I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods besides me.
Man was created by God, in an act of pure love, and an intimacy between them was thereby intended. Man’s prime concern and attitude, therefore, ought to be the love of God and humble gratitude for the gift of life.
Yet, man does not want God to be God. He wants himself to be god, and so he rejects the true God and forges his own gods, be they false religions such as Mohammedanism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism, or false ideologies such as Humanism, Marxism, Nazism, Zionism, and Capitalism. “Man changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator” (Rom. 1:25).
You shall not make God in your own image, or in the image of any other creature.
Man is made in the image and likeness of God, in that he has an intellect, he has a memory, he has a conscience, and he has a soul. “God is a Spirit, and man is called to worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (Jn. 4:24).
Instead, man fashions his own image of God, whether it be Royalty , hero-worship, the cult of celebrity, evolutionism, nature worship, or animal worship. In short, the mind of man is a factory of idols. He wants the form of religion rather than its content; a ‘spirituality’ that is man-centred, self-serving, sensuous, and sentimental. The Cross of Christ is the Divine sword that cuts through man’s idolatry and reveals it for what it is: self-worship and delusion.
You shall honour the Name of the Lord your God.
The Name of God is holy. His Name is Jesus, which means Saviour. God is a Trinity of persons, Father, son, and Holy Spirit, and through the Second Person, Jesus, God has been revealed to man. Through His Holy Cross Jesus has restored the broken relationship between God and man, which had come about because of man’s sin, primarily his pride.
Jesus is God become man. His Name is sacred, and “neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other Name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts, 4:12)
You shall keep a day of rest, a holyday, within the week.
God has made man a spiritual being. Therefore, by nature he is contemplative. If he doesn’t set apart a time for the remembrance of God, the cultivation of the spiritual life, prayer and meditation, then his life will become disordered, disaffected, and eventually depraved.
Man is also a social being, leisurely and creative. He needs to be with his family and with his friends. He needs to enjoy the beauty of nature and animals, which God has created, and the food and drink God has given him, which strengthens and cheers his heart and makes his face shine (Ps. 103:15).
This is the life God has given to man: work, prayer, leisure, family, friendship, and communion.
“Delight thyself in the Lord, and He shall give thee thy heart’s desires (Ps. 36:4).
You shall honour your father and mother.
The family is established by God as the sacred and inviolable bastion of human society, and it is composed of one man and one woman, and as many children as God is pleased to give them. Anything that violates or undermines the integrity of the family is to be seen as a moral and social evil. In this category are included: neglect of one’s parents, “one-parent families”, contraception, abortion, “test-tube babies” , paedophilia, and adoption of children by homosexuals.
We are entitled by God to have a mother and a father, according to the Divine order of biology, nature, and nurture. And we are to love them and care for them. We are expected by God to have children, freely, naturally, and affectionately, whom we are to love and cherish. But “except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Ps. 126:1).
You shall not kill
Human life is sacred. And human life, of whatever colour, nationality, gender, age, or religion is precious in the sight of God, and therefore ought also to be precious in the sight of man.
The wilful and deliberate taking of human life is murder, and is evil. The hatred, pride, and selfishness that engenders murder, racism, nationalism, and war is of the Devil, and is evil. The arms trade, the waging of war, abortion and euthanasia all constitute the culture of death and are moral and social evils.
The wanton destruction of animals for leisure and pleasure, “blood sports”, which proceeds from man’s disordered nature, is also a grave sin in the eyes of God. All beings desire to live, and none wish to die. Man must repent, be reconciled with God and transformed through Christ, so as to allow his life to become one of peace, good will, and charity, instead of pride, anger, and hatred.
You shall not commit adultery
“In the beginning God created them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man separate. (Mt. 19:4-6).
The holy estate of matrimony has been instituted by God for the natural companionship of man and woman, the procreation of children, and the control of carnal desire. Marriage is a sacrament, a mystical communion between man and woman, and their children thereof, which mirrors the Trinitarian life of God: the lover, the beloved, and the fruit of their love. Infidelity destroys this communion, as does divorce. Also, all types of lust, such as masturbation, pornography, fornication, rape, and homosexualism are acts and tendencies which are antithetical to the holy character of marriage, and they proceed from man’s disordered nature.
You shall not steal
God intends human society to be a commonwealth of mutual support, sharing, and generosity. We are to “love God with all our heart, all our mind, and all our strength and to love our neighbours as ourself”, says Jesus, the Word of God (Mt. 23:37-40).
All kinds of economic exploitation, including usury, capitalism, slavery, and colonialism are, in varying degrees, forms of theft. And all other types of fraud, trickery, and oppression by which the cunning, the deceitful, and the powerful take advantage of the poor, the weak, and the innocent, fall under the condemnation of human rapacity. The rich of the world live off the poor of the world; in the sight of God this is stealing from one’s brothers and sisters. God, who is Love, would have us give alms to the poor and needy, pay workers just wages and give them sufficient time for rest and replenishment. Only God, in Christ, can deliver man from his greed and selfishness, and give him a just and a generous spirit.
You shall not lie
“The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.” (Jn.1:14). Due to his fallen nature man finds truth an elusive quality. In his pride and vanity, his self-love and self-worship, the disinterested pursuit and love of the truth hardly come easy to him. The daily round of his life is full of lies, deceit, gossip, rumour, slander, distortion, myth, fantasy, and outright treachery. Politicians lie, governments deceive, the media peddle the most shameless propaganda, historians manipulate the past, scientists construct ideology out of facts, half facts, guesses, and outright prejudices, the military cover-up and falsify, educators disseminate and indoctrinate with fragments of truth, chunks of suppositions and ideological fabrications, laws come and go regardless of any standard of objective truth, and gossip, guile, and fallacy are the raw material of much of man’s life. “O men, how long will your hearts be closed. Will you love what is futile and seek what is false?” (Ps. 4:2).
Jesus, who is the Truth, says the Devil is the father of lies. (Jn. 8:44; Ps. 4:2)
You shall not covet
The Word of God, Jesus Christ, says: “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions … therefore do not worry about your life, what you will eat, what you will wear, what you will have … but be rich towards God; for life is more than food and drink and possessions” Lk. 12:15,21,?)
Yet in his craving and inordinate desires man enslaves himself to materialism, and becomes a mere consumer, falling pray to the sins of avarice, gluttony, and the envying of what others have compared to what one doesn’t have. But God would have man live a simple life, being content with basic necessities and not longed for luxuries. Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving rather than desiring, consuming, and accumulating. In his frenzy for material wealth Western man has plundered and polluted God’s world and abused God’s poor. In his frenzy for knowledge and power Western man has opened a Pandora’s box of atom-splitting, neutron-splitting, genetic engineering and cloning. In his frenzy for exhilaration and power, man has entered the Devil’s realm of drug-taking and occultism.
All this is covetousness, and is morally and spiritually deranged.
The Law of the Lord is true and pure. It converts the soul, gives wisdom to the simple, rejoices the heart, enlightens the eyes, and endures for ever.