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Willfully Ignorant?

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;

because you have rejected knowledge,

I reject you from being a priest to me.

And since you have forgotten the law of your God,

I also will forget your children.

-Hosea 4:6 As I listen to the things Christians say, read the things they post (I'm not speaking to anyone in particular, but in general, this is what I hear in the public arena), I am becoming less and less shocked at how much Christians believe to be Scriptural, but is not. For example, many Christian publications are becoming more and more tabloid like, and when they post a kernel of truth, Christians begin siting the Quran, Buddha, thought leaders, and so many things, and the "scriptures" they quote are either completely out of context, a story they heard someone say but vaguely resembles the Word, or aren't scriptural at all, but worldly sayings. I have to say, as a preacher, I'm a bit distressed that so many of those who profess to follow Christ do not actually know what Scripture actually says.

So I have to wonder, is it a willful ignorance? I don't think it is completely so, but largely I would say yes. It's like that movie Pollyanna, staring Haley Mills, where her father (and later the hellfire and brimstone preacher she befriended) focused only on the "Glad texts" of the Bible. I see the merit in it, but it removes part of the whole counsel of God. God is a God of peace, but He is also a God of justice. God gives Grace, but He also hates sin. We can't have the glad texts only, but we must follow the whole of the Bible. We can't have what supports our position, but we must be transformed by the word. Satan is manipulative (We find that in the third chapter of the Bible!), and he takes your good intentions, your feelings, and emotions, and twists them away from what God is trying to show you. It's why the Bible tells us to be on guard! We can't be ignorant, there is no excuse before God. Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Ephesians 4:17-32 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

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