Is Religion A Power Grab?

What comes to mind when you think of power? How do you respond to a popular sentiment that religion is just a power grab, a way to control people who are weak or desperate? Listen as Paul Kiss digs into Luke 21:27; 24:49; John 19:10-11. Together we’ll learn that everyone craves power to some degree, but that we’ll need to let Jesus show us how to use it.

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Is Religion A Power Grab?

Speaker: Paul Kiss
Date: May 19, 2019

Everyone craves power to some degree. Let Jesus show you how to use it. References: Luke 21:27; 24:49; John 19:10-11

1. Isn’t religion just a power grab?

References: Luke 21:5-38

2. A response.

 

3. Jesus offers an alternative to our craving for power.

References: Colossians 2:13-15; Matthew 20:26-28
• The cross is the way that Jesus wields power.
• Self-sacrifice for the sake of others is how he wields power.
• For Jesus, power is used to come under others, not over them.
• For Jesus, power is meant for serving, not controlling.

1. What do you think about the idea that when people have power it tends to affect them in a negative way? “Power corrupts and absolute power, corrupts absolutely.”
2. How do you respond to a popular sentiment that religion is just a power grab, a way to control people who are weak or desperate?
3. Read John 19:1-16. Pay particular attention to verses 10-11. In this exchange, how do both Pilate and Jesus model power for us? What do you learn?
4. Read Luke 9:46-48. Jesus points to a child as the model of what power and leadership should look like. If we take him seriously, (and I believe we should), what are the implications of this teaching on our everyday lives?
5. What do you like about Jesus’ teaching on greatness in Luke 9? What don’t you like about it? Why?
6. One author has spoken about following Jesus as learning how to “descend into greatness.” Wherever you have power, how could you use it to serve others instead of trying to control them or hold it over them? What do you need to do to make changes in this area?

1. Watch the following video connected to The New Yorker: Watch Video. As a Christian, how could you interact with this video and what it is saying?
2. Try this experiment. For one week, in whatever area where you have some control, power or leadership, (ie. – supervisor, team leader, parent), try using your “power” to serve those around you. What do you need to do for that to happen? Give it a try!

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