Midweek Message

LABC Update – February 28, 2024

Jim Hopkins

February 27, 2024

Family,

Included in the lectionary readings for the Third Sunday of Lent is Exodus: 20-17, the Ten Commandments. Unfortunately, in recent years many religious and political leaders have weaponized and politicized these central teachings and so stigmatized and de-legitimized them. I do not think they should be attached to courtroom or schoolhouse walls for they are sacred teachings rather than civic principles.

Holly Holman, General Counsel for the Baptist Committee, said it well when she wrote Government-sponsored religious monuments are always constitutionally suspect and theologically questionable. Any rule that puts government in the position of making religious decisions threatens the freedom of religion. Those who share the BJC perspective on religious liberty will continue to promote the Ten Commandments (and other scriptural mandates) in a way that the Bible encourages: by writing them on our hearts, as the prophet Jeremiah instructed.

The bottom line is that as a religious community we should read, hear and follow these “Ten Words of Freedom.”  It is in that spirit that I share them this morning.

Pastor Jim

 

Exodus 20:1-17
20:1 Then God spoke all these words:

20:2 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;

20:3 you shall have no other gods before me.

20:4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

20:5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me,

20:6 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

20:7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

20:8 Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy.

20:9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work.

20:10 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; you shall not do any work–you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns.

20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.

20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

20:13 You shall not murder.

20:14 You shall not commit adultery.

20:15 You shall not steal.

20:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

20:17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

 

This morning on LABC Zoom – Pastor Jim leads Bible Study, 10:30

Online: https://zoom.us/j/8599095914
Dial-in: 1 669 900 9128

Meeting ID: 859 909 5914
Password: 192833

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Also this morning, sponsored by the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists

Online Prayer Vigil for Nex Benedict

1:00 – 1:30 pm EST

Zoom will open at 12:50 pm and you can linger until 1:50 pm if needed. Registration with Zoom is required to keep our space safe.

Registration required