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  • Family Talk: Feb. 12 2017

     
     
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Family Talk: Feb. 12 2017

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all and I want to welcome those are watching online do you know last weekend we had over 1200 people watching online and the same number of people that we usually have here at this campus I mean people are engaging from all over the world it's a great entry point also for people from our community who've never been to church before like oh I can watch it online totally doing that and so I encourage people to check it out it's great well also i want to let you know about a change that's happening in some of our facility usage is we are creating a family lobby for the young families that we have in our church were just seeing a huge increase in young families we're believing for even more where we can reach out to those to them and and so over in this kind of area over there we're gonna there's a little lobby we're going to expand that create a play structure for the kids and if you have young kids at Westside you know how confusing everything is around here you oh I'll be out there you know ten minutes after services start i'll be walking around you can just see families like to do is like where do I where do I go I got some kids over here are some kids over there so we're going to bring all of our kids to this end of the building and creates space for them and move our cafe service to a new chapel and and you all using existing space and we're not gonna do any fundraisers or go into debt where we have finances that you've all given over the last several years that we're going to be able to do this with and so it's really exciting we have some pictures and things out in the atrium my executive pastor mike is going to be out there in the atrium to answer any questions you have so check out alright well I've been thinking a lot about politics anybody else that's not what I'm going to talk about no I'm just kidding that is when we talk about its yeah our country the polarization that we're experiencing and what I love about our church is that we have people from all spectrums of the political ideology and I love that about west side and yet because of that it's we can so easily experience the same polarization here is happening is this happening out there and so I want to talk about how do we approach as a community of faith and how and just some ideas for you about how do you approach engagement in the political and social issues that we're facing today I know right what do you owe this is a big deal and so this is just starting the conversation this I'm not going to try to dig too deeply into this because it would take a one-on-one sitting down really discussing this but I wanted to give you some some tools to begin the conversation with you and maybe other people in your life especially those that maybe don't agree with you on certain issues so this kind of came to a tipping point for me about three weeks ago now when I watched the movie Selma how many of you have seen the movie some I actually want to know how many of you seen the movie Selma yeah okay and I was watching this movie it's the movie about Martin Luther King jr. and what happened in soma back in the 60s and and i was born in 70 so i wasn't around and I didn't know what what that environment was like and so I watched this movie and there was this moment in the movie where Martin Luther King Junior's is sombrely but with some passion speaking to a church congregation in Selma at the funeral of Jimmie Lee Jackson and this is what he this is what he says who murdered Jimmie Lee Jackson every white lawman who abuses the law to terrorize every white politician who feeds on prejudice and hatred every white preacher who preaches the Bible and stays silent before his white congregation who murdered Jimmie Lee Jackson every Negro man and woman who stands by without joining this fight as their brothers and sisters are brutalized humiliated and ripped from this earth this quote it so impacted me especially the line about every white preacher preaches the Bible but remains silent it convicted me and I'm going to talk a little bit about why that that convicted me the way it did but personally as we approach this topic today I want to tell you this and I I feel very strongly about this that I'm not going to allow the media to determine what we talk about in this church this is God's church he's the leader of it he gets to decide what and when things are spoken about in this church we take that very seriously here so you're not ever going to hear something's not going to you know if something happens this week I'm not going to get up and just start pontificating about that to all of you about what I believe about it I don't believe that is honoring to god and this this place here but but and this is a big one I've also been convicted of not of I've been convicted of remaining silent on things and issues that God is not silent about in the Bible and so I want to begin to engage in conversation with you over the course of this year on different issues as God leads as God directs and the first place I want to start today is I want to talk he's really quiet in here you guys need to like loosen up and first place I want to start is how did Jesus respond to political issues how did he engage in social issues that's the place I want to start the conversation and these issues in his day we're polarizing just like they are today it's important to know that when Jesus came on the scene just a generation before there had been several Jewish revolutions The Maccabees are one where they tried to overthrow the Roman Empire and so Jesus comes in and starts his ministry and there's a lot of discontent there's a lot of Pete there a lot of Jewish people that are just done with Rome and well and and and they feel they feel pressed down and they don't they don't feel like they've been heard and there there's a lot of animosity it's under the surface there's some people that are that are that are rebelling and and so Jesus comes in and he ministers in that context and when you know that and you read the Gospels Matthew Mark Luke and John you read it and you know