Thursday, September 24, 2009

interactive questions

So, we had a lot of responses to our interactive element this past Sunday (see previous post) and out of this plethora of feedback there were actually a couple of really good questions. Each week we use this element I will follow-up here on my blog with answers to the questions which did not get answered on Sunday morning.

1. Was Back to the Future based on a novel?

According to Wikipedia, Back to the Future was a 1985 science fiction adventure film directed by Robert Zemeckis, co-written by Bob Gale and produced by Steven Spielberg. Zemeckis and Gale wrote the script after Gale mused upon whether he would have befriended his father if they attended school together.

So the answer to the question is no, Back to the Future was written as a screenplay not a novel.

2. To kill a mocking bird- I don't know if this is American. Ha!

This is almost a question so I will answer this as well. To Kill a Mockingbird is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was instantly successful and has become a classic of modern American literature. (again from Wikipedia)

3. Does goat milk spoil faster than cow milk? ((VNS&DNE)<3)

I'm not sure what this has to do with anything and there is not much information about the subject. What I did find out is that raw goat or cow milk does spoil faster than pasteurized.

4. Wouldn't it be funny if someone jumped out of the booth??

No, actually what would be funny is if someone repelled down on top of the Confession Booth.

5. Are Christians to think of themselves as slaves to Christ?

The idea of being a slave to Christ is mentioned one time in the New Testament in the book of Ephesians chapter 6:

5Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men

The context of this passage is to teach those who were slaves (most likely indentured servants) to be true to their position and honor the relationship they have with their master. Paul makes the analogy that they should serve their masters just as they would serve Christ. In the 1st century church there were many who were slaves and had become Christians, so this analogy would be familiar to their culture. For us today the analogy still rings true, we should submit to Christ as a slave would submit to their master.

Another of the interactive texts stated that we are not slaves, rather sons of the King. This is also a New Testament principle. Galatians 3 states:

26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

We are all heirs to the promise of Abraham, children of the King. There is no distinction when it pertains to the availability of salvation to all.

6. Why was slavery permitted in Jesus time?

Slavery is something that has been around in different forms for as long as history has been recorded. The fist mention of slavery in the Bible is in the book of Genesis as Abram is introduced. Most scholars believe that many of the slaves in Jesus' day and culture were more like indentured servants than what we think of as slaves. Those who were in debt could work for the one who they were indebted to as a means of working off their debt. Jewish law states in that Hebrew slaves must be set free after six years. While we are certainly appalled by the idea of slavery we cannot change history or past cultures, we can only hope to work for those who are still in slavery in parts of the world today.

7. Is flying the confederate flag offensive to others?

I would say, and this is strictly my opinion, that there are some who are offended by the confederate flag and there are some who are not. Just like there are some who fly the confederate flag with only southern pride and no racist intent and there are those who fly the stars and bars because they want to make a racial statement. I believe that as Christians we should be careful how we celebrate our heritage whether it is southern, African, or otherwise, we should always do our best to represent Christ first. That means that there may be times when we don't do something that might be offensive even if it is not meant with that intent.

Overall, I really like the fact that we can have dialog about the teaching, so we will continue to use the interactive element with some tweaks. May we all strive to learn and grow as a community of believers.

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