Community Group Questions 10/28/12

Tip of the Week:
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/40181403]
Announcements:
Please share whichever of the following announcements apply to your group
  • Community Groups
    • As you look around you on Sunday mornings I am sure you are wondering what all of these cool people do during the week
    • This morning, I am going to tell you
    • All the cool people here at West Pines are in a Community Group
    • If you are not in a group and you think you are cool, sorry, you are wrong
    • Pull out that insert and pick a group so you can be part of the cool crowd
  • The Fuge Grand Opening - Make it your own
    • We have been talking a lot over the last few months about The Expansion.
    • We got moved into the new offices pretty quick
    • We have spent the last 2 months getting the student space ready
    • It will be called The Fuge
    • You get to see it today right after the service

Sermon Title: Finding Your Sea Legs, Part 5: Man the Crow’s Nest

Main Text:  Titus 3:9, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Galatians 3:27-29, 1 Corinthians 2:2, 1 Timothy 1:4, Hebrews 12:2

Topics:

  • Throughout Paul’s ministry, he warns churches against allowing irrelevant arguments to stir up division.
    • Titus 3:9 “But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.”
    • 1 Timothy 1:4 “nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.”
  • Paul encourages churches to realize what it is that unites us - it is Jesus. He is the one thing that redefines us, gives us our identity, and binds us together. He is essential, everything else is details.
    • 1 Corinthians 15:3–4 “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,”
    • Galatians 3:27–29 “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”
    • 1 Corinthians 2:2 “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
  • But Paul had to warn pastor Titus, that Christians will at times get wrapped up in controversies. There are times when we will let non-essentials divide us. That means that even though Christ unifies us we let something divide us. That means we are letting something be more important than Jesus.
  • There are times when we divide. We divide with people who try to divide the church. We divide with people who do not uphold the truths of the Gospel.
  • But there are times that foolish, unnecessary controversies can threaten our unity.  Here are some examples:
    • Theological Controversies
      • Calvinism vs. Arminianism
      • Various views about the end times (eschatology)
      • What version of the Bible to use
      • Whether or not theology is even of value
    • Church Controversies
      • This church does it better than that church
      • This church’s style is right and theirs is wrong
    • Moral Controversies
      • Should a Christian dance, drink, watch certain movies, listen to certain music.
    • Cultural Controversies
      • what should Christians do about holidays: Christmas, Halloween, etc.
  • Ultimately what binds us together as a church is the Gospel.  We can’t let secondary things stir up controversy.
  • This will be a challenge every Christian will have to face. We will have to keep our eyes on the main thing, or we can run aground. As we learn more and are exposed to more, we can’t let those things become primary.
  • We have to man the crow’s nest, keep the big picture of what we are fixing our eyes on: Jesus the Author and Perfecter of our faith.

Key Questions:

  • Read Titus 3:9. What are some nonessentials that Christians sometimes make essential?
  • Specifically, what are some examples of unprofitable theological controversies that Christians get caught in?
  • What are some examples of theological controversies that are necessary?
  • What are some examples of cultural or moral controversies that Christians get caught in?
  • Of the various types of unprofitable controversies, which are you most likely to get caught in?
    • [i.e. theological, cultural, moral, philosophical, church style and preferences, political, etc.]
  • What are some cues that a valuable discussion has become an unprofitable argument?
  • When does a controversy hit the point where it causes dissension?
  • Read Galatians 3:27-29. What would have been shocking about verse 28, to that ancient context?
  • If you could rewrite Galatians 3:28 for a modern context, what polarizing categories could be included?
    • [i.e. There is neither rich nor poor, upper class nor lower class, American nor non-American, Republican nor Democrat, Dolphins fan nor Jets fan... wait, I may have taken it too far.]
  • How should we handle disagreements with other Christians in the church?

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