Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘sin’

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!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Continuing our focus on the issue of salvation, this next Tuesday we’ll be discussing the opposite of salvation. In other words, “can we be unsaved?” You know the story: Nice guy/girl from your church that used to be passionate about God is now living a life completely removed from God–he/she may even outright denounce God’s saving Grace in this world at this point as a lie. Yet at one time, he/she was very passionate about God, believed wholeheartedly that Jesus was his/her salvation and lived a life of obedience…for a time.

Or another example from my own life: someone is passionate about God most of his/her life, but then suffers a tremendously painful loss due to terminal illness (or an accident). That person is now angry with God and denounces his/her faith. Is a lifetime of obedience undone in one fell swoop?

Another question I have is, “is there a sin God won’t forgive?”

In addition to more C.S. Lewis, I’ll be spending a lot of time going back through the Gospels and the New Testament to seek answers regarding this. I also think at some point I’m going to have to tackle Revelation…as that is where the saved and unsaved are finally separated.

…and is it too much to hope Alehouse has a Stone or Rogue beer back? It’s been two weeks without either of my favorite breweries. Although I have to say, last week’s “Dark Heffeweizen” was pretty tasty–and I was glad to see Union Jack IPA back up where it belongs.

Cheers!

Read Full Post »

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!

Read Full Post »

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!

Read Full Post »

I’m still hoping to collect more data from the survey, so take it if you haven’t yet. Although Tuesday and Thursday appear more popular than Wednesday, I’m leery of changing our established day without more data.

For this week’s topic, though, I’m delving again from the survey responses. Next up? Human Nature: essentially sinner or saints by nature? It’s a thinking topic folks, so put your thinking caps on and then come and share your thoughts and/or questions.

As I ponder this matter, I find myself turning to the first two books of Genesis to see how man was originally intended to be. Revelation 20-22, on the other hand, deals with “the end” of this world and has some interesting stuff to unpack as well.

But of course, we know the Bible has quite a bit to say about hunan sinfulness. It would be a long list indeed if I tried to list them out, but for myself, I know I’ll be taking a peek at Genesis 3 to see the fall of man,Romans 3 and Romans 5 has some good stuff too, and maybe some 1 John thrown in, but there’s really too much to even list here.

Happy hunting! Comment or leave me a message for me if you have thoughts you’d like to share with the group before Wednesday night. Otherwise, see you there!

Read Full Post »