stripped of everything

Blogger Small Group

with 11 comments


i’ve been excited for this weeks small group since, well, last week. So here it goes, diving into James chapter two. (Side Note: If you haven’t read James chapter two(2), but want to participate. Read it now and write about it. Any input is better than no input. Everyone is welcome.) [Mr. Linky is at the bottom]

[James 2:1-7] – Does it seem funny to you that clearly James is showing favoritism to Jesus as he’s telling us to not show favoritism; “as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ”? Sorry, just something as a side note that I found funny. Anyhow, carrying on. Wow, this was said thousands of years ago, yet still, we are so far away from where James was leading us in this teaching.

One of the first things that come to mind while reading this is christians and homosexuality. It’s safe to say that majority of christians disapprove of the lifestyle beliefs of a homosexual. However, it’s also safe to say that the majority of christians also discriminate against these particular people group. We either tell them they can’t participate in a ministry, we tell them they aren’t welcome at our church, we tell them they can’t eat lunch with us, or we tell our kids to stay away from them. That list could go on and on. So many times we discriminate against different people groups because they don’t fit in line with our visions. Isn’t James here being lead by God and telling us that we are to love these people. Is it possible for someone to be living a lifestyle of homosexuality and still have a relationship with Christ? I believe it is. Is homosexuality not just the same as lying, stealing, gossip, etc? I know lots will argue that it’s a constant lifestyle they’re choosing to live. They’re not repenting for that sin. So they can’t have a relationship with Christ? Are there parts of the bible that we read and translate as truth, that probably isn’t? Most definitely. However, we stick by that because we believe God has told us that it is His truth. Perhaps certain people groups, they felt it was God that told them that that was His truth. Maybe we’re all guilty of the same sin…hearing what we want to hear over what the truth of scripture really says. Less of us, more of Him. The particular sin here in this scripture; discrimination and judging. I’ll save the rest for another day, unless you wish to COMMENT now.

[James 2:8-11] – Here we are told that these sins are equal. If you love your neighbor but judge, then you are a lawbreaker. He doesn’t classify which lawbreaker you are. All James says here is that you are a LAWBREAKER. One category. Equal. Not separated. Judging. Not loving. Discriminating. All the same and equal in the eyes of Jesus.

[James 2:12-13] – Oh man I love this, “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom“. Powerful stuff. A law that gives freedom. He doesn’t refer to the law that punishes but states that there is freedom in the law. Grace. Mercy. “Mercy triumphs over judgement.” Thank-you Lord. I mess up enough that this scripture makes me wanna lift my hands and spin around.

[James 2:14-17] – This convicts me. So many times I have encouraged someone to do something, when I was able to not just encourage but to also supply. It doesn’t stop there. Once that person I encourage doesn’t reach that goal, I normally blame it on their lack of effort or ability, which in reality, it was my lack of effort, my laziness.

[James 2:18-24] – I love that James compares our faith to the faith of demons. Seems extreme? Sure. James was definitely being lead to make this point. To make it clear. I don’t believe he could have used a better example to make it anymore clear to anyone.

Lets see…

  • If you have faith but put no action behind it, you’re on the same level as the demons
  • If you have faith with action, you are worthy of the blessings that God will give you

Simple enough.

[James 2:25-26] – This I found interesting. I love the reference to Rahab. Rahab lied. A sin. Yet it was her faith and love that saved her. Her love was her action. God blessed her.

James ends this by telling us that our faith with no action is just as dead as the body without the spirit. Most would agree that we NEED God in our lives. Most would also agree that we should put action in our faith. However, we are much quicker to relax on the efforts in our action for our faith. Why is that? Because we believe that since we have Christ in our hearts that He will still bless our faith? Or is it because we are just ill-informed? Me personally? I too often feel I have a strong enough relationship with God that He will bless me because I’m “good enough”. Wow…I’m an idiot.

I enjoyed this weeks scripture. I know I could type about homosexuality and judging for hours, so if warranted I will write more in another post, depending on the response in the comment section here.

Now, go, write in your blog over this weeks scripture and make this a small group. If you’re unsure of what to do, the original instructions link is below.

INSTRUCTIONS

[p.s. Don’t forget to link back to here so everyone can go back and forth easily and to leave a comment. Be blessed]

[due to wordpress.com to post your link or see links to others blogs and findings from this weeks scripture, you have to click the Mr Linky icon]

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Written by vagabondrunn

May 5, 2008 at 11:55 pm

11 Responses

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  1. I agree that we tend to put up barriers between us “good Christians” and those who struggle with certain sins or types of sin.

