Above all else love God alone;
Bow down to neither wood nor stone.
God’s name, refuse to take in vain;
The Sabbath rest with care maintain.
Respect your parents all your days;
Hold sacred human life always.
Be loyal to your chosen mate;
Steal nothing, neither small nor great.
Report with truth your neighbor’s deed;
And rid your life of selfish greed.
That anonymous poem, in a different format, used to be known as God’s Commandments because He first engraved them on stone tablets. See Exodus 32:16 in the Bible. Since that time, our society’s application of them has evolved considerably. Now, to the extent that they are even referenced, they might be called suggestions of an old-fashioned religion.
To have these commandments posted in public places may have some value, but it would be most revolutionary if these standards were posted in our homes, and best of all, if they were written on our hearts! The latter is what the Christian faith is all about. Rightly understood, as Jesus explains it in the “Sermon on the Mount” (Mathew 5-7), the law exposes our inward sinfulness, directing us to Jesus for forgiveness, and then the Holy Spirit enables us to internalize God’s law, helping us to increasingly live in accord with it--loving God and people with all our hearts.
As individuals and a society, we may choose to reject God’s standards, just as we may choose to violate traffic laws, but we are not free to choose the consequences.
ROY C. ANDERSON