17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” 18 Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” 21 The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.
16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Lying is a very enjoyable activity in the moment. In the moment that you tell a lie, you are able to craft reality in the way that you want it to be or in the way that you think it should be. You know that you are lying, of course, unless you have become so proficient in it that you actually start believing it yourself. But believing your own lie no more makes it true than others believing your lie. Regardless, it is enjoyable in the moment and, if done effectively, you can derive some fun benefits from it…before the world of lies you have built comes crashing down on you, destroying you in the process, that is.
15 You shall not steal.
In Timothy Hall’s Touchstone article, “A Law for All Seasons,” he passes on a very interesting anecdote from one of G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown detective stories.
In G. K. Chesterton’s first Father Brown story, “The Blue Cross,” criminal mastermind Flambeau has lured Father Brown to a desolate height on Hampstead Heath as the last act in his plot to steal a jeweled cross. Flambeau is disguised as a priest, and before he discloses his true identity, he and Father Brown discuss moral reason.
This is vintage Hauerwas: provocative, insightful, thought provoking, eclectic, curious, frustrating, erudite, funny, and Christian. Check it out:
14 You shall not commit adultery.
Have you heard of “The Wicked Bible”? Here’s a nice summary from Wikipedia:
The Wicked Bible, sometimes called Adulterous Bible or Sinners’ Bible, is the Bible published in 1631 by Robert Barker and Martin Lucas, the royal printers in London, which was meant to be a reprint of the King James Bible. The name is derived from a mistake made by the compositors: in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:14), the word not in the sentence “Thou shalt not commit adultery” was omitted, thus changing the sentence into “Thou shalt commit adultery.” This blunder was spread in a number of copies. About a year later, the publishers of the Wicked Bible were called to the Star Chamber and fined £300 (£44,614 as of 2015) and deprived of their printing license. The fact that this edition of the Bible contained such a flagrant mistake outraged Charles I and George Abbot, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who said then: