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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Nine Commandments (maybe less)

I've been working on a prayerbook for my family to use for family prayer time. I put together a short liturgy and included some other prayers, such as the Breastplate of St. Patrick. And I included the Ten Commandments.

I would guess if you were to ask any Christian person should we obey the Ten Commandments we might get an emphatic "yes". You might even get an emphatic "yes" out of mildly religious folks also. So let's review them:
"And God spoke all these words, saying: 'I am the LORD your God …

ONE: 'You shall have no other gods before Me.'

TWO: 'You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.'

THREE: 'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.'

FOUR: 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.'

FIVE: 'Honor your father and your mother.'

SIX: 'You shall not murder.'

SEVEN: 'You shall not commit adultery.'

EIGHT: 'You shall not steal.'

NINE: 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.'

TEN: 'You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.'
Almost all of these are really obvious -- no murdering, adultery, idolatry, stealing, lying, coveting, etc. But the Sabbath? Within my life and my networks, that is not on anyone's radar. No one I know is observing the Sabbath or conversing with me about their struggles with or thoughts about observing the Sabbath. How do we as Christians justify ignoring the Sabbath? What is our theological hermeneutic that allows us to not observe the Sabbath?

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