Christianity and the 10 Commandments

(French version)

I am the Almighty, your God, who brought you out of Egypt, the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Not only this opening of the Ten Commandments is announcded as directed only to the Jewish people that only few Christians belong to, at least it obliges us to define our God as the one who would have delivered the Jewish people from the country of Egypt by force and miracles to teach us this story. However, historical studies show that there has never been such a miraculous deliverance, according to the available documents on the history of Egypt. So we would have the obligation to worship a god defined by His legendary acts, and the prohibition to challenge the veracity of this legend, because it would mean having another God.

Thou shalt make unto thee no graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them;

The early Christians carved biblical representations of events that allegedly happened (the story of Jesus' life), and they drove all generations of Christians to worship these representations, presented as representations of God, pretending that who knows these representations and adheres to them can know God better. The fact these are written, conceptual and told representations rather than a sculptural or visual one does not change the underlying problem. You can say that this Biblical representation was conducted under divine inspiration. Uh, do you think that the sculptors of idols clearly announced to produce vulgar human works, pieces of wood or stone? Did they do it openly for fun? Thus, Christians are idolaters, and the Bible is their idol. If only it were worthy I would say nothing but that's just the opposite: it is a tissue of lies and nonsense cleverly tied up leading to spiritual corruption.

For I the LORD, thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me and keep my commandments.

It is obligatory to believe in God as judging people based on the works of their ancestors, otherwise our worshipping will address another God, and God will punish us to the third and fourth generations because he is jealous.

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.

Christians continuously invoke God's name for anything, present it without proof as the author of the Bible, present every happy event as a blessing from God, every unfortunate event as a test from God, each quality as a gift from God, many other events as  the signs of God, every attitude as an attitude towards God, each attitude which is not towards God as an attitude against God.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shalt thou labor and do all thy work. But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.

In Poland, a country  which is very Catholic and attached to the holidays, I happened to find myself on some Sundays and other holidays  in a dead city, all closed, and I wondered in panic if I could find something to eat, if there was no store or restaurant. Internet cafes could be also closed, there was nothing to do. I hated holidays. Seriously, a good holiday should be a day that is not a holiday for everybody, so as to still be able to consume.

For in six days the Lord made ​​heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

Yeah perfectly dude, God Himself stated it literally and directly to Moses on Mount Sinai: the world was of course made in six days.

Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

It’s about our biological parents, ignoring our nature of divine creation. In this case, by extension, we should honour our ancestors, including remote ones, recognizing who they are and their merits. These ancestors were primates, until the first animals, and all of nature that enabled their development. To honor, respect and protect the natural environment which has spawned us, allows humanity to live a long happy and prosperous life on the planet that God gave us. Unfortunately, respect for nature and animals is largely neglected by evangelical Christian morality, which, not to mention the insistence by some Christian creationists to deny our biological parentage, presenting the idea of ​​man as the direct creation of God, only living being that God created in His image, which reduces animals to a fundamentally lower level. Also, the coming of the Son of God is addressed only to men. This presentation of man as a divinely superior to animals brings a relatively neglected image of them and has a human-centered morality.
The result is that while the most powerful nation in the world is filled with evangelical Christians, the environment continues to be damaged in a way that turns to disaster: an extraordinary proportion of global biodiversity is being lost permanently, it will take many millions of years to recover.
Despite scientists' warnings, this remains ignored by various evangelical sermons that continue to focus their morality on human more immediate problems (short range with the length of a human life maximum) and therefore relatively futile. Even, who cares of biodiversity, say evangelicals, since in any case, Jesus is coming soon to a reign of 1000 years, after which the Earth will be destroyed with the entire universe.

Thou shalt not kill.

Here is a command that seems wise and good. It’s not necessary to have a divine wisdom to agree with the fact that murder is usually a great evil, especially not to risk mortal danger oneself. If only the most powerful nation in the world, dominated by Christianity, ceased to attack countries and massacre innocent people in the name of the best principles, and began to put this commandment into practice, it would be a great step forward. The only problem is it is not enough to say that murder is wrong to stop killing, we still need the discernment to know which are the murders one might commit and how to avoid them, except those necessary against those who would commit more crimes otherwise. Thus, U.S. citizens committed murders in the first Iraq wars (ultimately provoking the rise of ISIL) by voting Bush and paying taxes. But as the principles of "Christian morality" are the main argument of the Bush program, and man has to pay taxes to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, the lucidity of viewing these actions as murders is not an easy thing.

On the other hand, any question of means and risk being set aside, let’s analyse in more details the thing itself: of course we accept to consider this as a command from God because "just when we simply think about it" outside any context, "we do not see" how a murder could be a defensible thing, and certainly in most cases it is not. Concerning the importance of such an act compared to most other acts, it easily appears as an absolute. But this ignores all the subtleties that can hide in special extreme cases, so that, reducing morality to such a formal rule (forbidding killing) with trivial application, we may come to be justified inexpensively on behalf of God's command even while the deeper meaning of this commandment is being violated. I mean the issue of euthanasia, about which you can find here (at the bottom) 3 interesting comments (5112, 5114, 5115).

Indeed, if we should not kill, life has a high value... at least when there’s one. But there are exceptions, lives are not worth the trouble of being alive. We talk about euthanasia as evil when what makes life unbearable has physical nature and therefore manifests itself forcing everyone, whatever his morality even if a retrograde one, to recognize it more or less, but there are also other cases, more difficult to recognize and therefore which these pedantic moralists will refuse to take the trouble to recognize, lives which are unbearable to live for moral reasons: then the person may come to suicide. But what does Christian morality (which infected of its stupidity the mentality of most men), say about suicide? That it is a crime, that it’s killing oneself, it is evil. Indeed it is wrong and it's a mistake because life is worth it. It’s not necessary to know why or even if it is true or false, since it is God who says in the Bible: He forbids us to kill. If life was not worth living, God would not forbid us to kill. The loop of idiocy is looped.

In fact, if people say that life is or should be invaluable even if the perspective of the individual is morally intolerable, it is not only because it is difficult to get under the skin of another person to know how life can be unbearable, but also because it might give us a bad conscience: we’ll realize that we live happily near people who are in trouble, it is unjustifiable, and we failed with our esteemed duty to enable them to live a decent life. It is much more comfortable for happy people to stop feeling guilty, claiming that everyone is responsible for his happiness and his mood, and if unhappy people do not agree it's their fault, they are actually fools, they are wrong because they are happier than they realize, and all they have to do is to agree and to say to themselves they have to be happy and it will work.
However, "to preach" to people whose life is not worth the trouble of living and thus accusing them of being  responsible for their misfortune and/or complain wrongly or unfairly because in fact "the life is worth it anyway, they have only to notice ", but above all that they should not commit suicide, is triply criminal: it is first doubly criminal, because the empty formality "not to kill" is raised to a supreme value, not worrying about any other consideration meanwhile, it avoids questioning and therefore leads, in giving a clear conscience, to perpetuate a situation which in practice condemns these people to live a life worse than death, and then it rejects on the unfortunate people the guilt of their misfortune and their suicidal feelings, which humiliates them again.

To make a commandment that makes sense summarizing these problems regarding the preservation of human life, we should rather write:

You will care as you can to ensure the conditions for others to live a worthy life.

