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Discussion Topics for the 1987 Convention

In this issue of the Beacon Lights are printed the discussion group topics for the 1987 Convention. We plan to conduct discussion groups quite differently this year from the way in which they have been conducted in the past. Our intention is to make the discussion groups a more meaningful part of the Convention.

Here’s what we plan to do. There will be two days for discussion groups. Tuesday and Thursday of the Convention. As usual, an hour and a half each day will be devoted to discussion groups. At the beginning of each discussion period we’ll assemble as a body and be divided into groups of about 10. Each group will have a designated leader, who will also serve as his (or her) group’s reporter. Each group will break off to discuss the assigned topic. All groups will not be discussing the same topic. Two topics will be discussed at once, half of the groups taking one topic and the other half another. Discussion will last only 20 minutes. During this time the reporter will be writing down the ideas and conclusions that his (her) group comes to. Then we’ll re-assemble, and each reporter will be given a minute or two to tell us all the conclusions that were arrived at in his (her) group.  Groups will then be changed, new leaders and reporters appointed, groups dismissed for 20 minutes of discussion of two new topics, reassembled and the results of discussion once again reported. The second day of discussion groups will be conducted in exactly the same way. In this way a total of 8 topics will be covered, 4 each day. Also in this way we’ll be able to share ideas and profit from the discussions in the other groups.

Two items. First, not everybody is going to be discussing all the topics. But nobody knows ahead of time which topics they will be discussing. Everybody, therefore, ought to be prepared to discuss all topics. Secondly, give special attention and preparation to the last question under each topic: “What Scripture passages apply?’’ Look up pertinent Scripture passages before you come to the Convention. Advance preparation is part of the purpose of printing the discussion topics ahead of time in the Beacon Lights. It also might be helpful to get some input from your parents.

Let’s all come to the Convention willing and able to participate in the discussions. Here undoubtedly the maxim will apply: “You get out of it what you put into it!’’

 

DISCUSSION TOPICS

I.   WHEN TO BE ON YOUR OWN.

A.  At what time in life may a young person be on his own?

 B.  Is there a time when a young person ought to be on his own?

C.  Who decides? Young people? Parents? Young people and parents?

D.  Reasons to leave: Examples: Difficulties with parents? Schooling? Marriage?

E.  Do the same guidelines apply to young men and young women?

F.   What are the dangers and/or benefits to young people who are on their own?

G.  What Scripture passages apply?

II.   CHRISTIAN WORK ETHIC.

A.  Ought the Christian to work?

B.  Why ought the Christian to work?

C.  What ought our attitude to be towards our work? Our employer? Our employees? Our fellow-workers?

D.  Are there occupations that the Christian may not be involved in?

E.  Are there occupations that the Christian should avoid because of dangers to his spiritual and/or family life?

F.   Does the time come when a Christian may stop working even though he is physically able to work? Examples: Retirement at age 65? Independently wealthy peison who doesn’t need to work?

G.  What Scripture passages apply?

III.   COMMUNICATION IN THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY.

A.  Should there be communication in the family? If so, why is communication important?

B.  With whom ought we to be communicating? Parents to each other? Parents to children? Children to parents? Children and young people (brothers and sisters) to each other?

C.  Between which of the above do you see the greatest weakness in communicating? Why?

D.  How can we promote communication in the family? What causes contribute to the break-down of communication?

E.  Whose responsibility is it to promote communication in the family?

F.   How important is listening to communicating?

G.  Why is it difficult to communicate? How can it be made easier?

H.  What Scripture passages apply?

IV.  PEER PRESSURE.

A.  What is peer pressure?

B.  Does peer pressure effect your choice of:

1. Music?

2. Dress?

3.  Recreation?

 4. Friends?

C.  Is peer pressure avoidable?

D.   Peer pressure vs. parents’ authority? Which wins out in your life? Why?

E.   What are the dangers of peer pressure?

F.    Are there any good aspects of peer pressure?

G.    How can the dangers of peer pressure be overcome?

H.    What Scripture passages apply?

V.         CHRISTIAN LIBERTY-WHERE DO WE DRAW THE LINE?

A.    What is Christian liberty?

B.    What are the bounds of the exercise of Christian liberty?

1.    Harmful excesses?

2.    Offending someone? What is it to offend someone?

C.    What sorts of things legitimately fall into the area of Christian liberty?

1.    Smoking?

2.    Drinking?

3.    Dress?

4.    Use of drugs?

5.    Recreation?

D.    How is Christian liberty abused in our circles?

E.    What is the responsibility of the one who is offended by someone else’s use of Christian liberty? Of the one who causes the offense?

F.     Is it possible for someone to be ton sensitive to someone else’s exercise of Christian liberty?

G.    How tolerant should we be of individual differences with regard to the exercise of Christian liberty?

H.    What Scripture passages apply?

VI.  GOOD STEWARDSHIP

A.    What are the principles of Christian stewardship concerning money and finances?

B.    Why is good stewardship important?

C.    How does good stewardship apply to:

1.    Contributing to the church? (Ought we to tithe?)

2.    The poor?

 3.    Helping the family?

4.    Christian school?

D.    When should a young person begin to contribute to kingdom causes?

E.    Is there room for spending money on yourself? Recreation? Clothing? Car?

F.     Should there be limits on how much we spend on ourselves vs. other causes?

G.    What place is there for investing and saving for the future?

H.    What Scripture passages apply?

VII.  THE CHRISTIAN’S ATTITUDE TOWARD MILITARY SERVICE.

A.    What ought to be our attitude toward enlisting in the military? Being drafted?

B.    Is it possible for the Christian to be a conscientious objector? A pacifist?

C.    Do women have a place in the military?

D.    Ought the Christian to join the military for the sake of educational benefits? Career training? World travel?

E.   Ought the Christian to make of career of the military?

F.    Are there spiritual dangers to military service?

G.   Are there benefits to military service and training? Teach responsibility? Self-discipline? Obedience to superiors?

H.   What Scripture passages apply?

VIII.   WHAT MAKES A GOOD CONVENTION?

A.   What improvements could be made for future conventions?

B.    What should be the purpose(s) of attending the convention?

C.    What are the benefits of the conventions?

D.   What’s the proper balance between recreational and spiritual activities? Is there presently too much of one and not enough of the other?

E.    What additional activities could be included?

F.    What can be done to attract the older, single young people?

G.   Should dating at the conventions be promoted?

H.   What can be done to keep the cost of the conventions down?