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Posts Tagged ‘Beer’

No one likes talking about giving money to the church. That includes me.

But does tithing matter? The commandment to Abraham in Genesis 14 and also in Leviticus 27 would seem to fall squarely in the realm of Mosaic Law–something most New Testament following Christians don’t follow terribly closely. Of course, the extend with which we follow Mosaic Law might even make a good topic some time, and may be a follow-up to this week depending on how the conversation goes.

Before coming Tuesday, I encourage everyone to take a peek at 2 Corinthians 8-9 and spend some time thinking about how we should address this issue in our own lives.

  • Do we need to tithe? If so, why?
  • Does giving/tithing only include money? What other ways can/do we give?

See you all Tuesday at 7!

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PS: I’ve signed up to put together a team for Habitat for Humanity on Saturday, October 30th. Yes, that’s “Halloween Eve!” If you’re interested, call or text or email or something; I need about 10 people, and so far I have me and my wife!

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Reminder: NO MEETING THIS WEEK. NEXT MEETING IS AUGUST 10th.

Last week’s discussion of sin was intriguing. We’ve all heard of the various descriptions of what sin is…in essence it’s the putting of ourselves before God…but the interesting question was raised by Jake, “okay, great….so why do I care?” It’s sometimes fun to attempt to figure out things like the essence of sin, but it’s another thing entirely to have a true reason to actually care why this information is valuable. I can’t speak for everyone there, but for me at least, I know I care about the nature of sin because I can’t come back into fellowship with God before I first see that I have removed myself from Him in some way. Once I’ve recognized it I can turn back to Him.

But I digress…this week (August 10th) is about divine healing. We’ve all seen the crazy preachers on the t.v. heal those in wheelchairs and cast out demons…or at least they appear to be doing these things. Although there are certainly charlatans out there, why do we so quickly discount miraculous healing when the Bible is very explicit about God’s healing power in our lives. Perhaps even worse, what does that say about our faith, that we doubt so completely in God that we can’t bring our disease and injuries to Him?

For me, this is not a question answered simply by talking about God’s healing power. One’s answer in this matter hinges quite profoundly on how one view’s God’s relationship with the world today. How active is God, exactly? If he isn’t active in our lives (or at least when it comes to healing) when did He stop? (Because he clearly at least USED to be involved in this sort of thing.) If he is active in our lives even to this day, what is God’s ultimate purpose? What is He trying to accomplish on this earth right now? I believe one’s answer to this question has a direct impact on whether one believes in divine healing.

See you NEXT Tuesday!

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I mean, it was written a LONG time ago to different people. But before I dig into this, I must address something that truly upset me this last Tuesday:

In a surprising twist of events, the Ringwood Old Thumper Ale that used to be my favorite beer (I hadn’t been able to find it in the last 2 years though) was a severe disappointment. I walked in to Alehouse all pumped to see my old fav’ on draft and two sips in I was missing one of my beloved IPA’s. But that’s the fun of a place like Alehouse, I may not love everything I try, but it’s fun to keep trying new beers each week. My second beer more than made up for it, Mad River’s “Imperial Red” was mind blowing and if God is indeed good, they will still have it next Tuesday for me.

But I am off topic already. The woman/submissiveness talk was surprising as well. We had several guys and two girls present, and the strongest advocates for differentiated roles for men and women were coming from both of the ladies! All of us guys were like, “surely we are all equal before the cross,” or “how can we truly limit what God is able to accomplish just because of patriarchal heritage? But both ladies spoke of how they really felt men and women were different from each other; they are good at different things and think differently. To them, a woman is in her best spot by supporting a man as they work together as a team, supplying their different talents to the same aim, working complementary to each other.

This led to a natural question about the Bible’s applicability to our modern lives. As great as the Bible is an all, it WAS written for an an ancient Jewish culture. I think we really run into huge misunderstandings if we simply take a statement meant for them and carry it over straight to our modern lives now. I’m not saying the Bible is irrelevant, but this can be a huge problem if not given serious credence.

So next Tuesday’s (6/22) topic is: How much authority/relevance does the Bible really have for me today?

I took a class on this at Simpson called Hermeneutics, and I luckily still have the textbook. So I’ll be studying up there. For this week’s topic, I really suggest you ask everyone their opinion on this matter. Ask your pastors. Ask your friends. Ask your co-workers, even if they’re not Christians. I’m as interested in an atheist’s opinion on this as anyone else’s. This is an issue which each Protestant denomination can differ greatly on, so I look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts.

Cheers!

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As I suspected, salvation is simply too big for us to discuss in one week…and probably even in two. So we took the rather long list of subtopics apart piece by piece and took a quick stab at each to see where we stood and to see which one felt like a natural starting point.  In the end, our discussion on Baptism seemed the most promising as a lead.

