Monday, April 21, 2014

Ten Commandments Scavenger Hunt! Part Five, Commandment Six

Well, congratulations to Dave Micksch! Like the rest of you, as a contestant in the Ten Commandments Scavenger Hunt he was charged with finding me a contemporary cultural example of adultery (the subject of the seventh commandment). His response was quick and concise: "The obvious one is Clinton." Lacking nuance, perhaps, but I'll take it. Dave is now enjoying a complimentary copy of Ten: Words of Life for an Addicted, Compulsive, Cynical, Divided and Worn-Out Culture by Sean Gladding. This week, you could be too!

**Keep reading for a chance to win a free book!**
We are now at the midway point in our scavenger hunt. I've given away five books so far, with five more to go. That's how midway points work. Ten is set in the present-day, as a group of people gather at a local coffee shop and find themselves discussing current events and modern life as it relates to the "Ten Words," Gladding's preferred language for the Ten Commandments. Thanks to the mix of people around the table, we get unique and interesting insights into what the Words mean and how they continue to relate. It's a fun read by a great storyteller.

Sean considers the commandments in reverse order, so even though we're now on round five, we're discussing the Sixth Word: "Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13 KJV). This is about murder, sure, but there are all sorts of ways that all sorts of people inflict all kinds of mortal injury on one another all the time. There are no murderers around the table in Ten, but that doesn't mean no one has blood on their hands.

Get Ten by Sean Gladding at 40% off! Click here.
So take a look at this excerpt from Ten, and get those wheels turning to provide me with an example of the Sixth Word in play in our world today. Post it anywhere, using the hashtag #10Cscavengerhunt so I can find it. I'll announce this Word's winner on the next post.

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"OK," said John. "Let's see where we are in our discussion. So far we've talked about or mentioned murder, carrying guns to prevent murder - or gun control to do the same - capital punishment, abortion and war. Are we missing anything?"

"What a depressing list," said Carlos. "I hope we haven't missed anything."

No one added anything else, and so John continued. "I wanted to come back to the difference between 'Do not kill' and 'Do not murder.' ... It seems all kinds of killing might be in view."

"But that doesn't make any sense," said Sam. "Why would God say 'Do not kill' if the word can mean 'Do not execute'? Because then God goes on to give commandments to execute people who kill someone!"

"Yeah," said Carlos. "How does that fit in with what Jenny and Ellie said about the death penalty?"

"And," continued Sam, "what about all the times when God tells the Israelites to kill people? Is that giving them a free pass to break the commandment? Is killing OK if it's divinely sanctioned?"

"That's the terrorists' justification," said Carlos.

"And the crusaders, right?" added Jenny. "Not to mention the churches that allow people to carry concealed weapons into worship services. Or that ask God to bless us in the wars we're fighting. Seems like 'Do not kill' doesn't apply then, huh?"

John leaned forward. ... "Nowhere in the New Testament do you find Christians killing people. All the killing is done to them - sometimes sanctioned by the legal authorities - and it's never seen as a positive thing." He sat back. "After all, Jesus himself suffered capital punishment."

***

Heavy, I know. This book, this chapter, was being written when James Holmes entered a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and opened fire, killing twelve and injuring dozens more. The scene shows up in this chapter because how could it not? We simply can't discuss the ancient command not to kill without grieving our world's seeming addiction to violence today.

It might be flip, then, to call for examples of contemporary acts of violence as part of a scavenger hunt, but that is our challenge this week. So let's take it seriously and approach it solemnly. Remember, use the hashtag #10Cscavengerhunt so I can find them.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to hear more about the book Ten, watch a video about Ten here:

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Miss a scavenger hunt? See the whole series to date here.

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