Ten Commandments have no substitute

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Many editorials recently in The Augusta Chronicle have lamented the loss of civility in society and in government at all levels. More than one school system has cheated to make its efforts look better than they are. Mothers abandon or kill their children, seemingly without remorse and often escape penal punishment. The recidivism of convicted prisoners is incredibly high!

There is a common theme to this worsening nightmare that must be faced without flinching: There is no moral standard apart from Judeo-Christian ethics, and all law is based upon ethics.

But with that statement, I divorce tyrannical biblical law from my position. Biblical ethics works through individuals working in society and government. Representative government is consistent with biblical Christianity.

Currently, the Ten Commandments are fought by the American Civil Liberties Union and many atheists. But what they never give us is a standard of their own. What is an alternative to "You shall not steal"? "You shall steal"? To "You shall not commit murder"? "You shall commit murder"? "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor"? "You shall cheat or lie whenever you like"?

God has created mankind so neither society nor government can function without the Ten Commandments. They are inescapable to both civil and law-abiding society. So the abandonment of the Ten Commandments is the abandonment of an optimally functioning society.

There is no alternative to the Ten Commandments, in any other religion or belief system. We choose the Bible to govern our social and legal behavior, or we choose a continuing degradation from the founding biblical principles of our nation.

Or perhaps you would prefer communism, socialism, Nazism, totalitarianism or sharia law. We are dangerously close to one of these latter alternatives!

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faithson
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faithson 07/22/11 - 12:31 am
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Four thousand years ago Moses

Four thousand years ago Moses (the Great Organizer) civilized a Bedouin nomadic people of Abraham's linage using the precepts given at Mt. Sinai. Two thousand years ago a great man usurped Moses' teachings by instructing HIS followers to: " ... love God supremely and your neighbor as yourself. And it is this supreme law of love for God and for man that I also declare to you as constituting the whole duty of man." (quote UB). I have a hard enough time following the GENTLEMAN of 2000 years ago, going back 4000, sure if it floats your boat...

broad street narrow mind
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broad street narrow mind 07/22/11 - 03:24 am
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another reason to stop
Unpublished

another reason to stop idolizing anyone with a medical degree- it's against the ten commandments!

allhans
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allhans 07/22/11 - 04:25 am
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It certainly couldn't hurt to

It certainly couldn't hurt to post the Ten Commandments in each and every building. A good example today is wealth envy.. Now take the Commandment "Thy shall not covet thy neighbor's wife", just maybe the person who has the things you covet worked a lot harder and deserves his rewards.

I don't think you can single out a single commandment and find fault. Oh, and if only more folks would heed, "Thy shall not kill" meaning thou shall not commit murder.

One commenter seems to think that all folks who claim to be, are Christians, NOT so.
A day of rest to worship God is not an unusual occurrence for a true Christian,your Sabbath might be a different day of the week than mine, but that doesn't matter.True Christians DO NOT take the Lord's name in vain.
"Oh My goodness" is the words of choice, not the other.

broad street narrow mind
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broad street narrow mind 07/22/11 - 04:20 am
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actually the murder thing is
Unpublished

actually the murder thing is in the secular rule book too.

allhans
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allhans 07/22/11 - 04:35 am
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To answer anti, He/she

To answer anti, He/she mentioned symbolism used in churches. I often wonder what Jesus would do if he entered some of our churches. All the glitz, the pomp, the ceremony... HE threw the money changers out of the temple when he was just a teenager, whatever would he do about the way our churches are used if he was here today.

Fundamental_Arminian
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Fundamental_Arminian 07/22/11 - 05:51 am
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Thank you, Dr. Payne, for

Thank you, Dr. Payne, for speaking up for the importance of having the Bible guide our government. John Locke, whose ideas greatly influenced our nation's founding fathers, said in his Reasonableness of Christianity that the second commandment ("Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself") and the Golden Rule ("Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you") ought to be foundational for every government.

How sad it is that most U.S. citizens don't know enough of the Bible for it to effectively guide their lives!

Fundamental_Arminian
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Fundamental_Arminian 07/22/11 - 06:00 am
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Faithson, you're mistaken to

Faithson, you're mistaken to say Christ usurped Moses' teachings. He said, "Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them" (Matthew 5:17). After he rose from the dead and ascended to become our heavenly high priest, the Law was changed somewhat because Levitical sacrifices were no longer necessary. "For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well" (Hebrews 7:12 English Standard Version).

grouse
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grouse 07/22/11 - 07:27 am
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This is wrong-headed on many
Unpublished

This is wrong-headed on many accounts, one being that Dr. Payne seems to know nothing about history and the moral standards of civilizations that preceded the Israelites, but the main premise that the "ten commandments have no substitute" is refuted by none other than Jesus Christ who said, "'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." I won't get into how there are three versions of the ten commandments in the Bible...

Techfan
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Techfan 07/22/11 - 07:35 am
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So the religious laws of the

So the religious laws of the Bible weren't totalitarian? I guess a lot of folks got stoned for nothing.

