Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Ten Commandments on This American Life

Each Saturday, while keeping my baby son, I listen to This American Life, which airs in Louisville at 1PM on 89.3FM. On this radio show, there is always a different theme and several stories around that theme. Occasionally, I'll admit, the stories are lousy- I remember one particularly pointless and disgusting (though not explicit in description) story of a man having an affair with an older, married woman. Usually, however, the stories are quite good- they are always well-produced and are entertaining and informative. Some that I have particularly enjoyed are: 1. A story in which sappy break-up songs were discussed, and then the producer of the show actually composed a song about her break-up with her boyfriend, with the help of Phil Collins; 2. A story recounting the political career of Jerry Springer (yes, a true story- he was a politician before hosting his infamous TV program); 3. A story of one of the pioneers in cryogenic preservation of corpses (this, I think, was illustrative of how people have a basic longing for life after death); 4. A report in conjunction with MoneyMarket, which explained the housing mortgage crisis, which has so drastically impacted our economy- the details of which I had been very much ignorant before this show.

This past Saturday, This American Life re-broadcast an episode originally aired on May 4, 2007. The theme of the show was "The Ten Commandments." [The episode may be heard HERE.]

Each segment of the show focused on one or more of the Commandments. The first three were addressed by the author of a book titled Beware of God. As might be expected from a non-Christian show, open contempt was displayed for these commandments- contempt predicated upon a rabbi's outrageous interpretation of them. The fourth commandment was treated by a montage of sounds from congregations- Jewish, Christian, and Muslim- observing the Sabbath: a kind of sociological footnote.

What was interesting about the rest of the show was the contempt poured upon two of the commandments in particular: the tenth commandment (against covetousness) and the seventh commandment (against adultery). The seventh commandment was addressed by a former evangelical, who had tried to abstain from lust (and had felt that he was constantly frustrated) until his early twenties, when a "Christian counselor" told him, basically, that lust is not that big a deal, and the guy immediately went out and bought a Playboy- going AWOL from war against sin. The tenth commandment was entirely dismissed as, 'everyone covets, you just can't help it.'

For one who believes the Bible's presentation of God- that He is the Sovereign Creator of all things- it follows that He has the absolute right to order His creation according to His good will. Creation is ordered by His Law, summarized in the Ten Commandments. We have all broken these commandments, and our hearts are even bent against the commands, seeking to serve self rather than God, so that we are truly powerless against sin. We cannot abstain from covetousness or lust, but the answer is not just to give up or to say, 'Well, everyone does it,' but to cry out for God's mercy- to cry out for a Savior.

Jesus Christ is this Savior. Jesus, the Son of God, was born into this world and lived as a human being just like us in every way, except that He kept all of God's commandments perfectly. He died on the Cross, taking the penalty for our commandment-breaking (our sin) and rose from the grave, showing Himself to be victorious over sin and death. Jesus is now at the right hand of God and offers eternal life to everyone who turns from their sins and trusts in Him.

Dear reader, if you have felt the weight of sin- if you have realized that you cannot stop breaking God's commandments, I urge you: look to Christ for salvation.

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