Tag: student ministry

EP038 – When deceived by cults, whose fault is it?

EP038 – When deceived by cults, whose fault is it?

The New Testament is filled with warnings of false teachers who would preach a different gospel, which Paul says is no gospel at all (Galatians 1:7).  False gospels have been around since the first century and are still alive and thriving today.  Our question for this episode pertains to the person who has been deceived by one of these cults.  Whose fault is it?  Would God really judge a devout person who unknowingly follows a false gospel?  This is a question that should strike at home because there are millions of people today who have been deceived into following a cult.  So what do we do about it?

Scriptures:

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 (key verse) – Test everything!
  • 1 Corinthians 4:6 – Don’t go beyond what is written in the Scriptures
  • 1 Corinthians 3:13 – faith tested by fire
  • 1 Peter 1:7 – faith tested by fire
  • 2 Corinthians 8:22 – testing a brother in the faith
  • 2 Corinthians 13:5-7 – test (examine) your own faith
  • Philippians 2:22 – Timothy was ‘approved’ (implies that his faith was tested)
  • 1 Timothy 3:10 – Deacons in the church are tested
  • Acts 17:11 – The Berean Jews tested everything Paul was saying according to the Scriptures
  • Revelation 2:2 – Testing those who claim to be apostles and finding them to be false
  • 1 John 4:1 – Test the spirits to see whether or not they are from God
  • Galatians 1:6-9 – Even if an angel brings another gospel, that angel is to be accursed
  • Galatians 2:1-10 – The gospel Paul preached was tested and approved by pillars of the faith
  • 2 Timothy 4:3-4 – Some would rather hear what they want to hear, rather than sound, biblical teaching
  • Ephesians 5:6-14 – Encouragement to not be deceived

Resources:

EP037 – LGBTQ Part 3: Gender and Identity

EP037 – LGBTQ Part 3: Gender and Identity

In this final episode of our LGBTQ series, we continue the conversation with a question that was posed at the end of part 2: “What if genetics proves that genes make us gay or straight?  Why would God do that?”  This leads us into a discussion on gender and the different terms.  We’ll also take a look at eunuchs in the Bible, Joseph’s coat of many colors, and an Old Testament law that forbids men and women from cross-dressing.  We’ll wrap up our series discussion with what the Bible says about our identity as a human being.

During our episode we went into some technical discussion on Greek and Hebrew biblical languages.  Below are the notes from that discussion:

“eunuch”

  • OT Hebrew = “saris”; NT Greek = “eunouchos”)
  • A eunuch broadly references a general court official who, for natural or personal reasons, cannot reproduce.
  • Scripture References: Old Testament (42x) – Examples: Genesis 37:36, 39:1; Esther 2:3, 14-15 // New Testament (10x) – Examples: Matthew 19:12; Acts 8:27, 34, 36, 38-39

Joseph’s Coat

  • Genesis 37:3 – (Hebrew) “passim ketonet”
    “passim” has an uncertain meaning // “ketonet” has a range of meaning (robe, tunic, garment).  When both words are used together (Gen 37:3; 2 Sam 13:18-19) the phrase is translated in various ways due to the meaning of passim being somewhat lost.
  • Hebrew Nouns Fact and Implications:
    They are usually masculine or feminine, but that has nothing to do with whether or not the noun was for a man or a woman (Futato, 18-19).  It simply has to do with the form of the words.  For example: “passim” is masculine (because of the “im” ending) and “ketonet” is feminine (because of the “et” ending).  The point here is that Joseph’s coat being a feminine coat due to “ketonet” being a feminine word is not a legitimate argument.
  • Greek Nouns work much the same way (Black, page 22).

Additional Resources:

Students in the Lancaster PA Area “Merge” Together

Students in the Lancaster PA Area “Merge” Together

On May 15th, 2019, the Lampeter-Strasburg High School Fellowship of Christian Students hosted The LS Collective Podcast for a night of worship, teaching and discussion at the L-S High School PAC. The idea was to blur the lines of denominations and simply worship Jesus as the body of Christ. The outcome was about 130 students from 13 different churches, different denominations (and even school districts), all worshiping Jesus in our local public school.

