Many years ago there was a newspaper that invited two theologians to write an article each about the Ten Commandments. The basic question was whether the theologians thought that the Commandments had any relevance for today. One was a conservative theologians and the other was a liberal theologians.
Obviously, the editor was trying to draw two people into a fight. Presumably, the conservative would be in favour of the Commandments and the liberal would think that they bore no relevance for the modern person.
It might have been a fun sort of exercise for those of us who like to watch theologians quarrel over such matters. The problem was that both theologians, working independent of one another concluded that the Ten Commandments are relevant to modern life.
Last week I was at Provincial Council and we did an exercise in which we were asked to think about our best dream for our Christian communities. In my group someone simply wrote, "Responsibility." That’s what it’s all about. An authentic community is one where everyone takes responsibility for the health of the group and everyone in it.
If you think about it the Ten Commandment are about authentic community. They are God’s invitation into community with our Creator and with creation (one another). It is more than just an invitation into community; it is an invitation to take on a responsibility in our relationships with God, one another and creation. If you don’t believe me, then read them.
I remember hearing a phone-in radio show and I don’t remember what the topic was but someone called and said, "If only we followed the Ten Commandments, then everything would be right" Perhaps you’ve heard this guy; he seems to call in a lot. The first time I heard him I laughed at him. Then I thought about it, and you know --- he’s right.
Are the Ten Commandments relevant? Like oxygen.