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[Club Rules] Luv Rulz

(To listen to the podcast of this talk please click here)

Club Rules

Luv Rulz

We are spending a few weeks thinking about whether church is a club for Christians, with a set of rules that the members have to follow. Was this Jesus’ intention?

Today Dave kicked off the series with a general look at rules and the part they play in organising people.  The classic model is Bounded Set, but Jesus used a Centred Set to define who was in God’s kingdom.


  • Where have you seen bounded sets?
    • Are you a member of some group with a set of rules about fitting in? Perhaps in an official manner, such as a club or organisation.
    • Or perhaps in a more formal setting, such as at work or with your friends, where there is an expectation about certain behaviours or attitudes that mean you can fit in.
  • Have you been part of a church (name no names!) that has felt like it’s operating as a bounded set?
    • What were the rules (both the official and the unspoken ones)?
    • How did this work?  Where was it helpful and where was it unhelpful?
  • Dave said the aim for Exeter Vineyard is for it to operate more like a centred set, with God in the middle
    • What might this look like and why might it be difficult?

Jesus’ understanding of people who were orientated towards the centre was on the two rules of love from Matthew 22:35-40.

One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
“A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
“The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

  • If we think the key is to love God and love others, we need to clearly understand at least 2 concepts – “love” and “others”
    • Why might both these terms be problematic and how can we help ourselves and each other understand them properly?

Dave said God isn’t looking for rulekeepers but relationships

  • Does this challenge your view of God?
    • Why? Where does the idea of God as a distant and disapproving authority figure come from?
    • What can we do to try to get a more complete understanding of God? What might help us?

We need to “keep in step with the Spirit” to let God lead us in all areas of our life

  • This means understanding that God might ask different things from different people to be loving towards him and others
    • Dave used a parable of a beggar and three Christians and he also read a passage from the book “Misreading the Bible With Western Eyes”
    • Does this idea personalised ‘rules’ make sense? Is it a challenge?





Posted on 16th September 2018
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