Question 137: Which is the seventh commandment?
Answer: The seventh commandment is, Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Question 138: What are the duties required in the seventh commandment?
Answer: The duties required in the seventh commandment are, chastity in body, mind, affections, words, and behavior; and the preservation of it in ourselves and others; watchfulness over the eyes and all the senses; temperance, keeping of chaste company, modesty in apparel; marriage by those that have not the gift of continency, conjugal love, and cohabitation; diligent labor in our callings; shunning all occasions of uncleanness, and resisting temptations thereunto.
Question 139: What are the sins forbidden in the seventh commandment?
Answer: The sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required, are, adultery, fornication, rape, incest, sodomy, and all unnatural lusts; all unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes, and affections;all corrupt or filthy communications, or listening thereunto; wanton looks, impudent or light behavior, immodest apparel; prohibiting of lawful, and dispensing with unlawful marriages; allowing, tolerating, keeping of stews, and resorting to them; entangling vows of single life, undue delay of marriage; having more wives or husbands than one at the same time; unjust divorce, or desertion; idleness, gluttony, drunkenness, unchaste company; lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays; and all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others. (Here)
"Lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays"? I'm sure that movies in which naked people rub their naked bodies against each other in simulation of sexual intercourse don't count.
I mean, it's not like you'd mind if you came home from work to find your spouse rubbing his naked body against someone else's since, after all, it's only a simulation.
If it were the real thing that would be something else.
Question 140: Which is the eighth commandment?
Answer: The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not steal.
Question 141: What are the duties required in the eighth commandment?
Answer: The duties required in the eighth commandment are, truth, faithfulness, and justice in contracts and commerce between man and man; rendering to everyone his due; restitution of goods unlawfully detained from the right owners thereof; giving and lending freely, according to our abilities, and the necessities of others; moderation of our judgments, wills, and affections concerning worldly goods; a provident care and study to get, keep, use, and dispose these things which are necessary and convenient for the sustentation of our nature, and suitable to our condition; a lawful calling, and diligence in it; frugality; avoiding unnecessary lawsuits and suretyship, or other like engagements; and an endeavor, by all just and lawful means, to procure, preserve, and further the wealth and outward estate of others, as well as our own.
Question 142: What are the sins forbidden in the eighth commandment?
Answer: The sins forbidden in the eighth commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required, are, theft, robbery, man-stealing, and receiving anything that is stolen; fraudulent dealing, false weights and measures, removing land marks, injustice and unfaithfulness in contracts between man and man, or in matters of trust; oppression, extortion, usury, bribery, vexatious lawsuits, unjust enclosures and depopulations; engrossing commodities to enhance the price; unlawful callings, and all other unjust or sinful ways of taking or withholding from our neighbor: What belongs to him, or of enriching ourselves; covetousness; inordinate prizing and affecting worldly goods; distrustful and distracting cares and studies in getting, keeping, and using them; envying at the prosperity of others; as likewise idleness, prodigality, wasteful gaming; and all other ways whereby we do unduly prejudice our own outward estate, and defrauding ourselves of the due use and comfort of that estate which God has given us. (Here)
Seeing movies like "Blood Diamond" puts the Eighth Commandment in a truly new perspective. Especially relevant, is the way the diamond merchants ("allegedly") buy up diamonds and then hold on to them, creating an aritificial scarcity in order to keep prices high. Talk about "inordinate prizing and affecting worldly goods".
I first heard about all this back when I was in the Army and resolved never to buy a diamond. What concerns me however is the possibility that I may purchase something with the same sort of costs as diamonds. The problem is one simply cannot research everything!
And in the law, ignorance is not an excuse.
Question 143: Which is the ninth commandment?The area of my life in which I sin the most with respect to this commandment is the area of political discourse. I have a tendency (I'm being kind to myself in calling it that!) to be very uncharitable to my ideological opponents. I do not, to be brutally honest, have a "charitable esteem of [them]."
Answer: The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Question 144: What are the duties required in the ninth commandment?
Answer: The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man, and the good name of our neighbor, as well as our own; appearing and standing for the truth; and from the heart, sincerely, freely, clearly, and fully, speaking the truth, and only the truth, in matters of judgment and justice, and in all other things: Whatsoever; a charitable esteem of our neighbors; loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their good name; sorrowing for, and covering of their infirmities; freely acknowledging of their gifts and graces, defending their innocency; a ready receiving of a good report, and unwillingness to admit of an evil report, concerning them; discouraging talebearers, flatterers, and slanderers; love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requires; keeping of lawful promises; studying and practicing of: Whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report.
