Sunday, October 14, 2012

Discussing the Difficult Topics

Today our pastor began a new sermon series at church, titled "A Charitable Discourse". Based on a book by that name published by our denominational publishing house, it tackles some difficult topics.

When I first head the title of the series, I thought it would be about doctrinal issues. But this morning, preparing to teach the Life Group lesson based on the first sermon in the series (we hear the sermon at the 9:30 a.m. service then discuss it in Life Group at 10:45 a.m.) I learned it would be about social issues. For the next four weeks we will have sermons covering:

- human sexuality
- homosexuality
- politics and religion
- alcohol

The book has a few other topics, I believe, but our pastor likes short series and frequent turnover, so we are only covering the four. I'm thinking of buying the book and seeing the full version, rather than the clipped version they are giving the Life Group teachers. There's also a video series that goes with it.

So why is pastor Mark doing this? He said because he loved us too much to allow all of our conversations about this to be in the context of the office water cooler.

This week the sermon was actually not from the book. Pastor Mark set the stage for the next four weeks by making sure we understood what a charitable discourse was. Using Ephesians 4:1-6 and "speaking the truth in love" as a basis, we need to learn how to tackle these issues in love. The three guiding principles pastor gave us were:

- in the essentials, unity
- in the non-essentials, charity
- in all things, love.

Today we talked about how to do this in love. We talked about what are essentials, what are non-essentials.

It's going to be interesting these next four weeks. I teach two of the four classes.

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