Chuck Bentley at the American Thinker discusses the forgotten Commandment (some might say, the forgotten two Commandments): “Thou shalt not covet.” He argues that coveting–that is, envy–is at the root of many of our economic, political, and cultural problems. [Read more…]
For the Jews in Jesus’ time and today, Pentecost was a celebration of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai, which was thought to have happened 50 days after Passover. So for centuries, it was a holiday that celebrated the Law. But then, on the same day, God gave His people the Holy Spirit, making it also a holiday celebrating the Gospel. [Read more…]
This is the monument that the Satanists are trying to erect next to that of the Ten Commandments at the Oklahoma state capitol.
A judge in a Virginia lawsuit over posting the Ten Commandments in a public school has proposed cutting out the first few that are about God and allowing the rest of them to be displayed. (The so-called “First Table” is about love of God; the “Second Table” is about love of neighbor.)
Could the Ten Commandments be reduced to six, a federal judge asked Monday.
Would that neutralize the religious overtones of a commandments display that has the Giles County School Board in legal hot water?
That unorthodox suggestion was made by Judge Michael Urbanski during oral arguments over whether the display amounts to a governmental endorsement of religion, as alleged in a lawsuit filed by a student at Narrows High School.
After raising many pointed questions about whether the commandments pass legal muster, the judge referred the case to mediation – with a suggestion:
Remove the first four commandments, which are clearly religious in nature, and leave the remaining six, which make more secular commands, such as do not kill or steal.
Ever since the lawsuit was filed in September amid heated community reaction, school officials have said the display is not religious because it also includes historical documents such as the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.
“If indeed this issue is not about God, why wouldn’t it make sense for Giles County to say, ‘Let’s go back and just post the bottom six?'” Urbanski asked during a motions hearing in U.S. District Court in Roanoke.
“But if it’s really about God, then they wouldn’t be willing to do that.”
(The discussion uses Protestant numbering, rather than the Catholic and Lutheran numbering, which considers “no other gods” and “no graven images” to be part of the same commandment, counting two commandments against coveting, one about property and the other about relationships. By that reckoning, the First Table contains three commandments and the Second Table seven.)
If we are to post the Commandments in the public square, would this be a solution? Would it be better than nothing? Or would nothing be better?
British evangelist J. John has re-formulated the Ten Commandments in an effort to make them more relevant for today. His effort is getting some good press, and some 600 churches in England have bought into the program. This article tells all about it. You do have to, literally, buy into the program, because the commandments are presented, discussed, and taught in a DVD program called Just 10 for Churches (not available, at least yet, in the USA, as far as I can tell).
The article linked above tells about the new commandments but doesn’t give a list of the entire 10. So thanks to the SOWER blog for digging them out, giving the traditional version (with Protestant numbering) followed by the new formulation:
1. You shall have no other gods before Me…“know God”
2 You shall not make for yourself a graven image…… “catch your breath”
3. You shall not use the Lord’s name in vain……..“take God seriously”
4. Remember the Sabbath…………..…“live by priorities”
5. Honor your father and mother……………..…..“keep the peace with your parents”
6. You shall not murder………………… .……..….“manage your anger”
7. You shall not commit adultery………….“affair-proof your relationships”
8. You shall not steal……………………………..“prosper with a clear conscience”
9. You shall not bear false witness……………….….“hold to the truth”
10. You shall not covet…………..“find contentment”
What do you think about this? A dynamic equivalent translation with the virtue of putting the law in positive terms rather than all of those negative “thou shalt not’s,” thereby removing obstacles to evangelism and church growth? Or an attempt to defang God’s Law by turning it into easy to follow self-help principles that turn Christianity into a different religion? Or what?