Saturday, March 27, 2010

10 One-Liners to kickstart Group Discussion

In our multimedia world of technology gizmos and mass distractions around us, it can be a big challenge to get people to listen and pay attention. One innovative approach is to use creative catchy phrases. Erwin Lutzer is a senior pastor at Moody Church in Chicago. Some of his titles for sermons are indeed catchy and makes us re-think about what the world has been telling us about God. For speakers and preachers, one of the ways to get attention is through the use of catchy phrases. May the following from his book, "Ten Lies About God," provide some food for thought, or for spurring a stimulating group discussion.

THE TEN LIES ABOUT GOD (according to Erwin Lutzer)
Lie 1: God is whatever we want him to be.
Lie 2: Many paths lead into God's presence.
Lie 3: God is more tolerant than He used to be.
Lie 4: God has personally never suffered.
Lie 5: God is obligated to save followers of other religions.
Lie 6: God takes no responsibility for natural disasters.
Lie 7: God does not know our decisions before we make them.
Lie 8: The Fall ruined God's plan.
Lie 9: We must choose between God's pleasures and our own.
Lie 10: God helps those who help themselves.

My Comments
The key to understanding and engaging these are to see them not as absolute statements, but what it is pointing us to. Here are my personal thoughts on what the 10 lies are pointing us toward:
  1. God is not simply a tool for us to direct, but a Person to follow;
  2. Many paths do not lead to God; Some paths are downright wrong and steep in error.
  3. God is patient yes, but there is a limit;
  4. Our God is a suffering God too;
  5. Is God obligated to save other religions? No. God wants to, not have to, save mankind from their sins, regardless of their religious beliefs. This however does not mean that God overrides their personal choices.
  6. When natural disasters happen, God also struggles with us;
  7. God knows our every step of decision making. How he chooses to reveal this knowledge to us is his prerogative, not ours;
  8. The Fall may have stumbled many. However, God's plan is much bigger than the Fall. The Fall may be Part 1 or 2 but God holds the conclusion;
  9. Is God's pleasure any different from us? Why must we see all things in absolute terms all the time? Why can't God's pleasure be the same as ours? Like sharing good things with one another? Isn't that a pleasurable exercise for all?
  10. Amen. This is a call to recognize that it is not good for man to be alone. We are not made to be independent from one another. This reminds me that we all live under grace. Grace extended to us is also to be extended to one another. Blessed is the man who is gracious and has gracious friends all around him.

Great topics for discussion.


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