These questions are connected to the message: “Jesus, Hypocrisy, and the LGBTQ+ Community” from Sunday, June 5, 2022. You can watch it here.
- Spend a few minutes inhabiting this scene while someone reads it 2-3 times. Try not to overthink it, just be there as an observer, in your imagination, as if you’re hearing this story for the first time. What strikes you?
- Marc talked about “Grace for me but not for thee.” Where have you experienced a lack of grace from Christians either in your own life or in the lives of others? Have you ever thought of yourself as lacking grace for others? Discuss.
- Have you ever found yourself standing in the gap for defending someone based on your convictions, yet incurring the wrath of another group, your family, or your church? Describe this experience. Would you do it again? Have you been the recipient of someone doing that for you?
- Have you before considered the reason Jesus hates divorce? Was Marc’s explanation (it was a tool for abuse) new to you? Discuss.
- The data on deaths by suicide that Marc shared were alarming. How do you process that as a Jesus follower — that LGBTQ people are at a higher risk within the church than outside of it?
- Imagine yourself as the woman in Luke 13:10-17. What has she been looking at (her view for most of the day) for 18 years? Explore the symbolism of that. In the context of all that’s gone before, who might this woman symbolically represent?
- Read Luke 6:6-11. Note the similarity of Jesus’ instruction to come forward. (Women were not permitted at the front of the synagogue). He also calls her a “daughter of Abraham.” Only men were referred to by that designation. What is Jesus doing?
- Notice Jesus says, “Woman (term of endearment in Greek), you are set free from your infirmity.” He could have said “healed.” Discuss your thoughts on his choice of words (see Luke 4:18-19 and meaning of “year of the Lord’s favour,” which is the year of Jubilee).**
- F. Scott Spencer, theologian and Bible commentator, wrote: “Jesus doesn’t repudiate the Sabbath, he interprets it differently.” Can you think of anywhere else where Jesus interprets scripture differently or takes it further? (E.g. Matthew 5:21, 27, 33, 38, 43).
- Consider reading one of the three books Marc suggested (“People to be Loved” by Preston Sprinkle, “Changing our Mind” by David P. Gushee, or “Heavy Burdens: Seven ways LGBTQ Christians Experience Harm in the Church” by Bridget Eileen Rivera) as a group or having some people read one and others read another. Compare your findings after a few months. Or, consider listening to The Puddcast podcast, Episode 127 with Bridget Eileen Rivera.
** The Jubilee year – occurring after every seventh Sabbath year, thus, every 50 years – is an economic, cultural, environmental and communal reset, when the land and people rest, and all those who are in slavery are set free to return to their communities.