Wednesday, March 30, 2011
The Ten Commandments
Regarding the Ten Commandments, many modern Christians gave little thought to them until them became a cause celebre. Stop reading this and take this little test: grab a paper and pencil and see how many of the Ten Commandments you can list (insert Jeopardy theme music here). If you are not able to list all ten, you are probably like many, if not most, evangelical Christians. We have relegated the Ten Commandments to a bygone era that has little relevance to the modern age. Some have even claimed that since we are under grace, then the law – as represented by these rules – has no meaning to us.
This is a strange paradox: defending principles that many cannot articulate and some consider unimportant. However, the Scripture teaches that there is a “lawful use of the law” and our neglect of this has contributed to the cultural problem. Books and sermons produced by smarter people than I have expounded the proper use of the law. For the sake of brevity, I will point to one aspect. The moral law of God, the Ten Commandments, exposes the moral bankruptcy of our culture and shows sin as being the transgression of God’s law.
Of course, we “get” the first table of the law: no other Gods, no images, not taking the Lord’s name in vain, and the Sabbath day observance (with its attendant controversy). Most of us would claim that we are guiltless concerning these – although idols and images are not merely statues of stone. They may be concepts that stand opposed to God; they may be people who usurp our loyalty to God; they may even have wheels, account numbers, or 160 channels.