I think many people’s perception of The Ten Commandments is that they are a burdensome pile of rules and best to be avoided. I reflected recently on what we (myself included) often do instead of heeding The Ten Commandments.
I’ve decided that avoiding The Ten Commandments is actually burdensome. This is what it looks like:
1) We make ourselves gods and claim it as entitlement; our right of self-actualisation. To place ourselves in a position of subservience to anyone or anything, grates against our Western values of empowerment and individualism.
2) We worship ourselves and our achievements. We go beyond applause, beyond healthy affirmation and acknowledgement. We forget the one who gave the skill initially. We forget the enabler.
3) We call upon the name of God as though he were on the other end of the room service phone line, demanding he attend to our needs. Or else his name is flung about like a dirty rag mopping up the tiles along a toilet floor. Misuse is the common modus operandi.
4) There is no special day for God. No special time for reflection. Our lives are a never ending pile of meaningless business in order to attain our goals, when instead we should be making God the goal.
5) We tell children they are in control. We tell children they can decide all things for themselves. We reverse the order of societies past and wonder why parenting is so difficult. We wonder why children are so confused and struggling with mental health.
6) We kill others in our heart every day. We destroy their opportunities for success. We sabotage their efforts. We ruin. We crush. We hate.
7) We think that if it feels good, do it. Our ethics system is based on personal pleasure. We call our lives ‘complex and sophisticated’ when we are really just ‘lustful robbers’. It doesn’t matter if it hurts others. We please ourselves in the belief that we’re worthy of it.
8) We round up on what we are owed and round down on what we will share. We give when it doesn’t hurt and expect to be able to take freely.
9) We speak well of ourselves and defame our fellow colleague or peer. Truth is a priceless commodity thrown away cheaply. False claims are encouraged in order to attain high standing and reputation.
10) We are encouraged, even commanded, to desire what we do not have. To be envied is the aim of life. Queue for hours to get the latest ‘must have’ so you will be the victor. Upgrade it before the end of the year lest you fall behind the pack.
I reckon HNAC Alison would avoid Christianity because she’d think it’d make her life all about rules in order to stop God from smiting her.
I don’t think you have to be a Christian to follow a set of rules in life.
In fact, I don’t think Christians follow a set of rules at all.
The Ten Commandments aren’t a set of rules to make God happy. The Jews didn’t do anything to make God happy, he just decided to rescue them from slavery under an oppressive Pharaoh.
Then he got Moses to tell the Jews how things were under their new King:
Pay homage to the King first and foremost and don’t commit treason by serving other Kings. Treat the King’s name with the respect it deserves. Take an RDO each week to relax and reflect on the kindness of the King. Children give their parents the honour they are due. The gift of life is precious. Sex is anything but cheap. No one will take what belongs to you. A handshake means a handshake. You will be satisfied with what you have.
That doesn’t sound like a burden to me.
Yours in liberation,