The Act of Biblical Tolerance [5/20/2012]
Random Acts of Evangelism - The Act of Biblical Tolerance
Sermon for May 20, 2012 at New Life Christian Church, Hudson NH, Pastor Ken Heath
Discussion Guide - The Act of Biblical Tolerance
Today's sermon addressed five principles to help us to be effective in reaching out to people with different lifestyles, preferences, and religious beliefs. Discuss them together but first consider this introductory question.....
1. Is there a people group that you have the most difficulty accepting or beginning a relationship with? Why do you think that is?
2. Demonstrate respect for all people, even when they fail to do the same. What holds us back from doing this? What might the positive consequences be from doing so?
3. Earn the right to be heard. Listen and Learn from others. The sermon said, "Christians are often better at communicating their views than listening to the opposing views of others". Do you agree or disagree? Is this true of you?
4. Stay true to your Spirit-filled conscience in all matters. The sermon said "Every Christian owns their own unique conscience that is shaped by the Holy Spirit through our knowledge, beliefs, experiences, maturity level, and personality. Some consciences are weak, some are strong. Some tolerate a lot while some can't tolerate at all. But we are all equally commanded to love sinners regardless of their sinful preferences". Does your conscience inhibit your ability to love others unconditionally?
5. Don't judge the beliefs and lifestyles of others, but instead share the value and power of your own without compromise. For example, you are having lunch with a co-worker named Frank and he shares with you that he is looking forward to getting married next year to his gay partner. How might you go about having a meaningful, spiritual impact in Frank's life?
6. Keep the peace, for opportunities follow grace. What practical things can you do in a relationship with someone who is a Muslim, for example, to help keep the relationship peaceful and productive, despite your differences?