Question 145: What are the sins forbidden in the ninth commandment?
Answer: The sins forbidden in the ninth commandment are, all prejudicing the truth, and the good name of our neighbors, as well as our own, especially in public judicature; giving false evidence, suborning false witnesses, wittingly appearing and pleading for an evil cause, outfacing and overbearing the truth; passing unjust sentence, calling evil good, and good evil; rewarding the wicked according to the work of the righteous, and the righteous according to the work of the wicked; forgery, concealing the truth, undue silence in a just cause, and holding our peace when iniquity calls for either a reproof from ourselves, or complaint to others; speaking the truth unseasonably, or maliciously to a wrong end, or perverting it to a wrong meaning, or in doubtful and equivocal expressions, to the prejudice of truth or justice; speaking untruth, lying, slandering, backbiting, detracting, tale bearing, whispering, scoffing, reviling, rash, harsh, and partial censuring; misconstructing intentions, words, and actions; flattering, vainglorious boasting, thinking or speaking too highly or too meanly of ourselves or others; denying the gifts and graces of God; aggravating smaller faults; hiding, excusing, or extenuating of sins, when called to a free confession; unnecessary discovering of infirmities; raising false rumors, receiving and countenancing evil reports, and stopping our ears against just defense; evil suspicion; envying or grieving at the deserved credit of any, endeavoring or desiring to impair it, rejoicing in their disgrace and infamy; scornful contempt, fond admiration; breach of lawful promises; neglecting such things as are of good report, and practicing, or not avoiding ourselves, or not hindering: What we can in others, such things as procure an ill name. (Here)
I have to confess that in all honesty I think I do better than those same ideological opponents I've mentioned. But that's no good: the commandment informs me that my neighbors' own actions respecting the commandment are irrelevant to my case. I am guilty. My neighbors' guilt won't help my cause.
Question 146: Which is the tenth commandment?
Answer: The tenth commandment is, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.
Question 147: What are the duties required in the tenth commandment?
Answer: The duties required in the tenth commandment are, such a full contentment with our own condition, and such a charitable frame of the whole soul toward our neighbor, as that all our inward motions and affections touching him, tend unto, and further all that good which is his.
Question 148: What are the sins forbidden in the tenth commandment?
Answer: The sins forbidden in the tenth commandment are, discontentment with our own estate; envying and grieving at the good of our neighbor, together with all inordinate motions and affections to anything that is his. (Here)
Yes, it's a tall order. And although I can't fulfill it perfectly, Paul says the gospel confirms the law (Romans 3) and my desire to obey is an evidence of my faith.
I still need a redeemer, though. It's a good thing God has provided one.
I have an idea, though I make no claim to originality.
You know how people will make New Year's resolutions? These are things that people are going to do differently than they have done, or things that they will begin to do that they have not been doing. For example: "I'm going to read the Bible through this year." My sense is that the majority of people don't keep their resolutions, so maybe people should stop making them.
However, there is a habit of mind which thinking about resolutions can get us into. Obviously, a modicum of self-examination is necessary in order to make a New Year's resolution. And self-examination is a very good thing on a Christian view.
It occurs to me that the time of year when Christians celebrate the Incarnation is a great time to engage in some ruthless self-examination. As a Reformed Catholic, I believe that Sanctification is more than adequately defined as dying more and more to sin and living more and more obediently, by God's grace. Does "dying more and more to sin" describe us?
Not having, at present, any better way to spend the Christmas season, I'm going to spend it examining myself against the Ten Commandments as they are expounded upon in the Larger Catechism (Questions 103 through 148). Yes, this can be done -- and should be done -- any time of the year, and I do it several times per year. (Some say Lent is a good time for it also.)
This isn't at attempt at being (or even just appearing to be) holier than thou. I'm just looking actually to do something for the twelve days of Christmas instead of just marking time until Epiphany. I mean: the gifts have all been distributed.
Apparently, a lot of people don't realize that Christmas really is twelve days long. The season does not end until 6 January, also known as The Epiphany.
So stop worrying about all the "post-Christmas" clean-up you have to do. That Christmas tree doesn't have to come down until 7 January at the earliest.
