Blogging can be a little bit like dating. One thing leads to another, and before you know it, you are in deep trouble.
So it is that My Modest Shabbat blog of yesterday has led me into contemplating the Ten Commandments today. There is no way that my wildest dreams caused me to believe that I would ever blog about what the divine finger wrote on the stone tablets on Mount Sinai, but here I am — probably in deep trouble in blogland — yet again!
Actually, I'm not going to say a lot about the Big Ten, but here they are as found in Exodus 20 of the NJKV. Some of the commandments, such as Honor your father and mother, are elucidated more fully in Exodus, and some, such as You shall not murder, are not. I have pared each commandment with the possible exception of the second down to its essence, but I have not altered the text.
I will continue my pathetically paltry thoughts once you have refreshed your memory.
You shall have no other gods before Me
You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy
Honor your father and your mother
You shall not murder
You shall not commit adultery
You shall not steal
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
You shall not covet
What I wonder is, how or why we have chosen to take certain commandments very literally but not others. Hmmm, but now that I say that, I'm not sure that we do take many seriously, except I suppose for not murdering and perhaps not stealing. On the other hand, our society (not everybody in all circumstances, mind you) pretty well tolerates lying, coveting, dishonoring parents, not remembering the Sabbath, and certainly taking the Lord's name in vain. Come to think of it, we're also pretty darn tolerant and forgiving of adultery; we go as far as to almost honor it — in much popular entertainment at least.
When I juxtapose Christendom's sometimes cavalier attitude toward keeping many of the above commandments, against its frequently frenzied passion over the gay issue, I scratch my head in bafflement. Recently, for example, headlines were made when the parents of a gay seventeen year-old boy sent him away to be deprogrammed. For goodness sakes: how and why do we get so worked up over this supposed sin but so often permit ourselves to casually disregard so many of the real Ten Commandments? The gay issue didn't even make the list, yet much of the Church tends to put it close to the very top of their list. Why?
To me, there is a huge credibility gap here. How do the good folk, for I don't doubt that most are just that, rationalize their disregard for some of the divine law while getting completely lathered up over an issue that He chose not to include in the Big Ten?
You see? That's where I end up. From a simple blog about having a restful day yesterday, I have to go and stir the pot and get all controversial. Sometimes I can't seem to help myself. I am really not being anti-Christian, folks, nor am I accusing even most Christians of that which I write today. But you know the views that are out there just as well as I. And it bothers me. Quite a bit actually.