I wrote the following to a friend this mourning and thought I would share it with the rest of you. (with a few edits) It is about me, not him, so no worries on confidentiality. Read this as a letter to a friend.
...But to be fair, I am a bit cynical in some respects. It is something I reflect on fairly often with the Spirit in my quiet times. How does one see the world as it really is... ideally through His eye's, and not become cynical?
I was visiting a church the other day and they were preaching on God's immutability. Malachi 3:6a was referenced. “I the LORD do not change."
Clearly there was nothing wrong with what was being preached. And God's character was being made appropriately relevant to the hear and now. But like usual I briefly scanned the rest of the chapter, and a problem immediately jumped off the page.
The issue I saw was not necessarily one for any given church, or any given sermon, but rather concerns our shared Evangelical culture. The issue that leaped off the page at me was what we preach, thematically speaking, over the course of a year, and what does not get preached over the course of a year.
Malachi 3 is a perfect example of this.
(Go ahead and read it here, it won't take long.)
Things more than likely preached over the course of a year.
Mal 3:5a - sorcerers, adulterers are evil - check
Mal 3:6 - God does not change- Check
Mal 3:8-9 - Tithe - Check
Mal 3:17-18 - God's Compassion - Check
What got skipped?
The latter half of Mal 3:5 - "So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty."