The other night in church, we had a discussion about the problems facing America and how they can be resolved. Someone mentioned the idea that we, as a country and as a people, need to return to following the Ten Commandments. I think this potentially a good idea. However, there is also a problem with doing it.
One thing that I've discovered is that people, and Christians in particular, love checklists. We love to have lists of the things that we are supposed to do in order to be a good Christian. We think that if we are in church three times a week, read our Bible, tithe, and pray, we are good Christians. We store up these things so that we can point to all that we do and use it as evidence of our Christian walk. This is where the Ten Commandments come in.
The Ten Commandments is a list. We look at them and say, "Well, I do that one, that one, and that one most of the time." And we think that as long as we are doing these things, we are right with God.
Here's the catch: following a list of rules has nothing to do with being right with God. The Pharisees did everything they could to follow God's laws and rules and who did Jesus go after the most? Yep, the Pharisees. They were so interested in following the laws that they did not see the true purpose of the law: causing them to call out to God because they needed Him to help.
I agree that we need to go back to the Ten Commandments, but more than that we need to see the wretchedness of our sin and realize that only through Jesus can we ever even think that we are capable of doing what God wants.