But more importantly, keep celebrating the Incarnation.
Here’s the offending remark by Limbaugh:
Will this country want to actually watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?Here’s context, that portion of his monologue, which preceded the offending remarks.
Americans are addicted to physical perfection, thanks to Hollywood and thanks to television. We know it because we see it. We see everybody and their uncle in gyms. We see people starving themselves. We see people taking every miracle fad drug there is to lose weight. We see guys trying to get six-pack abs. We have women starving themselves trying to get into size zero and size one clothes; makeovers, facials, plastic surgery, everybody in the world does Botox, and this affects men, too….Truly it is said: A text without a context is a pretext.
There is this thing in this country that, as you age – and…women are hardest hit on this, and particularly in Hollywood – America loses interest in you, and we know this is true because we constantly hear from aging actresses, who lament that they can't get decent roles anymore, other than in supporting roles that will not lead to any direct impact, yay or nay, in the box office. While Hollywood box-office receipts may be stagnant, none of that changes the fact that this is a country obsessed with appearance. It's a country obsessed with looks. The number of people in public life who appear on television or on the big screen, who are content to be who they are, you can probably count on one hand. Everybody's trying to make themselves look different – and…they think they're making themselves look better. It's just the way our culture has evolved. It's the way the country is. It's like almost an addiction that some people have to what I call the perfection that Hollywood presents of successful, beautiful, fun-loving people. So the question is this: Will this country want to actually watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?
The media would have us believe that Limbaugh attacked Senator Clinton. But clearly he insulted the American people, including the media.
Reality check: ever see any truly unattractive people on any news program? I don't mean just hit-with-the-ugly-stick ugly. I mean fell-off-the-ugly-tree-and-hit-every-branch-on-the-way-down ugly. You don't see such people on TV. They work in print or radio journalism.
And the news media wonder why more and more people trust their coverage less and less. If they can’t get it right about something as relatively insignificant as a radio talk show, no one should wonder that many of us don’t think they are really too keen on reporting the truth about the battle in Iraq, or the economy, or global warning or much else.
If you think a country has the right to enforce its immigration laws, including deporting that who break those laws, then you have a lot in common with slave owners in the south:
"One of the great challenges facing us is that we do not commit the same mistakes with our growing Hispanic population that we did with African Americans 150 years ago and beyond. We're still paying the price for the pathetic manner in which this country handled that." (Here.)
See? Huckabee thinks (or doesn't) just like a liberal.
Selwyn Duke offers this pungent retort:
Outrageously, it seems Huck can't distinguish between denying citizens the protection of the law and requiring non-citizens to follow it. (Emphasis mine.)Right. And not only can Huckabee not distinguish between citizens and non-citizens per se, he can't distinguish between Hispanic citizens and Hispanic non-citizens. Deporting lawbreakers does nothing to the Hispanic population. My parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and others are in no danger of being deported -- or anything else -- simply for being Hispanic. And no harm is done to my family because some lawbreaker who just happens to be Hispanic gets what the law says he has coming to him. Dealing with illegal immigrants who happen to be Hispanic is no more an attack on the Hispanic population than a crack-down on the mob constitutes an attack on the Italian population.
Also, it is telling, isn't it, that Huckabee thinks the only people here illegal are Hispanics?
If there are artisans in the monastery, let them practice their crafts with all humility, provided the Abbot has given permission. But if any one of them becomes conceited over his skill in his craft, because he seems to be conferring a benefit on the monastery, let him be taken from his craft and no longer exercise it unless, after he has humbled himself, the Abbot again gives him permission. The Holy Rule of St. Benedict, Ch. 57.
A great deal of counsel is there for Christian artists. Just substitute the word church for the word monastery.
Of course, I'm sure that the idea that artists are to be in some sense servants of the church and therefore, to a certain extent, accountable to her, is anathema to artists -- even Christian artists. Artists engage in art for art's sake, not for the sake of any community to which they belong, unless, of course, it's the Arts Community.
Note: If you're not a Christian, don't worry. You're not being rebuked.
1. love of peace, charity, sincere desire for unity,humility (refusual to exalt yourself)
2. contentedness, lack of greed and avarice,
3. diligence in study and service,
4. faithfulness to obey,
5. being persons of integrity and consistency,
6. compassion to those who suffer,
7. devotion to Christ
It's not just that they had those qualities. It's that they had them to the n th degree.
I feel so inadequate.
