Counter Counter Culture Discussion Questions

Counter Counter Culture Discussion Questions
Jan. 8 – Feb. 12, 2023

Week 4: Counter Counter Culture || How Nationalism Warps Faith

Ice Breaker:

What state/country/region did you grow up in? Share one thing you love(d) about it, and (if there is one) something you don’t.

Group Discussion and Questions:

1. Share what stood out to you from the message, and discuss with your group how you understand the two kingdoms – the “Kingdom of the Sword” (power over / authority / coercion) and the “Kingdom of the Cross” (power under / love / heart change) that Josh described. How do you see the tension between these concepts in our culture today?

2. Scripture makes clear that God established authority – review 1 Peter 2:17, 1 Thess. 4:11, 1 Peter 2:12-13, Romans 13:7. How does the “Kingdom of the Sword” co-exist with your understanding of God’s love for us demonstrated through Christ?

3. What do you think of the idea that Christians should have a healthy skepticism of all “power over” kingdoms or leaders? What are some ways we can be both skeptical and supportive of authority? How can we keep from being manipulated, while still being respectful of authority?

4. As a group, read Matthew 20:25-28 and consider: Like everyone, Christians continue to struggle with thoughts of greatness, which can blind us to the needs of others. Think of one specific example of how you’ve seen this play out in your family, in the church, and/or in our culture.

5. Read John 13:3-8, 12-17. Jesus’ foot washing may seem extreme, but he was actually demonstrating His willingness to serve others in a very common way. 

When we follow His example, it might look like:

–   Taking on a menial task or accepting a lesser role

–   Meeting others’ needs before our own

–   Focusing on the results, not who is getting credit

–   Not insisting on our “rights” or privileges

–   Looking for a job no one else will do and doing it cheerfully

Which of these is most applicable to your relationships – at home, at work, with friends – right now? What would you add to the list? Is there anything about your service to others that needs to change?

Week 3: Counter Counter Culture || How to Lose a Culture War

Ice Breaker:

Thinking back to 2022… what’s something positive that occurred during the year that brought you joy or a sense of accomplishment?

Group Discussion Questions:

Read Matthew 20:25-28

1. How can we as Christians live the way Jesus called us to live in a pluralistic society, sharing a country (workplace, school, neighborhood, etc.) with people who believe differently than we do?

2. What are some of the challenges the Jewish people faced at the time this was written? Do any of the challenges seem similar to the ones we face today?

Read Galatians 5:22-23

Read Colossians 4:5-6

3. “Jesus didn’t come to earth to recruit culture warriors. He came to recruit disciples who will imitate his sacrificial love.” How can we live wisely and be an example to non-believers? What’s one specific way you practice showing graciousness to others?

Read Ephesians 5:12

4. How does it change your perspective when you consider the spiritual elements of the battlefield that Paul wrote about in his letter to the Ephesians? What questions does this raise for you?

Read 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

5. Josh pointed to three “bottom line” points in his message: (a) Faith, not force; (b) Empathy, not empire; and (c) Love, not lust for power. Considering these, he made the argument that Christians lose a culture war by waging one, and – in contrast – the best evangelism is often through living in the loving ways Jesus taught and modeled. What’s one step you can make this year to live your life in a more Jesus-centered way?