Christlife Posture: Trusting God's Wisdom

Topic: Who is to say what is Right or Wrong? 

 

Suggested Approach: Choose 1 thing from each of the three boxes

OR Choose 1 from Media or Reflection + 1 from Scripture 

Media Excursions (Watch/read/listen and be ready to discuss Q's)

Multimedia/Paintings

  • He Shall Reign Forever (CCCA) Notice that most of these renderings of Jesus are painted in the ceiling of a dome. In order to view them, you had to look up.  How do you think that affected the mindset of the people viewing the art with regard to their conception of the authority or majesty of Jesus?  Try playing this video lying on your back with your phone or iPad above you.  What do you notice in your own mind or body as you find yourself looking up to Jesus?

Video Clip

  • The Coin Machine (filmmaker) Have you ever been tempted to do something wrong or tried manipulating the system when you were having a frustrating day?  How did you know if it was wrong?

Song

  • Flawless (Mercy Me) The song says, "There's got to be more, Than going back and forth, From doing right to doing wrong, 'Cause we were taught that's who we are..."  What is that "something more"? How does this song seek to put into perspective a focus on right vs. wrong? 

Article 

  • Everyone is Falling for this Frightfully Effective Gmail Scam (Robert Hackett) This article talks about how to spot a scam and how to prevent a scam.  What, if any, principles from this article can be applied to discerning truth in life?  

  • Difference Between Right and Wrong (M. Emelda) In this short summary article, the author attempts to explain right from wrong from a non-religious perspective.  What do you think of the “primatologist's” conclusion that each person is born with a “moral grammar”?  Where do you think that moral grammar comes from?  Do you agree with the article’s definition of doing “right”? If yes, why and on what basis? If no, what do you disagree with and on what basis?

Online Teaching

  • Is Drinking Alcohol a Sin? (Jefferson Bethke) How does the speaker try to discern what is or is not sin in this area? What stood out to you about “Christian freedom” or “nuance” or “context”?  How will YOU decide whether what this brother is saying is right or wrong?

Reflection Options  

Journal  (reflect on one or more of these questions)

  • Make 3 columns.  In one column, list some things you know are morally right course of action. In another column, list things you know are morally wrong.  In the final column, list some things you are unsure about.  How did you decide what things went into the right and wrong columns?

  • Choose one of these terms or phrases to think and write about: moral compass/ inner conscience/ innate moral grammar/ evolutionary morality/moral relativism/moral authority. How would you explain to someone else your understanding of where morality comes from?

Quote Interaction (Interact by agreeing, disagreeing or otherwise engaging with the quote/quotes)

  • The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.  (Carl Jung)

  • Success is the sole earthly judge of right and wrong.  (Adolf Hitler)

  • Unless we believe the gospel, we will be driven in all we do-whether obeying or disobeying-by pride ('self-love') or fear ('of damnation'). Apart from 'grateful remembering' of the gospel, all good works are done then for sinful motives. Mere moral effort may restrain the heart, but does not truly change the heart. Moral effort merely 'jury rigs' the evil of the heart to produce moral behavior out of self-interest. It is only a matter of time before such a thin tissue collapses. (Timothy Keller)

  • About morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after. (Ernest Hemingway)

Reading & Reflection from the book, Shaping The Journey of Emerging Adults

  • Read “A Simple Vision for Maturity” (pp. 59-63).  Three common ways we tend to evaluate spiritual maturity are mentioned.  The third one, legalism, deals with our understanding of right and wrong.  Have you ever tended toward legalism? How does the author’s “Irreducible Core” address right vs. wrong?

  • Read the introduction to “Restoring Life in the Emerging Adult’s Spirituality” (pp. 126-127).  What does it mean that Grant approaches religion “pragmatically, non-doctrinally and moralistically”?  Where does a biblical understanding of wrong and right fit in that profile?

  • Read “Exploring the young adult’s expectations for living the Christlife” (pp. 136-7) Come ready to share with each other what underlying expectations you have or have had, and explore what motivates each of you to live righteously or pursue a morally biblical approach to life.

  • Read “Biblical Vision, Support and Guidance” (Sexuality chapter, pp. 171-173).  How does having a “a well-formed and well-informed Christlife vision for sex and sexuality” impact your perspective on how to approach making right or wrong sexual choices?

 Explore Scripture

Meditate on one or more of the following passages. Always look them up in context.  Take some time to really explore the verse in relation to this topic.  What do you learn about the biblical understanding of right or wrong?  Make a note of what you discover to share later.  See "Learn More About Ways to Study Scripture" below for help in getting the most out of the verse.

  • Judges 21:25

  • Proverbs 14:12

  • Isaiah 5:20

  • Ezekiel 11:17-20

  • Mark 7:20-23

  • John 3:19-21

  • Romans 1:21

  • James 4:17