[C]onvictions rooted in nonnegotiable principles - by virtue of the fact that they transcend mere fashionable moral trends - should remain unchanged. In so far as such principles are missing from the liberal ideology, the conservative ideology - all its imperfections notwithstanding - stands unrivaled. This disparity is often illustrated by the fact that Conservatives are typically chided for being unfaithful to their core principles, whereas Liberals are indicted by the social decay that ensues as a result of strict adherence to theirs.
Today's liberals suffer from a marring decrepitude, manifesting itself in what their forebears would quickly denounce as the rather illiberal ethos of guiltless autonomy, speech codification, thought surveillance, and retroactive gender and ethnic bigotry.
Mere cosmetic attempts at re-inventing themselves by changing their brand name, or taking stock of the aggregate moral decay from decades of civic prerogative will not likely solve their predicament. (Here )
Meanwhile, this, from Randall Hoven, (a conservative case for universal healthcare) is a bit disconcerting. It's a sort of if-you-can't-beat-them-join-them argument. We're already paying, in effect, for universal healthcare, so we should just go there.
Now, it's immediately tempting to say something like, "Hey, Randall: Abusus non tollit usum. ". But one should read his article first.
NOTE: ESCR=Embryonic Stem Cell Research
I really don't think the stem cell debate is over. (But we'll see.)
"[R]eading good books is like a conversation with the noblest people of past centuries--their authors--indeed, even a studied conversation in which they uncover only the best of their thoughts...." -- Descartes, Discourse on Method, 5 (Adam & Tannery edition).
Yes. And these conversations are all the more pleasurable when accompanied by good, strong drink -- coffee or scotch are best. (Beer when conversing with Martin Luther, of course!)P.S.
One doesn't want to blog on this date without some mention of the fact that it is a date which will live "in infamy".
During the 1990s, I cannot remember being asked about immigration ... Why? Because the economy was working ... And average Americans didn't have to go around looking for someone to blame. -- H/T: Rush Limbaugh
Different people likely have different reasons for caring about immigration reform. Some probably are "racist". Some, as Senator Clinton claims, probably are set off because they blame illegal immigrants for our economic woes. Sure: it's illegal immigration, not the whole sub-prime business -- among other things. Sure. That's what it is.
Some of us (perhaps especially Neo-Calvinists) are motivated by the simple fact (derived from the notion of sphere sovereignty ) that nations have rights, one of which is the right to exist. This right of nations to exist includes the right to say who comes in, who stays, who can become citizens and how they do so. And the standards which nations may use in formulating these laws can be whatever those nations desire them to be. Those standards can even be racist. (Now, I would object to racist standards for the U. S. But one wonders what to do about that. My objection is rooted in my faith. The Left-Liberal understanding of the separation of church and state would have it that my religious objection to racism would violate the separation if it became public policy.)
Some of us think it is improper for the leaders of our nation ignore this for apparently-political gain, or for any other reason. For one thing, the enforcement of laws against citizens and legal aliens does not comport well with non-enforcement of laws against illegal aliens. It's lawlessness.
Think of it. One set of our nation's laws stipulates conditions which must be met in order for foreigners to enter the country. Another set of our nation's laws stipulate, for example, that citizens pay taxes on their income. The first set is not enforced; it is violated with a great deal of impunity. The second set is enforced. The people against whom the laws are enforced are citizens. The people against whom the laws are not enforced are not citizens. Ah, the blessings of liberty!
Perhaps Senator Clinton could consider the possibility that while some people may be motivated solely by economics (assuming they understand economics), still others may be motivated by a certain sense of the unfairness of it all. The unfairness of citizens perhaps going to jail for, say, tax evasion, while illegal immigrants are to be issued drivers' licenses. And it isn't just the unfairness: there is a certain arbitrariness in enforcing one set of laws against one group of people, but not enforcing some other set of laws against some other group of people. And arbitrariness is one of the hallmarks of tyranny.
Accept the proposition that governments may pick and choose which laws to enforce, and against whom, and you already accepted tyranny. "Tyranny Lite", perhaps, but only at the beginning. When I started smoking, I smoked "lite" cigarettes. By the time I quit, I was smoking some pretty harsh stuff, sometimes even unfiltered. In fact, I can inhale when I smoke a cigar and not get sick. I also took up "smokeless" tobacco and, shall we say, didn't need a spitoon. I'll leave it at that. Once you get acclimated to "lite", getting acclimated to "heavy" is only a matter of time.
