We have an ongoing affection and preoccupation with the Ten Commandments. Some cheer and applaud statements like that. This is particularly true of Reformed groups and those tending toward legalism and a legalistic view of the Christian life. Many times, those are the same groups. But I have a different opinion. I think our preoccupation with the Ten Commandments is not only unhealthy, but has no place reigning in the conscience of a believer today.
Let’s interact for the next few minutes with an on-line devotional hosted by Ligonier Ministries entitled, Teaching the Law. The article begins with a quote from the Old Testament book of Nehemiah:
They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading. (Nehemiah 8:8)
The devotional goes on to state the following claim:
God, in fact, wants the Ten Commandments “preached pointedly,” as question 115 of the Heidelberg Catechism explains. The answer to this question tells us why our Creator desires for His people to understand His statutes.
One thing I’ve come to realize about those who adhere to Covenant or Reformed Theology is their tendency to cite their creeds and catechisms as authoritative as though they were on par with Scripture. They would never admit to that or say it that way, but that’s been my observation. This is one example. The first piece of evidence provided to us is that God wants the Ten Commandments “preached pointedly” because the Heidelberg Catechism says so. To Ligonier’s credit, they do turn to Scripture after citing the catechism:
First, let us consider the biblical evidence that God wants church leaders to preach and teach His commandments. Today’s passage, for example, records Ezra’s reading of the Mosaic law to the Israelites after they returned from exile. The author clearly approves of this act, as well as the Levites’ explanation of God’s rules to Israel (Neh. 8:1–12). In reading the commandments, Ezra and the Levites fulfilled the command to preach and teach regularly the Mosaic law (Deut. 31:9–13).
I believe this statement is misleading because Nehemiah 8 makes no mention of the Ten Commandments. In fact, the entire Continue reading “Our Love Affair With The Ten Commandments”