that that that was a very politically volatile environment and you begin to see what Jesus said and what he didn't say in that environment super interesting and so we'll touch on a couple things here how did Jesus address politics well interestingly enough he never spoke directly to the revolutionaries or to Rome he talked about them different things that might impact the way they do the way they do life and all of that but he never he never went after them you know what I'm saying he didn't take sides he didn't join this or that coalition one of the reasons he was so compelling to the average person is that he talked more about life rather than disunity you know I'm saying he talked more about how to experience joy rather than you know hey make sure you get what's coming to what's yours you know getting in all that didn't he didn't really join sides another thing he talked about taxes and think about this in the environment that he came in and he's talking to Jewish people who are done with Rome and he says these this is a powerful political phrase give to Caesar what is Caesar's give to Caesar what is Caesar's then he tied a couple of other issues that he talked about that maybe you don't think our political but they were was one was the Sabbath Jesus broke the Sabbath consistently to heal people and this was a politically charged thing to do matter of fact this is one of the reasons why the Jewish people wanted to kill him was because he broke the Sabbath so often and then sexuality you know he protected the sexually broken guilty remember the woman who was caught in adultery and politically the Jewish men had the right to stone her and they're getting ready to do that and Jesus Energex himself it was a political and social move on his part to step in and then I think about his crucifixion completely political the Jewish people wanted him dead but they couldn't kill him on the cross and so they had Rome do it Jesus died by Roman hands the crucifixion was go and then Jesus uses this word to describe his ministry he could have used any word he could have talked about that he came to create a community a family he could have used phrases like that but instead he uses a really politically charged word what was it Kingdom right kingdom he talks i mean the very first time mark chapter when he comes on the scene and he says these words the time promised by God has come at last that kingdom of God is near and that was a very politically political statement because the Jewish people are going yeah it's about time he's gonna take over Rome and we're gonna get this thing off set up and then the Romans are thinking whoa easy now there's only one Kingdom around here buddy is very political but what was his purpose in using Kingdom language was it to try to change the existing political system if Jesus came to change the existing political system he failed because when he died Rome was still at the height of its power he did nothing he did nothing to change Rome the government it's interesting instead why did he use kingdom language because he wanted to create a new way of thinking and living that starts right here not out there see he wanted to set up his kingdom in our hearts in Luke chapter 17 go ahead and turn there if you have a Bible or a phone Luke chapter 17 I want to start in verse 20 he talks so much about the kingdom that the Pharisees the religious political system said this to him then one day they came to Jesus they asked him when will this kingdom of God come and they're asking for political reasons they want to know when is their power going to come when when did when does their side take over that's what they're asking and Jesus says listen the kingdom of God can't be detected by visible signs he's saying it's different than what you think it'll come differently than the way you are thinking about and then he goes Isis you won't be able to say here it is or it's over there and he says listen the kingdom of God is already among you some translations of the Bible say that it's in you there there was a sense that wherever Jesus is there is his kingdom wherever he resides his kingdom is there that has huge implications politically and socially because that means wherever his people live a work engaged socially and politically there he is that's how he envisioned political and social change it it was it came from within internally people giving their hearts over to him and then he begins to change us from the inside out and then society changes as we change as we're transformed now the bible does clearly talk about i think this is where we we kind of get things a little bit wonky is because the Bible talks about and then the great word wonky I love that word anyway the bible does talk about the day when Jesus returns the second time when he comes right and everything will be under the lordship of Jesus it's very clear in the Bible that that's his intention that his kingdom when he comes a second time his kingdom will be above all others every knee will bow every government will bow down to his government his kingdom will rain one day but what happened so often what I see is that sometimes the church acts as if the second coming of Christ has already happened and it's happening through us see where we we try to make everyone in everything submit to Christ lordship when he didn't even do that when he was here I mean the last week before is that think about this last week before his death he comes riding into Jerusalem the political epicenter he rides into Jerusalem on a what talk about a low power move right he comes in on a donkey what and and he's saying i'm not here to overthrow your system and then just right after that he goes to the house of God the temple and he publicly indict seeeeee the temple priests who are selling and trading and he calls him a den of robbers and and why because they were collaborating with Roman rule and taxation and he was like not in my house interesting so that's just a little bit of how he engaged in the political arena what about socially turn over to Matthew chapter 25 Matthew 25 how did Jesus engage socially this is a little bit easier than the political one BM it's because he just was so often he was caring for the needs of society verse 31 Matthew 25 but when the Son of Man