Iwannakno
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Iwannakno 07/22/11 - 09:29 am
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Another Christian who thinks
Unpublished

Another Christian who thinks if you don't believe as he does then you aren't a good person. You don't have to be a Christian to know that stealing and telling lies and adultery are bad. It gets old and it's probably the biggest turn off to the Christian faith.

BanjoStang
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BanjoStang 07/22/11 - 10:02 am
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I have to temper the idea

I have to temper the idea that most religions have the same basic tenets that try to form a more civil society with the fact that more people have been murdered under the guise of religion (Especially Christianity) than any other endeavor.

faithson
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faithson 07/22/11 - 10:42 am
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Abraham: One God, quite

Abraham: One God, quite killing your offspring. Moses: One God, here are the rules, establishment of the priesthood. Jesus of Nazareth: One God, all you need is love, not an entrenched set of 'does and not does'. Pretty simple at the basic level, just hard for self serving humans to wrap their minds around especially since the message has become so 'institutionalized' by human authorities.

faithson
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faithson 07/22/11 - 10:49 am
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@fundemental; Usurpe: to

@fundemental; Usurpe: to take or make use of under a guise of authority but without actual right . I think this word works pretty well for what I was trying to convey. He espoused His authority without the actual 'right' of the Sanhedrin, a fact He paid for with his life.

DrBailey
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DrBailey 07/22/11 - 11:19 am
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Ah, Dr. Payne. It's been a

Ah, Dr. Payne. It's been a while since you've shamed the medical community with your intolerance towards those who don't believe in your faith. I imagine you must be getting restless in your retirement.

Sharia law has much more in common with Christianity than any lack of belief of a god or of biblical teachings. Atheists and Agnostics simply don't go around with brute force and wreak havoc on the lives of people because they believe in God. You cannot say the same for many christians in history.

I'm not suggesting that all Christians are evil, there are certainly examples of good works done; But by constantly lambasting non believers and making them out to be immoral individuals without any sense of good or bad, is as extreme as sharia law.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 07/22/11 - 11:45 am
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Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher,

Matthew 22:36-40

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.

And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

If we lived our lives by two commandments, we would have no need for the others or man's law. Life is simple, we complicate it.

follower
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follower 07/22/11 - 12:00 pm
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DrBailey, sorry that you and

DrBailey, sorry that you and Dr. Payne seem to be at such odds. There is obviously a history there....but I digress as it is none of my business.

You are quick to point to the atrocities committed by those that mis-used the name of Christ to accomplish a personal agenda, but to claim that agnostics and atheist haven't used brute force and wreaked havoc in history is a complete denial of the facts. Did not Hitler use the Darwinian theory of genes and superiority in his attempt to abolish a complete race of people he thought inferior? Did not Stalin, a man that sought to eradicate the name of God in his country slaughter untold millions of his own countrymen? Pol Pot? Mao?

The list is terribly long with attrocities committed by mis-guided, power-hungry despots that sought to enforce their world view through strength and intimidation. Christianity doens't have a corner on that market.

As to your last paragraph, your statement - "constantly lambasting non believers without any sense of good or bad, is as extreme as sharia law",
what is your desription of "lambasting"? Does stating or writing your disagreement constitute "lambasting? And how would that compare to sharia law? Can't women be beaten for disrepecting their husband? Can't theives have their limbs apputated or be beaten to a pulp in public? Aren't the religion of Islam and sharia law the theocratic type of government that this country eschewed hundreds of years ago?

There is nothing wrong with defending your faith, and the avenue of print media is the perfect place to do so. That same right offers you the chance to disagree. Certainly you, a bright and educated man, wouldn't place those restrictions on Dr. Payne only to practice that freedom that you deny to him? Sounds as if your personal history with Dr. Payne has clouded your sense of fairness.

burninater
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burninater 07/22/11 - 12:34 pm
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"There is no moral standard

"There is no moral standard apart from Judeo-Christian ethics"

-------------

A doctor should know better than to base an argument on a false given.

Riverrunner30909
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Riverrunner30909 07/22/11 - 12:42 pm
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myfather15 where did you come
Unpublished

myfather15 where did you come up with that pile of mess. Must have came out of your head which is scary.

Reverie
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Reverie 07/22/11 - 12:55 pm
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The 10 Commandments does not

The 10 Commandments does not demand death and dismemberment for violation of its precepts. Currently only one religion I know demands death to all infidels or non believers.

DrBailey
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DrBailey 07/22/11 - 01:17 pm
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Follower, blaming Eugenics

Follower, blaming Eugenics (look it up) on Darwin makes as much sense as blaming Jesus for for the Ku Klux Klan. Are you following me? Just as Darwin never intended for his theory "Origin of Natural Selection" to become fodder for Nazi brutality, neither did Jesus intend his teachings to become a pedestal for the "Christian values" that the KKK purports. If you are not aware of the history of the Klan, I suggest you look into that as well.

Stalin and Mao did not commit their attrocities against humanity because they were atheist or agnostic. Their evil was not perpetrated because they were trying to force their lack of belief in a god or gods upon people.

My point,Follower, and one you seemed to have missed, is that there are many stereotypical beliefs held about non believers. We are constantly painted as evil individuals without morals and that is nonsense.

