Friday, March 27, 2009

March 28- You shall not Murder

Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

3/28- Sixth Commandment
17 "You shall not murder.

Calvin: All violence, injury, and any harmful thing at all that may injure our neighbor’s body are forbidden to us. We are accordingly commanded, if we find anything of use to us in saving our neighbors’ lives, faithfully to employ it; if there is anything that makes for their peace, to see to it; if anything harmful, to ward it off; if they are in any danger, to lend a helping hand.(II.8.39)

In our secular world, we have lost the idea that God’s image resides in each of us. One of the differences in the history of China and the history of the United States is this value. The first emperor of China killed tens of thousands of enemies, and was brutal. He then killed the thousand of workers who built his tomb. Mao Tse Tung killed over six million who disagreed with his revolution. When America has been at its worse, we haven’t seen the image of God in slaves, or in the American Indians. But the idea of the image of God has always been a check on genocide- which has not happened anywhere near the scale as what is common in Asia and Africa even today (take a look at Darfur where Muslim is killing Muslim). When we lose the idea of God in each human being, we lose the ultimate value of human life.
Muslim extremists kill thousands and it is okay because they are infidels. Hindus treated the Untouchables as non-persons. So extremists don’t mind burning churches and houses of these people who are believed to be of animal not human origins.
As I write this, I am hearing about a minister killed at a church last week in Illinois. I am hearing about the worst school shooting in Germany’s history. A man went on a senseless rampage in Geneva County (of all ironic places), Alabama. We have lost the idea that humans are valuable, and that we are accountable to God for our anger much less murder. In the 1970s Francis Schaeffer predicted that the more we lose our Christian worldview, the more abortion, euthanasia, murder, and government control would rise. This has happened.

Prayer: Lord, help us to value others. Help us to work for the help of our neighbors. Give us insight and wisdom to help others.

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