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Contemporary Christianity

Facilitating discussion among Christians on critical topics that we prefer to ignore.

Last modified Sept. 1, 2016

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Assumptions and Culture of a Discussion Group
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Here are the assumptions and culture of a class that I am scheduled to facilitate soon:
Our view of and response to present trends in America and the world is largely shaped by our primary source of identity either as citizens of America or as citizens of the Kingdom of God. It is one or the other and the difference in the response it subsequently leads to will be profound. Our first session will consider the identity issue and the implications of each option, and after that we will discuss specific topics that are selected with class member input.
America could only fall to this place of moral and spiritual brokenness because the "church" has failed to be the preserving salt and the light of Mt. 5:13-16, and this failure also leads to our being unprepared for troubled times. Our repentance is foundational to our being equipped to stand strong personally; to be loyal to and encourage each other; and to glorify God if troubled times do come. Further, in that time many will be looking for answers and for hope. It will be a time of opportunity for a great harvest and it is imperative that we are prepared for that.
Ones’ current positions on many of these topics are more culture and experience based than truth based, and our being provoked to think about them is more important than agreement. However, in a congregationally-based discussion we will be accountable to our eldership on truth issues and for maintaining a healthy class atmosphere.
There will be no “experts” in the class. Everyone has something to offer to others and each can learn from anyone else.
We are learning together, and all must have an inquisitive mind and a willingness to reconsider how we have thought about things.
We will avoid “proof text” arguments, i.e. where one picks out isolated verses and attempts to use them to make a point instead of considering the larger body of truth and wisdom about the matter - - which may come through the opposing opinions of others.
If Christians were to take major but appropriate steps to prepare for troubled times, and then things continued just as they are, we would have become more like the Kingdom-oriented people that God has always expected us to be! We can’t lose by taking “today” seriously!
Ken Stoltzfus, 7/17/16
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