Does Truth Matter?

This was our topic for the night. We live in a world where your “truth” might not necessarily be my “truth.” This kind of relativistic mindset has a tendency to be our filter as we read Scripture. Simply put, the Bible was written 2000+ years ago in a different culture on the other side of the planet. Their truth and our modern truth may be different, but that’s okay, right?

Well, a major problem is that truth is not always relative to culture. This means that God’s truths span across time and people groups (we call these “overarching truths”). After all, if the Bible could mean whatever we want it to mean, then what would be the point of following it? If we allow the Bible to stand on our own truths rather than the ultimate Source of truth – God – then does it not stand to reason that we might be completely missing the truth that God wants us to know?

Philippians 4:13 is said to be the most misused verse of the entire Bible. So, naturally, this was the example that we had the students study. Students found out that the phrase, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength,” has nothing to do with earning a better job, buying an expensive car, finishing a half marathon, gearing up for a boxing match or having the resolve to eat healthy (all of which were taken from Instagram, #philippians413). Here’s the issue…

When we use Philippians 4:13 in this way, we’re using it in a self-promoting, self-centered way and yet Paul used it in a selfless, other-centered way.

Students were broken up into smaller groups by grades and began to investigate Philippians 4:13. Who wrote the letter to the Philippians? Where did he write it? What caused him to write? All of these factor into the context surrounding Philippians 4:13. The best way to get the context of a passage is to simply read the entire letter. Think about it: If you received a personal, hand-written letter from your friend, would you skip to the backside of the second page to focus on one sentence without reading the rest of the letter? I hope not! To help us determine the author’s context, we used The Bible Project as a resource (which we highly recommend!).

Jillian, the Student President of FCS at L-S, felt that the topic of misreading Scripture due to our own truths is “really dangerous and applicable.” She clarified by saying that it’s “the difference between looking to the Bible for wisdom and looking for the wisdom that we want to see in the Bible.” And that’s the key to this discussion. We need to remember that “the Bible was not written to us, it was written for us” (Dr. Mike Heiser).

Recognizing this truth when we approach the Bible will help us avoid reading our own “truths” into it and allow it to speak for itself.

Big “C” Church

As a member of The LS Collective Podcast, I (Scott) was really encouraged to see the support from other youth pastors in our area. Check out what some of them had to say about Merge:

“It was beautiful to see teens from so many different churches coming together. I enjoyed every aspect of [Merge], except for the fact that we got lumped into the LS district! That’s enemy territory, my man. GO CV! But seriously, it was a great opportunity for our teens.”

Jason Snyder of Lancaster Alliance Church

“I loved the idea of the night… the small group times [and] getting kids from different churches to interact… [and] teaching the teens how to study the Bible. [Merge] was a great night and a great idea!”

Charles Hirschy of Grace Church at Willow Valley

“I think it is important to work together to reach our community. In Youth Ministry, it is easy to think we are all competing over a limited number of kids. The truth is that we are working together for our community. Like Jesus said, ‘the harvest is plentiful.'”

Addison Roberts of Grace Community Church of Willow Valley

We’re excited to see how Jesus will continue to work in our schools and our community as we, the body of Christ, work together to further His kingdom!

EP036 – LGBTQ Part 2: Marriage in the Bible

EP036 – LGBTQ Part 2: Marriage in the Bible

Part 2: Marriage in the Bible

If you haven’t checked out Part 1 of this series, we recommend that you do that before listening to this episode.  In this episode we take a look at what the Bible has to say about marriage.  What is the purpose of marriage?  Why is there polygamy in the Bible?  Would Paul, or any of the New Testament writers, have considered life long, committed same sex attraction relationships in his writings?  Also, if God is supposed to be all about love, would He really deny any of His children marriage?  The main scripture references we used are listed below.  We are also providing you with a list of resources we used for this entire series.  We hope this series is helpful to you!  We would also love to hear your thoughts and questions.  Feel free to write to us at lscollectivepodcast@gmail.com.  You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter [@TCPyouthpastors].