comes and he's talking about himself he's describing that Second Coming that I just mentioned but when the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him then he will sit on his glorious throne and all the nations will be gathered in his presence and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats verse 34 then the king will say to those on his right come you who are blessed so these are people that have been that have allowed the kingdom of God to live within them and they've worked it out and they're living out the kingdom of God socially and politically etc and he says to them she says come you are blessed by my father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world and how do I know who you are though is how do I know who's who's who's really embraced the kingdom mindset for I was hungry and you fed me I was thirsty and you gave me a drink I was a stranger and you invited me into your home I was naked and you gave me clothing I was sick and you cared for me I was in prison and you visited me and then the righteous ones will reply Lord I I don't remember ever doing any of those things to you and then when do we ever see you hungry and feed you when we see you thirsty and give you a drink and when did we see you a stranger and show you hospitality or naked and give you clothing when did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you and Jesus says these words the king will say I tell you the truth when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters you were doing it to me socially engaged Jesus cares about the social needs of our community and as you read this list in light of today's society would you agree that these are not just social issues they are also political ones I mean think about it I was a stranger and you invited me into your home that's not just a social statement that has political ramifications right see there's a lip there's overlap when it comes to engaging socially oftentimes when we believe in something that's that that we need to care for the sick that we need to care for the to feed the hungry that we need to welcome the stranger that it had it will have political ramifications so how do we approach these types of issues in a way that's honoring to god as a way that shows who he really is Right see the answer lies and allowing the kingdom of God to come into our hearts and if that happens society changes one person one life at a time so how do we do that well if you're taking notes I want you to write this down individually how do we respond individually and I'm going to talk about how we respond to a church to the political and social issues of our day individually I believe this that if we can help you know Jesus and become more like him then these issues will begin to be resolved one person at a time see where our focus is to help you know him and become more like him and see you you find out who God is and what he is like and his mission in the world and what breaks his heart and what what what causes him to be angry when you find that stuff out you begin to as you allowed his them to come into York you begin to be broken for the things that break him you begin to be angry for the things that anger him to see how that works and then you begin to engage in a way that's honoring to the way he would engage if we know him and become more like him it you find yourself living in a way that's actually transformative to yourself and to others yeah I believe that if we as a church can help you not become an activist or a dissident some of you might write but if we can help you discover what your part is in God's story help you develop a christ-like character increasingly living and loving like him then nothing is impossible governments will change social ills will be remedied racism will cease the poor will be taken care of a city without orphans will exist if we can help each of us live in to who God is we have people hundreds of people in our church who are engaged in business who are engaged in politics social work nonprofits we have school teachers school administrator coaches mentors Westsiders engaging in society and wherever they are there is he Jesus living out his values it's transformative one example I think about Melissa blackett she works here part-time with our children and and but what she really does her I think her main calling in life is right now as the PTA president of her kids school she's living it with others that probably don't think like her right and she's living out her faith in that context that's what life love Jesus is all about that our little our little motto is to live the life and love of Jesus everywhere we go now some of you will engage more directly in politics and social issues and we want to empower you and equip you to do that why because you know that's why God has put you here i'm not saying this that all of us have to engage at equal levels it's what is God calling you to passion and purpose drives involvement listen if you're angry about something then most likely there's God wants you to be involved in some way on that particular issue it might just be to pray but he wants if so imagine just imagine thousands of people who have been influenced by Jesus in his way engaging politically and socially in ways that are honoring to him let me filter this through my life right because sometimes preachers are really good at preaching to you but not preaching to themselves and and so I watched Selma and I'm convicted and I'm convicted because of my silence I'm listening to this and I realize i realize i started thinking back on the last three and a half years that I've been your lead pastor and I begin to think about this you know that I've never preached a message about equality the and yet equality is extremely important to me I've never preached about my beliefs about women in ministry and leadership in the church and outside the church I'm very passionate about that I've never talked to you about what my beliefs are about immigration and what my personal approach is to refugees I've never talked about those things and it's not because I'm afraid of them what I believe about abortion I've never talked about these hot topics and it's not because I'm afraid to talk about them if you've been here you know that I