March 5 – Case Study: Women’s Ordination
March 12 – Case Study: Women’s Ordination
March 19 – Weapons and Violence March 26 – Weapons and Violence
April 2 – NO CLASS (Cantata)
April 9 – NO CLASS (Palm Sunday)
April 16 – NO CLASS (Easter)
April 23 – Judaism, Israel, and Palestine
April 30 – Judaism, Israel, and Palestine
May 7 – Homosexuality and the Definition of Marriage
May 14 – NO CLASS (Mothers’ Day)
May 21 – Homosexuality and the Definition of Marriage
May 28 – Homosexuality and the Definition of Marriage
NOTE: we might extend the discussion of “Homosexuality, Definition of Marriage” into June, though the meeting time may be different if we only have one worship service in the Summer
“ 1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.” 1 John 4:1-3a
“Just because you think it, doesn’t make it true.” – Rick Warren
As Presbyterians, we are encouraged to read the Bible for ourselves and ask the Holy Spirit to help us understand God’s will. We do this – not alone or in a vacuum – together in a spirit of humility, using the best interpretations from the past to help us. The Presbyterian Constitution encourages us to seek God’s truth, while also recognizing “that there are truths and forms with respect to which men of good characters and principles may differ” (F-3.0105).
I invite you to join me as we engage the hot button topics of our time. These are the topics where people in our church WILL have different conclusions. Our goal is to understand what the Bible says about these topics – not just the verses that happen to agree with what we already believe. This will be a lively discussion, but it must happen in a spirit of respect. I will not be teaching what I believe – instead I have collected all the pertinent Bible verses about these topics to help us frame our discussion.
We will first learn HOW to do Hot Button Theology well. We will examine the Biblical arguments that were used to eventually allow women’s ordination last century to help us practice before we engage in today’s issues. We will then put what we’ve learned into practice by discussing “Weapons and Violence,” and then “Judaism, Israel, and Palestine.” Finally, we will engage in a discussion of “Homosexuality and the Definition of Marriage.”
Since this topic affects our local church directly, and since it is probably the most emotionally-charged, you must attend at least two prior classes to participate in the discussion of Homosexuality and the Definition of Marriage.
I approach this class with a mix of excitement and trepidation. If we value our relationships more than others’ opinions, if we seek truth while also respecting that people can disagree without having their salvation come into question, if we speak the truth in love, then this will help us deepen our faith and deepen our relationships.
If we are not mature enough to speak honesty without incurring or casting judgment, then it could damage our faith and damage our relationships. Please pray for a spirit of wisdom, grace, and truth as we engage in this discussion together.
-Pastor Cody Sandahl