Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘ten commandments’

I discovered this fascinating meme on Pinterest then, after confirming its authenticity (Jillette is half of the renowned Penn & Teller duo of magicians), I decided to see if my life as a Christian is compatible with his commandments.

Let’s go through the list.

  1. Intelligence, creativity and love are wonderful ideals. The last one, in fact, is so important that a section of the Bible called ‘1 John’ says “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love”.
  2. Putting things or ideas above other people inevitably leads to disaster. Look at the misery caused by ideas like communism and fascism. Look how some people drive themselves into bankruptcy in their pursuit of a bigger house, fancier vehicles and more vacations. So I’m definitely with Penn on this one.
  3. Saying what you mean, even when talking to yourself, is a great ‘commandment’; how many of us delude ourselves—and others—through carefully worded deceptions?
  4. Putting aside time to rest and think is vital. In fact, it’s a pillar of Christianity. Not only does the Bible (which most Christians take very seriously) depict God as resting after creating the universe, one of the Ten Commandments (#4) tells us “Work six days and do everything you need to do. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to God, your God. Don’t do any work.”
  5. Loving your parents, partner and children is sometimes hard (given complicated family dynamics), but it’s still a no-brainer for pretty much everyone.
  6. Respect and protect all human life. Yes! That’s why most serious Christians are pro-life.
  7. Keep your promises. Of course. And this requires us to be very thoughtful about what promises we make.
  8. Don’t steal. So glad atheists like Penn agree with #8 in God’s Ten Commandments. 🙂
  9. Don’t lie. This one lines up with #9 in God’s Ten Commandments.
  10. Wasting time wishing, hoping and being envious? There’s nothing wrong with a little hoping. In fact, a section of the Bible called ‘Romans’ says “I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace as you trust in him. Then you will have more and more hope.” Envy? Another Bible section, ’Proverbs,’ addresses it this way: “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.

How about that? Turns out Christians and atheists have more in common than many folks might think. So, if you’re one of those people who leans toward atheism, maybe it’s time to give Christianity an open-minded second look.

In fact, you might find the ideas that (1) you actually have a soul and it’s vitally important to Someone, and (2) there’s an eternity beyond our 80-or-so years of working, eating and sleeping to be very attractive.

Your thoughts? Post them below and Let’s have a conversation.

Read Full Post »

false godsWhen I found this graphic on an atheist Internet community, it caused me to ponder the exact command.

(FYI, it’s in a part of the Bible called ‘Exodus’, and an easier-to-read version puts it like this: “You must not worship any other gods except me.”

So, is the God of Christianity and Judaism admitting He’s not the only god floating around the universe? That’s certainly an easy conclusion to make and it’s obviously the route taken by the creator of this graphic.

Let me be quite truthful: thousands of years ago, many people in the Middle East did, indeed, worship other “gods”. Or more accurately, they worshipped what they thought were gods.

Chief among those rival “gods”, mentioned in the Bible’s Old Testament, are Baal, Ashtoreth and Molech.

You’ve probably never heard these names before and the reason is simple: they turned out to be nothing but figments of people’s imagination — and often created to allow “followers” to do ghastly things, such as sacrifice children. Consider this: if Baal, Ashtoreth and Molech were “gods”, wouldn’t they still be around today?

All that said, the first of the Bible’s Ten Commandments certainly has application today because there are plenty of modern “gods” vying for our attention. Here’s a brief list:

Power: just watch what people will do to become prime ministers, presidents, premiers, governors, mayors and CEOs. How many lies are they willing to tell? How many promises will they make to financiers and lobby groups?

Wealth: I Googled “how to become rich” and found 22 (yes, TWENTY-TWO) pages of links. I think that’s enough to call wealth a “god”.

Sex: according to a 2013 Huffington Post article, pornography websites get more visitors each month than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined. Wikipedia lists 22 U.S. politicians who were forced to resign because of a sex scandal. And that’s just between 2000 and 2015. Yes, I can confidently write that sex is a “god” to many, many people.

Fame: Think about the endless number of TV reality shows in North America. Many of them, like The Bachelor, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Dating Naked, Hoarders and Duck Dynasty, don’t showcase anyone with talent for anything other than achieving fame on those TV shows. Yep, definitely a “god”.

Do any of these gods have a place in your life? Do they have a place in mine? Probably. I try to be aware of how I use my time, my brain and my emotions, but I’m brought up in the same culture as you. And like it or not, that culture insists that the meaning of life is found in power, wealth, sex and fame.

One way I’ve found to keep these false gods from dominating my life is to stay focused on just one god: the creator and master of time, space and the universe.

I’m a Christian and that means I believe that the creator and master of time, space and the universe:

  • knows who I am;
  • wants to have a living, breathing relationship with me (not just in this life; for all eternity) and;
  • sent His Son to this planet to make that happen.

I follow that Son (Jesus Christ) and it’s made a tremendous, positive difference in my life. He can make a tremendous, positive difference in your life, too.

Interested in knowing more? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

Read Full Post »