Perhaps Senator Clinton could consider the possibility that many of those who are now motivated by economic factors have always been concerned about illegal immigration, but were willing to suffer it in hopes that the problem would yet be resolved. Now, however, seeing that (a) the problem is still with us and is actually worse just in terms of numbers, (b) that illegal immigrants are to be treated as de facto legal residents, and (c) the problem is now (arguably) having economic costs, they have finally had enough. Twenty-one years ago it was three million illegals. Today is upwards of 12 million. What's it going to be in another twenty years? Forty-eight million?
There's a passage in the Declaration of Independence (the second paragraph, as a matter of fact) which acknowledges that people are "more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable" than to take drastic actions in treating these "evils" (the drastic action being, of course, in the Declaration, the abolition of a government). Even if people are now concerned about illegal immigration for economic reason, that is no reason for thinking that illegal immigration is otherwise inconsequential. If economic factors have made a formerly-sufferable evil now insufferable, it is irrelevant to the evil itself that economics has rendered it no longer sufferable. For whatever reason, it is now insufferable. Given the vissisitudes of economics it is wiser to treat the illegal immigration problem than to attempt to fix the economic problem. Economics is difficult for laymen (and law-makers are laymen when it comes to economics) to understand, much less "fix". Illigal immigration is a matter of border-enforcement. The wisest course of action must surely be to fix the simpler problem first.
But then, we are talking about lawmakers here. Not much future in looking for wisdom there, apparently.
Mrs. Clinton's attempt to blame the President and his party (by extension from the economy) indicates her belief that concern about millions of illegal immigrants will go away when people find their pocketbooks in better condition. She doesn't have to solve the immigration problem. All she has to do is treat the concern over illegal immigration by treating one of its supposed effects. Clearly, then, she intends to do nothing about illegal immigration. One can, I hope, be forgiven if it appears the immigrants can stay and do whatever they want as long as her constituents suffer no economic disadvantages.
The way she has framed the discussion it makes perfect sense. The flagrant overlooking of a set of our laws is not really the problem. The economy is the problem. Fix the economy and we'll resume ignoring illegal immigration because then no one will care since it doesn't affect them personally. We'll also no doubt resume ignoring the arbitrary enforcement or non-enforcement of the laws.
The way she has framed the discussion also assumes very little (if any) concern for national sovereignty. But then if liberals cared about national sovereignty their fellow-traveling judges wouldn't be inserting the laws of other nations into our constitutional jurisprudence, subjecting us to "jurisdiction[s] foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws" (see Declaration, para. 15).
Any direct bearing on the main theme of my blog (i.e., Public Theology)? Can Christians really think we need to argue about such things at this present time, with so many things at stake in our culture? It probably depends upon how the argument is conduct. If Christians (even Christians of differing denominational distinctives) can maintain civility and unity (don't hold your breath) then maybe so.
It is...obvious that knowing has both a subjective and an objective pole.... What seems to have happened in our culture is a falling apart, a disconnect between the subjective and objective poles. We have on the one hand the ideal...of a kind of objectivity which is not possible, of a kind of knowledge of what we call the "facts" which involves no personal commitment; and on the other hand a range of beliefs which are purely subjective, which are..."true for me"...but which are a matter of personal and private choice. To suggest that these latter beliefs ought to be accepted as true for all is to be guilty of the unforgivable sin -- dogmatism. And...this dichotomy between knowing and believing is embodied in...our public schools and universities. This dichotomy is seen at its sharpest in...the First Amendment. There is a legally enforced division between what is called science and what is called religion. The one may be taught as public truth, the other may not. To teach that human beings exist as the result of the successful elimination of weaker species by those which have accidentally inherited superior strength of skill is allowed. To teach that human beings exist to glorify God and enjoy him forever is not allowed. [B]oth of these beliefs refer to what is believed to be true for all human beings. They are both -- if true -- extremely important. Both of them are affirmations about what is the case. One is held to be a matter of objectively true facts, even though [it] is obviously incapable of proof; the other is held to be a matter of private opinion. It may be taught in churches which are voluntary associations of those who choose to belong to them; it may not be taught as part of public truth. Lesslie Newbiggin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, p. 23.
- James Frank Solís
- Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 22 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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- Well, the debate over ESCR really isn't over, but....
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