The Law of Leprosy – reducing the spread of being dumb

Leviticus 13

If you were sick, wouldn’t you stay home to avoid contaminating other people or making it worse?

Years ago in the midst of my bachelordom, we had a small white board on our refrigerator (not to be confused with the “Mother Board” at our doorway — another story entirely) which was supposed to be used for any short messages, grocery lists, and rants about leaving things dirty.  The last use of the board was usually my doing. But occasionally/frequently, the board deviated from its intended use.

I don’t remember how it started, but we’d occasionally say something awkward, and then one of us would say, “That sounds like a death metal band name.” We’d laugh and carry on.  But some of them were hilarious and too awesome to fade from our memory. So we started making a list. Among them were:

Choking Victim
Seizure Salad
Rash Decision
Torture Chamber Choir
Sign of Infection
The Law of Leprosy

The last one actually came from my reading today (carrying into ch. 14).  At first glance, Leviticus 13 is ridiculous.  At second glance, it’s still ridiculous. Clearly, there is little scientific evidence to support the diagnosis of these skin infections.

But what I noticed is the emphasis on the “infection” spreading in this chapter.  God is not only concerned with our personal cleanliness, but the possibility of other people becoming unclean because we’re still filthy. The people of Israel are commanded to get any infection checked out — if it spreads after seven days, it’s unclean.  If it doesn’t, you’re good to go.

Have you ever thought about how your behavior might affect others?  I’m going to bring up one sensitive topic in particular: the election.  The 2012 election has proven to be a great opportunity for Christians to get totally peeved and trumpet their ire on Facebook.  If you’re one of them, you’ve undoubtedly encountered hostility from one of your Dem-friends who don’t see things the same way you do.  Those friends eventually leave the Facebook conversation (or “unfriend” you) full of rage, now seeing the landscape of Christians as hate-mongers and foolishly ignorant.

Whether or not you’re right, the infection of rage and hatred has officially spread.  Rather than examining your behavior and considering how it might affect relationships around you, you have decided to relinquish self-control in order to prove something.

Being a glutton is contagious too.  One of my favorite recurring episodes while working at In-N-Out was the “four bros” who would come in after a workout or an all-night video game session.  Guy #1 would order a double-double meal with a shake.  Guy #2 would order a 4×4 meal instead.  Not to be outdone, Guy #3 would order TWO double-doubles, an animal fry, and a large shake. The fourth person would either shake his head at the absurdity after making a few comments about how gross that is, or order a similar meal himself. No one needs that much food, but the standard has been established, and then upped.   This is the “keep up with the Jones” mentality that our country is still infected with.

This mentality has infected the church as well.  Many people believe we are entitled to great riches from God, and that we have the capability to steer Him in whatever direction we please.  It’s contagious.

I think it’s time to scrub-a-dub-dub, my friends.  Exercise self-control and humility, and clean yourself up.  You might be saving a friend from heartburn, or even from eternal burning.

Eternal burning.  That’d be an awesome death metal band name.

Or a great song.

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