Last Sunday, our pastor spoke on the sixth commandment. Now most people will think, "well, I haven't murdered anyone lately" and immediately tune out, but he showed how this verse (Exodus 20:13) applies to each of us.
What impressed me the most was the timing. This was right after my friend Neil posted his blog on the subject "Three ways churches get it wrong". I was pretty sure how my church fit into this picture, but not 100%. I think we passed the "Neil test" (thanks Neil!).
I decided that the topic was important, and I decided to post the sermon outline here. This may bore you, but I'd encourage you to read it all. The audio of the sermon isn't up on the web yet, but it should be soon. You can click here for our church website, then click on "Listen to Recent Sermons (this was April 20,2008). It's possible that our pastor said something I didn't approve of, but I can't think what it would be. In general, I approve of everything in the sermon.
The outline of the sermon covered four parts: 1) The big idea, 2) What the commandmend does NOT say, 3) How the commandment applies to families and 4) the bottom line. My outline below is from the outline handed out and my comments during the sermon.
The big idea: The main focus of the sermon is that life and death is up to God. Job 14:5.
What the commandment does NOT say (three points):
1) This does not ban the killing of animals (Genesis 9:3). My pastor (and I) do NOT feel that this justifies Michael Vick. We also feel if you want to be vegetarian, that's fine (you're probably more healthy).
2) It does not ban capital punishment (Leviticus 24:17)
3) It does not ban going to war (Ecclesiastes 3:8)
So what does the commandment say? How does it applies to families (the focus of the current series). There were four points:
1) God stands opposed to suicide. (Job 14:5). Subpoint: suicide is the #1 killer on college campuses and #2 on high school campuses.
2) God stands opposed to euthanasia (Job 12:10)
3) God stands opposed to abortion. (Psalm 139:13-16). On this point, he said he had spoken on abortion recently (I haven't followed up to check, but have no reason to doubt him). He said that 25% of all pregnancies ended in abortion. I doubted this figure, but found this website that backs it up. He also said that 30 million abortions have been performed since it was made legal.
4) God stands opposed to contempt. (Matthew 5:21-22) Jesus made this very personal. He said "anyone who says 'You Fool' will be in danger of the fire of hell".
Ok, so now it's clear what the commandment says and what it doesn't say, what does that mean to you? Here's the bottom line (straight from the notes) God planned you and made you. He wants you to know Him (Jeremiah 24:7).
If God cares this much about you, what will your reaction to him be?