Letters From Brian, Our previous Minister

Recent copies of the letters from our previous Minister Brian. These are reproduced from the monthly Newsletter..

26/09/09 The 10 Commandments

My series on the Ten Commandments will finish this month and the reading of the commandments will cease at my services. It has been quite an experience not least because of the choice of hymns. What do you pick for ‘you shall not murder’ or ‘ you shall not commit adultery’.

I found that some commandments were more wide ranging than I had imagined, the sermon on lies covered more ground than simply saying don’t lie. It had to examine our economy with the truth leaving things unsaid while knowing more could be said. I also noted the difficulties of not hurting someone’s feelings when asked for an opinion on clothes or décor.

For many the commandments are not a big issue, they sound a good idea but are regarded as too binding for 2009. These ‘rules’ though were not dreamt up by the local authority or the United Nations. They were given by God who created heaven and earth - and us. Therefore they carry a little more gravitas than the ‘keep off the grass’ notices in the park. All these Commandments contain good advice and good intension and we should value them more. Putting God first; not crashing round the place doing what we want; not harming others is not such a wild notion for a better world. It commends value and respect; it helps us to put God First.

So what are the Commandments doing? They were given-

1. To reveal God.
2. To separate us (in some sense) from the world.
3. To help us live righty for God.
4. To keep us from being punished.
5. To prosper.
6. To test us.
7. To seek forgiveness.
8. For worship.

Sadly it didn’t work as a system for staying in God’s good books. Each week we will fail to keep all ten and we are not alone through the ages. It’s why Jesus Christ came to set us free and give us grace and we need all the help we can get. But the commandments are not cancelled out by Gods further provision for the World. They remain to shape our lives and to challenge each one of us. None of them are beyond our ability and discipline though the one on lies provides the greatest challenge for most people. These ‘rules’ tell us a great deal of God’s value for people and also God’s desire that we should strive for excellence before him. We will break them but we shouldn’t plan or intend to ignor them.

Bearing that in mind who has the confidence or the nerve to suggest watering down what God considered ten very good ideas for his people.

Best wishes Brian
From Our Previous Minister, Brian
My series on the Ten Commandments will finish this month ...