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Our church seems to be focused on commandments and rules. It would seem—though perhaps scientifically unconfirmed—that of all the Christian sects, ours has the most commandments, rules, guidelines, suggestions and the like. This is odd, in a way, considering how we profess to be a church closer to Christ in its teachings than any other.

I was pondering on this thought yesterday and was left wondering if perhaps we miss the point. Sometimes I wonder if we focus so much on the edges of the strait and narrow path that we forget the path is actually taking us somewhere; that we focus on the commandment as commandments rather than the purpose for which they have been given.

The natural human is an enemy to God. It is within our nature to have qualities that are antithetical to God’s qualities. He is merciful; we are vengeful. He is kind; we are self-serving. And so forth.

It is my opinion then that the commandments have been issued to us in a way for us to overcome the natural being and become a spiritual being. In other words, the commandments are to guide us in becoming the type of person Christ (and ultimately God) is.

Keeping the Sabbath holy helps us develop a reverence for God. Not stealing helps us develop a respect for the property of others. Not lying helps us to be develop integrity. and so on.

Despite this, however, we seem to focus so much on keeping the commandments that many of us are simply going through the motions of keeping the commandments that we never become the type of person to enter the Life of God. Or worse yet, we rebel at the rigidity and pharisaic nature of the commandments and stop keeping them altogether.

One thought on “Commandments

  1. Kim: I agree with you here. It’s easy for us to get bogged down in thinking about “rules.” Doing so can indeed result in a hollow “going through the motions.” In fact, I believe it was this kind of feeling that led Martin Luther to become disenchanted with the rites of the Catholic church and seek a more personal relationship with Christ.

    I also believe that even if we are keeping the commandments for what I think of a “lesser reasons” that obedience can still lead us to a higher level of understanding and love. (See my post under the “Perfection” thread for more of my thoughts on this.)

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