My latest sermon from Littleton Vineyard, on why engaging deeply with God’s word (including the Old Testament) still matters today. Jesus confronted the Sadducees, those powerful religious leaders who thought they had a corner on biblical interpretation, on their extreme ignorance of God’s word. Let’s not repeat their mistake.
When we lack understanding of the Old Testament, we miss out on the comfort found in David and Bathsheba’s story – that good people can do bad things, that despite our desperate wickedness we can be forgiven for anything, but also that God takes our sin seriously and disciplines those he loves.
We slide past the lesson of Jonah – that nationalism and prejudice and small-mindedness can keep us from truly loving others and doing what is right.
We overlook the fact that Job’s story disarms the fundamental lie of the prosperity gospel – that obedience to God guarantees health and wealth. Job learned that it didn’t, that there is a battle between good and evil and that our faithful response in the face of suffering is part of what brings the victory.
We jump to conclusions about biblical marriage when we do not ponder the marriages of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, the Shunammite and her husband, where we learn that the best marriages are built on mutual respect and mutual love, that either partner can err, and that God can speak through either spouse.
We learn the ways of God by engaging deeply with the broad swath of scripture, including the Old Testament.
When it comes to matters of faith, Ignorance is (not) Bliss.