Friday, March 4, 2011
P4E.205 The 10
The other day, I heard a pastor on the radio talking about The 10 Commandments. It was obviously an old broadcast, because it's been several years since the Alabama Chief Justice was removed from office for not doing away with a monument of The 10 Commandments from the State Supreme Court Building.
Following the pastor's lead, I found myself feeling a sort of righteous indignation towards the zeitgeist of our society, culture and government. I started to get a little hot under the collar. That's when a little red light went off in my spirit. I have a past that includes being consumed by things political and cultural. I regularly wrote letters to the editor of local newspapers. I would engage other Christian men in conservative conversations about the hell-in-a-hand-basket state of affairs we found ourselves in. I listened to my share of conservative talk radio. I think it would be fair to say that I was the stereotype that people conjure when they think "right-wing Christian conservative." Although I have not wholly abandoned the values that go along with that moniker, I have definitely taken a few steps back to take a broader look at who I am in Christ and what difference it makes in my life that I am His.
"Do not say, 'Why is it that the former days were better than these?' For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this." Ec 7:10
I started to think about all of the churches I had been to in my life. How many of them had The 10 posted anywhere in public view? None, that I could recall. I thought about all of the homes of Christians that I had been to. How many of them had The 10 posted anywhere in public view? Again, none that I could recall. For that matter, I do not have them displayed in my own home.
More disturbingly, I could not remember all of The 10, and I'm not alone. A UPI article in February, 1997 said that, "A survey of Anglican vicars in Britain found that...only 68 of the 200 surveyed could name all 10 of the Bible's Ten Commandments." You might find yourself in the same boat.
Causing even more alarm, if I don't even know what The 10 are, how can I have them written on my heart? How can I claim to be close to The Author if I don't know His Word? How can I criticize others who claim no relationship with Him for removing His Word when I can make no claim on It myself? The upshot is, that although I understand the ramifications of losing our country's Christian heritage, I temper my judgment knowing that the thing I want to be harsh and critical of in others is the very thing I need to examine in my own life. If we Believers were all living our lives as The Living Word, there would be no need for a cold, 2-ton stone monument in a state capitol.
I realize that I need to be careful not to judge those who hold these matters dear to their hearts too harshly, either. I have a sense that the closer I get to Him and His Word, the less I will be inclined to be harsh, critical and judgmental of others at all. God is a BIG God. I think He can take care of Himself without my 2-cents. His Word says that ALL things work together for good. I will rest in this knowledge, but continually be at His spiritual work.
If you need your memory jogged, an edited version of The 10 would be:
1. I am the LORD thy God, Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make any graven image (false idol), bow down to them nor serve them.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.
4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honour thy father and thy mother.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
10. Thou shalt not covet...anything that is thy neighbor's.
God Bless and Bless God