(no subject)

Douglas Hammerstrom (DougHammerstrom.WallowaCounty@worldnet.att.net)
Wed, 14 Aug 1996 05:59:03 +0000

Mike Jaqua wrote:

> OK. The big ten sounds like a good start. Now the big question.
>Do they clearly proscribe actions in a manner valid for today's world?
>Let's look at some of them.
> 1) No other gods. Well this clearly eliminates any possibility of
>Hindus, Buddhists, Shintoists and many others being in a right relation to
>God. Are we all prepared to accept that?
> 2) Make no idols. Same point as 1.
> 3) Don't use the Lord's name in vain. What does this say about
>the "name it and claim it" crowd? Certainly they believe that they are
>being spiritual in their use of the phrase "in the name of Jesus", yet many
>make a good case that such practices are vain and trivializing uses of the
>Lord's name.
> 4) The Sabbath. How many of you stay away from work and go to
>worship on Saturday?
> 5) Honor parents. How clear is this? What about abusive parents,
>or parents that demand that you not be a Christian?
> 6) Don't murder. Pacifists would say that this proscribes killing
>in war of self defense.
> 7) Adultery. The Bible says that if you divorce and remarry
>you're committing adultery. Do we really hold to that?
> 8) Don't steal. What about those who steal to feed their family
>in times of hardship? Then there's the position that taxation and
>redistribution of wealth is a form of theft.
> 9) Don't lie. This commandment is of course held in the highest
>regard and there's no debate on it. And that's the truth.
> 10) Don't covet. Just for grins I'll leave this one alone.
> It appears that modern society is far too complex and varied for
>these old rules to provide *clear* guidance.

What Mike has here is not a set of rules that are too simple for
"complex situations", but a low view of the fundamentals of how God has
intended to order human behavior. He likewise sets up straw men that in
several of his examples have already been knocked down in other parts of
Scripture or are simple errors in his logic.

For example, Sabbath keeping: The exact "how to" has been modified by
Jesus as written in the Gospels and this gives us some latitude in how to
obey the commandment. It is also up for grabs, just what day is the Sabbath?
However most Christian thinkers do not feel this is of great importance, but
that a Sabbath is kept. The clearest objection to his argument however is
that we might be in disobedience to God's law and that just because a lot of
us do something does not somehow change or bend God's immutable will. This
commonly is known as "sin" and is a topic covered in some depth in the
Christian Bible.
-Douglas Hammerstrom, MD