In our Bibles, “Thou shalt” and “Thou shalt not” can be found hundreds of times. Undoubtedly, Yahweh’s intention was to provide fresh revelation to Moses in the form of His finger-scripted stone tablets. And God was not just revealing His commands to be a cosmic kill-joy. They were meant to be a blessing! It is well established and agreed that the Ten Commandments are the underpinning of western civilization. They are the bedrock for our cultural morality. However, as time passes since the revelation to Moses, and the further we get from its message, the greater the erosion of societal behaviors. Have we lost our ethical moorings?
The Church, unfortunately, has not been the guide rod and moral compass it was meant to be. A very prominent pastor recently published a book in which he writes, “The Ten Commandments have no authority over you. None. To be clear, “Thou Shalt not obey the Ten Commandments.”” If this is the message well-known pastoral figures are preaching from their platforms, why should the unbelieving world have any desire to surrender their humanistic agendas? Why not just live life according to how things make you feel? If it feels good, do it; if it doesn’t, don’t. What a simple and self-satisfying way to live. And isn’t this precisely what we are witnessing all around us today?
Because of its wish-washy doctrine, the western church is largely to blame for this phenomenon. As an institution, it has bowed to what people want to hear. The squeaky wheel gets the grease and the church has been all too accommodating to supply greasy grace to the loudest complaints! One of only two things can occur. Either the culture is shaped around God’s Word, or God’s Word is shaped around the culture. Trust me, no one complains when they get to do whatever they wish. It only gets noisy when people are taught to fit their lives into the narrow parameters of God’s instructions.
As such, it is no accident that the world is behaving the way it is. It should be no surprise that morality is at an-all-time low. Why? Because when humans are left to determine what is right, the outcome is always the same! If it feels good, do it; if it doesn’t, don’t. What a simple and self-satisfying way to live.
As Christians, we should be asking everyone this question. “Ten commandments, who are they for?” You might not win the “most popular” title, or the “most likely to succeed” award, but you will leave a lasting imprint. No, it is not your job to convince or change anyone’s mind, but it is your duty to challenge their way of thinking.
We are now experiencing the ramifications of living in a pluralistic society, one in which Christians are encouraged, even forced, to keep their opinions to themselves. Moses was handed down stone tablets and told to openly proclaim the truth written upon them. But, it is the enemy’s desire that their powerful meaning stay sealed behind closed doors. Ultimately, who are the ten commandments for? They are for all of humanity, because in the end, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. And until that day comes, be sure that “teaching others to obey!” is part of your disciple-making agenda.