Preach the Gospel always, and if you must, use words. St. Francis of Assisi
The courageous woman of our times must also have a bit of a rebellious spirit in her. I do not mean an attitude that would defy rightful authority; I mean that we women today must have a little spit and vinegar in order to stand against the unjust and ungodly practices of our times. We must have a bit of a rebellious spirit if we are not just going to acquiesce to every socially and politically correct fashion that comes along. We are not living in the 1950’s any more. At that time the predominating belief in society was that God is the ruler of this world. Most people went to church, and most would have said that the Ten Commandments should be obeyed by everybody. You would have fit in with just about any community where you cared to reside in the fifties.
Today, however, you must be willing to stand against the tide. Belief that God’s Word should be the guide for our lives is no longer the norm. You cannot talk about Him in public without making people squirm. That is why it is time to be rebellious. We must be able to draw a line in the sand, and say, “I will not cross over this, no matter what you say or think of me!” That takes more than just quiet courage of convictions. We must be the salt and light that our Lord Jesus asked us to be, and therefore we have to be willing to take a firm stand. By being rebellious, I’m not talking about being obnoxious, just feisty.
I am also not talking about “Bible pounding.” If we will be the salt and light that our Lord asks us to be, we can do no better than to just LIVE the Ten Commandments. If we will, with determination, obey God as we are supposed to, our lives will be so different from everyone else’s that we will not have to preach out loud. Here is what I mean:
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me.” Our Heavenly Father is the One Who has taken care of us. He provides all of our needs. He is sovereignly in charge of everything. Believe it or not, the federal government is not our provider. Though the state would like to be the sole controlling authority in our lives from cradle to grave, it is in fact a cruel substitute. If you know anyone who is on welfare, then you know that they are enslaved to the state. How much better it would be for families and churches to take care of our poor than the distant, cold government. Do not make a god out of the state. Look to Yahweh, the one true God as your loving Father.
“You shall not make for yourself an idol . . . or worship it or serve it.” Americans have made idols out of money, their homes, their cars, their 401K’s and many other material things. What is an idol? It is something that is more important to you than anything, even God. “But,” you say, “of course God is the most important thing to me.” Really? Do you work on Sunday instead of going to church? If you believe that you must work or do some other activity on Sunday, then I would ask you to consider whether or not you really are obeying either of the first two commandments.
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” This does not only mean using those “colorful metaphors” (a la Spock in Star Trek), but more importantly it really relates to the first two commandments. If God is your Father, and you have nothing else or no one else but Him in first place in your life, then you may call on Him and He will answer. If your life is one of love and dependence on the Father, then you may call yourself a Christian and you won’t be putting a black mark on the name of God. You will not be blaspheming or using God’s name in vain if you are living according to His word.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Yes, everyone knows that this means we should go to church on Sunday. But thousands go to church out of a sense of duty. When we go, we should be enthusiastic, and we should talk of it gladly, not begrudgingly. Remember, we must be salt and light. This commandment also, (not surprisingly) relates to the first three. You prove that you trust and depend on the Heavenly Father when you take time out of your busy schedule to pause and worship Him with other believers in community. By not working on the Lord’s Day, you prove that you believe that God is your provider and will take care of you. If you go to work instead, you are saying that you depend on your own efforts. You will not have the strong testimony of God’s faithfulness and goodness that we must show the world.
These first four commandments are our worship to God directly. We must be consistent and faithful in this. An attitude of enthusiasm and eagerness about putting God first will certainly get the attention of careless people around you. You can say so much about what you believe in God by just really living these words about our duty to God.
It will not take much by way of commentary to show that the next six commandments, duty to our neighbors, are being ignored or violated flagrantly in our society. The government has been complicit in this. Since it believes that it is God, many laws have been passed in order to further its own agenda of controlling everyone’s lives. Let’s just look at an example of each, and consider how much different we must be.
“Honor your father and your mother.” Is there any question but that the public school system has made children distrust their parents? Are we not seeing the breakdown of families as children are being taught to look to the state for everything? Would you have the respect of your children again? Would you have your children putting God first in their lives also? Then the first thing you must do is to get them out of the public schools. If you cannot afford a Christian school, teach them at home yourself. We are told to “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). You must be in charge of this training. If you let the state be in charge of the training – well the thought is just too scary. Remember the warning from the Scriptures. When you take a firm stand in this, everyone will see how different you are. Everyone will know that you are a committed Christian; you do not have to preach at them. They will be seeing it in action.
“You shall not murder.” Today’s most heinous example of this of course is abortion. Are you willing to take a stand against this in your community? Will you try to be careful to vote for candidates who speak for the sanctity of life? Try to get involved in one of the many pro-life groups that are actively trying to prevent the holocaust of babies. If you are a busy young mother, would you give up one $5 latte each month and send the money to a pro-life group in your area?
“You shall not commit adultery.” This needs no explanation. But if we are going to be salt and light today, we must go further. We must carefully screen anything we watch on any medium. If a friend invites you to participate in an activity that will be demeaning to either sex, refuse politely. Sure, you may get the reputation of a prude, but you will be honoring God, and you will be showing the way, the right way, to your friends. In a society where “anything goes” we must draw a line and not step over it. We must be rebellious or feisty enough to reply, “No, anything does NOT go, thank you very much.”
“You shall not steal.” As those who are rising above mediocrity, we must look beyond the popular definition for stealing. We must remember, for example, that gossiping is stealing another’s reputation. Here is another thought: the government is the biggest thief around. Of course, since it thinks it is God, it can take your money for ungodly or unconstitutionally permitted uses, whether you protest or not. The taxation system is set up so that they rob your pocket every year with more than their share, earn the interest on your foregone money, and then “bless” you with a refund months after you took the money out of your savings, losing your own possible interest on it. They then send a goodly chunk of this money to people on welfare. Those who are lazy and do not deserve any aid are also thieves, but you can be sure that they will vote for the socialists who are perpetuating their immoral lifestyle.
In order to help turn around a society that is based on theft, we must try and stay out of the system as much as we can. Pay your rightful taxes, but vote for men and women who will reduce government interference into our lives.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” In a society where we do not always trust everything we hear or everything we read, we must be the ones who are always faithfully truthful. People will turn to us for advice and help when they know that we have this integrity; they can trust us to always be truthful with them. We must be the ones that people can depend on. If we only walk through life carefully watching our words and gaining a reputation of integrity and dependability, we can have much influence.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife” (These portions of the Ten Commandments above from Exodus 20:2-17). The reason our country is in such a mess is because people are not satisfied with what they have. And so the government can prey on them. They have been told by the government that they are “entitled” to the American dream. So, some don’t have 3 televisions or 2 cars or 5 cell phones? No matter, we will steal from the rich and redistribute to the poor. Everyone has to be “equal” and this means economically equal. Our new “God” the government, will make it so.
The best way for us to combat this is to be content with what our Father has given to us. We must display an attitude of thanksgiving and never give in to the desire to grasp for things as those around us do. Let us be good examples of stewardship with the things that God has given us. Let us be cheerful givers to those in need.
If we would love the Lord our God with our whole hearts and minds; if we would love our neighbors as ourselves, then let us live these Ten Commandments. We are all called to be witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no better witness than the practical obedience to God’s loving words to us. We will need courage and a touch of rebelliousness to stand firm in today’s society. Following God’s Word will make us appear to be rebels. So be it. If we have any hope of returning our country to the once Christian society that it was when it was founded, we must be diligent in this calling.