No Apologizing

Christian Apologetic, and Social Commentary in a world gone mad

Category Archives: 10 Commandments

…And Now I cheated on my wife!? what adultery looks like.

Last week I pointed out where Jesus called us all murderers… so you should know what’s coming next:  Raise your hand if you have ever cheated on your spouse.  Okay hands down.  Now, I am willing to bet that those of you who didn’t raise your hand….have cheated on your spouse.  My Pastor gave a really good sermon on this topic.  Rather than recounting his sermon (you can listen to it here)…I am going to focus on a certain aspect of the sermon.

7th commandment…You shall not commit adultery.

After you have digested that statement for a moment read Matthew 5:27 – 28.

 27You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

After you pick your jaw up off the floor, consider this: 

When most people think of adultery they are thinking of the actual physical act of being sexually intimate with someone other than their spouse.  To limit adultery to such an act would be to fail to recognize what adultery is in God’s eyes.  Yes, according to God… looking at a person of the opposite sex with lust is adultery.

Many atheist and agnostics will harp on the fact that there are a number of Christians who do in fact commit adultery on their spouses to try to disprove the God revealed in the Bible.  Except when they talk about it they are talking about it in the physical sense.  The truth is that a super majority (if not all) commit adultery on their spouses according to the standard of God.  This is nothing to be boastful about… and it certainly is not my intent. But even still, the failures of His followers do not in any way discredit the claims of Christ.

We cannot limit our view of adultery to the physical act.  Adultery must be viewed as both the physical act and the act committed in your heart when you lust. But through the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit there is hope and forgiveness and help to follow God’s standard more closely.

Paul summarizes it this way in Galatians 5:  So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whateveryou want.

Job 31 says: 

1 “I made a covenant with my eyes
   not to look lustfully at a young woman.
2 For what is our lot from God above,
   our heritage from the Almighty on high?
3 Is it not ruin for the wicked,
   disaster for those who do wrong?
4 Does he not see my ways
   and count my every step?

What do you mean I’m a murderer!?

We have hit the 6th commandment mark in our series on the 10 commandments (link here to sermon).  Here is a commandment that is laced with controversy and unintended consequences.  Murder is a harsh word, that (in some circles) is politically charged and could cause many to recoil. And it should.  Our political climate and cultural climate has begun to desensitize us to the “condition” of human life.  I am not sure that a week goes by were murder is not shown on tv, or played out in video games.  This commandment covers the topics of war, abortion, manslaughter, and outright murder.

So when we look at the 6th commandment murder must be defined.  My pastor defined murder as the following “Any act of violence against an innocent human being out of hatred, anger, malice, deceit or for personal gain by whatever method that results in death.”  This is a definition that all of us (including most laws) will agree with.

 I want to talk about the elephant in the room that everyone can see, and I want to talk about the 800lb Gorilla in the room that very few see.

 First to the 800lb gorilla…all of us, at some point, more than likely have committed murder.

 I wanted to start here because if you ask the average Christian, atheist, or agnostic if they have ever committed murder they would all answer no.  They would be about 50% correct.  The truth is that 99.9% of those same people have committed murder and have no idea that they have…

 Jesus is known for ramping things up…so to speak.  He does so with the 6th commandment.  The point here is pretty straightforward.  The Bible says that anyone who is

We are all guilty...

 angry with his brother is guilty of murder (Matthew 5:21-22, 1 John 3:15).  So the act of physical murder is one thing, but anger and hate is murder as well?  Does that even make sense?  ABSOLUTELY!  The point that Jesus is making is that the intent in your heart matters!  God can see through to your heart and knows what your heart is saying….even if your exterior is smiling at the person you hate.  Let this soak in for a second…Every person you have hated…you have murdered…in your heart.  That would make some of us psychopaths. 

 The fact that this is a HIGH standard is intentional.  Raise your hand if you have hated anyone.  Okay know that all of our hands are up…including mine…would you have ever thought that the emotion of anger and hate was tantamount to murder?  This is undeniably a high standard and underscores the reason for our need for salvation.