I grew up in a church where baptism was largely symbolic and the act was practically unnecessary. However, in some traditions–particularly Catholicism–baptism is largely held to be necessary for salvation. We talked about our different backgrounds and experiences with baptism. It seemed like this was a great starting point for next week–everyone goes home and reads up on baptism and next week we come back and report what we found. So just as I’m opening my mouth to say, “Alright, next week is Baptism….” Nathan up and asks a great question: “Which items like these are actually a PART of salvation…and which ones are more of the stuff that comes afterwards?” (His version of the question was much more eloquent, but my 22 oz. Rogue Ale was empty at this point and my attention span was growing skittish, so I’m paraphrasing here).

Once we thought about how we would likely spend the next few weeks discussing aspects of salvation, it seems logical to start with the beginning. So that, my friends, is next week’s topic:

How exactly are we saved? What is absolutely central in order for salvation to occur? Let’s chip away all that packaged add-on stuff and get to the bare bones of the situation. Salvation 101.

Hopefully they have a Stone beer back on tap next week, I was sad to see the Imperial IPA was gone.

Cheers!

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So next week we’re gonna go for salvation. This one can be broad too; I’m interested in seeing where it goes. Issues relating to salvation can include:

  1. How is one saved?
  2. What happens when one is “saved” and then only goes on to be a complete scumbag anyway?
  3. Is baptism important and/or necessary for salvation? If not, what’s the point? Is so, why?
  4. Can one be “unsaved?”
  5. I was just telling a very conservative Christian on Monday about Bible and Brew and she seemed concerned at first, and then said suddenly, “Well, Jesus went where the sinners were, I think that’s great.” Although I appreciate the vote of confidence, I am kind of offended on behalf of everyone at my favorite pub that they’re “sinners” because they go to a bar. So why is it we assume a regular Pub-attender is unsaved?
  6. How much of salvation is something we do and how much of it is God? It’s easy to say God does it all, yet why isn’t everyone saved then? Clearly we are responsible for something at least.

Okay, I’ve run out but I’m sure there’s more. Go find your favorite salvation verses…Paul’s letters, the Gospels are a place to start…although I think I’m going to hit up Genesis and Revelation again. I’ve noticed a fun trend that in every week’s topic, I’ve found something valuable at the very beginning and the very end.

Till next Tuesday!

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I was a little nervous heading into this discussion on Tuesday; it’s complicated topic and by far the most difficult concept we undertaken. Although I think every person in a discussion of the Trinity needs to admit at some point that this is a concept beyond a perfect understanding.  My main concern while researching this week was to find value in the concept of the Trinity–why should I care whether God is three or one?

The good news, at least for me, was that we had a great discussion about how important the Trinity is. The short version is that God created us in His image. So many of our characteristics and traits come from Him. We are relational beings; we relate to each other, and we relate to God. But we do this because God Himself if relational, since he is One God and Three Persons. Relationships are a part of God’s very nature; without this relationships would not exist. Taken further, it says in the Bible that God is love. We love because God first loved us. Yet if God was only one person, he could not be love. It is because He is both One God and Three Persons that He is love…it is part of His nature, which is then reflected in us who are made in His image. We love because God literally is love.

We also spent a great deal of time talking about Jesus. Most of the verses in the New Testament that describe God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are made by Paul in response to heresies popping up in the early church. People tended to think Jesus was either only a man, or only God. They did not believe He was both. Yet Jesus has to be both. If he wasn’t fully human, he wouldn’t have been able to be a true sacrifice and would not have been able to overcome death (God doesn’t die)–but if he wasn’t wholly God he wouldn’t have been perfect and would have not been able to take on the sin of the world. So Jesus has to be simultaneously completely God and completely Human. Jesus also says he and the Father are one. If that is the case, God is clearly not simply one person, but three.

Plus Cory brought his mobius strip to demonstrate the Trinity, which was fun. In his words, “this may not help us understand particularly well, but it’s fun anyway.” I also enjoyed one of the last glasses of a Sierra Nevada/Anchor Steam collaborative Stout that was quite glorious–almost as glorious as the Stone Ruination IPA I switched to on the second round.

Cheers!

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I just want to remind everyone the next meeting is on Tuesday, May 4th– not Wednesday, and second of all, to give everyone a heads-up that we will be discussing The Trinity. This is one of those things in Christianity that I sometimes try to not think about, but I firmly believe there is valuable perspective to be applied to my life through a study of The Trinity.

I’ll have a few verses/passes up later in the week after I’ve had some time to study–just wanted to give everyone a heads-up! Feel free to toss pertinent passages in the comments section or in an email to me and I’ll stick them on up here as well.

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