Summary: As the new century begins to unfold, what will be the source of our values? (First in a series of the Ten Commandments)

Ten Commandments Series

First in a series -- An Introduction to the Commandments -- January 9, 2000

"Centuries Come and Go -- God’s Law Remains"

By the Rev. Dr. Maynard Pittendreigh

Exod 20:1-17

1 And God spoke all these words:

2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

3 "You shall have no other gods before me.

4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

6 but showing love to a thousand of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.

11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

13 "You shall not murder.

14 "You shall not commit adultery.

15 "You shall not steal.

16 "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 "You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."



I hope everyone had a great New Year’s celebration. What a great night it was to

see that all of the fears of Y2K were not realized, and that there were no major terrorist activities. Hour after hour it seemed that the world was celebrating this new century with peace and harmony and everything was moving so orderly.

I find it strange to be living in the 21st century, in the year 2000. But here we are.

As we move into this new age of humanity, what will be our value system? What

will guide our living? What will shape our ethics?

That is an important question, because we live in an age that seems to be starving for values.

People steal from one another, cheat the IRS, and embezzle at work, and never think twice about it.

Kids take guns to school and kill teachers and students.

Sexuality no longer brings husband and wife together, but split families because of

reckless affairs.

Do we, as a culture, believe that the Ten Commandments are still relevant?

Do they still apply to us?

Cable TV giant Ted Turner would say no. He declared several years ago that the Ten Commandments were obsolete. Turner, creator of Cable News Network, told members of the National Newspaper Association in Atlanta that the biblical Ten Commandments do not relate to current global problems, such as overpopulation and the arms race.

"We’re living with outmoded rules," Turner said. "The rules we’re living under in the Ten Commandments, and I bet nobody here even pays much attention to ’em, because they are too old.

"When Moses went up on the mountain, there were no nuclear weapons, there was no poverty. Today, the commandments wouldn’t go over. Nobody around likes to be commanded. Commandments are out."

How many of us here feel the same way?

I would ask for a show of hands, but to tell you the truth, I’m afraid to. I think I would find it too depressing. I have this strange feeling too many of you would raise your hands.

Do you believe the Ten Commandments are relevant to you in your life?

I want to share some important points about the Ten Commandments this morning and the first point that I want to make is that the Ten Commandments are relevant.

Ted Turner would say that the Ten Commandments are NOT relevant.

A lot of people would agree. Listen to television, talk show hosts, radio discussions, log into a computer chat line, or just listen to the conversation in the grocery store. Most people seem to think that the Ten Commandments are no longer relevant.

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