I would never be so shallow as to write letters to the editor ranting about a person's faith or lack of one. Dr. Payne is a repeat offender in this department, having written many such letters in the past. But I will defend myself and others against unwarranted ad hominem attacks.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 07/22/11 - 01:52 pm
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" is that there are many

" is that there are many stereotypical beliefs held about non believers. We are constantly painted as evil individuals without morals and that is nonsense."

Likewise, there are many stereotypical beliefs held about Christians. We are constantly painted as haters, bigots, hypocrites, who hate everyone that does not believe as we do, and that is nonsense.

follower
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follower 07/22/11 - 02:43 pm
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DrBailey, whether intended or

DrBailey, whether intended or not, philosophy and worldviews do shape cultures, and the outworking of Darwin's theory of evolution shaped Hitler's thinking, sprinkled with nihilism. Christianity is the victim of such wrong-headed thinking as well, as you pointed out with the KKK and other such hate groups.

As for Stalin in particular; do you believe that someone could, without serious consideration, conscience, and fear of recourse, decimate millions if they considered others as valuable and created in the image of God? Certainly you recall the hesitation, debate, and second guessing that preceded dropping a nuclear weapon on Japan? Active debate is alive today regarding the legitimacy of that decision. Why is that? Is it because this country values life? and if so, why? Where did that value come from?

As ICL pointed out, the same condemnation that atheist/agnostic's feel, the Christian feels. Why does healthy debate turn to personal attack?
That is usually the indicator of an attacker that is out of legitimate ammo.

follower
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follower 07/22/11 - 02:56 pm
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DrBailey, do most sane people

DrBailey, do most sane people want the same thing? Do liberals and conservatives/atheist and Christians, want to help the poor? Yes! We only differ in the means to acheive the end. Liberals want to help through government and conservatives want to help through a healthy market that enables that poor not to be poor through their own effort.

Do all sides want peace? Yes! They simply disagree as to the means to acheive that peace. The liberal through a more pacifist method, and the conservative through a strong military. They agree on the end, just not the means.

In the same respect, atheist and Christians believe in a Moral Law and the need for such. We disagree on the origin of that law. If you are atheist, you possibly believe it has been adjusted over time and as a Christian, I believe it is written on the heart of man and given to us in Spirit inspired scripture. But we both agree on the need for law.

I respect you not for your education, title, position, or eloquence with words. I respect you as a person created in the image of a magnificent Creator. I believe there's no higher level that can be appointed to man.

pearlthesquirrel
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pearlthesquirrel 07/22/11 - 03:33 pm
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WOW - for the fifth time this
Unpublished

WOW - for the fifth time this year (January 6, March 4, April 4, May 30, and July22), Ed Payne has a letter in The Chronicle. Is that some sort of Guiness World Record or something? And, once again and as always, he wants to tell ME and YOU how to live OUR lives. Is he not making a judgment on people with his statements? Then he is a hypocrite as he is not following Matthew 7:1-2 AND Romans 2:1 - the dogma he wants to proselytize. I've NEVER been so unrestrained and unstoppable as I have become since I jettisoned the flotsam and jetsam of religion.

follower
59
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follower 07/22/11 - 04:27 pm
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Pearl, there is a good reason

Pearl, there is a good reason for the listing on the header...OPINION.
And how is Dr. Payne judging you? He merely stated what he believes is pertinant to today's times, just as you did by posting. Would you deny him that right? Has he or anyone else told you that you can't post contrary to his beliefs?

Since you are now "unrestrained and unstoppable", are you not being the hypocrite you accuse him of being? claiming superiority in your opinion? that you are right, and he is wrong? Are you not insinuating he is deluded and you are enlightened? Are you accusing him of intolerance and not holding yourself to that same standard?

If you don't like his opinion, don't let it rent your head space. Sorta like I'm doing with yours.

david jennings
590
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david jennings 07/22/11 - 05:32 pm
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How can anyone find fault in

How can anyone find fault in the ten commandments?

follower
59
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follower 07/22/11 - 05:40 pm
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Well david jennings, good

Well david jennings, good question. Is it because no one wants an objective moral law. Of course, we see where our relativism has gotten us.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 07/22/11 - 07:41 pm
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AndrewLafa, does that mean

AndrewLafa, does that mean you and DrBailey are good with the ten commandments?

pearlthesquirrel
786
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pearlthesquirrel 07/22/11 - 08:31 pm
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If "follower" posts one more
Unpublished

If "follower" posts one more thought today (12:00 p.m., 2:43 p.m., 2:56 p.m., and 4:27 p.m), he'll have as many posts in ONE day (five!) as Ed Payne has had letters printed in The Chronicle this year (five!). You can do it. I'll be leaving for now to read a good book - no, NOT The Bible but, perhaps, Why Evolution is True by Jerry A. Coyne - or - Why People Believe Weird Things:Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions Of Our Time by Michael Schermer - or - Democracy for the Few by Michael Parenti - you know, books that really have something to say...I highly recommend each. And, by the way, I would like to take this time to thank the millions of my "squirrel-o-holics" !

Patty-P
3516
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Patty-P 07/23/11 - 01:31 am
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nice post myfather15.

nice post myfather15.

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