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Conversation Starter: The 10 Non-Commandments
In 2014, the “10 Non-Commandments Contest” was held online. There were 2,800 submissions and thirteen judges selected ten winners.
Here are the “Ten Non-Commandments” chosen as the winners:
1. Be open-minded and be willing to alter your beliefs with new evidence.
2. Strive to understand what is most likely to be true, not to believe what you wish to be true.
3. The scientific method is the most reliable way of understanding the natural world.
4. Every person has the right to control of their body.
5. God is not necessary to be a good person or to live a full and meaningful life.
6. Be mindful of the consequences of all your actions and recognize that you must take responsibility for them.
7. Treat others as you would want them to treat you, and can reasonably expect them to want to be treated. Think about their perspective.
8. We have the responsibility to consider others, including future generations.
9. There is no one right way to live.
10. Leave the world a better place than you found it.
How do these “non-commandments” differ from the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:1-17?
Read Exodus 20:1-3, paying close attention to verse 2.
- Why is God telling the people this? What is He doing here?
How is this first commandment (verse 3) foundational for all the other commandments?
Author Kevin DeYoung writes, “The other nine commandments speak of acts you should or shouldn’t do, but the first commandment mandates a certain kind or relationship” (33). What kind of relationship is God insisting on? What gives Him to right to this expectation?
Read the following texts and discuss how Jesus transforms the first commandment: Matthew 17:5, Philippians 2:10-11, 1 Timothy 2:5, and Hebrews 1:3.
John Calvin says that we owe God four things: adoration, trust, invocation, and thanksgiving.
- Who do you praise (adoration)? Who receives your highest praise?
- Whom do you count on (trust)? When you are really in need who do you know will always come through?
- Whom do you call for (invocation)? Where do you look for answers? Where do you turn for purpose and joy?Is it, food, work, TV, your phone or the God of the universe?
- Whom do you thank? Where do your good days come from?