Archive for October, 2015

Don’t Just Let the Rocks Cry Out

October 10, 2015

Recently two public displays of the Ten Commandments have been removed from the public square. One located in Connellsville, PA, the other in Oklahoma. Both were removed because the defendants would not justify the cost of the lawsuit, acquiescing to the better-funded minority voice. These are part of a larger trend to distance Judeo-Christian ethical influences on society.

The Decalogue expresses the central tenets of civility. It identifies the universal truths of the selfishness of mankind and provides the guidelines for a better society. The world needs to be reminded of dignity, courtesy, honor, and respect for all life.

The Commandments are not laws but they are the principle themes from which law is derived. Let me enumerate briefly the base values of civil law from a non-religious reading of these stones.

It begins with the principle of deference. Each person must not be self-serving. We must submit to an ideal beyond ourselves (for Christians that is the Trinitarian God). Where Maslow says our greatest need is self-actualization, we say a just society begins with self-sacrifice.

Idols are forbidden which speaks to the heart of how we bond in our society. We have a need to set up false securities, create propaganda, and feel the illusion of control. Idols are used to manipulate powers to work on our behalf. We must accept that we cannot control as much as we desire.

The overuse of the divine name causes devaluation. The proliferation of anything causes desensitization. Desensitizing increases apathy. The more we see the less it impacts us for change. Just take the 24-hour news cycle, or violent shows and games for examples.

Sabbath demands we value all our resources. It speaks of earthly ecology humane treatment of organisms and dignity towards all persons. It expects us to work, to be compensated and to not be enslaved.

Honor and respect of parents, elders, and leaders (who are most likely appointed over us rather than chosen by us) is another central tenet in need of reinforcement by our society.

The preservation of life in any known stage of development or regression is expressed in the term murder. It is the proactive stance to aid, sustain, and nourish persons whether family, friend, or foe.

Adultery and stealing cover the rights of an individual and their property from physical or psychological abuses.

Lying sets the fundamental principle of truth. And coveting says our problems are primarily internal mindsets over external actions. Greed allows us to read the facts in our own way and use a version of the truth to expedite our own agenda.

But now we cannot rely on these stones to persuade society. The stones have been rolled away. Good. Instead of relying on silent stones the Church must enter the public forums and proclaim them loudly by our belief in action. It is our responsibility. Don’t let the rocks cry out for us. Be the Church acting out our faith in the public forum to change, challenge, and christen the culture.

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