taking some pretty hot hot subjects and talk about him but but I've realized this I've realized my own need and this is what I've been convicted about my own need to wrestle with these topics privately before I do it publicly that I need to to come before God and in his word and I need to I need to ask him god what what do you believe about these issues what do you say in your word about these issues would you help that just just kind of come into my heart and into my thinking and would you change me according to your word and I believe that's what all of us need to do you know none of us need to just you know something happens this week and then we just blast out our quick opinion on social media or imagine if you came here and every week I'm just I'm hitting something I haven't really thought about it but I'm i'm mad you know that'd be a great place to go to win it I mean I'd rather us take a little more time and dig into not and I'm not saying don't do anything I'm saying let's be intentional about digging into what God has to say about these things and then letting those those begin to flow out of us in our in our communication and and I guarantee you that if you take time to be in God's Word and in prayer about these these issues that we're facing in our society what will come out of you when you actually do decide to talk is the heart of God his compassion his mercy his gentleness his kindness his truth his justice all of those things will come from you in a way that's honoring to him what about us as a church how will we engage politically and socially well here's the deal our mission and this is primary top shelf this is what we do our mission is to equip you to extend the life and love of Jesus to your world that is what we do it is it is it is primary it is what we're trying to help you do to love God and love others this is we want you to extend the life and love of Jesus all of us to our world so we're going to keep our focus primary focus we have some other secondary focus i'll talk about a moment with our primary focus is to help you know Jesus and become more like him the entirety of Westside essentials that you've been hearing about over the last few weeks is about helping you find your purpose discover what how God has made you and gifted you so then we can equip you right to engage in those things in a way that's honoring Jesus so while we're not going to be distracted by politics in our church and while we're not going to take sides on political issues even social issues we're going to be involved as the lord leads us I think about the foster system and fostering hope is one of our primary outreaches and what we do is we we are not we are not going to be satisfied until the need for foster care is is is obliterated in our community and do I not believe in foster care no I love I think foster care is amazing but wanted to be in even more amazing if we could come alongside and strengthen families before they ever need the foster system see we're going we want to try to get to the roots of things and so we're going after this and to do that we have to be a little political we have to talk to DHS we have to be involved relationally we have to be in the conversation and talk about things and not just like politicize it or religious eyes it you know I'm saying like bring bring God into every conversation we're involved with fan casa mountains star saving grace great organizations Pregnancy Resource Center these are organizations we believe in and West siders are engaging in places like Shepherd's house Teen Challenge neighbor impact giving play these are places that we have Westsiders infiltrated and they're influencing with the with the person of Jesus all right so what does this mean each of us has a calling and we have a calling as a church to equip you to know and become like Jesus and as we do that you're going to extend his life and love everywhere government politics socially let me finish let me finish with a story it's a story of my nephew let's let's just call him Ross because that's his name I i asked suzanne last night suzanne should I like call Ross and get his permission to tell this story and she's like you never asked anybody else a conviction that's true I never do I mean I ask people that are not family any family it's they're all free game but so i have this nephew Ross Ross's let's just say Ross is on the other end politically from me our viewpoints are drastically different on a number of issues and and I as I as I as I just love on Ross Ryan as I connect with him and and and we've we've been together quite a bit and we just talked and I and something that's kind of emerged from the conversation is super intriguing to me because I'm real my whole goal is to like see Ross come to know Jesus I mean that that's big deal for me that's like big picture I mean that's I don't you know I actually don't care what Ross thinks about all these issues at the end of the day I just want to know Jesus and so so everything I everything I do and all my conversations is directed towards that and so obviously there was this one moment where Ross finally says Steve I'm not gonna be a Christian Mike yes you are why do you say that and she said they said because I'm never gonna be a Republican and I'm like what you don't have to be a Republican to be a Christian I like yes I do Mike who told you this says everybody every preacher I've ever heard besides you every preacher I've ever heard every every all the media anytime they have a pastor on there any everything Steve what are you talking about if I mean that's all you hear is to be Christian means you have to be conservative politically now that got me thinking and then I started asking about other things you know I don't even talk about but it's crazy stuff you know like you know all the different things that he believed I began to realize something that there are there are layers of things that the world believes they have to do believe think ways of thinking ways of believing before they meet Jesus I'm like Ross you don't have to be a Republican to be a Christian you don't have to believe that marijuana should be illegal to be a Christian Ross you don't have to believe that homosexuality is wrong to be a Christian listed Jesus is at the center of it