    I’ve said this before, I think Religious people have made homosexuality the leprosy of our time. Don’t go near, don’t touch, don’t care…just separate ourselves from “Them.”

    Sad that since we have gone that far down the wrong path in this area, we are now known more for “hating” than for loving.

    Jen

    May 6, 2008 at 6:58 am

  2. wow, you totally threw me with the new theme, but ok 🙂

    again, WOW. I don’t know how many times I have read James 2:1-7 and never come up with that interpretation. Guess that is one reason it is good to do a group like this.

    I would agree with “some” of what you said. Homosexuality is a sin, the Bible is VERY clear about that, but, I agree, the Bible states many times, the sin of adultery is the same as the sin of murder. In God’s eyes, sin is sin.

    So, why don’t we look at your point in the context of adultery, being that all sin is equal in God’s eyes. Adultery can also be a “lifestyle” that one chooses (yes, I know some will argue that comparison point) to be involved with. So, if this is an ongoing adulterous relationship with someone, what would a Christian counselor do?

    Say, oh, well, this is their lifestyle? I don’t think so, first thing they will do is tell them to END the affair, I am pretty sure of it.

    Would the church want or allow someone who is knowingly and openly involved in adultery to work in the church or be involved in ministry? What kind of example would that be? How many weaker Believers would that say or show, ok, guess adultery is an “acceptable sin” here.

    Now, can a person who is involved in a long time affair be a Christian and follower of Christ? Of course, I think they can, although at the time during the affair they may have some level of separation from Christ due to their ongoing sin. But, that doesn’t make them a lost person in my mind if they have committed their life to Christ.

    To your point of our sin of partiality against adultery (or homosexuality), I do find it a little hard to make the leap from showing favoritism to discrimination, but it is a good point.

    In this section of scripture, the sin is spoken from the one SHOWING favoritism, not the parties that are being discriminated (using your words) against. Neither party, the one dressed nice and the one dressed poorly are said to be actively involved in sin. We can’t say one way or the other, it just doesn’t say.

    In your context, you are speaking about it in the sense of showing favoritism to someone involved in sin. I think there is a difference. We are supposed to help our fellow brothers and sisters our of their sinful ways, not accept them as the “lifestyle” of adultery.

    I think you have some good points but if sin is sin, I don’t think adultery is (or should be) any more accepted in the church than homosexuality. There shouldn’t really even be a distinction between the two.

    I do NOT think we should show favoritism to any group or people, I totally agree.

    Sorry for what might seem like a rant, just took me by surprise with the interpretation of chapter 2, good stuff, keep it up. Scott

    p.s. – I will have mine coming up shortly on http://d.amasc.us

    Scott Fillmer

    May 6, 2008 at 7:19 am

  3. wow this is a rather interesting point of view… one that probably will take alot of thought before responding. The first thing that comes to mind though is when a minister falls (adultery, stealing, etc.), doesn’t he disqualify himself from leading the church – at least at that moment in time? He sinned. Carry that message forward with your theme… and I wonder if the two are similar? Are we discriminating/judging? Again, wow… very interesting thought…

    Michael

    May 6, 2008 at 10:01 am

  4. […] This is a Blogger Small Group entry in partnership with Run’n Like a Vagabond. […]

  5. Love your blog. Thanks for visiting Church for Men. I am adding your blog to our CFM list.

  6. I read your post to my Mormon friend over the phone. She disagrees w/ the “all sins are equal” statement.

    I disagreed w/ her. It caused some great, meaningful, enlightening discussion. I commented that the only unforgivable sin is speaking against the Holy Spirit.

    She disagreed. WOW – great conversation.

    Mandy

    May 6, 2008 at 2:02 pm

  7. She disagrees w/ the “all sins are equal” statement.

    Wow, interesting. Funny, the scriptures we read today talk just right to that point. James Chp2:11, a transgressor of the law is a transgressor. IMO, you either are, or you aren’t. Of course, I believe, we all are, hence the need for Christ Himself. Just my $.02

    Scott Fillmer

    May 6, 2008 at 10:44 pm

  8. I agree Scott. We all are lawbreakers. No way around it, only through Christ.

    Kyle – I really do love the new page. The buttons at the top are sharp!

    Mandy

    May 6, 2008 at 10:48 pm

  9. […] read my comments rant on his post, go read Blogger Small Group and you will see mine and everyone else’s comments from the Small Group on James […]

  10. […] read my comments rant on his post, go read Blogger Small Group and you will see mine and everyone else’s comments from the Small Group on James […]

  11. […] read my comments rant on his post, go read Blogger Small Group and you will see mine and everyone else’s comments from the Small Group on James […]


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