"Elephant in the Room" Group Leader Guide: Week 6
In the last week of "Elephant in the Room," Brad Cooper talked about politics and our responsibility as citizens of the kingdom of heaven. We sing about God reigning, and we talk about Jesus being our Lord. But chances are, few of us have stopped to think about what that really means.
When we call Jesus “Lord,” we’re saying He is our master, ruler, or king. As Christians, our allegiance isn’t to a party but a person. Our lives are meant to declare that Jesus is Lord.
Our Christianity was meant to inform our politics, not the other way around. Jesus also lived in an ultra heightened political climate, and the Bible gives us three principles to keep in mind:
- We are citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20).
- We should, and we will, feel like exiles here on earth (1 Peter 2:11).
- Our job description is to be an ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:16-20).
Group Conversation Starters
- What was your big takeaway from Sunday’s message? How does this affect you personally?
- Where is our first allegiance? Since our first allegiance is to God’s kingdom, how do we figure out how to think about an issue? (Philippians 3:20-21)
- How did Jesus respond when people tried to get Him to pick a side? What can we learn from His example? (Matthew 22:15-22)
- How did the disciples respond when they had to choose between obeying God or obeying the government? (Acts 4:1-22)
- For whom do you feel greater affection: people who agree with your politics but don’t share your faith or people who share your faith but don’t agree with your politics? Why do you think that is? Who are we called to love first? (John 13:34-35 and Romans 12:10-12)
- Who gives our leaders authority? What are we called to do for those who are in authority over us? Why do you think the Bible calls us to those two things? (Romans 13:1-7, 1 Timothy 2:1-4, and 1 Peter 2:13-17)
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People are often either apathetic toward political parties or zealous for one. We can engage in the process while remembering that we have a higher citizenship and a higher calling to love. How we speak matters as much as what we’re saying. Be quick to listen, slow to anger, and full of grace. No matter our differences, we can love our neighbors.