Sunday, 26 February 2012

Should we preach on the curses?


The LLM forum on Saturday had loads of brilliant aspects which I'll be blogging over the coming week, but there was one aspect which doesn't sit well with me.

If we focus on the blessings alone then we are not fully teaching the gospel; there are curses for not following God and these need to be taught.

I have never preached or taught about the curses, I prefer not to focus on the hell and damnation concepts which scared generations of people into staying at church.

The thread through my preaching is love and acceptance; how can this sit with curses?  This is not the God I know; this is not the God I love.

Yet I'm left with the truth that God punished those who failed; it is a recurring theme through the Bible and very prevalent in the Old Testament.

So I admit, I'm unsure; should we preach the curses?

1 comment:

Nick said...

Are curses always God's judgement or does he sometimes just pronounce the consequences of our actions.

Right from the very start when God curses Adam, he tells him that he will live by the sweat of his brow and struggle. Yet this speaks more of Man's nature than God's.

Why?

If you look even in the Old Testament, if someone needs food or help and genuinely call upon God... *BANG* he's there. Hagar and Ishmael... God could've just left them (some right wing fundies might imply it would be better if he had), yet when they call upon His name... he saves them.

I think God's pronouncement on Adam is forthtelling as much as it is foretelling. The Fall marks the point when selfishness enters the heart of humanity. We decided to put ourselves at the centre and lost sight of God.

The New Testament calls us to be more like children and I don't think that's just about innocence. A child is dependent on its parents for provision... we need to stop being stroppy teenagers and acknowledge that we can't do it on our own... that we DO need God's provision in our lives on a daily basis.

We don't need independence from God.

We need to be in dependence on Him.

So knowing the God of mercy as I do... I choose to look beyond the face value of "curses" and see what lies behind them.

Oh and just to add a little strangeness to the mix...I live in a town that was cursed by at least one saint (possibly two, there are accounts of St. Chad & St. Egwin whose stories seem to share similarities) and a monk.