Tuesday, September 08, 2009

We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented.

We finish our series based on The 10 Dumbest Things Christians Do, by Mark Atteberry. The following are some notes from the Sunday school lesson at Providence Church.

DUMB MOVE #10: Accepting the Unacceptable

“Tolerance is the virtue of those who believe in nothing.”
– Ryan Dobson

Atteberry notes 2 things about the enemy described in Matthew 13:24-25.
• The enemy is calculating. [waits until everyone’s asleep before acting]
• The enemy is conniving. [sneaky, doesn’t set field on fire, but plants bad seed]

1. We need to wake up. We need to become more aware of what’s going on in our world and in the lives of our friends and family.

2. We need to speak up. Just as we warn people about physical dangers, so we need to warn them about spiritual dangers.

Atteberry suggests 2 reasons the secular media is quiet concerning “dangers that threaten our souls.”
• Their secular worldview doesn’t allow them to see through the eyes of faith.
• They figure it’s not their job; it’s the church’s.

As we sound the alarm, “we must never forget to reflect the heart and character of Christ.” [cf. Eph 4:15]

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

“One thing that will help you in this regard is to remember that while watchdogging is critically important, especially in an age when Satan has so many subtle techniques at his disposal, it’s not our primary mission. Our primary mission as servants of Christ is to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). So anytime you find yourself in a situation where you feel you need to speak up, ask yourself how you can do it in the least offensive way possible.”

3. We need to shape up.
  • “If we’re going to impact our communities and our culture in a positive way, we simply must put some walk behind our talk.”
  • “When we act outraged at the world’s values and then are caught living on the same level, we come off looking like fools.”
  • “We need to save our complaining about the world until after we have cleaned up our own house.”

Discussion Questions:
  1. Reflect on American culture over the last 50-60 years. In what ways have values changed? How has society become desensitized to things? Give examples.
  2. Regarding “speaking up,” which of the following would you do (or have you done) & which would you not do? Why or why not? Which issues would get your participation level up? (a) Write elected officials, (b) Call in to radio programs, (c) Participate in a boycott, (d) Participate in a demonstration/rally/march, (e) Vote (locally, state, national), (f) distribute literature, (g) other.
  3. With regard to “waking up,” how can we become more informed?
  4. How do you wake up, speak up, and shape up without subjugating our “primary mission” (i.e., without apathy or obsession)?

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At 08 September, 2009 23:58, Blogger Kyle said...

This was a very nice post Gunny.

At 26 October, 2009 16:04, Blogger R said...

We've become desensitized, in a good way, in that we no longer care if a person is black, or gay, or speaks English as a second language. However, due to influences such as crime shows, we've become desensitized to violence, seeing blood and horrible acts, because “they’re only fake.”

Rape and murder aren't chilling words anymore; they don't mean anything. Car alarms don't even provoke glances when they're set off. The only word that may still provoke a reaction is "Fire!" - and that's only because we want to know where it is and watch it, if possible.

There are very few times when people personalize the idea of "Somebody will help" to "I will help." Most often, we don't know what we can do, and we assume that "somebody else" would do it with more skill anyway, so why bother? We watch the fire and don't check whether anyone's called 911 yet; we assume "someone" has. We hear a car alarm and assume it's an accident, so we don't even look. We see a car pulled off to the side of the road and don't stop to offer them a cell phone, check if anyone needs first aid, or any assistance. We'll be late getting to our own destination if we do.

I could go on an on about this topic all day. Suffice it to say that times have definitely changed.

At 26 October, 2009 17:11, Blogger GUNNY said...

Good thoughts, R.

I often think about the lack of personal responsibility folks feel, perhaps in part because we have "trained" and/or "professional" people for just about everything. There's always someone to call who will handle up on that (e.g., doctor, fire fighter, police officer, lawyer, counselor, etc.).

Perhaps we feel inadequate to do much more than watch, being spectators in life rather than agents of change.

Times do change. Back in the day, if there was a fire, everyone grabbed a bucket of water. If there was a bad guy, you organized a posse.

I don't know ... just cogitating out loud some, I guess.


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