Now to the elephant…abortion.  Abortion is, and has become a very politically charged issue.  Many argue that abortion is a moral issue.  What is the moral issue?  A woman has a right to choose what to do with her body.  However, I would argue that choice is not a moral issue.  Moreover, I would argue pro-choice is simply a position that could be applied to any issue where a choice is required…such as school vouchers (opportunity for parents to send their kids to a school of their choice), or the gun issue (my choice to have a weapon in the house).  The moral issue at play for the issue of abortion is this, is it right or wrong to murder?  Now, I can immediately envision the embolism that is taking place in the heads of pro-abortion individuals.  Hear me out.  Pro- Abortion and pro-life individuals both agree that murder is wrong.  No one on either side of that argument would defend murder as defined above.  The question then isn’t whether or not murder is wrong; because we all know that it is…the question then becomes when does life begin?  Is abortion in fact murder?  Check this out…In Roe v. Wade the US Supreme Court declined to comment on the issue of life.  Rather a neutral position was declared saying that it wasn’t necessary for them to know when life began.   Doesn’t that seem odd?  A court ruling that allows for the termination of a pregnancy ignoring the question of whether the fetus is in fact alive.  Now Planned Parenthood v. Casey does define when life begins (yes a court did this) however, the morality (which is where I am attacking here) was as vague if not more vague from this ruling. 

 Consider the following quote from the Casey case: “Some of us as individuals find abortion offensive to our most basic principles of morality, but that cannot control our decision. Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code…at the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”  Now that you have read this…re-read it while considering the following:  1.  The court mandated it’s own moral code, while stating that it could not. 2. Based on the above one could argue that a murderer defines his existence by murdering.  The above statement could be used to justify anything under the guise that it defines a person’s existence, and meaning.

 Now, in our small group we discussed this topic at length.  It was brought up that scientific studies show that the cells do not enter the womb until the 6th day  of pregnancy (yes this is relevant.)  Looking at abortion statistics from a 2006 CDC survey, 40% (487,000) of abortions take place AFTER the 9th week and 60% (755,000) less than 9 weeks.  We don’t know how many abortions take place from day 6 and before, but I am willing to wager not very many considering that most do not find out they are pregnant until the missed cycle (which could be anywhere from 3 weeks).  Consider the above statistics when reading the next paragraph.

 According to Psalm 139:13-16 God knit us together in the womb. He sees our unformed body.  He wrote out our history before we saw one day.  Psalm 139 offers instruction as to when life begins.  So there could be two sides to this argument… the Conservative, life begins at conception, or the liberal, life begins when God knits us together in the womb.  Both conclusion could be had from Psalm 139.  To rephrase…life begins at conception or at the time we enter the womb for knitting (day 6).

 To summarize…God has provided a timeline to when life starts.  The courts have been put into a position to try and define when life starts, but they relegate it to choice.  If life starts (even at the latest) 6 days after conception, then abortion at any point beyond that has to be considered murder, according the definition provided above. 

 While the argument about abortion is indeed heated, one must remove the cultural issue (choice) and focus on the moral issue at hand (murder).  When you focus on the true moral issue of murder, the only question that exists about abortion is, when does life begin.  If the argument for abortion looked specifically at that question…I have a feeling that the tone would be much different.

The forest through the trees…

Can you see the forest through the trees?

A group of guys were on a camping trip.  They went hiking, and got lost.  They were looking for a forest where they had camped.  One of them turned to the group and said “Hey, can anyone see the forest?”  One in the group replied “Well it would be a lot easier to see without all of the trees!”

This is a pretty common saying…can’t see the forest through the trees.  The use of the phrase implies that someone is so caught up in the details, that they can’t see the big picture.  This was the situation that Jesus found himself in, in Matthew 12:1-14. 

The set up:  Jesus and the apostles were walking through a grain field on the Sabbath.  They were hungry, so they picked some grain and ate.

The problem:  According to the 4th commandment, they were to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.  Because God made the world in 6 days, and rested on the 7th…we are supposed to as well.

The reaction:  In their zeal to try and do what is right (keep the law), the Pharisees had built a practical buffer around the law were they placed rules around the law to attempt to prevent accidental violation of the law.  They did this because they had learned the severe consequences of ignoring God’s laws (through the exile).  They were irritated with Jesus for not keeping their stringent rules or the letter of the law.

The response:  Jesus asks the Pharisees to see the forest through the trees – to see the big picture, or to observe the spirit (intent) of the law rather than the strict letter of the law.

Upon being questioned by the Pharisees Jesus drew a couple of comparisons to the Old Testament.  He concluded his response with a quote of Hosea 6:6; “I desire mercy and not sacrifice”.  Jesus had used this phrase before (Matthew 9:13).  When Jesus summarized the law in Matthew 22:37-40 He basically told them “Love God and Love People” – in other words BE Loving… BE Merciful.  The law was a set of guidelines to help people figure out how to be and act in loving and merciful ways. The Pharisees were totally missing that point.  Jesus went on to illustrate this at the temple by healing a man with a withered hand.  It wasn’t enough that Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath day (viewed as work by the Pharisees), but he also made a point to ask the man to extend his hand to be healed (this also could have been viewed as work).   This time Jesus was painting a picture for them.  He asked them which one of you would not go help your sheep if it fell into a pit?  This was a practical illustration of giving mercy, and not sacrifice that they would put into effect because it would ultimately benefit them.  Jesus exposed their heart attitude that they didn’t care so much about loving God and loving other People… they were just trying to stay out of “trouble” and look good.

The 4th commandment is really an interesting commandment because of what happens when you discuss it.  You can be in a group talking about how we can honor this commandment and within 10 minutes you are so far into what is allowed that you forget that Christ wants us to be merciful rather than sacrificial… he wants us to see the forest…  Now don’t get me wrong, it helps us to see the trees (look at the details) in most cases.  But, it is when we are so focused on the trees, and we forget the big picture, that’s when problems begin to occur. 

In our small group tonight it took 10 minutes before we were diving into the minutia of the 4th  commandment and asking questions like, “are we enabling the breaking of the 4th commandment by going to the store and forcing people to work on Sunday?”  After a few minutes of discussion we looked at Colossians 2:16-17, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.  These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” and moved on. But the questions still remain – God created a 7 day week for a reason (and studies have shown that people are most healthy productive when they take 1-2 days off each week). There’s so many things to consider surrounding the practical application and implications of a “Sabbath” day (like Hebrews 10:24-25, what day it should be and whether it is even applicable to the Church age or strictly an OT commandment specifically to Israel).  While our group discussed this commandment for only an hour, the Israelites had discussed it for over 1000 years… You can imagine how far down the rabbit hole they had gone with the 4th commandment!! This is why Jesus’ words and actions were so upsetting to the religious establishment of the time!

As alluded to before, the problem with the Pharisees wasn’t that they were being “disobedient” to God… they had a Heart problem and jacked up motivations.  Their stance can be summed up in one word:  Legalism.  None of us think we are susceptible to that, but we really are… AND , We have to avoid it AT ALL COSTS… because it leads us to being so consumed with the “law” that we forget the mercy and grace of God and how He desires us to be loving and merciful to the people around us.  After all isn’t Loving God and Loving others the point?


The use of the Lords name has become as casual as casual day on Friday.  You cannot turn on a movie or a TV show where God or Jesus Christ is not used flippantly or

Sometimes...even I wonder

 frivolously.   For that matter some Kids movies are known to use God’s name in a flippant manner.  People who write these things, or say God in a way that is not reverent do so because to them…God’s name is no different saying “couch” or “chair”.  Take for example the movie Pulp Fiction.  God is said 34 times in a way that is not reverent at all. Jesus Christ… an additional 4 times.  I wonder when God or Jesus Christ is used in vain during this movie if anything is actually added to the movie.  This means that God’s name was taken in vain at least every 3 to 4 minutes.  While Pulp Fiction may be an extreme it is an illustration of how socially acceptable it has come to take the Lords name in vain.

Commandment 3 – You shall not take the name of the Lord in vain.

Rather than dwelling on the obvious uses of God’s name in vain let’s focus on some things you probably haven’t considered.

As a Christian…are you taking the Lords name in vain when you say “I am a Christian”, and then act to the contrary?  I ask this question knowing full well that we are not perfect, and that we will make mistakes.  What I am talking about is willingly committing sin, either privately or for all of the world to see.   I would argue yes.  Consider this.  As Christian’s we are ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).  We are Christ by name.  If we represent the name and we act in a way that is irreverent to that name… we have taken that name in vain.  It really is that simple.  So in this since it goes beyond the spoken word in into our actions. Yes…you can act a certain way…and take the Lord’s name in vain.

Take for example the common mistake of a Christian saying that God doesn’t belong in a work place, and then proceeding to act VERY un-Christ like.  It could be lying, or backstabbing someone, or demeaning someone in front of the office or what not.  Then this same person talks about Church or being a Christian or how passionate they are about Christ.  I am sure we have all seen this person, or you are thinking about someone in particular as you read this…I know I am.  The question then becomes…is that person taking the Lord’s name in vain?  Even allowing for grace, we are all going to sin, and make mistakes.  I am in no way advocating that we have to be perfect.  But never the less…these actions are taking the Lord’s name in vain. (check out this funny, yet powerful illustration, by BlueFish TV)

We as Christian’s must be cognizant of our own representation of God’s name – In fact, the word “Christian” literally means “little Christ.”  Others, who see us use God’s name in vain, usually call it being a hypocrite.  But the effect of these actions are on the level as dropping the worst, profane use of God’s name possible because the impact is the same.  The holy name of God is tarnished in the eyes of unbelievers.

I have many gods….but only one God

YOU! Are the most common god...

I love the Ten Commandments.  What an interesting study into the natural and moral law of God.  My Pastor has started a series on the 10 commandments (to listen to the sermons CLICK HERE).  Each week he is going through a commandment.  I am posting this a couple of weeks behind but two weeks ago was the first commandment.

Now the first commandment is the one that typically is used for the reason that the 10 commandments cannot be displayed on public property.  In recent history this has become one of the more controversial commandments, not only because of the First amendment debate but also because of the implications to everyday Christians who think that this only applies to worshipping Buddha, or Zeus or whatever…  Just like the transformers, however, there is more to this than meets the eye.  Much of this is taken from the sermon, so if you take a listen…many of the points here will sound familiar.

Commandment 1 – You shall have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:3)

Everyone has a god.  Now, some one of you are probably thinking “I have a god and it is God”.  Others, like atheists, say I have no god, nor do I believe in God.  Still others, like Kenneth Copeland will tell you, you are a god or you can become one (Mormans).  In order to rightly explain this we have to look at each one of these…

Christians – Most Christians will tell you that they don’t worship Buddha or anything along those lines so they follow the first commandment.  That may be, however, the furthest thing from the truth.  The truth is that anything can be a god to you…even yourself.   Your god can be…

–          Success and Money (Luke 16:13).  Yes you can worship one and not the other.  The question is which is the priority in your life… From which do you place your significance and security? The money you make (or have banked) or God?

–          Society (Galatians 1:10).  You can worship others opinion of you.  The question to you…which one carries the most weight for you, the opinion of others or the opinion of God?

–          Pleasure (1 Timothy 5:6).  You can worship doing whatever feels good.  You basically put your personal pleasure before God.  Living with a boyfriend… going out to party… pre-marital sex…  Homosexuality…  So the question…Which most affects your decision making, personal pleasure or living with God?

–          Family (Luke 14:26).  Yes you can replace God with the worship of your own family.  Now I can hear the Atheist (and some Christians) exploding right now.   What Jesus is saying is that God comes before family.  Our love for Him should look like contempt for everyone…even your family.  So now the question…Which takes prescedence?  Your family… or God?

–          Yourself (Proverbs 14:12).  Ahhhhhh worship of one’s self.  This covers a broad perspective.  Check this out…Ever heard or caught yourself saying the god I know would’nt  judge people for (fill in the blank with something that is expressly mentioned in the Bible)… CONGRATULATIONS!  You have created a god that doesn’t exist in the Bible, instead, you have created a god in the image of yourself. Go back up to the Pleasure god.  

Atheists – All atheist’s have a god to worship.  It can be any of the things listed above, but it could also include nature, or science.  Nature in the fact that they could worship protecting the environment, or the “Science” that claims that nature was able to create itself (evolution).  But even if you are an atheist or an agnostic, and you don’t buy into global warming or evolution, you more than likely worship one of the things listed above.  More than likely you worship yourself.  You might be thinking is that you determine your own destiny, or moral values, or world view.  This would make you a god in the most basic sense.

The first commandment is a call to worship only God.  To put aside all of the things that could distract you from being with God and focus on him.  If you are a Christian…your god can be anything that distracts you from the one true God!  If you’re an atheist, your god HAS taken you away from Him already!  Simply denying he exists doesn’t take away the fact that He is truly God.

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