Monday, March 23, 2009

10 ways to love God (part 1)

In Matthew, a man asks Jesus what the greatest commandment was. Jesus answers that the greatest commandment is to love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul and mind. This of course is a quote from Deuteronomy 6:5. Now to the uneducated ear (that being mine) I always then assumed that must have been the first of the ten commandments, this of course is not so. The first commandment is to not have any other gods before God. A friend of mine explained to me also that the term commandment is somewhat of a mistranslation, the Hebrew word used is Aseret ha-Dvarim (or Aseret ha-Dibrot) which means "the ten terms" and the way they are outlined in the Hebrew text is not so much "You shall not" but rather "you do not". Instead of a command, these ten things are a reminder of who these people are. You are not a people that murder, you are not a people who steal, you are a monotheistic people etc. It is the terms of service for calling yourself a child of God. However it seems to make things more difficult in that light. Before I knew this I could say "Yes I'm a Christian, I don't always follow the rules, but no one is perfect. Thank God for forgiveness." And indeed, thank God for forgiveness. However in light of the commandments being defining characteristics of the Judeo-Christian faith, I feel until I can honestly say that I follow the ten terms, (or at least try my best) then I am not in the right to call myself a Christian. (of course I still will call myself a Christian, simply because to have to explain this to EVERY person I meet will be a pain...) I feel I need to explore this in more depth. I never really thought about why these rules are so important, simply that they are rules, now that I see they are more of an agreement... I need to re-evaluate my morality... sounds like fun.

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