Lutherans and the 10 Commandments

I’ve grown more and more puzzled over the conversations I’ve read on what is predominantly a Christian message forum. They center mainly over politics, and the cutting, personal things some women say about the candidates, as well as current officials, shocks me. I, of course, have my own political leanings, but I honestly try to stay away from personal attacks (although I’m not always successful) and stick to the issues about which I feel strongly.

This got me to thinking, however–do other denominations not interpret the Commandments the way we Lutherans do? From my own catechesis, and more recently, from going through the six chief parts with my own children on a nightly basis, I’m well familiar with the question “What does this mean?” In light of the conversations I’ve been reading recently, I’ve especially been thinking about the meanings of the fourth and eighth Commandments. Respecting our authorities, and speaking well of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

I have no problem with having personal political ideals, and with fighting to make those ideals common practice. But I feel that there is a right way to accomplish that (voting in elections, giving support to candidates that share those ideals, personally becoming involved in the political system, etc.), and bashing people for believing differently from you, and calling into account things like their faith, with no other evidence than they disagree with you as a compass to judge their Christianity, is certainly not the way to do it.

I totally understand, in the heat of the moment, saying something you shouldn’t. I’ve done that many times myself. What I don’t get, is people who are supposed to be Christians, who continually keep saying the same nasty things over and over, with no apparent purpose other than saying the meanest thing they can think of. It sure doesn’t seem very Christ-like, and it’s also not productive.

So, where do other Christians stand with their understandings of the Commandments? Do they have Catechisms that help to give them direction and interpretation? I can’t believe that in the studying I’ve done of other denominations, I don’t have the answers to questions! I guess a little research is in order. I, for one, am glad to have Luther’s Small Catechism to shed some light on these issues, and to help guide me in ways that will help me as I strive to live more as Christ wants me to, and less as I’m naturally inclined.

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