Archives For Ten Commandments

ADIP-465_copy__14891_zoomIn his book on ethics, one of my muses, the late Dominican philosopher Herbert McCabe, has these dynamite words for Labor Day:

timothy-radcliffe

“You shall not steal. Certainly the most misunderstood of all the commandments. It has nothing to do with property and its so-called rights. What ‘You shall not steal’ refers to is stealing men. Taking away their freedom to enslave them.

It is curious irony that in the name of this commandment we have built up a whole theory of the sacredness of possessions, of objects.

A theory that has led to the wholesale enslavement of men- the very thing the commandment in fact denounces.

The slavery of men is, together with violence, the great characteristic of the idolatrous society.

And so the commandments go on to complete the picture of the society that worships the work of men’s hands, where justice is perverted (‘You shall not bear false witness’) and the weak are the victims of rapacity and covetousness.

The idolatrous society thus presents two faces: on the one hand it is a religious society with great respect for the traditional ways; it will be a society in which patriotism is highly valued and in which there is much concern for the country’s heritage. On the other hand, it will also be a society of institutionalized violence in which brutality and injustice is either hidden or given a mask of legality.

It is important to see that any society may become idolatrous in this way, that in fact every society betrays a built-in tendency to worship the work of men’s hands.

In any society men are liable to find their identity simply in what they themselves have achieved.

The rejection of this is the beginning of the discovery of Yahweh.”

ADIP-465_copy__14891_zoomTo all those who greet the headlines of innocents killed in Palestine and Christians murdered in Iraq with a collective yawn, the late Dominican philosopher Herbert McCabe has this caution:

You’re breaking the 5th commandment.

‘Thou shalt not kill.’ timothy-radcliffe

‘The rest of the ten commandments are a kind of definition of the idolatrous society out of which we are called by Yahweh. You shall not kill: the idolatrous society is the society of violence. The word used here is not quite the same as the English word ‘kill.’

Hebrew has special words which are normally used for killing in battle and for putting a man to death. It’s not these that are in question here. Nor, however, can we translate it by the word murder, for the word is used to cover accidental killing too.

The commandment ‘you shall not kill’ then says not merely that you must not actually murder, but that you must CARE that people get killed.

You must not be indifferent to blood.

You must not carry on the traditional respectable life, absorbed in the worship of your gods, while throughout the world people are being killed by the horrible pain of hunger and the diseases that go with it or as the ‘collateral damage’ of war.

Rather than hanging the commandments in non-religious places for non-religious people to not comprehend them, maybe Christians should just, like, follow them.

 

That’s to say, I like the perspective the commandments offer parenting as shared by this father, a pediatrician, who posted them on Scot McKnight’s blog.

 

I am the father of 6 children that are aged 13-22.5 years. I am also a practicing pediatrician in the Midwest. My wife and I have home-educated our children all the way through their “formal education” years until they have reached college age. I guess I am about as conservative as you can get both from a scriptural and social perspective, although I would consider myself “generous” in my orthodoxy.

I have always approached the education of parents with a few perspectives in mind:

You cannot spoil a child during the first year of life. They are completely dependent on their parents for everything. The warning I give parents with the approach is that adolescence starts at 12 months not 12 years.

After the first year of life parents need to help them learn they are not God, like they think they are. I submit this is an application of the greatest commandment. The second principle they must learn is they are to be responsible for their actions, an application of the second greatest commandment. I have challenged parents to find ways to apply these two commandments in every aspect of parenting for the last twenty years.

There are three corollaries to these principles. First, remember that we parents are not gods either, so admit to your mistakes to your children when they are old enough understand your mistakes. Second, during the very earlier years of their training, when having a battle of wills with them, WIN; and when you cannot win make them believe that you won. Finally when training children, you only have 18-21 years to train them for the following sixty years of their lives. Be their parent these early years, be their friend later.

 

Rather than hanging the commandments in non-religious places for non-religious people to not comprehend them, maybe Christians should just, like, follow them.

 

That’s to say, I like the perspective the commandments offer parenting as shared by this father, a pediatrician, who posted them on Scot McKnight’s blog.

 

I am the father of 6 children that are aged 13-22.5 years. I am also a practicing pediatrician in the Midwest. My wife and I have home-educated our children all the way through their “formal education” years until they have reached college age. I guess I am about as conservative as you can get both from a scriptural and social perspective, although I would consider myself “generous” in my orthodoxy.

I have always approached the education of parents with a few perspectives in mind:

You cannot spoil a child during the first year of life. They are completely dependent on their parents for everything. The warning I give parents with the approach is that adolescence starts at 12 months not 12 years.

After the first year of life parents need to help them learn they are not God, like they think they are. I submit this is an application of the greatest commandment. The second principle they must learn is they are to be responsible for their actions, an application of the second greatest commandment. I have challenged parents to find ways to apply these two commandments in every aspect of parenting for the last twenty years.

There are three corollaries to these principles. First, remember that we parents are not gods either, so admit to your mistakes to your children when they are old enough understand your mistakes. Second, during the very earlier years of their training, when having a battle of wills with them, WIN; and when you cannot win make them believe that you won. Finally when training children, you only have 18-21 years to train them for the following sixty years of their lives. Be their parent these early years, be their friend later.