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

I commented on the issue of adultery in other texts: here and here. Roughly, the demand of loyalty as a moral principle is an easy method to feel right (as long as we don't suffer big troubles) by applying reductionist principles of just staying fixed without question where we can be sure to reach the "best success" by the stupidest method, ignoring the disadvantages or misfortunes that may result (people who have made a wrong choice and are not happy together, people who are condemned to the hell of loneliness for all their lives because others are already taken). Fear of an evil that results from the movement, definition of evil as action as opposed to immobility, which would be presented as a refuge of moral purity in all circumstances regardless of the resulting misfortunes: "You haven’t sinned” then everything is fine no matter if you feel life as a hell. Thus the kingdom of God begins to reach more of idiots who know how to obey the prohibitions by doing nothing, without much risk that these prohibitions are more at fault than could be any obligation.
In reality, aren’t all humans basically worthy of relationships regardless of the initial configuration that the chance has introduced to the meeting ? This configuration given by chance, is it not inherently arbitrary, no deep reason to be more valid than another?
But there is another kind of deeper adultery : committed by the human mind when it betrays its relationship with the natural intelligence that God gave him, to subject his thoughts, his aspirations and his commitment to the external doctrine which comes from the heck knows where, but which seduces by the claim to be a Revelation from God.

Thou shalt not steal.

I will not insist on exhortations made sometimes in evangelical churches to pray for the growth of "offerings to God" (sic) (which, when received by the church's staff are surely seen as "coming from God" as a reply to these prayers) that can attract God's blessings sometimes up to pay back these offerings a hundredfold ...

Seen on a (now disappeared) Christian forum:

Financial fraud in the Church
- Each year, misappropriation of funds by Church officials exceed the total cost of all missions that exist around the world. Emboldened by a lax justice, trusted people away from church $ 5.5 million per day, that is to say $ 16 billion a year! (FYI, the total amount spent by foreign missions is only $ 15 billion. Lord, forgive us!)

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Many Christians consider it their Christian duty to God, to witness something like this: First, all men are sinful, rebel against God and deserve eternal hell.

Next: anyone seeking God (or truth) with a sincere heart, God will enlighten with the light of the Holy Spirit and the Gospel, and bring to the Christian faith and/or will bring X or Y kinds of blessings, especially if it has been correctly preached.
This is exactly equivalent (by contraposition of the statement) to testify that whoever has not become Christian and/or has not received these blessings after reading the Gospel preached in a correct way, has not sought God with a sincere heart.

If these two statements of Christian testimony are not perfect examples of false witness against one's neighbour, I wonder what else can be.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his man servant, nor his maid servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is thy neighbour's.

Coveting is believing that you are entitled to, or consider having, things instead of others in ways different from the current order or from what would be fair, actually for no other reason than this desire itself, or our subjectivity, of seeing our own needs more than that of others, as we are not in others shoes, and one misses the reasons of why the other is right or what the other needs. But the real game of coveting occurs when you do not realize: when you still believe to have conceptions that meet what would be fair, but by calculating justice in your own way, not in accordance with true justice. Finally, who knows what true justice is, when the established order is not necessarily fair ? The command here does not enter such details but just focuses on the simplest case. A claim that God established some order may lead to its acceptation.

But there is another area of greed : that of non-material property, and especially of eternal life with God: this is a possible object of desire that is very significant. There, however, the sly one is who can say what is the order established by God, failing to see what happens on the other side. So, faced with such a vacuum of knowledge about what we get or deserve, everyone can have his own idea of what is right.

The Christian believes that his Christian faith gives him a right to eternal life with God, that would be fair by virtue of his piety, in other words this desire for eternal life itself, the sincerity of his heart, his own good will to obey God that it is inconceivable to not recognize as such (everyone feels sincere, by definition) as opposed to what others would deserve, who, one believes, don’t approach God but are lost sinners deserving eternal hell, the evidence being, they have not reached the same conclusions as those we reached sincerely oneself, or at least not necessarily going that far, who would be less than oneself in relationship with God. Or, if the term of law and justice is not suitable, at least we can say: expect to receive by considering as normal, for reasons we can possibly refuse to justify invoking the unfathomable mystery of the grace and divine justice. Nevertheless the Christian will not be shocked by such an inequality given by God or the nature of things, he believes and thinks this is normal, and praises with all his heart such a God. All this comes from the fact that you can not be in the place of others to understand the form of their sincerity and why it is as honorable as our own as a form of sincerity, that leads to different answers.
External link: What's Wrong with the Ten Commandments
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