Did God create us to worship Him or to help
others? If the answer is “both,” what does God expect of us
in our dealings with others? Our lesson this week is
entitled “Created for Community” and we start out with our
most immediate “community” – the family. Let’s jump into our
Have you ever had someone compliment you and afterward
you wondered if was a compliment or a criticism? Today, in our
continued study on relationships, we study God’s plan for the
relationship between parents and children. God gives a wonderful
promise to children who have the right relationship with their
parents. When we examine that promise we find that it is more than
simply a promise. Is it a promise and a threat? A promise or a
prediction? On the other side of the relationship, what obligations
to parents have to their children? Let’s dive into God’s Word and
Last week we studied the responsibilities of children
to honor their parents. At the same time, we looked at the
responsibilities of parents to lead and encourage their children to
obey their parents and God. This week we continue our study of what
God has in mind with this whole “having children” thing. Let’s jump
in and see what lessons we can learn!
Last summer, when I was in Canada, the lead stories in
the newspapers were the forest fires and homosexual marriage. Not
long after I returned, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, a
court I have argued before many times, ruled that homosexuals had a
constitutional right to marry. Right now the U.S. Congress is
wrestling with the issue of defining marriage. What does God say
about marriage? Is He flexible? What is His ideal? What does He
allow? Let’s turn to the Bible and find out!
Have you heard the old saying, “A friend in need is a
friend indeed?” Lately, I’ve heard it modified to “A friend in need
is a pain in the neck!” Is there common ground between these two
statements? Does the truth of the saying depend on whether you are
the “needy” friend? What, really, is a friend? How should you select
friends? What counsel does the Bible give us on friendships? Let’s
jump into our study and find out!
How do you view your work? Is it an unpleasant
requirement? Is it your favorite thing? Is it meaningless? Is it
blessing in your life? Is it a means to bless others or just
yourself? What connection is there between our work and our
commitment to God? Let’s jump into the Bible and see what counsel it
gives us about Christians at work!
In the United States, we have important elections
coming up this November. Unlike many other democracies, we have only
two major political parties. A very interesting fact has come out of
the two-party system. Polling shows that Christians who attend church
regularly overwhelmingly identify themselves as Republicans. People
who do not attend church regularly, or not at all, generally identify
themselves as Democrats. This raises some very interesting questions.
If the righteous primarily identify with one political party, should
this translate into party political activity? Or, is the involvement
of religion in politics a bad thing? How does God want us to act when
it comes to politics? Does the Bible speak to the issue of Christians
and politics? Let’s jump into the Bible and find out!
Why do we have so many Christian denominations? For
that matter, why do we have so many religions in the world? Is this
God’s plan? Does one denomination have all of the correct doctrines?
All the truth? If a person is a Christian, is there any reason to try
to convert that person to a different Christian denomination? Let’s
jump into our study this week and see what the Bible says about
“other sheep” and their education!
“All roads lead to heaven.” Is that true? The modern
culture rejects the idea of absolute truth. Instead, the idea is
that every person’s opinion is equally valid and equally true.
Spirituality of any stripe is good. When the singer Madonna forms a
“prayer circle” before her performance, and then prays to herself,
popular culture notes that she is indeed a “spiritual” person. What
does the Bible say about the way to heaven? Let’s dive into the Good
Book and find out what the official map says!
Mat Staver, a prominent American religious liberty
lawyer, likes to tell a story about me that centers on Matthew 5:44.
That text tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who
persecute us. How do religious liberty lawyers who are fighting “the
bad guys” do that? Mat suggested that when he entered into legal
battle he prayed for his opponents – that they would be confused!
That struck me as being inconsistent with the theme of Jesus’
teaching in Matthew 5. But, one day I decided to follow Mat’s advice
when I was cross-examining a fellow in a deposition. The deposition
went wonderfully for “our side” because the fellow testifying against
us was confused – confused enough to tell the truth! I reported to
Mat that he was on to something. What does Jesus have in mind in
Matthew 5? Did David love Goliath? What, exactly, is our Biblical
obligation to people who are hurting us and the gospel of Christ?
Let’s jump into the Bible to see what we can learn!
How do we deal with differences among members in the
church? I recall being a member of a church constitution and bylaws
committee and being told that our job was to decide on the
qualifications of members of an administrative committee. The
suggestions were that we needed a certain number of people who lived
in various geographical areas, we needed a certain number of people
of a certain gender, we needed a certain number of people of a
certain race, we needed a certain number of people who were employees
of the church and a certain number of people who were not. This made
me scratch my head and wonder about our goal. Was our goal to bring
a diverse group of people together? Or, was it to bring together a
group of people who knew something about the task at hand – which was
administration? What should be our goal? Does the Bible speak to the
issue of diversity? Let’s dive in and find out!
We naturally think that any successful organization has
leadership. Is this also true for the church? If so, what kind of
leaders should they be? Should the leaders of the church model
themselves after leaders of the world? Leaders of industry? Does the
church need leaders at all? Isn’t Jesus the only leader we need?
Let’s jump into our study and find out what the Bible teaches us
about leadership in the church.
This is our last study in our series about religion and
relationships. When Christians speak of “the world,” aren’t they
referring to sin? Should we embrace sin? What kind of relationship,
if any, should we have with the world? What is God’s mission for us
in the world? Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible and find out!