Sunday, October 12, 2008

October 12 Sermon: Faith and the Spirit of Politics 1: Politics of Compassion

Introduce Series: What we mean by

1.Faith: 2 meanings—beliefs of a particular religion or denomination. And Trust in a transcendent center of value and power. Difference between the two is that skeptics can practice the 2nd.

2. Spirit: a. Energy, vivacity, enthusiasm, ardor, courage. “A spirited person.” B. a temper or disposition of mind and heart, or a group. German GEIST

3. Politics: social relations involving authority and power.

4 kinds of person:

top right corner high ego strength and a high ability to relate to others in a mutually beneficial way.

Bottom left low ego strength and a low ability to relate to others: they are withdrawn and unable to form close relationships. Sometimes they are self harming as well. Jonah.

Bottom right: self deprecatory and dependent persons. Low ego strength and a strong connection to others, and thus tend to be clingy.

Top left: narcissistic and self-aggrandizing types, high ego strength and little ability to relate to others; or at least little concern for doing so.

A few verses before our Romans passage today, Paul says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” He then goes on to elaborate on this renewing of the mind by talking about forgiving one another and treating each other with love and hospitality. This is how our minds are renewed.

The Politics Of Compassion

Compassionate Leadership

1. What can leaders do to increase their capacity for compassion, spiritual maturity, and sense of self worth?

2. What can churches do to support their pastors in these endeavors?

3. Read Mark 12:28-34 for some guiding principles.

Sermon Notes:

As far as our ________ ___________ go, we as Christians have an advantage in knowing what God would recommend for us, since we believe our Gospel is the record of how God lived in ____________ with others.

On a social dimension, which includes ________ ___________ though, things get __________, which is one reason religion and politics is such a ____________ ____________.

Reinhold Niebuhr, the founder of the school of “Christian realism,” stressed that in the interpersonal dimension of ethics, Christians strive to avoid ____________, beause of the radically loving, self-surrendering example of Jesus upon the cross.

But in politics, some degree of _________ may be required to _________ ____________ and ________ ___________.

Examples of two societies that have experienced a Politics of Compassion: _____________ __________________

End with Story of man holding candle outside white house during the Vietnam war. Reporter asked him one rainy night as he stood there getting wet, holding his little white candle, “Do you really think you will change the policies of this country by standing out here every nite w/ that candle? “Oh I don’t do this to change the country, I do this so the country won’t change me.”

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