April 13, 2006

Adventist News 2

ten commandments

CONSIDERING THE ISSUE: Adventist world church general vice president Mark Finley speaks during consideration of the Ten Commandments statement at the church’s Spring Meeting in Loma Linda, California.
[Photo credit: Rajmund Dabrowski/ANN]

Recent actions in the United States and elsewhere are calling attention to the commandments. A chief justice of the Alabama state Supreme Court, Roy Moore, was removed from office over his placement of a Ten Commandments monument on public property. A private group, calling itself the Ten Commandments Commission, has also tried to incite public interest in the commandments.

Many biblical scholars and teachers have noted two categories within the Decalogue. The first four commandments speak of humanity’s relationship to God, and are items that human governments should not try to legislate. The last six commandments deal with relationships among people in society and are, Adventists believe, proper subjects for legislative action.

While noting its endorsement of the “fundamental principles of religious liberty and the separation of church and state,” the statement suggests that it is permissible for governments to legislate the modes of behavior “in keeping with these principles of human conduct . . . common in civil societies.”

The statement notes that “it is the duty of Christians to obey these laws, insofar as they are in keeping with God’s law, and to actively support efforts to improve them.”

Adventists, whose beliefs are distinguished by careful attention to the role of Bible prophecy in world affairs, also note a prophetic side to the Decalogue: “Seventh-day Adventists believe the law of God features prominently in the controversy between Christ and Satan. In Satan’s final attack against God just prior to the second coming of Christ, the believer’s obedience to God’s law provides the best evidence of commitment to Christ,” the statement notes.

The statement concludes with an appeal to society at large, as well as a call for tolerance: “Seventh-day Adventists hold the Decalogue in highest esteem and appeal to men and women in all societies to live in harmony with its principles as a foundation for lives of loving service to humanity. At the same time, they recognize the need for tolerance, Christian humility, and respect for the rights of others in making application of these principles.”—Adventist News Network. 

World Church: Adventists Affirm Role of Ten Commandments 

Noting recent public interest in the Ten Commandments, the Adventist Church voted April 12 in its Spring Meeting held in Loma Linda, California, to affirm the Decalogue’s importance in society. 

“The Seventh-day Adventist Church applauds interest in the role of the Ten Commandments in public life. The Decalogue, as given on Mount Sinai, is a reflection of God’s character. It contains universal and unchanging principles of morality and describes our relationship to God and our fellow human beings,” a statement voted by the church leaders indicated.

“The Ten Commandments provide a moral compass in an age of relativism. Through God’s law, the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and brings us to a sense of utter helplessness. The law of God is the instrument by which the Spirit calls us to repentance,” the statement notes.