Let me begin by saying Leviticus is one of the books of the Bible I know least about. I know I’m not alone. As Christians we’re sometimes not very good at reading ‘difficult’ parts of the bible. Just the thought of writing this post filled me with fear; what on earth would I write about?
I turned to the email Bex sent to all the bloggers at the beginning of the year, and clicked on Leviticus. The only mention of the book of Leviticus on the Bigbible website at that point in time was from #followFriday with a comment concerning our attitude to foreigners, and that this included the digital space. Thinking some more on the ethics of engaging with other Christians online, I remembered a discussion on this in Twitter during #CNMAC12, and I wondered, what did else Leviticus have to do with how we engage with others, and could this be adapted to take online spaces and conversations into account? I decided to start by heading back to sermoncentral.com to see what others had to say on the book of Leviticus. Mark Adams acknowledges Christians lack of knowledge and how Jesus has fulfilled the law, therefore dispensing of the need for complex atonement rituals. However, he rightly points out that “part of something [the Bible] being inspired means that it is supposed to have something that isn’t just helpful to one generation, but to all generations”.
Before Jesus, the law made the way clear, so everyone knew how God wanted them to live. Flout the law, and the wrongdoer would have to live with the consequences. Proof, says Adams, that God cares how we live. He also expects us to communicate this clearly to those around us by living in a different way. We are to be “unlike the world”. How are we to achieve this?
Purity: living responsibly
Firstly we must “keep the space pure”. This doesn’t just apply to the truths we hold to, or the Scriptures we read, but also the way we live. By my reckoning this also includes online spaces. For me, it includes using social media to stand up for those who have no voice, the poor and oppressed, which in this country is including more and more disabled people. Thinking before we repost or retweet other people’s tweets. Using social media to keep up to date with the work of Christian organisations and using that to inform active prayer lives. treating others thoughtfully and with compassion, or choosing carefully when to and when not to get involved in debates. I am sure you’ll have your own examples. Its worth revisiting from time to time, making sure our actions are authentic but also pleasing to God. I am reminded of verse 4 in Psalm 24 which talks about “the one who has clean hands and a pure heart”, which also forms part of popular song by ‘Kutless’. Even time I think on this verse, I hear this song in my head.
Worship: Not just for Sunday, but online too.
Leviticus is also concerned with worship. We’re familiar with worship being more than just for Sunday. We worship with our lives. Fir me, this is written no clearer than in John chapter 4 verses 22-24:
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
We are free, because of Jesus saving work on the cross. Paul talks a lot in the bible about Jesus and the law. We have a responsibility to put Jesus first, and in doing so communicate our freedom, and attract others to him, at the same time living in a way that honours Him What this looks like online will be different for each of us even though all of us are required to do the same thing. Perhaps this might mean regular blogging about what you are learning from what you are reading in the Scriptures or community work undertaken by your church, or tweeting about things you are thankful for. It doesn’t have to be big things, but it does have to be mindful, and consistent with what we believe, and how we are expected to treat others, loving our online neighbours, as well as those we might say ‘hello’ to in the street!
Adams, Mark (2007) “The Value of Leviticus” from www. semoncentral.com http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/the-value-of-leviticus-mark-adams-sermon-on-gods-holiness-102402.asp?Page=1 First Accessed: 14/2/13