To the Editor:
A few additional thoughts about we Christians’ and others’ responsibilities to our fellow human beings.
A close friend said, reflecting on last week’s letter, that rather than focusing on the sins Jesus and his disciples encouraged us to avoid, I should focus on God’s much earlier and all-encompassing commandments to us:
1. “Take no other God’s before me” - Mmmm… maybe like power, money, sex, drugs, etc.?
2. “Don’t make idols” - Again, power, money or maybe two-bit, orange-haired dictators?
3. “Don’t take His name in vain” - Or maybe throw around His name and commandments as if they somehow gave you power to exert your will, power and/or predilections over your fellow man.
4. “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy” - That would mean focusing your mind, will and efforts toward His overwhelming message of love, forgiveness and embrace of his beautiful creation: this world, rather than ignoring Him, His message and His Creation to drink, lust after, curse or try to take away the rights of our fellow human beings in our “free time”/the Sabbath.
5. “Honor your father and mother” – that would be respecting that which is worthy in what our elders, teachers and forefathers have tried to instill in us as human beings.
6. “Don’t commit murder” – God values life and he does not look well on anyone who whether willfully or unconsciously chooses to disrespect his fellow human being’s life, independence or wellbeing, most particularly through permitting violence to be done to them in war, or through perverse laws or other actions which precipitate violence (i.e.: making widely available weapons, drugs, or propaganda expressly designed to strike against and destroy other human being’s lives and freedom)
7. “Don’t commit adultery” – Pretty much explicitly reiterating His intentions in #1, #2, #4, and of course #10. As we noted last week, if we say we value family and family functionality, there is no other commandment that is more central to his teachings.
8. “Don’t steal” – D’uh …. That would be by action or unconscious or willful failure to act… including your fellow man’s rights, happiness/joy, education, health/wellness, life span, etc.
9. “Don’t lie about/besmirch your neighbor,” i.e. your fellow man – That would generally accompany #8.
10. “Don’t “covet”, i.e. lust after” - That’s anything in His creation, dude: wives, cars, SUVs, property, nations.
We’ve got a world of choices in life. We can choose the joy that only embracing Him, His Creation and our fellow human beings will give us…. Or the ultimate sterile emptiness and perversity that comes from embracing covetousness, power, control, lust, fear and anger. It’s our choice.
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