Explain the relevance of the Decalogue for issues in Christian morality

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Explain the relevance of the Decalogue for issues in Christian morality (35)

The Decalogue is the basis for pure Christian ethics and is maintained to this day. The term Decalogue refers to the Ten Commandments that are found in Exodus, when they were presented to Moses as a sign of God’s covenant with the people of Israel. Many of our modern state laws are influenced by the moral code of the Old Testament. In the words of Dane, they “in some respects form a charter of fundamental human rights.” In examining their relevance, a good place to start would be their Old Testament origin.

For the Old Testament the idea of ethics is tied up with the idea of a covenant. A covenant is not in the Old Testament a bargain, an agreement, a treaty between two people, but between God and Israel. The whole point of the covenant is that in it the whole initiative is with God. The idea is that God out of sheer grace - not because the nation of Israel was specially great or specially good - simply because he wanted to do it -came to Israel and said that they would be his, people and he would be their God. But that very act of grace brings its obligation. It laid on Israel the obligation for ever to try to be worthy of this choice of God.
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Ancient Israel was a theocracy, ruled by God’s law - the Pentateuch was state law as well as religious. The Decalogue was a symbol of the covenant God had with his people and to break it was to break God’s agreement. Even though the modern day Christian does not live in a theocracy, our true citizenship is in heaven and our actions in this life will reflect on the afterlife. The Divine Command theory states that the final decision regarding whether something is right or wrong lies with God; if God says it’s right, then it must be ...

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