all and we have created layer upon layer upon layer of obstacles for people to meet in listen I trust the work of the Spirit to change my heart and any of your hearts based upon your relationship with Jesus not before after and yet and yet there the mass the majority of people outside of the church walls believe that there's all of these requirements for them to have a relationship with Jesus I just want Ross to meet him and then I trust the work of the Spirit to tell dross whatever he wants to tell him about all these other stuff right I trust the whole work of the Spirit he's like he's a lot better at this than I am he's the one working in your hearts not me he takes these words these these these tough words to say and he takes him he'll do whatever he wants in your life with them it's not up to me it's up to him and so I but but what's what what I can control is if people see him to people see Jesus to people have the opportunity to meet him as if they do because if they do and I just that's what I want that's what I want this is what I want you to do a little homework assignment you're not going to like it I want you to pick one person just one just one person that you have a relationship with so you know them decently well you probably have their phone number and maybe you've talked in the past but one person that you have a relationship with but with whom you disagree with politically now if you don't have anybody that disagrees with you that's that's a different conversation and probably should think is your bride think about that for a minute but I would imagine most of us do right and so pick a name just get one person in and you don't have to say their name you know who mine is right everybody knows we might is now it but pick pick a person they can be inside or outside the church right let's not just assume they're only outside that you're so they're probably inside as well got their name got it put it kind of Barrett there in your heart for a minute this is what I want you to do four things first I want you to start praying for them not that they see the light oh jesus help them agree with me help them to believe exactly that I believe no no no pray that they would meet Jesus pray that they would meet Jesus too I want you to ask them for forgiveness if you've ever been rude or mean or disrespectful to them pray for them and then go to them and say listen that some of the things I've said about some of these issues have been mean and rude and I'm sorry three there's gonna be hard one if that last one was an ardent over right third really listen listen to them let them talk without you defending yourself or defending think trying to defend God or trying to defend your belief system or your political ideology just listen to why they believe what they believe just get into their psyche and I'm try to understand what's going on in them it's like that you're not gonna isn't you know it's not gonna rub off on you don't have to be threatened by that stuff just listen pray for them ask for them for the forgiveness really listen and here's the fourth one tell them tell them with great love what's the most important thing to you in this life and why don't hesitate tell them what's the most important thing pray for them ask them for forgiveness really listen and tell them what's most important to you Jesus with those names in our mind and our hearts right now Jesus we do pray for them that they would see you that Jesus you would start to send people into their lives other other people as well as us into their lives that would be able to reiterate the knowledge of who you are and how good you are and how gracious you are and how kind and compassionate you are that Jesus these friends would see you these family members would see you and then Jesus would you change our hearts to be more like yours would you change our minds to be more like yours Jesus we lean into that we ask you to do that transformative work in us before we ever say anything out of us Jesus would you do that work in our hearts and in our minds we avail ourselves to your spirit Holy Spirit do what only you can do and changing us and making us more like Jesus in your name we pray amen amen well couple now quick announcements you guys before you take off the prayer teams available real simple you guys just go over there and what you do is sometimes you kind of like what do I say you just go over there and say can I get prayer and then they'll pray for you if you want to be specific you can see can I get prayer for and then they'll lay hands on you they might ask you a question or two for a little bit of clarity but then they'll just they'll lay their hands on you and they'll pray it won't be a long drawn-out thing but it'll be impacting so go over to the prayer team also members of the church you receive some communication regarding our membership meeting our annual members meeting that's happening this afternoon at 12 45 we'll start right at one o'clock we do have some refreshments and things that will be in the cafe venue but the meeting itself will happen in this room and I also wanted to open it up to anyone even if you're not members you're not able to vote on some things that we'll talk about but your if you really want to like what's this church about and how do they operate and what's their financial status and what if you're like curious about any of those things that meetings happening this afternoon 1245 will start right at one and then fusions blue series is starting our union blue group yet okay great get into one and or star one the Rick can be really organic just you and another friend right I'm getting together grab one of these journals even if you don't know anything about the Bible the questions that are in here guides you and direct you and so connect with the book of Ephesians it is a transformational book that talks about God's story the epic narrative and how you play a part in that narrative alright and so it's I want you to really lean into this series pastor bow is going to be starting kicking it off next weekend as we launch our six-week series in the book of Ephesians okay can join us for that and they have a sunny warm day in Central Oregon all right you guys you can go

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