Since when did the 10 Commandments expire?
As a teenager I remember the malls, stores, gas stations, etc., largely being closed on Sundays. There were some restaurants open on Sundays, but for the most part, they were the only businesses open on Sunday. And, I’m told by friends my age and older, some states had “blue laws”, that required businesses to be closed on Sunday. (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Blue+Laws) Although, I don’t agree with the concept behind laws that restrict behavior based on religious beliefs, I do think many business would close on Sunday if good Christians honored the Sabbath day…. but that’s a little off topic.
It seems that the Sabbath-day observance seemed to sneakily disappear except in Jewish quarters. (Many Jewish owned businesses are closed on holy days and the Sabbath. I very much respect them for this.) Jews and Christians both are supposed to keep the Ten Commandments.
Bit by bit, corruption has set in to society to the point where they are treated more like the Ten Suggestions than the Ten Commandments. So, I thought I’d list them as they are found in Exodus Chapter 20:3-17:
I. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
II. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
III. 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
IV. 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
V. 12 Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
VI. 13 Thou shalt not kill.
VII. 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
VIII. 15 Thou shalt not steal.
IX. 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
X. 17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.
Like the Sabbath day observance, many Christians have thrown aside the 7th Commandment – Thou shalt not commit adultery (or anything like unto it). It wasn’t long ago when a couple were living together, but not married, people would say, “They are living in sin.” Homosexual acts were called sins against nature, and those acts, along with adultery were considered criminal.
In many ways, as a society, we have advanced in our civility towards each other. Racial bigotry has waned greatly since in the last generation. Yet, in other ways, be have become less civil. Television, movies and entertainment contain graphic images (both violent and sexual) that would not have been tolerated 30 years ago. As soon as someone speaks out against indecency, they are called bigots, haters (a word I loath), and are shunned on social media.
Entertainment also tries to justify the sin as a means to an end. For example, a popular T.V. show, White Collar, is based on a con man and his criminal friends, helping the F.B.I. solve cases through breaking the law. I’m sure many in their audience see it as entertainment and like the story of Robin Hood, when the day is over, they know Robin Hood was a criminal. However, there are those who think the crime is an entitlement because someone was wronged.
Another show is Leverage. High-tech modern Robin Hoods set out to right the wronged. Laws are broken and the Leverage team gets away with things that should place them in prison. In real life, anyone who believes in the Ten Commandments would agree both sides should be arrested and tried for their crimes. (Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness. Thou shalt not covet.)
One wrong doing never justifies another wrong doing.
Entertainment also bombards us with a false sense of love and security. I would challenge anyone to watch a T.V. drama (including the two I have already mentioned), and find someone who epitomizes a good Christian. We used to have a few of them on T.V., but that was back in the 60s. Well, I take that back, Touched by an Angel, was a pretty decent show, and Blue Bloods shows a good Catholic family that prays together and holds to their beliefs.
Today, it seems that every show has to have someone who is outwardly gay, or a gay couple. Two couples meeting for the first time end up having sex before the sunrises on the next morning, and people in the workplace are referred to as family and depicted as being more important that the character’s own family. (Thou shalt not commit adultery. Honor thy father and thy mother. Thou shalt not covet.)
There are also shows that justify murder. The one that comes to mind is Burn Notice. A burned CIA agent, his buddy Sam Axe, girlfriend and mom are out to find out who burned him as they leave a wake of dead bodies. These are the heroes of the show? (Thou shalt not kill.)
I believe intelligent adults can sift through this stuff and understand that much of what goes on in entertainment is wrong. On the other side, there are young, impressionable children watching this stuff whose parents don’t care, whose parents do not teach them the commandments. I worry about the kids who were raised that way, who are being raised that way, and who are raising their children that way.
The Ten Commandments are divided in to “do” and “don’t” commandments. I do not believe that laws should be made to force the “do” commandments. On the other hand, we have to have some governance over the “don’t” commandments. Imagine how bad this world would get if it suddenly became legal to kill?
I think it is going to become harder and harder to be a good Christian. Perhaps the best thing we can do is renew ourselves and vow to keep the commandments.