Tuesday, September 30, 2014

on things overlooked in Leviticus like the whole book of Leviticus

It does not just so happen at church the pastors are starting up a series on Leviticus, about which Wenatchee The Hatchet is quite pleased.  Though it has been axiomatic that many a read-the-Bible resolution has gone and died at Leviticus this was not the case for Wenatchee, who has read Leviticus a few times.  No, the interminable sprawl of the census listings at the start of Numbers was skipped a time or two but Leviticus was kind of fascinating.

See, if Protestants hold to that priesthood of all believers thing and the book of Leviticus discusses what is expected of priests then surely there would be a few useful things to be gleaned from the book, right?

Which is not to say Leviticus is going to be user-friendly for a contemporary American reader.

That said, there are some simple, even rudimentary things that can be observed early on, such as the sliding scale of what sacrifices to offer for atonement and for well-being.  There's also a whole category of sacrifices to offer once you realize you have inadvertently sinned in some way.

Particularly in the last year for those who have been part of or are part of Mars Hill, the year in which Driscoll said "maybe I made a mistake" and stressed that a mistake is not a sin is one of those pitiful shortcomings in theology that need to be revisited a few times and brought to light.  If Driscoll thinks that the two dividing categories are "sin" and "mistake" then that's too simple and indicative of a potential problem.  Well, actually, Wenatchee The Hatchet made a point in 2008 of sharing with some leadership that Mars Hill in general seemed to have a problematic and truncated hamartiology in which there were only those sins which were done "with a high hand" and done knowingly.  In real life most of the ways we harm each other (i.e. sin against each other) are often inadvertent.  Rather than everything being boiled down to "pride" (whatever that means tending to be defined strictly by the one most eager to wield that catch-all) rather than other things being considered such as ignorance, fear, envy, etc.  If you want to go back and read an old post Wenatchee The Hatchet published called "pride is the stem cell of sin" then have at it.

And as Leviticus outlines what steps to take when you discover you have sinned through an oversight perhaps we can consider whether one of those oversights is reading the book of Leviticus more than once in our Christian lives. ;)

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