The Ten Commandments

The United Methodist News Service featured an article a few days ago about the Ten Commandments issue (here). I found it really interesting because it was a more well rounded than what I usually hear about this issue. From what you usually here in the media it is the conservative Christians versus the liberal atheists arguing it out. Personally, I don't understand why either side really cares that much. I mean is hanging the Ten Commandments up going to make everyone listen or follow them? And is having the Ten Commandments up really mean that your freedom to not practice a religion is being encroached upon?

One quote that really stuck out for me was "Allen calls it 'a very dangerous topic because one way to convince the Supreme Court that it is OK to display the Ten Commandments is by taking the position that (they) are merely a historical document and have no religious significance. I didn't think the UMC was willing to take that position.' " I think this is an important observation. Is it really helpful to Christians to have the Ten Commandments on a wall with other "historical documents?" That is a dangerous step for Christians. Even if that isn't what we mean when we use this argument, what are we portraying to others? That almost makes it seem like we are advocating the all roads lead to the top idea, and that is one line that I'm not at all willing to cross.

This is also interesting because of the diverse opinions within the UMC. I do think this is something that makes the UMC unique, that they allow for a wide variety of opinions. So many other churches get caught up in having everyone agree with every little thing, but the UMC seems to allow for Augustine's "In Essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, love." This isn't to say that we don't discuss these things, we do. The idea is to not let these things divide us. Sure it doesn't work out all the time, but I think the UMC does a better job of it than other groups.

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