Stereotypes are a real time saver.

Sunday’s Old Testament reading has some surprisingly positive “Thou Shalt Nots.”  How can “Thou Shalt Nots” be positive?  This is where reading the actual Bible (instead of the “I-don’t-read-it-but-I-know-what-it-says” edition of the Bible) makes a huge difference. 

Who has time to actually read the Bible?  Stereotypes about Christianity and what the Bible says should be good enough, right?

Here's what a couple of the “Thou Shalt Nots” actually say.

     You shall not oppress a foreigner or a stranger. 

     You shall not take advantage of a widow or an orphan.  

Unless your idea of fun involves abusing people less powerful than you, the actual “Thou Shalt Nots” in Sunday's readings aren’t going keep you from enjoying yourself.  But they might just keep someone from being abused.  

Besides the “Thou Shalt Not” reality check, Sunday’s Old Testament reading also gives us a glimpse of what’s behind the “Thou Shalt Nots”.  More on this tomorrow.