By Cameron Silsbee
Begin with prayer
Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting. Take a moment to sit in silence in the presence of Jesus and each other. Have one person read Isaiah 6v1-8 over the group and then pray to ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together.
Debrief the teaching and previous Practice
- What did you choose to do in order to reflect on your spiritual maturity? How did it go?
- In your discipleship to Jesus, when did you realize God has an authoritative vision for human sexuality? How did it sit with you?
- Briefly talk about your experience of the church (past and present) and the LGBTQ community.
Read this overview
Jesus came and established the Kingdom of God. But the kingdom is not as a geopolitical entity or a nation-state that mandates or coerces culture. In the words of Jesus, “My Kingdom is not of this world.” But we are living in the fallout of a culture war—the ongoing effort on both sides of the socio-political spectrum to mandate and enforce ideology and lifestyle.
This can leave our heads spinning. We’re told the only approach is to dominate culture or be dominated by it, but we can see the consequences of hatred, confusion, and pain. We’re left with difficult decisions about following Jesus faithfully, loving God, and loving our neighbor. Who defines what love means? What if we disagree?
Thankfully Jesus hasn’t left us alone to figure this all out. We have the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit, and the church to encourage, challenge, and correct us. It may not be easy or simple, but fidelity to Jesus and his Kingship will always prove to be worth it in the end.
Talk through the following discussion questions
As you talk through these questions, we can demonstrate respect and care for each other by listening to one another well. It’s usually best to avoid correcting, “teaching,” or attempting to fix a person’s problems/beliefs unless they give the group an invitation to respond in any of those ways.
It will probably be best to split up into gender-specific groups for this conversation, if possible.
- What differences and similarities have you personally noticed or experienced between how churches/Christians approach sexual sin for people who are heterosexual and people who are gay?
- What has or does growth look like for you as the sexual ethic of the Scriptures shapes you?
- What do you do or have you done when you feel a strong desire to disagree/go against the teachings of the Scriptures and Jesus?
Read over the coming week’s Practice
For this week’s Practice take time to sit with some poetry from the Scriptures that resonates with your feelings, experience, or response to this Practice or teaching. You can focus on one of these Psalms over the week, or you can take time to meditate on two or all three. Feel free to choose your own Psalm, but here are some suggestions:
Psalm of lament: Psalm 69
Psalm of confession and repentance: Psalm 51
Psalm of allegiance: Psalm 63
After meditating on these Psalms, consider whether God is calling you to take a specific action.
Be prepared next week to share with your Community how your time went.
Close in prayer
End in prayer by having one person read the Nicene Creed over the group.
I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son], who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.