Do we still obey the Ten Commandments?

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Do we still abide by the Ten Commandements?

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Before we chorus “Of course!” consider the recent news we may have read or watched.

A former secretary of Justice and incumbent senator is accused of having an affair with her married driver and using him as bagman for drug money solicited for her election campaign.

So, either she is violating the Sixth Commandment against adultery, the Seventh against stealing (since corruption is theft), and the Eighth against falsehood (since betrayal of public trust in government officials is dishonesty).

Or her accusers, including the highest official in the land, is breaking the Eighth.

Law enforcers and so-called vigilante groups, along with drug syndicates, have allegedly killed more than 1,500 suspects, the latter two assailant groups with no legal authority, and the police with utterly impossible claims that most of the hundreds who ended up dead fought back.

So there goes the Fifth Commandment.

Now, picture and replay the last ads you saw, heard or read. The ones enticing you to buy the latest, the finest, the priciest. And those that get your gaze with some scantily clad, suggestively gesturing models. Plus commercials promising more pesos for your centavos. These are pretty much all the kinds of ads we see these days.

That’s our covetous culture, stirring desires for money, sex, luxury, status and other worldly wishes. The very coveting forbidden by the Ninth and Tenth Commandments.

As for the First, Second and Third, well, God’s near-absence in our daily thinking, feeling, and living shows how we have other gods besides the Lord our God, how much we take His name in vain, and what lack of holiness pervades pretty much every day in the week, with many of the baptized not even willing to set aside an hour, let alone a day, to keep holy.

In this world where Ten Commandments are broken everywhere and everytime, it seems a hopeless, even mindless undertaking to heed heaven’s dos and don’ts. Why bother when so few do, and many, if not most, don’t.

And with worldly enticements and social pressures to dismiss the Decalogue, including the disdain of family and friends who resent being reminded of the ten tenets of right and wrong, it’s hard not to think that it’s normal and acceptable to disobey.

Thus, the devil succeeds in convincing us that there’s no way humanity can win against our sinfulness, that’s understandable and forgivable to break commandments here and there, and for all our striving with God’s grace, our bit of sanctity dissolves in the sea of sins engulfing our world.

So we give up the struggle for goodness and right, and just plead for divine forgiveness— a defeatist stance which Pope Francis’ paramount advocacy for God’s boundless mercy may buttress, though he certainly doesn’t intend it.

Repairing the broken tablets
For many a believer surrounded by unbelief and disobedience, from one’s own family to the world at large, what’s he or she to do?

Many probably feel like Moses, who threw down the Ten Commandments etched by God Himself, breaking the two stone tablets. Anger and dismay over the widespread and entrenched disregard for the Divine is a start, and Moses then admonished the Israelites, even as he made new tablets with the Decalogue for all to read and heed.

Certainly, the influential and powerful among us may crack the whip. In his well-meaning but flawed way, President Rodrigo Duterte is raging and charging to cleanse the country of lawlessness, corruption and drugs that enslave the will and distort minds and morals.

For ordinary believers, though, taking the pulpit and calling down fire and brimstone isn’t an option. Rather, we work within our much smaller circles of influence, which may be just down to ourselves and our home, our workplace, our church, and our community.

And that’s plenty — when laced with God’s grace.

In fact, what can often make a difference in reviving religiosity and morals, especially in Asia, is the Fourth Commandment. For in our filial region of Asia, that’s one divine edict that most people find hard to break. We revere and listen to our elders.

So parents, teachers, bosses, leaders and other authority figures can lead the people looking up to them back to God, as Moses did to the Israelites.

Problem is many dads, moms and chiefs are either reluctant to espouse age-old beliefs and morals disdained in our time, or they themselves disbelieve and disobey. Then they can hardly put the broken tablets back together and get others to believe and obey.

How many parents just let their teenage children, and even young kids, have their way even if it’s not God’s way?

If they don’t care to go to mass, we let them. If they ask for things they don’t need just because their friends have them, we buy the stuff. And when they frown at being told why they should or should not give time and attention to corrupting media, we just stop bothering with what they watch, listen to, download and play.

And that happens not just between parents and children at home, but even superiors and subordinates at work, and leaders and citizens in the body politic, especially where liberal democratic thinking advocates letting people do as they please.

It’s a free country; everyone can do as he pleases — not as heaven wishes.

It’s high time those who believe and live by the Ten Commandments conveyed God’s will by word and example, starting with the souls they father, mother, boss or lead.

In today’s mass readings, Saint Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews admonishes: “Brothers and sisters, you have forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children: ‘My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines … it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.’”

Let’s deliver that same message to those entrusted by God to our care and teaching. We are responsible for their souls. Amen.

