The American Family Association just published an unintentionally interesting article by “Director of Outreach & Intercession” Joseph Parker about how to pray the Ten Commandments.
It was meant to be serious, but a few passages are disturbingly funny while others are just plain disturbing.
Here’s how Parker suggests you incorporate the Commandments into your daily prayer routine:
Lord, thank you for this day. Help me to put You first in every way and in all that I do. Help me Lord, to not make or have any graven images. Help me Lord, to not take your name in vain. Help me, Father, to remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. Lord, help me this day to honor my father and mother. Lord, help me this day, to not murder…
If you need God’s help to make sure you’re not murdering people… then you’ve got problems.
(I guess I can’t judge too hard, though. I do the same thing when I’m stuck behind slow drivers in the passing lane.)
Parker goes on to urge parents to make sure their kids know the Commandments. If they don’t, the consequences could be disastrous:
… Help them to memorize them in short form and teach them the meaning of each one. Also, seek opportunities to teach them in Bible Study to children or church school.
Consider this sad reality. How many of our youth have been killed tragically as they attempted to steal something? I recently heard a tragic news story of a 17-year-old young man who took a small item from a convenience store and walked out without paying for it. The store clerk picked up a gun and stepped outside and shot the young man dead. What a tragedy!
What if a dad or a mom, a pastor or a Sunday school teacher, or a faithful servant of the Lord who started a Bible club for children in the community had taught that young man the Ten Commandments (which includes “You shall not steal”)? What if someone had invested their time to invite him to disciple him? Maybe he would be alive today.
For someone so concerned about the Ten Commandments, there’s a stunning lack of condemnation for the adult who murdered the teen.
It’s the same kind of logic we hear from people who blame school shootings on lack of forced prayer in school… or doors. Basically, anything and everything except guns and the easy access we have to them.
This is the problem with the Ten Commandments, though. The priorities are all wrong. Parker is such a stickler about every rule that he completely missed the bigger picture in a fairly obvious moral dilemma.
Furthermore, even though some items on the list are flat-out absurd (i.e. false idols) and many important moral issues are left off the list completely (“Thou shalt not permit slavery”), he holds this irrational belief that if only everyone knew those ten things, nothing bad would ever happen.
If only there were a Commandment requiring common sense.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Jeremy for the link)