26 May Discussion Guide: The Gospel Is For Everyone Week 5
Community Groups Vision
If you have time and feel this would help the new people in your community group better understand what you are trying to accomplish as a group then take 2 minutes to show this video.
This week we continue our new series The Gospel is for Everyone. However, our discussion is going to be a bit unique today as we tackle the incredibly necessary, and yet the potentially divisive topic of sexual sin, and more specifically homosexuality. Before we begin, let’s set a few ground rules for our time together.
- First, no cross talk. Let’s give one another the respect and honor the Gospel calls us to by giving time and safe space for all to express their thoughts and feel heard. Let’s not talk over one another or interrupt one another in our conversation. The point of our time together is to work through this issue together, not to win an argument.
- Second, this is not a conversation to be had based on our political affiliations. This is not a Liberal vs. Conservative or Democrat vs. Republican debate. We are here as fellow citizens of God’s Kingdom, as those who are all in need of, and hopefully recipients of, God’s amazing grace and love as revealed through Jesus. So, let’s seek to understand one another’s perspectives and experiences through a conversation rather than seeking to prove our points so we can walk away feeling like we were right and someone else was wrong. The goal here is for right relationship, not being the one who was right.
- Third, our ultimate goal today should be to rightly understand God’s Word and God’s heart so that we might all grow together as a worshipping community, loving God and loving one another so that we might better love our neighbors, including those within the LGBTQIA community. This is not about an issue to be solved, as much as it is about people to be loved.
With all that in mind, let’s pray and then dive into our conversation.
Have you ever felt judged or condemned for something, and if so, how did that make you feel? Why do you think we do treat each other like that?
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam, there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
Do you believe God is truly good/trustworthy? Why or why not?
When you have a hard time with something God’s Word says, what do you do with that?
And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Why would God put limits on our lives? Why would He tell us to say no to somethings and yes to others when it comes to our bodies, our money, our thoughts, our relationships, our time, etc.?
Why do you think our culture has such a hard time with this idea that God would place limits on the way we choose to live?
“Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community
“If my sinfulness appears to me to be in any way smaller or less detestable in comparison with the sins of others, I am still not recognizing my sinfulness at all. … How can I possibly serve another person in unfeigned humility if I seriously regard his sinfulness as worse than my own?”
“Nothing can be more cruel than the leniency which abandons others to their sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe reprimand which calls another in one’s community back from the path of sin.”
What does it mean to truly love someone?
If you believe God has a design for our lives, and you believe that design is for our ultimate joy, then would it be loving or unloving to talk to someone about that when you see him/her living in a way that’s contrary to that design?
With what kind of heart, and in what kind of way, ought that conversation take place?
If we were to say, “I cannot be happy if God doesn’t let me…” or, “I cannot accept the idea that God would keep me from…” what does that reveal about our heart towards God and His design?