charleston wrote:Douglas Bilodeau wrote:The primary Sabbath (i.e. Sunday) observance in Indiana seems to be to annoy blue-state heathen visitors who try to buy liquor and discover at the supermarket checkout line that they have to wait till Monday sunrise.
why keep a 'Sabbath' and not the 10 COmmandments?
why keep any remnant of JEwish Law qt all?
Why keep the Greek word Democracy, or echoes of the Roman concepts of civic virtue? Why construct imposing public buildings with lots of columns in front?
Actually, people have mostly forgotten why. But it was once natural to imitate aspects of past societies which were found to be admirable (both the societies and the things we imitate). This would have been especially true of ancient Israelite society, which was thought to have been put in order by God. The Puritans especially thought that ancient Jewish Law, as expressed in the Hebrew scriptures, which they considered to be divinely inspired and ordained (as opposed to the Talmud, which they did not), contained a blueprint for an ideal society. Laws concerning ritual sacrifice and the temple were generally considered to have been superseded according to Christian scriptures. Sometimes a distinction was made between ceremonial, judicial and moral laws. Article VII of the 39 Articles of Faith of the Church of England says:
THE Old Teﬅament is not contrary to the New: for both in the Old and New Teﬅament everlaﬅing life is offered to Mankind by Chriﬅ, who is the only Mediator between God and Man, being both God and Man. Wherefore they are not to be heard, which feign that the old Fathers did look only for tranſitory promiſes. Although the Law given from God by Moſes, as touching Ceremonies and Rites, do not bind Chriﬅian men, nor the Civil precepts thereof ought of neceſſity to be received in any commonwealth; yet notwithﬅanding, no Chriﬅian man whatſoever is free from the obedience of the Commandments which are called Moral.
The Puritans were far more strict and consistent about their observance of the "Sabbath" (though very few Christians have moved observance back to Saturday). Anglicans and others were less strict. Today it is commonly thought that the Puritan theocratic ideal is unrealizable and that their legalism is inconsistent with reliance on faith rather than law. Others would say on the other hand that grace is for a community rather than individuals, and that communities need rules. Then there are Wesleyan and "holiness" churches whose legalism is based more on an aspiration to moral perfectibility rather than specific scriptural laws. This latter aspiration has survived to some extent in the "social gospel" of liberal Christianity.
The cultural tradition of strong emphasis on the Ten Commandments in Christian culture derives partly from Puritan theocracy, partly from their perception as a foundation for moral or social perfectionism, partly from the convenience of including them in catechism and confirmational training as one of the few succinct, specific and clear summations of moral principles in scripture.
A waning faith is often compensated by a moral emphasis: "I don't believe in miracles or all that theological nonsense, but I try to live by the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount." This seems to have been a common attitude since at least the 18th century.