By: Craig Funston
Last week, we looked at what this sixth commandment does not apply to. So if if it does not include hunting, gun control, or capital punishment (and pacifism, which I didn’t deal with), what does it mean?
It essentially has to do with the sanctity of life, from womb to tomb,. Murdering a defenceless human being and giving it a fancy name like “abortion,” or murdering a very ill or elderly person, and giving it a likewise fancy name like “euthanasia,” is cowardly and contemptible.
Likewise, that commandment includes “life itself.” Cold-blooded murder, that is targeted and intentional, is dead wrong, no pun intended. Even the courts identify such as first-degree murder.
Beyond that, sometimes death takes place inadvertently when, for example, during a fight or robbery or momentary outburst that ends in death. That would be classified as second-degree murder or manslaughter. Death is death, to be sure, but the difference is whether it was intentional or not.
All lives matter (not just black or blue ones, by the way), and we are commanded to treat each person as the special beings that they are, regardless of culture, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and language. It doesn’t mean that we necessarily endorse or embrace people’s choices, of course, but there is no place for murder.
We observe that sort of murderous mayhem these days, one more example of the desperate trajectory of our western civilization. I still wonder, that if this sixth of the Ten Commandments was followed, how much better our world would be.
Actually, I don’t wonder at all: It would be much, much better. And safer.
Can you imagine (and with the bloody assaults within our nation, that’s all you can do), a society where this law was understood and implemented? I haven’t been around for the past 10,000 years, so I don’t know if things are getting worse. I do know that there are more people than ever before, and that the news agencies are seemingly everywhere, reporting anything that smacks of sensationalism.
Another concrete ramification of this commandment is that of self-defence. If I am being attacked on the street, it is my duty to defend myself. The same goes for my house being broken into: I should not stand idly by while my family and I are being assaulted. That is a non-starter, and I personally see no option here against force here.
Please note that I am using the word “defend,” but not necessarily “murder.”
That would be one of many reasons why a disarmed citizenry is a dead citizenry, and gun control is wrong. Maybe the good guys would comply, but the bad guys wouldn’t, so actually bad things would become far worse.
If we truly understood the value of human life, then we would grasp when and where our people needed to be armed. Even a better grasp of Scripture also works in our favour on this issue, but that’s likely too much of a stretch for many people.
Life is far too valuable to be made vulnerable. Those who doesn’t have that common sense and rational approach to life are actually the dangerous ones—whether they are politicians, celebrities, or even religious leaders.
They are the loose cannons when it comes to gun control (pun mercilessly intended).
The value of human life is implicit in this sixth commandment. Embrace it, and you will live…in more ways than one.