Matthew 23:23  “Woe to you, scribes andPharisees, hypocrites! For you tithemint and dill and cummin, and haveneglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.
Question and Answer Night 1) Is it wrong to use materials in classes or study by authors who are known to teach un-Scriptural things?
Acts 17:28-29  for in Him we live and moveand exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’  “Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.
Titus 1:12-13 One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”  This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith,
Acts 17:11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
Question and Answer Night 2) What is a scriptural approach to holidays observed by the denominational world?
The Core Question (to me) Is it OK (biblically) for men to set aside a day to remember one aspect of God’s blessings or God’s word or God’s story?
Esther 9:26-28  Therefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. And because of the instructions inthis letter, both what they had seen in this regard and what had happened to them,
Esther 9:26-28 the Jews established and made a custom for themselves and for their descendants and for all thosewho allied themselves with them, sothat they would not fail to celebrate these two days according to their regulation and according to their appointed time annually.
Esther 9:26-28  So these days were to be remembered and celebrated throughout every generation, every family, every province andevery city; and these days of Purim were not to fail from among the Jews, or their memory fade from their descendants.
John 10:22-23  At that time the Feast of theDedication took place at Jerusalem;  it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.
Some Concerns to Avoid:1) Don’t let tradition become equated with God’s word.2) Don’t let the observance crowd out the true facts.3) Don’t let the observance crowd out what God has asked us to observe.
Question and Answer Night 3) Is man made with a natural tendency to sin, or a tendency to seek a higher being? Can these two go together?
Romans 8:5-8 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
Romans 8:5-8  The mind of sinful man is death,but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;  the sinful mind* is hostile to God. It does not submit to Gods law, nor can it doso.  Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. (NIV)
Galatians 5:17  For the sinful nature desireswhat is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflictwith each other, so that you do not do what you want. (NIV)
1 Corinthians 10:13  No temptation has overtakenyou but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with thetemptation will provide the way ofescape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
Ecclesiastes 3:11  He has made everythingappropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet sothat man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.
Romans 1:20  For since the creation ofthe world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
Pulling Our Nature Together1) We are both flesh and spirit.2) Both have needs and desires that must be pursued appropriately.3) True spiritual choice defines us. We are tempted to let physical pleasures/desires direct our lives.4) In Romans and Galatians, I understand Paul to be discussing the war of choice within us.
2 Corinthians 4:18  So we fix our eyes not onwhat is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Question and Answer Night 4) Please discuss the importance of examining personal motives driving change in the church.
Jude 3  Beloved, while I was makingevery effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt thenecessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.
Some Pitfalls to Avoid:1) Changing what God does not want changed. (Jude 3, etc)2) Refusing any change produces stale, unmeaningful faith.3) “Trend-chasing” change is counterproductive long-term.4) Change based on selfish motives.
2 Corinthians 13:5  Test yourselves to see if youare in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?