Steve Maltz reflects on living by the Ten Commandments in the 21st Century
I am very intrigued as to what the world has done with those original set of laws that God gave us to live by, the Ten Commandments. They are worth revisiting, through the lens of what we have become in the many centuries since Moses coaxed his weary old bones down Mount Sinai with those two stone tablets. The Bible tells us that the first words spoken were from God Himself: And God spoke all these words: "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery."
Even now, countless centuries later, He is still the Lord your God, who brought (the Israelites) out of Egypt. Times change, He doesn't. History may have moved on and He may have acquired new labels in our minds, in terms of His mighty deeds, such as "I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from the World, out of slavery to sin". These are His calling cards, His USPs (in marketing parlance - unique selling points), they set the scene for what is to follow. We must not forget this.
In my book Into the Lion's Den I recounted an unsettling but significant television event, an episode of ITV's This Morning, when the broadcaster Philip Schofield was castigating Andrea Williams of Christian Concern, for her "out of date" and "non-inclusive" views on the LGBT+ issue. The heart of the real issue was encapsulated in these words that he wielded like a weapon, "... because that is not the way now that we are led to believe."
This begs a question. Who is doing the leading here? Who is Schofield deferring to? Who makes the rules? This is a major question, one rarely asked but perhaps the question we should all be asking. That's the killer, the vast chasm that separates God's word from the rules that we currently live by. It's all about provenance, a term used in the art world to determine the authenticity of a piece. The Ten Commandments have a clear historical provenance, the Mind of God, communicated to Moses and the Hebrews. And what about the rules that our society currently lives by? Trouble is that the truth has little to say about it. It is a moveable, fuzzy, amorphous mass of public opinion, spin doctoring, fake news, rumour and gossip that appears to have a life of its own but I think we'll be surprised to know that there are master puppeteers at play here, spinning and delving.
We are led to believe. Those doing the leading are the self-named progressives, always taking us "upwards and onwards", never staying still, otherwise we would catch our breath and start wondering where this is all going. These are the ones who insist they are progressing to some ideal liberated society. This is a giveaway of course to the Marxism that runs at the heart of these ideas, a political theory that promises 'nirvana' but brings only misery, death and destruction, as witnessed in Soviet Russia, Communist China, North Korea and Venezuela. They promise "equality", "equity", "empowerment", "diversity" and "entitlement" but have served only to lower moral standards in our language and behaviour and have redefined the word "tolerance" to mean believe what we tell you to believe in, or carry on in your intolerance. By their standards there is no-one more "intolerant" than a Biblical Christian, someone who doesn't believe that all religions lead to God and that there are only two sexes, because that is what God has created.
The Bible reminds us who is the author of the Ten Commandments, someone who we can trust, rather than some faceless influencer, operating from an unanchored soul. That is the foundation that ensures that all that is built on it is true and eternal, rather than on shifting sands that can support nothing. Now that we can see the contrast between the two, we can begin to re-examine these Ten Commandments and decide what is relevant for Christians living in the 21st Century.
This article is based on Steve's new book, The Sinner's Charter, available from late April from all good Christian bookshops.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
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