handed over enormous powers to certain groups without appropriately following what they were doing?

  8. In our election process today, do you see politician selling hate as a solution to fear? What are the dangers of using fear toward political ends? What alternatives do we have? In other words, is there another way (other than hate) to deal with fear?   What do you do with your fears?
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