Summary: If God is not Lord of all, He's not your Lord at all.
On Monday, Beth and I traveled north on 74. When merging onto westbound 80, the car in front of us unexpectedly swerved to avoid another car. Because of wet pavement, it started sliding sideways and spinning in circles. Beth started praying out loud for the driver while I braked and pulled onto the shoulder as the car continued to spin out of control. Just when it looked like it was going to go into the ditch, the car took off and headed straight across all three westbound lanes. We were afraid it was going to cross the median and plow into the path of the eastbound traffic, but the car stopped abruptly when the thick cables making up the guardrail finally halted its momentum.
I could see the young woman was really shaken up. Beth immediately called 911 while I got out of our car and started waving my black Edgewood cap to get the traffic to slow down and move over because the front end of her car was sticking out into the far-left lane. When the officer arrived, he waved us on. We were thankful she didn’t appear to be injured, at least physically.
Two things kept this situation from being much worse. First, I believe Beth’s earnest prayers kept the car from crashing. Second, the guardrails did their job, keeping the driver from certain disaster.
Like guardrails, God’s commands keep us safe and secure. One pastor put it like this: “We are not saved by keeping the 10 Commandments. However, we are kept safe by them.” The Law reveals the righteousness of God but cannot produce righteousness in our hearts. The commandments don’t give us life; but they certainly guide our life and help us stay on the road.
This is important because according to a new study by George Barna, 94% of Americans do not hold a biblical worldview. Sadly, 88% of Americans ascribe to some form of syncretism, which according to Barna is a “disparate, irreconcilable collection of beliefs and behaviors that define people’s lives…syncretism is a cut-and-paste approach to making sense of life…Americans embrace points of view or actions that feel comfortable or most convenient.”
It’s easy to think our country is spinning out of control but our community is somehow doing better. Not so much. Earlier this month, an area high school class was given the “Oatmeal Trigger Test” to help students explore their own “personal backfire effect” to 36 “claims of fact” statements. While I’m all for students being challenged to figure out what they believe, the statements they were asked to rank reveal a decidely anti-biblical bias. I’ll list just five of them:
• Teaching sex education at age-appropriate levels starting in kindergarten is beneficial.
• Virginity is a myth and the practice of determining worth to virgins is psychologically damaging.
• Homosexuality is not a choice; it is a biological construct.
• The Bible does not actually condemn homosexuality – people are misinterpreting and misquoting scripture to force a narrative.
• To decrease abortion, we need to have comprehensive sex-education, not abstinence or faith-based sex ed.
Fellow followers of Christ, parents, and grandparents, I submit we must internalize the Ten Commandments and teach them to the next generation because they are foundational to developing disciples who hold to a biblical worldview. BTW, in order to anchor their worldview to God’s Word, our Mainspring ministry is focusing on how to communicate truth in a spirit of grace.
On Wednesday, I saw Shane Davis at McDonald’s having coffee with a bunch of friends. He said he really appreciated the first message in our Written in Stone series. I asked him if he needed a bookmark and remembered I had some in my backpack. I gave one to him and all his buddies. I had some extras, so I encouraged them to give some to their friends. One guy said, “I know a big sinner I can give one to.” We all laughed and then he said, “I’m one of those big sinners.” To which I replied, “Me, too.”
That’s one of the purposes of the 10 Commandments, isn’t it? When we see we are sinners, we’ll see our need for the Savior. Have you been working at memorizing the 10 Commandments? There are bookmarks in the seat back in front of you. Pull one out now and let’s read together.
1. One God
2. No idols
3. Revere His Name
4. Remember to Rest
5. Honor Parents
6. No murder
7. No adultery
8. No stealing
9. No lying
10. No coveting
Last week we made 10 observations about the 10 Commandments. Here are four more.
• Eight of the commands are negative (no other gods, no idols, don’t take God’s name in vain, no murder, no adultery, no stealing, no lying, no coveting), while two are positive (remember to rest, honor parents). Hebrew has two forms of negative command. One is used for specific, immediate situations, and the other for general prohibitions. The idea is, “Don’t ever…” I’m reminded of the newspaper editor who asked one of his reporters to summarize the 10 Commandments for an article. After a few minutes, the reporter came back with one word scratched in large letters on a piece of paper: “DON’T!”