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12 Comments

  1. Before you ask this question….you should evaluate yourself first…if you are fully acquainted with or comprehensively knowledgeable of the Bible?
    Or shall we say…you should at least well-versed with the Ten injunctions given by God to Moses in Mount Sinai serving as the sole basis of “Mosaic Law”.
    Mosaic Law is the ancient Law of the Hebrews contained in the “Pentateuch” that it was Moses himself who admonished God to seek for an answer of how will he be able to lead a multitude of Israelite populace without a set of rules with authoritative weight?
    The Law, that will include many Rules of Religious Observance and a collection of governing power that will impose civility, respect of the law about the great problem of jurisprudence to allow freedom while enforcing order.
    The 10 precepts spoken by the God himself exclusively for the Israelite and should not be divided or to be shared with other other than the Israelite revealed to Moses the Decalogue.
    In short…if you don’t belong to the nation of Israelite…then consider yourself as alienated to the 10 Commandments and it is not for you to abide or to follow.
    Instead, we have a complete set of Christian rules and doctrine exclusively for the Christian, by the Christian and of the Christian for the Redemption of sins.

    • i was just about to comment the same but then i saw your comment and i realized that all i have to do is just second the motion…

  2. Amnata Pundit on

    When the Church, instead of expelling or jailing, merely re-assigns a gay priest who molests children, what commandment is the Church ignoring, I wonder.

  3. Ignacio Balbutin on

    Why do u think its impossible that those drug addicts fought back. Remember they were caught on a buy bust operation and in these kind of operation, of course the drug pushers are always armed. And remember that most of the drug addicts are not in their right mind anymore so they are not afraid to fought it back with the police and died.

  4. One major problem in this world is religion. Most countries now accept adultery as its a huge fact of life ( millions of people commit adultery ). The Philippines is one of the few countries still to not have divorce, so a couple split up, cant divorce but form new relationships. Then adultery occurs. Now stealing, i wonder how many of the current & former senators of this country have dollar bank accounts. I then wonder how many declare exactly whats in them. They have them primarily because they are covered by the bank secrecy law. How important is the bank secrecy law for the successful running of a bank, or for people to have trust in banks. Well it holds no importance whatsoever.It is there & was put there for one reason only, to hide ill gotten wealth. To hide stolen money. If the bank secrecy law was so important surely it would cover all bank accounts.
    You dont need religion to live a good honest decent life, be happy honest & hard working & care for others. Mabyhay

  5. Definitely Mr. Ricardo Saludo, we generally no longer obey the Ten Commandments especially after it was AMENDED by the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). In fact you even quoted the counterfeit Ten C. of the RCC; where the second was done away with, the fourth changed and the tenth divided in two.

    The Ten Commandments as spoken by God and rewritten by His fingers in the next tablets of stone which was ordered by God to Moses to chisel out (Exodus 34 [NIV] 1The LORD said to Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke…28…And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments.):

    Exodus 20 (NIV)
    “1And God spoke all these words:
    2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

    [1st] 3 “You shall have no other gods before[a] me.

    [2nd] 4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORDyour God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

    [3rd] 7 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

    [4th] 8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the LORDmade the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

    [5th] 12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

    [6th] 13 “You shall not murder.

    [7th] 14 “You shall not commit adultery.

    [8th] 15 “You shall not steal.

    [9th] 16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

    [10th] 17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

    “8 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”
    “20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.”
    “1 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick
    darkness where God was.”

    “The following from the Catholic Encyclopaedia Vol. 4, p. 153 also confirms the deletion of the second Commandment and the change of the fourth.

    “This truth can also be found from the following URL… The Catholic version is the column on the right hand side titled “A Traditional Catechetical Formula.” http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/command.htm

    “In 1562 the Archbishop declared that tradition now stood above scripture. “The authority of the Church… they have been changed [The Ten Commandment] by the authority of the Church.” — Gaspare de Posso Archbishop of Reggio, Council of Trent.”
    (You can scroll down here to see the comparison of the God’s original Ten Commandments to RCC’s counterfeit Ten Commandments.)
    http://www.the-ten-commandments.org/romancatholic-tencommandments.html

    • exactly. and to top it all off, Jesus Christ’s made even stricter laws in the New Testament. the first christians did not follow the law of moses, hence the persecution of the pharisees.

  6. vagoneto rieles on

    How I wish that ‘many’ would read this piece. But, if it were just a few who do..or did..the ‘good’ that it may bring is well worth the effort. We need more of the likes of you Mr. Saludo. Thanks…

  7. Try obeying the first! ,”though shall not have other gods before me” stop worshipping idols/gods, images/ pictures, statues made of wood and stone! Of course the favorite excuse of pagans ” we are not worshipping them, they are just representation or in between to God” yeah right! excuses…. if you are not worshipping these idols then why do you kneel in front of them? why to you carry them and parade it on the streets? why do you pray at them. Go back and read the 1st commandment and try counter checking the bible.

  8. Man broke the whole ten when the 2nd Commandment (Thou shall not make unto thee ANY graven images)
    was deleted by the church who sell merchandise of same kind.

    If you break one you break them all. If you do one you do them all.

  9. Adultery is a crime in this country. It is not prying in their personal life but it is immorality. Shi is an immoral person. President Clinton was unsuccessfully impeach in the United States because of his sexual relationship with Monica Lowinsky. Are we any better. The ethics committe must investigate De Lima. I even watched an interview with De Lima in ABS CBN that she said that she has sexual relationship with her driver. What a shame. A married old women having an open sexual affair with a married man.