On Keeping the 10 Commandments

This isn’t a post about whether or not the 10 Commandments should be displayed in state or federal courthouses.

This isn’t a post about whether or not Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore, is off his rocker.

This isn’t a post about whether or not this bumper sticker tencsticker is a poorly digitized violation of the second commandment.

This is a [perhaps too analytical] post about whether or not, in light of Sunday’s Old Testament lesson, the disciples of Jesus should keep the 10 Commandments.  Spoiler Alert, the answer is yes.  During Lent, we’ve taken on the practice of starting our Sunday liturgy with the Penitential Order Rite I (BCP, 319).  We aren’t reading the Decalogue, as we have in years past, but we do hear the Summary of the Law every week.

“Here what our Lord Jesus Christ saith:  Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  and the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Mt 22:37-40)

According to the Outline of the Faith: The Catechism, the 10 Commandments teach us two things: our duty to God, and our duty to our neighbors (BCP, 847).  According to Jesus, our main task as disciples is to love God and love neighbor.  By the transitive property, it seems then that keeping the 10 Commandments enables us to follow Jesus’ Commandment to love.  Turning again to the catechism, we see the inverse of my logic on page 848, “Since we do not fully obey [the 10 Commandments], we see more clearly our sin and our need for redemption.”

Failing to keep the 10 commandments is a failure to love God, love our neighbor, and at least in the case of Commandment 4, it is a failure to love ourselves.  A failure to love is a failure of discipleship, ergo, Christians should keep the 10 Commandments.


One thought on “On Keeping the 10 Commandments

  1. too bad many folks see them as general guidelines/suggestions…….although have to say that loving “neighbors” can at times be a tough one.

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