On reading the Bible

Scripture is not as explicit as it could be on many issues. So we can reason from good and necessary consequence, without having to stretch grammatical definitions beyond their intended usage, in an attempt to get the rules all laid out explicitly in Scripture, covering every possible situation. The Bible doesn't do that. That isn't the way in which the Bible addresses all of life. God requires us to use wisdom in applying Scripture. (We aren't comfortable with this because it makes it easier to justify/rationalize Scriptural disobedience; so we think going back to strict obedience will ward off disobedience - another fallacy.)

Like a child grows from strict obedience ("Do this. Yes, ma'am") into self-responsible judgment calls ("What would be the wise use of my time right now?"), so Israel was also trained on the "Do this" law as a nation of priests (Leviticus), but had to grow up to apply it with wisdom as kings and prophets. We often try to go back to a Leviticus, "just tell me what to do," childish mindset, even if we are 35 or 45. In one sense we ought never leave that mindset, always remaining submissive to God (Ps 123:2); in another, we are called to be wise judges ourselves, like Solomon with the two women (1 Kings 3:16ff).

This is not to disparage Leviticus. All the OT applies today, in various ways, even the food laws which Jesus declared nullified. There is a right way to apply it today, as I think we should do with our worship order (Leviticus 9), as David did in making some Levites musicians, which was not stated explicitly in the Law (1 Chron 15:16ff), as Israel did with the feasts of Purim (Esther) and Hanukkah (John 10:22). These things are not departing from Scripture, or failing to argue from Scripture. They are applying it with wisdom. We don't have to squint with suspicious eyes when we see this, wondering "what are you trying to get away with?"

This touches on many important things like what we can do in worship, what holidays we can/should celebrate, etc, and it all stems from how we read the Bible.

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