Spiritual Growth Agendas, Topical Curriculum

Charlie Sheen Defies God


[dih-fahy-uh ns]
1. a daring or bold resistance to authority or to any opposing force.
2. open disregard; contempt (often followed by of ): defiance of danger; His refusal amounted to defiance.
3. a challenge to meet in combat or in a contest.
(from dictionary.com)

Main Point of Discussion: The longer and more intensely we defy God, the harder our hearts become—and the harder it is to come to our senses and let God take the wheel, heal us, and grant us peace and rest.

Charlie Sheen has been making headlines ever since his star turn in Oliver Stone’s 1986 classic, Platoon. The ultimate bad-boy off screen, Sheen’s lived life not in the fast lane but orbiting the planet at the speed of light. Drug busts. Domestic violence allegations. Divorces. Prostitutes and porn stars. Car crashes. We’ve grown used to Sheen’s magnetism for all things controversial in Hollywood. But TV’s highest-paid actor—$1.25 million per episode for the hit comedy, Two and a Half Men—has taken things to new levels lately. A drunken escapade in Las Vegas (during which Sheen played hooky from the set of Two and a Half Men, halting production) in early January was followed later in the month by a two-day party ending with Sheen rushed to an L.A. hospital. Then he started making outrageous statements to the media and has appeared to grow more and more unstable; jaw-droppers the talented thespian’s offered to quote hounds have included referring to himself as a “warlock,” coining the mantra-of-the-moment—“Winning!”—and ranting nearly nonstop. Soon his estranged wife (while in rehab, no less) secured a restraining order against Sheen on behalf of their two young sons, whom authorities removed from his house. Meanwhile CBS cancelled Two and a Half Men for the rest of the season, banned Sheen from the lot, and finally fired him last week. Sheen’s response? Waving a machete atop a building while drinking a bottle of “Tiger Blood” and yelling “Free at last!”

Introducing the Clip:
The Charlie Sheen locomotive roars on. There’s seemingly a new comment or tirade or wacky interview (or parody of Sheen) hitting the Internet daily. His new Twitter account—boasting a record-setting 2 million-plus (and growing) followers after only a week online—fuels the fire. Sure we’re rapt by Sheen’s very public (and often very funny) displays, but there’s obviously something deeper and troubling going on. Armchair speculation about what’s wrong is fruitless and unfair—that’s better left to experts. But at least one thing appears clear: Charlie Sheen is defying…everything. The network brass that fired him; the authorities who’ve busted him; the pundits who daily chastise and critique him—even his dad, actor Martin Sheen, wasn’t spared a tongue lashing. But whenever a new development surfaces that you’d think would bring Sheen to his senses, he comes back with a bigger bat and wallops whatever’s in his way. It seems the more cards stacked against him, the bigger hand he plays—Sheen isn’t backing down. His defiance is breathtaking. (Watch clip; you can download any number of minute-long clips; here’s one suggestion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5aSa4tmVNM)

Transitional Statement:
We’re not here to bash Charlie Sheen. In fact, as believers in Jesus, we’d better be praying for Sheen (and his family) rather than poking fun at him or criticizing him. But Sheen’s incredible defiance against all reason is a vivid window through which we should take a look at our own attitudes at times when it comes to dealing with God. When do we behave (even in our own minds) like Sheen as part of our relationships with Jesus? And are there non-Christians in our lives who harbor such feelings toward God, creating constant barriers to a relationship with him? Because defying the One who loves us the most ain’t exactly the best solution for what’s ailing us.

Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we begin, tell everyone your name and your favorite Charlie Sheen movie or TV show (if you have a favorite) and why you like him in that role.

  2. A FEW OF YOU: After having observed Sheen’s attitudes (through the clip we watched and others you’ve seen), it’s obvious that he’s angry. But what underlying emotions do you sense coming from Sheen? (e.g., pain over his losses, confidence in his abilities, relief that he’s finally free to say anything he wants…) Why is that your conclusion?

  3. A FEW OF YOU: Without naming names or mentioning specifics, share about an instance when you observed a Christian or non-Christian respond defiantly toward God for whatever reasons or circumstances. What was the result—how did it end up?

