09 Feb Discussion Guide: What About Week 1
Before We Get Started
For our discussion today we will be using the sermon series discussion guides. If you would like to follow along you can access this discussion guide on the website at mosaicchurchaustin.com and then select “community group resources” in the menu options.
Because the main goal of our time together is to establish relationships and learn how to walk with one another in all that God has called us to be and do, we’d like to begin by praying for one another. So, does anyone have anything you’d like us to pray for, or anything to share regarding how you’ve seen God moving in your life that we can celebrate together.
This Week’s Topic
This week we begin a new series titled What About? We will be taking a look at emotional, cultural, and rational reasons for not only why we can believe the claims of Christianity, but also why would should want to believe those claims to be true.
An Indestructible Meaning in Life
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
“If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”
What would you say is the biggest question (existential, theological, philosophical, etc.) you wish you had the answer to?
Why do you think we, as humans, want to know the answers to those kinds of questions?
What does the word “Why” presuppose?
The question, “Why?” presupposes intent and purpose. When someone asks why something happened or why something was done what they are really wanting to know is what was the purpose or the intent behind that thing that took place. As parents, when our kids do something disobedient or foolish, the words that tend to come out of our mouths are, “Why would you do that?” Or, “What were you thinking?”
When we lose someone we love the question we seek an answer to is, “Why did they have to die?” It is the longing of our hearts to know and understand the reason or the purpose or the intent behind an occurrence.
The meaning of life is something almost every human heart has sought to know. What is the correlation between intent and meaning?
So then, if there is no intentionality behind our existence, behind the existence of the Universe, then what does that mean about our meaning?
Intent leads to meaning. It is the desire for something not already in existence that drives us to create and fashion a response to that lack or void. Why did Volta, Swan, Eddison and Coolidge seek to invent a cost effective light bulb? Because they wanted to provide a way for people to light their homes that didn’t lead to burning down the house. Why did the Wright brothers seek to invent a way for humans to take flight? Because they wanted to provide a better form of transportation. Why does anyone invent anything? Because he/she wants to solve a problem or create an experience. The point is there is always a reason, always a purpose behind intent.
Therefore, if there is no intent, no purposeful design behind the existence of the Universe, then there is no meaning to life. The only possible meaning in that scenario is whatever meaning we assign to ourselves. And, when meaning is determined by individual desires and agendas then there is no such thing as right or wrong, just or unjust. Right is whatever is right according to the person, or people, in power. Justice is whatever benefits the person or people in power. To say the Universe has no intentionality or purpose behind its design is to say that human beings have no purpose behind our design. Once you make that statement then you have removed the right for anyone to claim something is wrong or unjust and you have essentially given a green light to whoever wields the most power to play the role of God, deciding good and evil for themselves and everyone else.
The only way we can claim a human life has value, that it matters, is to point to someone, or something, beyond the human existence that designed humanity with intent and purpose.
“O Lord , how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked exult? They pour out their arrogant words; all the evildoers boast. They crush your people, O Lord , and afflict your heritage. They kill the widow and the sojourner, and murder the fatherless; and they say, “The Lord does not see; the God of Jacob does not perceive.” For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage; for justice will return to the righteous, and all the upright in heart will follow it.”
Would you say there are injustices in the world today?
How would you define the word injustice?
What is the correlation between justice and meaning/purpose?
As mentioned before, without intentional purpose or meaning in the human existence there is no such thing as universal justice. Justice is simply what the people in power determine it to be. The idea of justice presupposes there is inherent dignity, worth, and inalienable rights built into the human existence. But, if humans are simply the result of chance and circumstance and evolution, then there is nothing inherent in us regarding dignity and worth. If we are just another species of creature then why shouldn’t we treat one another the way other animals treat their own species? The strongest survive, the weak die off, and any member of the species that threatens our survival should be done away with. That is the logical progression of an evolutionary worldview, and any “rights” or ideas of justice are simply dreamed up by people who are unwilling to embrace the intellectual integrity of their worldview.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
If Jesus really is who He claimed to be, God come in the flesh, and really did live the life the Bible claims He lives, said the things the Bible claims He said, died the death the Bible claims He died, and rose again from the dead as the eye witness accounts in Scripture say He did, what statement would that make about your purpose, and about the meaning of your life?
The fact that Jesus, God the Son, came in the flesh to live the life we have not lived and die the death we should have died, and then rose again tells us 3 things. One, it tells you that you were made for a purpose. Two, it tells you that you have violated that purpose. Three, it tells you that God loves you so much as His creation that He was willing to step into the brokenness your violation of that purpose created. Four, it tells you that He was willing to give Himself as a sacrifice for you in order to restore you to that purpose. And five, it tells you that you are loved, not because of what you have or have not done, but because He chooses to love you.
All of this combines to help us understand God’s intent and purpose, not only in creating us, but in redeeming us as well. It tells us we have worth and dignity, not just as God’s image-bearers, but as His redeemed sons and daughters. It tells us that there is a right way to live, that justice exists within God’s design and purpose, and that love is the supreme virtue of the human existence.
If that purpose and meaning for your life is true, how might that affect the way you live and the way you treat others?
Why might someone not want that reality to be true?