Scripture References:

Origin of Marriage:

  • Genesis 1:27-28 – “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
  • Genesis 2:23-24 – “The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh: She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” 24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”

Polygamy:

  • Genesis 4:19 – Lamech
  • 1 Kings 11:1-6 – King Solomon
  • Deuteronomy 17:17 – “And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.”

Marriage in the New Testament:

  • Matthew 19:6 – “Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” 4 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
  • Download PDF of “sexual immorality” used in the New Testament (Greek = porneia)
  • Mark 7:14-23 [example of “sexual immorality”]
  • Ephesians 5:21-33 [Wives and Husbands]
  • Colossians 3:18-19 [Wives and Husbands]
  • Revelation 21:1-4 [The Church as the Bride of Jesus]

Resources used for this Series:

*Were loving, faithful same-sex relationships around in ancient history?  Some say “no,” but the historical evidence says otherwise.  Hubbard’s book below addresses this, but here is a blog article that is just as helpful.

Books:

Software:

Podcasts:

  • Unbelievable? Podcast – Multiple episodes
  • Hole In My Heart Podcast – All episodes
  • Think Biblically Podcast – [Apr 4; Jun 21; Mar 8 & 15; Feb 22]

Journal Articles:
[We wanted to know how LGBTQ scholars handle the biblical languages.  These articles will only be helpful to those who are familiar with biblical Greek and Hebrew.]

  • LGBTQ/Queer Hermeneutics and the Hebrew Bible – David Tabb Stewart – available here
  • The Bible and The Transgender Christian: Mapping Transgender Hermeneutics in the 21st Century – Katherine Apostolacus – available here
EP035 – LGBTQ Part 1: What Does the Bible Really Say?

EP035 – LGBTQ Part 1: What Does the Bible Really Say?

Part 1: What does the Bible really say about Homosexuality?

The LGBTQIA+ topic is one that is not only relevant to our society today, but all cultures in and throughout history.  You probably already know that the Bible has some things to say about this, but is what you have heard an appropriate and sound use of the biblical text?  In this first part of our series we take a look at what the Bible says about homosexuality.  The main scripture references we used are listed below.  We are also providing you with a list of resources we used for this entire series.  We hope this series is helpful to you!  We would also love to hear your thoughts and questions.  Feel free to write to us at lscollectivepodcast@gmail.com.  You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter [@TCPyouthpastors].

Scripture References:

Leviticus 18:22 – “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”
[Chris takes a look at how “lie with” is used.  When we compare it to Leviticus 20:12-16 we can conclude that “lie with” means to have sexual intercourse.]

Genesis 19:1-14 – Homosexual gang rape (not related to monogamous and consensual committed gay relationships between two individuals) [compare to Judges 19:22-25]

Romans 1:26-27 – “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.” [We talk about the root of the sin issue here, and how it builds to Romans 3:23.]

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” [Paul makes a key distinction here between active and passive partners.]

Note: All of these passages deal with the act of homosexuality, but not necessarily committed relationships between two individuals.  We will get into that in Part 2 as it is a point that is often talked about in these discussions.

Resources used for this Series:

Books:

Software:

Podcasts:

  • Unbelievable? Podcast – Multiple episodes
  • Hole In My Heart Podcast – All episodes
  • Think Biblically Podcast – [Apr 4; Jun 21; Mar 8 & 15; Feb 22]

Journal Articles:
[We wanted to know how LGBTQ scholars handle the biblical languages.  These articles will only be helpful to those who are familiar with biblical Greek and Hebrew.]

  • LGBTQ/Queer Hermeneutics and the Hebrew Bible – David Tabb Stewart – available here
  • The Bible and The Transgender Christian: Mapping Transgender Hermeneutics in the 21st Century – Katherine Apostolacus – available here