this went thru my mind

 

Bibliolatry: Harm in Holy Things

“Many Christians are much more at ease with studying the Bible than coming to Jesus. Reading a Book is safer, more comfortable than relating to a Person, especially an enigmatic, revolutionary Person like Jesus.  Insidious pride lurks in our hearts when we presume to know the Book, possess it, revere it and then misuse it to fence off undesirable types of people from our tidy lives. People, well-intentioned, begin to substitute finding something new and refreshing in the Bible without ever relating to the holy, very present God.”

Communication, courtesy, relationships, respect, smartphones & technology: How Smart Phones Lower CQ [required reading]

“Technology is not the enemy. And cold turkey approaches are unrealistic. … But we can reclaim control over our technology, rather than merely being seduced by its pings. A few simple ways to begin, when you travel and when you’re home.”

Faith, politics & prayer: * What President Obama SHOULD Have Said About Louie Giglio by Michael Lukaszewski; * Four Myths about Louie Giglio’s Inauguration Prayer (Or Lack Thereof) by Rachel Held Evans

* “As the President of the United States, I ask for the prayers of all Americans, those who share the beliefs of this administration and those who do not.”

* “We also have to be careful of using the word “bully” to describe what happened with Giglio, especially when we are dialoguing with folks whose experience with ‘bullying’ may very well have included physical violence, decades of merciless taunts, hateful slurs, and mistreatment at the hands of Christians.”

Food stamps & welfare: Spike That Email About Welfare And Work; Fact Checkers Say It’s Not True by Mark Memmott

“If you’ve gotten the “Death Spiral” email that’s apparently been arriving in many inboxes, here’s the verdict from two major, nonpartisan fact checkers: It is NOT true, as the email claims, that in 11 states there are more people on welfare than there are working.”

Humility: Well Done Dr. Neller by Jonathan Storment

“… each of us have a canon within a canon. That is, everyone who reads the Bible, privileges certain verses over others, and it’s important to acknowledge which passages we lean into. Because, he said, this will affect the way you do ministry and the way you view God.”

Investigation, learning, questioning, teachability & tradition: When Cute Little Bunnies Talk Theology [required reading]

“Of course, the point of this bunny dialogue is applicable not just to creationism but to other issues of theological disagreement where the familiarity and safety of an ‘authoritative tradition’ collides with thoughtful and needed exploration that challenges that authority.”

the 3 Rs: responsibility

 

NOTE: Following is a copy of the discussion guide that will be used in MoSt Church’s LIFE groups tomorrow (Jan. 13). This guide will enable your follow-up of my sermon tomorrow morning entitled The 3 Rs: Responsibility. Look under the category title “LIFE group guides” and you’ll find an archive of previous discussion guides. All Scripture texts reproduced below are from the CEB.

Aim

To recall the fundamental truth that we are beings totally responsible to God.

Word

• I’ll raise up a prophet for them from among their fellow Israelites—one just like you. I’ll put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. I myself will hold accountable anyone who doesn’t listen to my words, which that prophet will speak in my name. (Deuteronomy 18.18-19)

• As for those whose hearts continue to go after their disgusting and detestable things, I will hold them accountable for their ways. … the LORD God says! (Ezekiel 11.21)

• If I pronounce a death sentence on wicked people, and you don’t warn them to turn from their way, they will die in their guilt, but I will hold you responsible for their blood. (Ezekiel 33.8)

• … people will have to answer on Judgment Day for every useless word they speak. (Matthew 12.36)

• When they opposed and slandered him, he … said to them, “You are responsible for your own fates! I’m innocent! From now on I’ll go to the Gentiles!” (Acts 18.6)

• Because it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will give praise to God. [Isa. 45.23] So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. (Romans 14.11-12)

• … everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of the one to whom we have to give an answer. (Hebrews 4.13)

• Rely on your leaders and defer to them, because they watch over your whole being as people who are going to be held responsible for you. (Hebrews 13.17)

Open

Icebreaker questions are meant to help us all just start talking. Choose one of the following to discuss as a group.

1. What is something your parents/guardians held you consistently accountable for?

2. If I was being held accountable today for my New Year’s resolutions, I’d feel ________.

Dig

These questions are meant to help us grapple with Scripture related to this morning’s sermon. Choose some.

1. As a group, using the texts above, make a list of what God holds us responsible for.

2. What is the primary point of the verses immediately preceding (vs. 11-12) and following (vs. 14-16) the remark concerning our responsibility to God in Heb. 4.13?

3. How is it right for God to hold a person responsible for others (Ezk. 33:8; Heb. 13.7)?

Reflect

These questions facilitate our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us thru his word. Choose some.

1. What would life be like if there was zero accountability or responsibility to anyone?

2. Is accountability and responsibility the same thing? Explain.

3. Is holding others responsible judging? How does that with fit with “judge not?”

4. What does God holding humans accountable say to you about him? About us?

5. What happens to us if we are ignorant of, or numb to, our responsibility to God?

6. In light of my responsibility to God, I need to become more responsible for ________?

the Christ house: Luke 12

 

MoSt Church‘s congregational Bible reading project for 2013, The Christ House, fixes our attention on Christ Jesus as we encounter him in the New Testament. The plan is slow and steady, simple and focused: read one chapter a day and memorize one “Christ verse” on which to meditate from each book of the NT.

Today’s reading is Luke 12 and the Christ verse for Luke’s Gospel is Luke 2.11: “Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord.”