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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 12:26 PM
Original message
Ten Commandments vs. Sermon On The Mount
I have read two major English translations of the Bible, and spent a fairly large amount of time in Sunday school in my youth. I have a decently informed background in respect to the teachings of Christianity, and the myriad interpretations of doctrine. I am not a Christian, but one does not need to be in order to study objectively what Christianity is supposed to entail on both spiritual and philosophical levels. I post this thread in order to clarify something I was once taught, and to compare with what others have been taught, or believe, on matters of the Old vs. New Testaments.

So... I ask this question in all earnestness: Didn't the basic teachings of Jesus on the Sermon On The Mount come down to two basic precepts which made the Ten Commandments secondary in importance? Those precepts being: Love God, and love one another. With that, the old laws of Moses were (pardon my weak, or at least, colloquial thelogical interpretation here) demoted, in effect. Yes, that still meant violating the original Top 10 List was sinful, but this time, Jesus offered forgiveness rather than ostracism and condemnation. There was that matter of broadening the definition of adultery (anyone remember Jimmy Carter's 1976 Playboy interview?), so yes, sin was still sin, but... the two core teachings of the Sermon prevailed above the other messages, did they not?

Anyway, it is my understanding that the Sermon On The Mount is supposed to be of greater import with Christians above the Ten Commandments. So why the fetishism with the Ten Commandments by the right-wingers? Is this tied in to their mindset of "law and order"? Is this just another manifestation of them ignoring the teachings of Jesus in order to advance their own doctrine of hate?

It is interesting that so many fascist groups want to put up the Ten Commandments in courthouses and public school classrooms, and even our National Parks (there is currently a TC issue involving the Grand Canyon, believe it or not). As a long-time watchdog of Christian Right abuses of power and a hardcore advocate of state-church separation, I have never once noticed that any of these groups call for the Sermon On The Mount to be posted in public places.

Of course, as an advocate of state-church separation, that kind of effort would be equally wrong. Still, it is telling indeed just which doctrine, and from what source, these self-proclaimed Christians are striving to promote everywhere.
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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
1. The courts should post the golden rule!
And live by it!
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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. They should post Mike Hunt's Top 10 List!
:D
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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Mike Hunt takes commandments seriously!
Roll Over And Such!
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Larkspur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
4. Jesus' way demanded that his disciples be servants, not tyrants
and Repukes prefer the harsher tones of the Old Testament to Jesus's call to love each other as we love ourselves and love our enemies, pray for those that persecute you. Repukes would rather terminate those that oppose them, whether they be good people or rotten ones.
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
5. When Aslan was reborn, the Stone Table cracked.
You're absolutely right in your reading of true Christian theology, ZombyWoof.



In CS Lewis' pagan retelling of the death of Christ, Aslan the Lion is slaughtered on the Stone Table by the White Witch. But when Aslan comes back to life, the Stone Table cracks and is unfit for sacrifice anymore.

An interesting civil disobedience would have been to throw a "bloody lion" (stuffed animal covered in ketchup) onto the monument. Then the sledgehammer...

The 10 Commandments fetish is proof positive that Moore and his supporters feel more comfortable with a God of Wrath these days, and not a God of Love.
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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. thanks
I suspected as much about the "love vs wrath" angle. Your insights are appreciated!
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
7. i concur...sermon on mount is the christain rule..read 2 Corinthians 3
Edited on Thu Aug-21-03 02:00 PM by ElsewheresDaughter
the entire chapter proves it so :7...somehow these fundies have neglected to read and understand it
2 Corinthians
Chapter 3

1
1 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you or from you?
2
You are our letter, 2 written on our hearts, known and read by all,
3
3 shown to be a letter of Christ administered by us, written not in ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets that are hearts of flesh.
4
4 Such confidence we have through Christ toward God.
5
Not that of ourselves we are qualified to take credit for anything as coming from us; rather, our qualification comes from God,
6
who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life. 5
7
6 7 Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, was so glorious that the Israelites could not look intently at the face of Moses because of its glory that was going to fade,
8
how much more 8 will the ministry of the Spirit be glorious?
9
For if the ministry of condemnation was glorious, the ministry of righteousness will abound much more in glory.
10
Indeed, what was endowed with glory has come to have no glory in this respect because of the glory that surpasses it.
11
For if what was going to fade was glorious, how much more will what endures be glorious.
12
Therefore, since we have such hope, 9 we act very boldly
13
and not like Moses, 10 who put a veil over his face so that the Israelites could not look intently at the cessation of what was fading.
14
Rather, their thoughts were rendered dull, for to this present day 11 the same veil remains unlifted when they read the old covenant, because through Christ it is taken away.
15
To this day, in fact, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their hearts,
16
but whenever a person turns to the Lord the veil is removed.
17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, 12 and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
18
13 All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as from the Lord who is the Spirit.
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Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. That pretty much sums up the essence of Christianity
And it is total refutation of what Moses had to say including the ten commandments. Christians these people are not. If you listen to the words of Moses a veil is placed over your heartl, where if you listen to Christ the Veil is lifted and the Spirit is set Free.
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sujan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
8. courts have to remain secular entities
not religious conference centers.
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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. have no doubt
I agree completely. I make a point of stressing my ABSOLUTE dedication to state/church separation. I am an atheist too, but I never use DU as a forum for beating people over the head with that fact.

My point was to get at why JUST the TC is at the core of Christian RW activism, and the underpinnings of their beliefs and motives.
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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
10. Honor thy Yak!
Send $10.00 and I'll pray for 5 minutes! No Sales Tax! $19.99 shipping!

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Moral Bankruptcy Cases $40.00

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Hot dog with everthing .99 cents on fridays

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Reverend Judge Roy Boosshhhh!

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FlashHarry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
11. Yep. Matthew 22
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.



My understanding is, that if you're a Christian, you follow the teachings of Christ and his new covenant--meaning that the New Testament supercedes the Old, when they conflict.

And my personal favorite (the one that refutes the OT passage that fundies like to quote to support the death penalty):

38Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
12. I was taught and have thought the following...
New Covenant = Sermon on the mount = Two rules for attaining the kingdom of heaven, Love God and Love thy neighbor as yourself.

Old Covenant = 10 Commandments

It would seem to me that Christians would follow the new covenant, I always thought those rules were much less archaic and easier to follow. I try to live by them both, although my concept of God has evolved somewhat from my youth.
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darkstar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Thanks ZW
I'm no expert, but I know enough to have been finding it ironic for years that fundie-wingers never quote Christ on TV, etc. Always the OT, patriarchal, law of the fathers sections of the bible.

Right or wrong, I've always been of the belief that the 10 Commandments was a sort of Hobbesian societal survival pact, religion and civil order all in one, appropriate to the survivalist conditions of tribal realities.

Permananet cities and city states rapidly evolve civil codes, however, as a byproduct of commerce between stangers, population densities, fights over inheritance of limited land, etc. Other than the most purely humanist and spiritual aspects in the previous version, "do not" portions of previous code are either no longer needed and/or are tweaked by the growing body of civil law. Hence, the "spiritual commandments" for life in a civic system become few, simple, and most importantly prescriptive rather than proscriptive (and punative): Love each other, treat each other like you want to be treated, show compassion to the least among you, etc.

But, again, I'm no expert and this is just my opinion of things. Feel free to check me on my little theory.
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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-03 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. good points
The law/survival model is exactly the kind of discussion I was striving for. I am no expert either, but you handled yourself just fine!

Thanks to all for contributing, and the yaks too!
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