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This Sunday is the third Sunday of May, which means – Table Talk!

Lunch will be provided after the service and then Mike E. will be presenting a biographical sketch of J.I. Packer.

Remember your leaders,

those who spoke to you the word of God.

Consider the outcome of their way of life,

and imitate their faith” (Heb. 13:7).

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Palm Sunday – Tomorrow marks the beginning of Holy Week as we remember the entrance of Jesus to Jerusalem for the final week of his pre-resurrection life. Jonathan will be preaching to us from Psalm 27.

Liquid Lunches – Monday through Friday we are recommending that people fast from solid food and use the lunch time to pray. We will be sending out a prayer guide with Scriptures and topics to help you focus this time.

Good Friday – We will be having a service of singing and Scripture meditation with a short devotional from Theo as we reflect on the meaning of the death of Christ. 6:45 PM at The Meeting Place.

Outreach Saturday – We want EVERYONE to participate in some part of this day. It will begin with a brief prayer meeting at The Meeting Place at 10:30 AM. Then we will go out and do surveys at several foot-traffic hot spots throughout the UIC Area, asking questions about Easter that could lead to spiritual conversations. Then at 1:00 PM we will be having an Easter Egg Hunt Outreach at Arrigo Park. Please be inviting people to this! We emailed out a digital invitation this week and will have printed copies for you to take at the service tomorrow and share with friends and classmates.

Easter Sunday – In lieu of Table Talk there will be a brunch for everyone at 9:30 AM before the service.

At Table Talk last Sunday Jack and James led a great discussion on “Bridging the Secular Divide.” Here are 5 examples they gave of the ways many non-Christians in the city think and act:

1. All you have is now.

Non-Christians don’t think about what life will be like 10,000 years.

YOLO/Carpe Diem

2. Non-Christians think they are more free than Christians.

Our culture focuses on individualism.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!

3. Jumping on bandwagons

People do what’s popular.

Could be sports, tv shows, movies.

4. Focus on science.

Believing in the Bible is not easy.

5. Non-Christians see us as hypocrites/judgmental.

Let’s reflect on the ministry of Jesus and think how we can be more like him with non-Christians…

On the third Sundays of every month there’s a meal after our worship service. Plan to stick around and eat!

This Sunday during the meal Kara will be sharing about her upcoming work in Germany.

After that, there will be a short, optional seminar that you won’t want to miss on “Bridging the Secular Divide.” It’s designed to help us better understand how the unbelievers around us think and act. And we’ll be explaining a new evangelistic focus for our Sunday Morning Prayer Meetings this year.

There are a couple events coming up that IBCers will be attending and wanted to invite the whole church along. These would be good ways to continue the conversation about race that we started at the Retreat and the last Table Talk.

THIS Thursday (10/27) some people from the West Pilsen Small Group are going to a conversation hosted by two hip hop artists – Propaganda and Sho Baraka – on compassion, unity, race, faith, and the church. Check it out here and let Jonathan know ASAP if you’re interested in going with.

Next March 16-18 there is a conference in Atlanta called Just Gospel that will explore whether the biblical gospel has anything to say about biblical justice in the face of continuing social problems. Let Randle know if you’re interested. His family is going down and would love others to join.

The third Sunday of every month is Table Talk and that means free lunch for everyone!

And every third Table Talk has an optional seminar tagged on at the end. We’ve covered such topics as “Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?” and “Transgenderism.”

This Sunday Randle will be leading a session on “The Black Lives Matter Movement!”

Definitely plan to stick around for food after the service. And if you can, stay for the seminar.

1. Who are we talking about?

a. 2 different groups of people. 2 different approaches

i. Transgender people. Intersex.

ii. Lobbyists, activists, bloggers, etc. who use these cases to promote an agenda of doing away with gender, etc.

b. How do we respond to and interact with transgender people?

i. There is a few different reactions that we often see:

 

Lovingly, thoughtfully disagree

{——————————-I————————————-}

Hatred                                                                                                 Do whatever makes you feel good

Harsh language                                                                                            Be who you “are”

ii. We respond with love, sympathy, compassion to these people who are hurting, struggling, crying out for help. Yet we don’t fall into offering the same message that the world is offering.

c. With the lobbyists, activists, bloggers, etc. we can take a squarer stance. These people most often have an agenda and are using cases of transgender/intersex to try to erase ideas of gender from society.

2. 5 ways a Christian worldview looks different

a. Identity

i. Who am I really?

1. Transgender response says: Identity comes from within. My identity boils down to how I feel. Identity is not an objective reality that matches up with my sex. It is fluid and ultimately up to me. I am the source of defining my identity. No one can really tell me what I am or am not.

2. Christian response: God defines our identity physically at birth. Genesis tells us that He made them in his image, male and female. Our identity is bigger than we are; we are imaged in the image of God. And so, the female/male binary is important because it says something about who God is and through marriage is an image of the Gospel.

b. Creation

i. Christians: God created us. God doesn’t make mistakes. His creation is good and it works. To say that I was born male but I feel female and then to go and change my body accordingly is to say that God didn’t get it right and is to take the place of the Creator {yet because of the Fall everything is broken including sexuality and gender and the abuses that surround them}

ii. Transgender: My body doesn’t match my feelings about who I am. Something is wrong with my body that needs to be fixed (i.e. if there is a God, he messed up)

c. Re-creation

i. Christians: Yes, there is something messed up about us and we need to be recreated, but this can only happen in and through Jesus and his life, death and resurrection (Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (see also: Col. 3:3; ).

ii. Transgender: My body doesn’t match my perceived gender. I need to recreate myself. Thus, hormones, etc. New identity.

I recently watched a Frontline documentary called Growing up Trans which documents the transitions and struggles of transgender kids and their families and one of the main themes that I saw come out of it was the idea of RE-CREATION.  There are a lot of YouTube channel youth stars and their followers who document their transitions to the gender opposite of what they were born with and many of them look at the first day of their hormone injections as their “birthday” as this new human that they are finally becoming. They say things like this is day 1 of my life; this is the beginning of my new self, of who I really am. And their language is that of re-creation, of being made new.

d. Mind & Body

i. Transgender: My mind/heart say I am this way so I will change my body to match.

ii. Christian: God’s word says this about me so I will change my mind to match that (I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Rom 12:1-2)

1. This doesn’t mean that feelings/desires will suddenly change (i.e. same sex attraction or even feeling male/female) but it does mean you can train your mind to know/do what God desires of you, whether you continue to feel like a man/woman or not.

e. Gender

i. Transgender: Gender is about you and your feelings. Self-focused.

ii. Christian: your gender is about God and his glory

1. Male/female binary is affirmed in Scripture. God made them male and female. Jesus affirms this. The Bible continually affirms the distinctions between men and women as their roles are spelled out.

Every third Sunday of the month there’s free food for everyone.

Every third month there’s also a seminar on some topic.

So far this year we’ve covered whether Christians and Muslims worship the same God and how Christians should engage with Media.

This Sunday we’ll be discussing the topic of Transgenderism from a biblical perspective.

Just a reminder that this Sunday (5/15) is the third Sunday of the month and that means lunch is provided for everyone after the service. Plan to stick around and hang out.

From @immanuelchicago on Twitter

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