Thursday, September 5, 2013

Looking at the 10 Commandments with New Eyes

Most people are aware that Christian law begins with the 10 commandments.  It gets plenty of attention because atheists and the ACLU love to go after it and tear it down when it's adorning public buildings like courthouses.  They don't like the open acknowledgement and clear evidence that the United States was founded on Christian principles.  I personally believe they may also be adverse to being reminded that there is a right way to behave and a wrong way to behave, and that this is not something that depends on what you feel or what you believe but is based upon core truths about human nature and what it takes for mass numbers of people to be able to get along when living in close proximity to one another.  The 10 Commandments bring peace and prosperity, and that's something that you can't face up to when you're busy denying God's existence.

So, today, I decided to show you how to present the 10 commandments to your average atheist or secularist or humanist or even agnostic without offending their more delicate sensitivities with the name of God.  It's based on the passage in 1 John 4:7-8
 Beloved, let us love one another; love springs from God; no one can love without being born of God, and knowing God. How can the man who has no love have any knowledge of God, since God is love?
If God is love, and as Christians we know that to be true, then we can begin by looking at the 10 commandments through the lens of what it means to love.

1. Make love your first priority above all things.
2. Don't speak of love carelessly.
3. Spend one day a week doing nothing except demonstrating love.  Gather with friends, with family, and with those you love to show them how much you care.
4.  Show love to those who came before you.  They are the reason you are able to experience love today, even if they weren't able to share it with you themselves.
5. Cherish life. Love does not grow without life.
6. Be faithful to those you love. Betrayal kills the trust necessary for love to flourish.
7. Never take what isn't offered to you freely.  Without the ability to refuse, you cannot choose to love.
8. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Honest communication builds trust, lies destroy it.
9. Never destroy love between two people, or tear relationships apart.
10. Eliminate all envy of what another owns, has, or is. Envy is the enemy of love.

Of course, these are not the sum total of what it is to love. They are, in truth, the bare minimum of what one human being should do to love.

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