Recently, at a local Christian music festival in Oshkosh, WI (Lifest), I asked people some questions about their faith. I kind of had a feeling what some of their answers were going to be but I wanted to hear the words straight from someones mouth, not from my warped little brain.
The first question I asked was "Are you a Christian?" Umm . . . duh. That question was kind of a no-brainer I guess. I WAS at a CHRISTIAN music event after all. I kind of figured everyone would be a Christian. Still it's possible that a non-believer could have snuck in under our Christian radar or come with a friend or maybe had been dragged there against their will. Okay, probably not that last one.
To no one's surprise, everyone who took my little survey was a professing Christian. Sadly however, that particular question was the LAST question that provided a unanimous, correct answer. The second question was a lot tougher and NO ONE got it right . . . completely.
Before I share that question with you though, go get a piece of paper and a pencil and see how YOU do. I will wait. Ready? Okay, here goes . . . "Name the Ten Commandments."
[Click this link to play the Jeopardy Theme Song while you answer. No pressure. Repeat as necessary]
Well, how did you do? Those answering at Lifest got as few as two commandments correct and as many as eight right. No one was able to recite all of the commandments. It's hard to come up with all ten when put on the spot. As a matter of fact, later, after the first day's questioning was over, I tried to list all ten myself and failed. Even after staring at the answers all day I could only get nine. I'm old. I'm lame. Actually, it's because I was "too busy" and I never cared to memorize them at any point in my life. Sad.
Age didn't seem to matter when it came to naming the Ten Commandments. All ages failed. But I did notice that those with a Catholic background seemed to fare better. Perhaps they learned them in a faith-based school environment? Hard to tell. I didn't ask people about their particular denomination but some volunteered it so I made note.
The third question I asked of my victims, err . . . I mean, my survey participants, was "What did Jesus mean then when He asked in John 14:15, 'If you love me you will keep my commands.'" Ouch. That one probably stung a bit, considering everyone had just failed reciting God's commands.
That leads to some OTHER interesting questions that weren't even part of the questionnaire like, "How can we say we love Jesus if we can't keep His commands?" and "How can we keep God's commands if we don't even know what they are?" Those are some good questions.
"Yeah, but Bob, we can still love Jesus without being able to recite the Ten Commandments. Besides, it's tough coming up with all ten on the spur of the moment."
Two thousand years ago, Jewish students were expected to memorize the Torah - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. All of it! And we can't memorize ten little commandments?
I found this semi-short video on YouTube. It's an easy way to memorize the Ten Commandments. It worked for me. Try it. Then, if you run into me at Lifest next year, you will have no fear when I ask you to name the Ten Commandments. :)
How to Memorize the Ten Commandments by Ron White
"Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? - unless indeed you fail to meet the test!" - 2 Corinthians 13:5
The Ten Commandments
"3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.” - Exodus 20 3-17