The Separation of Church and Hate – Part 1: Civility

The Separation of Church and Hate – Part 1: Civility

Civility
The Separation of Church and Hate – Part 1
September 26-27, 2020
Dr. Jeffrey Allen Love

 James 1:19-21

“Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18 (p.866)

“’(Jesus)…The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it.’” John 12:49 (p.822)

“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.James 1:19 (p.930)

  • I Will Be Quick To Listen, Slow To Speak, And Slow To Get Angry.
  1. Listen. “quick to listen”

“Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.” Proverbs 12:15 (p.489)

  1. Learn. “slow to speak”

“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ…” Ephesians 4:15 (p.897)

  1. Love. “slow to get angry”

“Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.” James 1:20 (p.930)

“But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.” Matthew 5:22 (p.736)

“So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.”  James 1:21 (p.930)

Next Step: _____ This week before I speak I will ask: “Is what I’m about to say from God and am I saying it the way He wants me to?”


 Discussion/Groups Guide from the Weekend Talk

From the Weekend Talk of September 26-27, 2020
The Separation of Church and Hate – Part 1: Civility

 

Lif­e Groups use these questions to go deeper into what we talked about this weekend. Dig into them so you will be ready for the discussion at your Life Group. If you are not in a Group, find out more at alivechurch.com/groups.

You can also use this guide to discuss the Talk with your family or friends.

Conversation Starters

  • Are you tired of hearing and seeing political ads?
  • Everyone talks about how much they hate negative campaigns, yet so many campaigns use negative tactics. Why do you think negative ads work?
  • Why do you think politics is such a divisive subject?

Qui­­ck Review

  • Looking back at your Talk Notes, was there anything you heard in the service that stood out or maybe even confused you?

Discussion Starters from the Weekend Talk

Refer to the Talk Notes and related Bible verses from this Weekend’s Talk Notes.

  • This week Pastor Jeff Love encouraged us to remember One Thing from this Talk:
    I Will Be Quick To Listen, Slow To Speak, And Slow To Get Angry.

    1. Read Romans 12:18 (p.866*), John 12:49 (p.822*), and James 1:19-20 (p.930*).
      • How can you engage your faith before your politics?
      • Is James 1:19 a challenge for you?
  • Jeff challenged us to simply live out what James wrote in his New Testament letter:
  1. “quick to listen” (Proverbs 12:15 (p.489*))
    • Isn’t that exactly what we want others to do for us? Most of us do the opposite – thinking about what we are going to say next and not hearing the other person. Remember: Listening is more than waiting for your turn to talk.
      • How well are you listening to your spouse, your children, or your friends?
      • How could you improve your relationships with them by listening more intently to what they are saying?
  1. “slow to speak” (Ephesians 4:15 (p.897*))
    • The minute we start speaking, we stop listening and stop learning. Here are four questions we need to ask ourselves when considering whether kindness is a part of our speech:
    • a) Is what we’re going to say true? We all use hyperbole to make a point, but is it actually true?
    • b) Is what we’re going to say helpful? It may be true, but does it really help?
    • c) Is what we’re going to say personal? Is it intended to wound another? Jesus’ brother James speaks of moral filth, (dishonor) and evil (malice). Is this what we intend?
    • d) Is what we’re going to say loving? Are we loving the way Jesus taught us?
      • If we pause for a moment and pass our thoughts through our faith filter, we can speak kind words that can heal relationships.
      • Which of these four questions prompt you to rethink how you approach conversations?
  1. “slow to get angry” (Matthew 5:22 (p.736*) and James 1:21 (p. 930*))
    • This is both a result and a decision. If we are quick to listen and slow to speak, we are less likely to be angry. Our human anger produces only what we desire because we know we are right and want others to know it too. This goes against what God desires. He wants us to get rid of dishonoring others, malice, and getting even. He loves humility and honoring His values.
      • Is there someone in your life with whom you have a contentious relationship? What are you doing to repair that situation?
      • Tell us about a conversation you have had recently with a republican or democrat that angered you. How did that turn out?
      • What can you do to short-circuit your anger?
      • How can we engage in civil conversations that represent Jesus?

Digging Deeper

We just spent some time over the last few weeks in Ephesians 4 where Paul addresses topics such as forgiveness and letting the Holy Spirit renew our thoughts and attitudes. It seems appropriate for this series, as well. Take a look at Ephesians 4:17-27 (p.879*).

  • Verses 17-19 layout how NOT to live.
    • How is this description helpful in our discussion of civility?
  • Verses 20-24 describe our new nature in Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
    • How are these truths relevant to living out James 1:19?
  • Verses 25-27 layout the “so what” of the passage.
    • The imperative (“command”) verbs (in bold) in the original Greek text are found in verses 25-27:
      • Tell” (or “speak”) the truth.
      • “Don’t sin by letting anger control you.”
      • “Don’t let the sun go … (i.e. Do this now!)
      • “for anger gives a foothold…”
    • What can we learn by focusing on these imperatives?

Next Step

My Next Step: _____ This week before I speak I will ask: “Is what I’m about to say from God and am I saying it the way He wants me to?”

  • A tip for social media: Pray twice. Post once! (You may be familiar with the carpenter’s axiom: “Measure twice. Cut once.”)
    * The Life Transformation Bible is the New Living Translation of the Bible, including many useful tools to help you better understand God’s Word, including our own Alive Church Life Transformation Discipleship Plan. They are available FREE. Let us know if you’d like to have one.