Thursday, January 18, 2007

Scriptures I Won't be Preaching From Sunday

"I take my text," Charles Spurgeon said, "and make a beeline to the cross." Somehow I think with the following Scripture passages, that beeline might not be quite so straight. What do you think?
  • Genesis 38:1-10
  • Exodus 4:24-26
  • Leviticus 18:19
  • Deuteronomy 21:18-21
  • Judges 11:30-35
  • Song of Solomon 4:5
  • Mark 14:51-52
Are there any you might add?

8 comments:

Steve Sensenig said...

This gave me a great chuckle. We just read that Deuteronomy passage this morning in our homeschool (we are reading straight through the Bible, a handful of chapters every day, and just happened to read those same verses in today's handful).

After I finished reading, our son said (quoting what he has often heard Christy and I say), "I'm so glad Jesus came."

I said, "Why, so when you're acting rebellious or stubborn, we don't take you out and stone you?"

He said, "Hey, I don't drink! They said their son was a drunk!" At least I know he was listening closely! :)

I won't get into my more serious comment about all of this, though, which has to do with what Paul meant when he said "All Scripture is...profitable". Perhaps he meant the entire unit of Scripture as a whole, and not necessarily every specific word or sentence??

Tony said...

Steve,

My children tend to surprise me that way, too. The times I think they are not listening are when they really are.

I would like to discuss your concluding notion, if you are so inclined. I am prone to agree there, because the tendency is to proof-text rather than looking at the Scriptures as a cohesive whole. Misapplications and misunderstandings then often abound.

If there are any other takers out there, jump in!

Alan Knox said...

Tony,

Try working up a sermon from Song of Solomon 8:8... then post the results, because I want to see it. I've seen that verse used to justify... well, I'll tell you what it has been used to justify if you're interested.

-Alan

Tony said...

Alan,

Song of Solomon is not one of those books that lends itself to Bible memorization programs, so I looked it up. Until I decide to preach through the Song expositionally, which won't be any time soon, I don't think I'll work up a textual or topical message from that one.

I am really wrestling with my curiosity...do I really want to know the dirt on that verse?

Alan Knox said...

ah... well... you see... some of the early baptists used that verse to justify hiring a pastor away from another church... because our little sister has no... well, you get the picture.

-Alan

Steve Sensenig said...

oh...my! I never heard that take on that verse, Alan. Very interesting! ;)

Tony, I'd love to discuss it more. My understanding is that "all" (I believe it's the word "pasa", but it's early, and I don't want to look it up, and I'm not sure if I'm remembering correctly!) can either mean every part making up the whole, or it can mean the whole as an entire unit.

When we read "All Scripture is...profitable", we often come away with the conclusion that there must be something for us to learn out of every small segment of Scripture. This leads us to your post here, where you have pointed out the apparent absurdity of trying to preach on those passages.

The only problem I have with saying that "all" means "the entirety" as opposed to individual parts making up the whole, is I'm not really sure what that leads to!! ;)

I'm afraid it leads to a "pick-and-choose" method, then, of just saying, "Oh, well, that passage doesn't really matter, so we can just ignore it." I don't want to go there with it, ya know?

Anyway, those are my basic thoughts. I'm late heading out the door for my weekly breakfast with Raborn, so I better let it go at that and run!

Have a blessed day!!

Tony said...

Alan,

To use a popular adolescent colloquialism, "T M I!" Seriously, that is the first time I have ever heard that and goes to show how Scriptures can be twisted to "justify" just about any irrational behavior or practice.

Steve,

Yes, I see where it can lead to a cafeteria-style approach. Your interpretation of pasa is indeed correct and my discomfort would come in that same regard.

I have no problem with saying all Scripture has a purpose in being recorded, but not all of it serves the same purpose. In several expositional sermon series I have heard the genealogies surreptitiously skipped; no good "preaching material" there.

And besides, could you imagine the shrieks of terror as I said one Sunday morning, "Our text for this morning is Leviticus 18:19." Aaaack!

But it does make one question the necessity of such texts. More than one thru-the-Bible reading plan has been sidetracked by them!

Nevertheless, those texts are still very important to the flow of Scripture, and not to belabor the point or be pedantic, but I see where that interpretation can ultimately lead and the desire to leave out certain texts.

Alan Knox said...

Tony,

Well, they had to come up with some "Scripture" to justify their practices... right?

-Alan