But Not As We've Known It

The Ten Commandments… but not as we’ve known them

Most of us are so used to living by rules that we find real freedom threatening and uncomfortable. It is easier to follow a set of static rules, than to follow Someone who often breaks our rules. And so, unconsciously we develop new rules and unwritten commandments that we bind ourselves to without realising that by doing this we forfeit our freedom…

“Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily… Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. I am emphatic about this. The moment any one of you submits to circumcision or any other rule-keeping system, at that same moment Christ’s hard-won gift of freedom is squandered… When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.” – Paul in Galatians 2:21, 5:1-2,4-6.

The Ten Commandments of the Religious

Thou shalt love thy church with all thy heart, with all thy mind and and with all thy soul.
Thou shalt tithe and go to church whensoever thou canst do so.
Thou shalt blindly follow and worship thy leaders and traditions, and question them not.
Thou shalt quote the Bible even if thou knowest not in experience that of which thou speakest.
Thou shalt judge thyself as not only holier than others, but also worthier than others.
Thou shalt secretly despise them that go not to church nor worship God as thou dost.
Thou shalt not confess weakness, sin, nor faults, but bear the likeness of a perfect Christian at all times.
Thou shalt associate thyself only with them that believest as thou dost.
Thou shalt busy thyself serving others, that thy good works might be heralded by all.
Thou shalt have a ministry, that thou mayest receive praise and be proud of that which thou hast done in God’s name.

The Ten Commandments of the Irreligious

Thou shalt make God in thine own image, and believe Him to be as thou thyself art.
Thou shalt love thyself and have no other gods before thyself.
Thou shalt obey and believe whatsoever thy heart telleth thee and not question it.
Thou shalt be a law unto thyself and receive not correction, but believe that thou art good, and that thy heart is not deceitful.
Thou shalt measure all things by thine own experience and feelings, and despise them that hath not thy spirituality, revelation and “freedom”.
Thou shalt not listen to truth which may offend and cause thee to suffer, but rather hear and pass on partial truths and beautiful lies.
Thou shalt speak only encouraging words of love and grace and speak not of holiness nor righteous judgment.
Thou shalt not judge, but rather accept all things.
Thou shalt refuse to feel convicted or repent, for that would admit transgression which thy pride cannot abide.
Thou shalt hear and read many words, but thou shalt not hear nor read the Word of God.

The Commandment of God

My dearly loved Son… hear Him:
I have loved you even as My Father has loved Me. Remain in My love.
When you obey My commandments, you remain in My love, just as I obey My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.
This is My commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are My friends if you do what I command. 
If any one desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me because whoever wants to save his life loses it and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.
And if you do not carry your own cross and follow Me, you cannot be My disciple.
None of you can be My disciples unless you give up everything.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
– Jesus Christ (Mark 9:7; John 15:9-10, 12-14; Matthew 16:24,25; Luke 14:26-27,33,35).
Lynette Woods