Daily Archives: April 16, 2008

Did I Contradict Jesus?

Christian, the keeper of the blog Free Thinking Joy, has accused me of contradicting Jesus:

In my remarks about the Ten Commandments, I have come to the conclusion that their real content can be summarized as “Treat others as you would like to be treated by them”, also known as the Golden Rule. Jesus, as quoted in Matthew 7:12, has put it like this: “Always treat others as you would like them to treat you, this is the law and the prophets.” By the way, “law and prophets” means not only the Ten Commandments but all the holy scriptures of the Jews at that time.

Surprise, surprise. Was Jesus a freethinker? In the eyes of the Pharisees, he certainly was. Now compare his “law and prophets” statement with Cory’s claim of the Ten Commandments as God’s absolute rules that have to be followed word by word. He seems to contradict his own master in this respect. (source)

I have not contradicted Jesus.  Christian has changed his assumptions.  I thought that we were dealing specifically with the Ten Commandments.  In that regard, they are Commandments, not suggestions, to be followed to the letter.

In the broader Christian theology, we are in an age of grace–we have considerable latitude in applying these practices to our lives.  Righteousness is not obtained by works of law, but by faith.  In that sense, the Ten Commandments can become the Ten Suggestions.  We follow God’s law to show Him honor, not because we are compelled to in order win favor.  Following the Commandments is the right thing to do.