“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). Last week we looked at the Apostles Creed as a way to explain Christianity in a concise manner. Jesus and his apostles, namely Paul, refer to the ten commandments as a summary in how to obey God as believers (Matthew 19:18-19; Mark 10:19; Romans 13:8-9; 1 Corinthians 7:19). Last year, megachurch pastor Andy Stanley received a lot of criticism for erroneously stating that the Ten Commandments no longer apply to us. In recent news, China is now banning one of the ten commandments as part of “national policy” in their state-sanctioned protestant Three-Self Church. Officials say that President Xi has issue with the first commandment —“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:2–3). According to Voice of America, the Chinese government has always maintained that all religious doctrines must be subordinate to that of the party. In other words, the party must come before any god. The party has no issues with the rest of the nine commandments in the protestant church. What Stanley and the Chinese government fail to see is that the Ten Commandments have always been central to people who belong to God. Life with God is not a buffet - you cannot pick and choose which commandments you want to obey. By disobeying commandments two through ten, one disobeys the first commandment. As God’s people, let us remember to love God and love one another (Matthew 22:37-40).

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