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X-MEN 3: ACCEPTANCE, TOLERANCE AND THE COMMUNITY

Discussion starters:

1. If you could change one aspect about yourself, what would it be? (Share about it if you
would like to open up!)

- If there were some cure available to change that, would you take it?
Would you fear that such a change would change who you are as a person?

2. What does The Last Stand seem to be saying about acceptance and tolerance? (Any
ideas? How do you think acceptance and tolerance relates to us in this society?)

- How should we view our flaws? How should we respond to the perceived "flaws" of others?
(Especially in regards to yourself, how do you respond to people different from you? How do
you respond to people who are "socially" or "physically" different from you?)

- With fear or with acceptance? Can you name a few examples, personal or cultural, to
which this applies today?

What is the definition of tolerance?
Webster's dictionary:
1 : capacity to endure pain or hardship : endurance, fortitude, stamina
2 a : sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's
own b : the act of allowing something : toleration
3 : the allowable deviation from a standard; especially : the range of variation permitted in
maintaining a specified dimension in machining a piece
4 a (1) : the capacity of the body to endure or become less responsive to a substance (as a
drug) or a physiological insult especially with repeated use or exposure <developed a
tolerance to painkillers>; also : the immunological state marked by unresponsiveness to a
specific antigen (2) : relative capacity of an organism to grow or thrive when subjected to an
unfavorable environmental factor b : the maximum amount of a pesticide residue that may
lawfully remain on or in food (up to you if you want to read all this to your group or not. -But
probably would encourage you NOT to haha.)

-> do you agree/ disagree with these definitions?
-> does tolerance relate to respect? (Where are the similarities and where are the
differences?)
Yes. without respect, how can you treat a person with Christ's love in a way that is tolerant
(or understanding?) of their beliefs and actions?

Here is a step out of your comfort zone and something to help you figure where this is
going, pull out a situation when you disrespected someone for their difference, and then
thought about it again later on.
I'll give you a couple of moments to think about it now, then share? (Go in circle)

Now try this, if you recalled the person that you disrespected, can you remember what
exactly that trait was that made him/her intolerable to you?
Is it something that can be MODIFIED or FIXED? Why or why not? (Answer)

Think about it for a couple of moments, we will come back to this later on.
(Lead in...)

____________________

In order for a community to function properly, people must be tolerant of others. This is
exemplified in the world that we live in today. Canada is said to be a country that is woven
together by a variety of different nationalities, all of which have different/varying beliefs,
traditions and culture. At York we encounter many different kinds of people that hold
different beliefs. The school tries to accommodate that and seems to do a good job at
promoting the idea of 'tolerance' towards each other.

However sometimes that backfires- for example last year, when one of the cultural groups
(the Tamil groups? or was it the israel groups...) had a protest in the middle of vari hall, it
did not only disturb those who were having classes, but also those who were writing exams.
would that be considered a breech of tolerance? (i am actually not sure if that
makes sense...)
(Omit.)

In the movie xmen 3, we come across the idea of 'tolerance' or 'lack of' multiple times.
list some examples of that...

tolerance:
- the idea of humans coexisting with mutants
- professor xavier preaching tolerance among humans and mutants
- the beast, working in the presidential office as secretary

lack of:
- magneto who believes in the survival of the fittest; wiping out those who stand in his way
- Angel's father, unable to handle the fact that his own child is a mutant, and forces him to
take the 'cure.'

Read Main Bible Verse: Matthew 7:1-5

How does the Bible passage relate to the idea of tolerance?
- Excepting one's flaws; not judging their character based on it?

Similar in the movie, the beast and professor xavier try help both kinds of beings to live
together in a community. However magneto can't get past the fact that humans and
mutants are different, and that the cure is a way to extinguish his kind. It is important to
keep in mind that in the movie, the directors chose to make "the cure" vaccine optional, sort
of unbiased, leaving the audience to determine whether it is good or bad.
-> one can view magneto as narrow minded?

Especially in a community of Christ, it is not only important to be tolerant of other
people, but it is also important to make sure that everyone is on the right path. If
a person is sinning in a way that is causing the rest of the community to stumble,
then how does one become tolerant about those actions? Is it possible to?
- no. the person's actions must be addressed, as it is causing other people to stumble

In verses 3-5 of the passage, how does one then point out the faults of another
person? Can one do that? What are the boundaries? or is there?
- one can only point out the faults of the other person if they themselves do not have that
issue?
-> the important point is that when one points out the faults of others, one must do it
in a NON-JUDGEMENTAL WAY. (This is through experience; learning to
approach is a learning step for yourself as well!)

- it is dependent on the person's heart. if they want to point it out because the person is
stumbling and genuinely wants to help them (accountability) rather than just passing
judgement then it is okay (v. 5)

When we apply tolerance within the Body of Christ what things must we keep
note of? (Is it okay for us to overlook things in the fellowship?)
- constant self-evaluation is key. (v. 3); it is important for one to constantly reflect on ones
actions and choices, as it will affect others in the community
- ie: the father of Angel; pushing his son to get the vaccine because he himself cannot bear
the fact that his own son is a mutant

- ie: mystique: being magneto's companion, she becomes useless to him when she becomes
human and 'powerless;' if she was able to see magneto's character, she should've left
him..haha
- Evaluation of the fellowship is also important; which direction is it going to? What are its
goals?

- ie: when prof. xavier died, he left the school to storm. She had to make the choice whether
or not to continue to lead the school of mutants or not

Tolerance is important in both the secular community and the Christian community.
However there is a limitation to tolerance within a Christian community. When things begin
to get out of hand, and people stumble in their spiritual walk as a result of that, it is then
vital for brothers and sisters in Christ to keep each other accountable to prevent each other
from stumbling.

+ On the contrary, you might challenge these ideas.

For many of you, your response now would be "yes, if someone tells them about
it, they will change in the future, nothing is impossible." Guess what? Have a
look at Matthew 18:15...

“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your
brother over.”

So WHO is supposed to tell this person then about his/her wrong doings? That's
right, it is YOU.

Now here is your next excuse, "it's completely awkward and judgemental for me
to do this, it's not really that big of a deal, and can’t I just go on my own way?"

Actually, no you can't just go on! Do you know WHEN it is the best time for us to
approach them?

Matthew 5:24
“Leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and
offer your gift.”
Before you worship God, or even before you come to Him to ask for forgiveness!

Mark 11:25
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father
in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

(Closing: Prayer / Sharing of thoughts - 5-10 minutes)