Thursday, September 03, 2015

Social Architecture (10) Ten Words

Christians frequently refer to the Ten Commandments. Our problem is that there are not ten commands, but only nine. We have to do a fiddle to make the nine commands into ten. The Roman Catholics splits out coveting your neighbour’s wife, from other coveting to get an extra commandment (Ex 20:17). Protestants split off Exodus 20:4 and to make worshipping other gods different from crafting idols. This is dangerous, because it seems like physical idols are the only false gods. This is not true.

In the modern world, political powers and governments are the most serious false gods. From God’s point view, putting too much trust in the government is morally equivalent to carving a wooden idol to worship. Many Christians would not have a carving from Africa in their home, but they happily expect a new President or Prime Minister to transform their life situation.

Political rulers do not become false gods by the scope of their power, or expanding the size of their empire. The false god is created by the attitude of the people being governed. When people trust and worship political power, the government becomes an idol.

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