People say you’re not supposed to talk about politics and religion, but we have to honest about the fact that our faith should affect every area of our lives including our political leanings (and vice versa). Even in Christian circles, there are political and social issues that divide Christians and can disrupt churches, communities, and even families. Disagreements over key issues are not new; Scripture addresses them multiple times. Paul’s letter to the Galatians is one example, and he encourages them to “work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith” (Galatians 6:10). We may not be able to “solve” problems or come to an agreement on certain issues, but we do need to have a willingness to share honestly and listen to and honor one another.
Luke 10: 25-37 and Matthew 7: 12 will serve to guide our discussions for September 11 through October 2. As we consider four “high octane topics,” we invite you to pray “A Prayer for Holiness” and dig deep into the following resources before joining us in worship:
September 11: “Politics and Faith”
- Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World by Richard Mouw
- “Facing Issues that Divide” by Adam Hamilton (series overview, messages and blog). Click on the tabs to the left of the video to select the right message.
- Adam Hamilton also wrote Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White.
- The Dialogue Institute offers rules for conversations on a common subject between people with differing views undertaken so that they can learn from one another and grow.
- “‘Tis the Season: Idolatry” from Ministry Matters
- United Methodist Social Principals: “What We Believe – Political Responsibility” and “What We Believe – Church and State”
- “John Wesley’s Rule of Life”
September 18: “A Christian Response to Extremism”
- “The Real Theological Issue between Christians and Muslims” from Christianity Today
- Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi. To hear the author’s testimony, click here.
- United Methodist Social Principles: What We Believe – Prejudice against Muslims and Arabs in the United States
- January 26, 2016 Forum on Islamic Extremism hosted by Adam Hamilton’s church
- “Christian Responses to Islam, Islamism, and Islamic Terrorism“ by Colin Chapman
- “Abraham Is Father of the Faith for Jews, Christians, Islam” by Douglas Kindschi, September 8, 2016 Muskegon Chronicle
September 25: “Christianity and Gun Violence”
- United Methodist Social Principles: What We Believe – Gun Violence
- Hard Questions Panel Discussion: “Should a Christian Defend Himself against an Intruder?”
- “Should Christians Carry Guns“
October 2: “Immigrants and the Bible”
- United Methodist Social Principles: “Immigrants”
- “Kathryn Maurer: Methodist Angel Welcomed Immigrants”
- “What American Citizenship Makes Possible” by Colin Power, July 27, 2016 Wall Street Journal