In a recent poll, members of the public were asked, “If the well known Ten Commandments were to be designed today how would they read?”
The response is worth noting as they highlight a deep seated and sensitive interest in issues such as relationships, honesty,
responsibility and justice.
1. Treat others as you would have them treat you.
2. Take responsibility for your own actions.
3. Do not kill.
4. Be honest and never be a false witness.
5. Do not steal.
6. Protect and nurture children.
7. Protect the environment.
8. Look after the elderly and the vulnerable.
9. Never be violent.
10. Protect your family.
Each one of these is a lengthy subject worthy of serious discussion both within the context of the family and for organised groups (there are certainly 10 contenders here for a number of challenging and informative sermons!). If there is a strong suggestion that these are matters of concern among the general population, then it is clear that a relevant Church has to listen, digest and lead the debate in an attempt find a way to make the constantly changing world a safe and responsible place in which all may live in harmony.
This is not the launch of a campaign to say that we should ditch the long tried and tested Old Testament Commandments, as that would simply be throwing out the baby with the bath water.
It is about drawing attention to the thinking that is going on in relation to how we best live alongside each other in a world that has discovered other ways of looking at the influence of values that do not have a loyalty to a well known religious faith.
For many people, the idea of belonging to an inherited religious organisation is no longer on their agenda, yet they want to remain attached to the idea of living the good life.
These new ways of looking at a modern set of commandments stand as testimony to a desire to both “move on” and yet, at the same time, “stand still.” The trick for those interested in being more informed, for after all it is that to which Christians should commit themselves, is to learn from being in the mix and not be a spectator sitting on the sidelines.