Preaching to Myself

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mattrose
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Re: Preaching to Myself

Post by mattrose » Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:36 am

This Sunday I'm starting a 3 week series on Friendship from a Christian perspective.

Part 1
I want to explore why 'friendship' exists in light of CS Lewis' remark that friendship (like art) has no necessity. Why do we yearn for friendships? Why aren't families sufficient? And what's the difference between friendship and fellowship? At the end of the discussion I want to focus in on what it means to be a 'friend' of God.

Part 2
In this sermon, I want to tell the story of David & Jonathan, noting important principles along the way. The sermon will likely be supported with principles from other friendships in the Bible and, perhaps, some statements about friendship itself.

Part 3
In the final sermon of the series, I want to deal with the nuts and bolts of friendship. Why is it hard for some people to make friends? Can men and women be friends without sexual undertones? Is it OK to let a friendship fade away? Etc.

If anyone on this forum would like to share some of their thoughts on friendship (or questions about friendship that you think would be interesting to address), feel free to chime in! The sermons will be posted at the link in my previous post.

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Homer
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Re: Preaching to Myself

Post by Homer » Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:30 am

Matt,

You asked:
And what's the difference between friendship?
I found it interesting that the article on koinonia in the TDNT says that Paul never used koinonia in the secular sense and that fellowship has nothing to do with the local congregation. Thinking about it, if koinonia means "joint participation", then Christians all over the world have fellowship.

An example would be the collection organized by Paul for the poor saints at Jerusalem which was a display of fellowship between many people who had no personal acquaintance.

Anyway, my 2 cents.

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mattrose
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Re: Preaching to Myself

Post by mattrose » Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:41 am

I think of fellowship primarily as the joint participation in the mission of God by Christians everywhere.

Obviously each local church experiences a slice of that broader fellowship. And hopefully the churches in an area experience a slightly larger slice of that fellowship. But certainly fellowship means more than a local church having a monthly potluck.

Friendship, however, is very different. Fellowship is commanded, but friendship (it seems to me) is optional. Fellowship is more corporate, friendship is more individualized.

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Homer
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Re: Preaching to Myself

Post by Homer » Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:29 pm

Matt,

Agree with you post.
But certainly fellowship means more than a local church having a monthly potluck.
A church we attended for years built a large addition with a big kitchen and lots of room for tables to eat at. They call it "the fellowship hall". But they do provide the facility and volunteers for the local "meals on wheels" program, which makes it a fellowship hall. Bet they never thought of that as fellowship.

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jriccitelli
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Re: Preaching to Myself

Post by jriccitelli » Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:41 am

On alot of this I agree, and i am surprisingly 'still' in favor of sermons and teaching, of course. I believe love is a definition of true friendship, something commanded of the Church. Friendship is an odd thing to command, yet it is the fruit of true love for one another. But I would first ask if you cared to hear 'my' thoughts on this Matt? ;)

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mattrose
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Re: Preaching to Myself

Post by mattrose » Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:09 pm

jriccitelli wrote:But I would first ask if you cared to hear 'my' thoughts on this Matt? ;)
I'm never opposed to hearing people's thoughts on important matters :)

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Michelle
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Re: Preaching to Myself

Post by Michelle » Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:29 pm

Matt, as always, I look forward to your thoughtful remarks on this subject.

I have something that I wonder about: I am a quintessential introvert. Having just a few friends is enough for me to handle and all I really crave. Are my proclivities unchristian? Is western admiration for the gregarious extrovert an example of how following Christ has shaped our society?

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TheEditor
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Re: Preaching to Myself

Post by TheEditor » Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:42 pm

Excellent point! My wife is as you are; the whole idea of maintaining friendships is more that she can handle. However, if there is a need, she is always the first to respond and has the heart of a Christian, though the academic details to her are unappealing--perhaps the opposite of me in many ways.

When we were JWs the entire system was and is geared towards Extroverts; the Door-to-door- preaching, the Theocratic Ministry School (a public-speaking Meeting held weekly, not unlike Toastmasters); the group participation in Congregation study--Introverts are made to feel unspiritual.

And yet, when Tabitha died in the first century, note:

"But in Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which, when translated, means Dorcas. She abounded in good deeds and gifts of mercy that she was rendering. . . .
At that Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they led him up into the upper chamber; and all the widows presented themselves to him weeping and exhibiting many inner garments and outer garments that Dorcas used to make while she was with them. But Peter put everybody outside and, bending his knees, he prayed, and, turning to the body, he said: “Tabitha, rise!” She opened her eyes and, as she caught sight of Peter, she sat up. (Acts 9:36; 39-40)

I notice that the things Tabitha was remembered and grieved over for, her gifts of mercy, seemed to revolve around seamstressing--not exactly an "extroverted" activity.

Regards, Brenden.
[color=#0000FF][b]"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."[/b][/color]

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mattrose
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Re: Preaching to Myself

Post by mattrose » Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:18 pm

I am an introvert myself.

Introverts tend to have fewer, but closer friends (I'm speaking in generalities, of course)
Extroverts tend to have more, but less meaningful friendships.

I think it a genuine/close friendship is a great blessing from God, something to be pursued by both introverts and extroverts. As for more casual friends, there is no great advantage in having a hundred as opposed to 10.

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mattrose
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Re: Preaching to Myself

Post by mattrose » Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:54 pm

jriccitelli wrote: I believe love is a definition of true friendship, something commanded of the Church. Friendship is an odd thing to command, yet it is the fruit of true love for one another
Yes, love is commanded. But love need not take the form of friendship. Friendship is not commanded, but the best friendships will, of course, include love.

My sermon today covered 3 topics
1. How to start new friendships
2. How to grow your friendships
3. What to do when friends disappoint us
http://www.lockportwesleyan.com/apps/podcast/

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