  4. Read the following passage:

      Proverbs 1:30-33 (NIV 2011)

      30 Since they would not accept my advice
      and spurned my rebuke,
      31 they will eat the fruit of their ways
      and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
      32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
      and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
      33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety
      and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

  5. A FEW OF YOU: In the first verse (30) is the phrase “spurned my rebuke.” What do you suppose that phrase means? (Leader—answer you’re looking for: describes people who reject and treat with contempt God’s discipline)

  6. SOMEBODY: What do you think “eat the fruit of their ways” and “be filled with the fruit of their schemes” means in verse 31? (Leader—answer you’re looking for: bad consequences of bad actions)

  7. SOMEBODY: What does verse 32 say will happen to those who defy God in these ways? (Leader—answer you’re looking for: “the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them”)

  8. SOMEBODY: What will happen to those who listen to God (v. 33)? (Leader—answer you’re looking for: they’ll live in safety, be at ease, and will fear no harm)

  9. ASK A FEW: The message seems plain and simple. Why do you suppose some (or many) keep going their own ways and give reign to their anger/defiance/pride when it’s clear what the results will be?

  10. Read the following passage:

      Job 9:21-24 (NIV 2011)

      21 “Although I am blameless,
      I have no concern for myself;
      I despise my own life.
      22 It is all the same; that is why I say,
      ‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’
      23 When a scourge brings sudden death,
      he mocks the despair of the innocent.
      24 When a land falls into the hands of the wicked,
      he blindfolds its judges.
      If it is not he, then who is it?

  11. A FEW OF YOU: As you may know, Job is an Old Testament figure who was subjected to incredible pain and loss, and God let it happen to him—and even though Job was a righteous man (v. 21). In this passage Job is reacting to God’s seeming indifference to his plight in a way that might sound reasonable—or perhaps familiar—to us, depending on what we’ve each been through. What’s your take on Job’s attitude?

  12. A FEW OF YOU: What about Job’s “rant” to you sounds like defiance against God?

  13. Read the following passage:

      Job 40:6-10 (NIV 2011)

      6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
      7 “Brace yourself like a man;
      I will question you,
      and you shall answer me.
      8 “Would you discredit my justice?
      Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
      9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
      and can your voice thunder like his?
      10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
      and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.

  14. A FEW OF YOU: What about God’s response to Job stands out to you?

  15. A FEW OF YOU: In this passage how would you summarize God’s point of view in regard to allowing Job’s pain? (Leader—answer you’re looking for: God declares that he’s operating on a far different plain than humans—so different and so much higher that God owes us no explanation for his infinitely wiser decisions about what happens to us, good or bad)

  16. A FEW OF YOU: Do you believe it’s fair that God operates that way? That he owes us no explanations for why certain things happen to us?

  17. Read the following passage:

      Job 42:6-10 (NIV 2011)

      1 Then Job replied to the LORD:
      2 “I know that you can do all things;
      no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
      3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
      Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
      things too wonderful for me to know.
      4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
      I will question you,
      and you shall answer me.’
      5 My ears had heard of you
      but now my eyes have seen you.
      6 Therefore I despise myself
      and repent in dust and ashes.”

  18. ASK A FEW: What about Job’s reply to God stands out to you? Can you identify with and understand Job’s new attitude?

  19. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What are some things we can do this week to understand and embrace the very difficult fact of pain? What are some things we can do to prevent a defiant response toward God?

Wrap Up:
Life can be a lot of fun. Life can bring a lot of pain and trial, too. Just depends on the day. As the Bible says, God allows the rain to fall on the just and the unjust—there’s no escaping the storm. The question is, what will be our response to God when the storm hits? Will we react defiantly toward Jesus, spurning his discipline, ignoring his wisdom, and questioning his infinite goodness? Or will we “let go and let God” be in control so we can live in safety, be at ease, and have no fear? What seems the best option to you?

God knows we’re weak—that we’re literally dust. God isn’t surprised if we ever lash out at him or defy him—but God (rightfully so) isn’t happy about it. God understands and feels our pain way deeper than we do, so it’s a waste of time to react defiantly toward God—we’ll only feel badly about our attitudes later.

So let’s not go there, okay? The longer and more intensely we defy God, the harder our hearts become—and the harder it is to come to our senses and let God take the wheel, heal us, and grant us peace and rest. Let’s fall into Jesus’ arms from the get go—because that’s exactly where he wants us to stay.

Close in Prayer

Written by David Urbanski


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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