2020-02-23 - Sixth Commandment: Introduction
In 1979, Francis Schaeffer said: “… we find ourselves in a more consistent but uglier world—consistent because people are taking their low view of man to its natural conclusion, and uglier because humanity is drastically dehumanized.
“The Bible teaches that man is made in the image of God and therefore is unique. Remove that teaching, as humanism has done on both sides of the Iron Curtain, and there is no adequate basis for treating people well. “… we are faced today with a flood of personal cruelty. … the Christian consensus gave great freedom without leading to chaos—because society in general functioned within the values given in the Bible, especially the unique value of human life. Now that humanism has taken over, the former freedoms run riot, and individuals, acting on what they are taught, increasingly practice their cruelties without restraint. And why shouldn‘t they? If the modern humanistic view of man is correct, and man is only a product of chance in a universe that has no ultimate values, why should an individual refrain from being cruel to another person, if that person seems to be standing in his or her way?” 1
Schaeffer goes on to identify areas of concern including: Genetic Engineering, Child abuse, Abortion, Infanticide, and Euthanasia. What has all this to do with the Sixth Commandment? The subject is the value of human life and God‘s concern for how we treat one another.
“Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer,Up to now, we have been dealing with commands that touch on the divine, those that tie directly to our relationship with God, and the uplifting, the honoring of the Sabbath and parents. But now, we seem to have dropped down into the mundane, that area of life we don‘t want to deal with, or even see the need to discuss - killing, stealing, lying, etc. After all, let‘s be realistic. How many of us are ever going to need to worry about killing someone, anyway? When was the last time you robbed a bank? Nevertheless, I think we will find, though, that these commandments are certainly applicable to our daily lives.
As noted previously, these commandments deal with people‘s relationship to people. But again, keep in mind that any sin is first against God - and only secondly is against others. If we remember that any sin is first of all grieving God, then I suspect we would be living our lives differently, or at least taking “minor” sins more seriously. The command to not kill isn‘t just for society in general, but for us specifically. As with the other commandments, we will focus on the positive side of not killing, as our concern.
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