Sabbath Day Christian Church

 

 

Unit 14

Who Changed God's Commandments

Instead of Introduction: Below we will present the comparison between the Commandments of the Decalogue from the Bible and the catechism (Roman Catholic catechism):

I. The biblical version of the Decalogue:

'I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.'

I. You shall have no other gods before me.

II. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them. for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

III. You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

IV. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore he blessed the seventh Sabbath and made it holy.

V. Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

VI. You shall not murder.

VII. You shall not commit adultery.

VIII. You shall not steal.

IX. You shall not give false testimony against your

neighbour.

X. you shall not covet you neighbour's house. You shall not covet your neighbour's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour. (Exod. 20:2-17).

The catechism version

'I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of' the land of slavery.'

I. You shall have no other gods before me.

II. You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

III. Remember the holy day to keep it holy.

IV. honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

V. You shall not murder.

VI. You shall not commit adultery.

VII. You shall not steal.

VIII. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.

IX. You shall not covet your neighbour's wife.

X. Or anything that belongs to your neighbour.

(Based on the translation by A. Czastka of Duzy Katechizm religii katolickiej).

Right at the first sight you can see the changes in the content of the Decalogue:

1. The second commandment of the Decalogue is completely removed. This commandment forbids making and praising the images. The Roman Catholic Church, which made that serious change, at the same time introduced a lot of images, pictures and statues into their houses of prayer, worshipped them and taught the believers to praise them deeply.

2. The removal of the second commandment caused the change in the order of the commandments: the third Commandment of the biblical Decalogue stands as the second, the fourth as the third etc.

3. However, to make the ten commandments, the Roman Catholic Church divided the tenth commandment into two separate parts, which causes a strange confusion about the Decalogue; if any of the commandments orders or forbids to do something, the ninth and tenth concern the same thing - coveting the neighbour's ownership.

4. The Roman Catholic Church changed the fourth commandment of God, too. The order of keeping the Sabbath as the proper, seventh day of the week, was changed into a general order of keeping a holy day, which is primarily understood as Sunday, and then any other festivals of the church's liturgical year - which are mentioned and defined by the catechism.

The change made in God's Commandments is a great transgression. The Holy Scriptures teach that whoever breaks just one commandment is the breaker of the whole of God's Law, and WHOEVER INSULTS GOD'S LAW INSULTS GOD HIMSELF. (James 2:9-10).

II. The changes in the Decalogue were made by the Roman Catholic Church1. The catechism version of the Decalogue written above was based on the catechism by Rev. A. Czastka.

2. The translated quotations from other Roman Catholic theologians:

a) Rev. F. Spirago, Katechizm Ludowy vol. II pp. 65-66,

'The Jewish Decalogue comprised the following commandments:

1. The commandment of praising God alone.

2. Ban on worshipping images and statues.

3. Ban on insulting God's name.

4. The command to keep the Sabbath.

5. The command to honour the parents

6. Ban on killing.

7. Ban on adultery.

8. Ban on stealing.

9. Ban on giving false testimony.

10. Ban on coveting the neighbour's ownership.

(...) The Catholic Church made the following formal changes, the Second Commandment concerning worshipping the images was linked to the first, and the tenth commandment of God was divided into two separate commandments. (...) The command to keep the Sabbath was changed by the Church into the command to keep Sunday...'

b) Rev. W Zaleski, Nauka Boza, Dekalog p. 13, '...Presently the Church completely omits the commandment about images as it is included in the ban on idolatry. The command to keep the Sabbath was changed into a general command to keep a holy day (...) "You shall not covet your neighbour's wife" is distinguished in the first place in the Decalogue. The Church expressed it by a separate commandment...'

c) Rev. A. Jankowski, Podreczna Encyklopedia Biblijna, vol. 1, p. 268, 'The content-related analysis of the Decalogue from Exodus tells us to see the second commandment as the ban on worshipping the images of Jahweh (Exod. 20:4-6); the third as the ban on misusing the name of God (Exod. 20;17), and to link our ninth commandment with the tenth (Exod. 20:17), which generally puts a ban on sinful desires (...) For Orygenes - contrary to the majority of the Fathers - this ban was a separate commandment (IX), which entailed linking the ban on worshipping idols and images. This division is supported by Clemens of Alexandria, St Augustine, many Latin Fathers, the Roman Church and Lutherans...'

3. A few testimonies of the change of the Decalogue's fourth commandment (keeping the Sabbath changed into keeping Sunday).

a) A translation of the well-known theologian Stephen Kesnan, A Doctrinal Catechism p. 174: 'The question: how can we prove that the Church has the authority over establishing festivals?' The answer: Without this authority it could not have changed keeping the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, into Sunday, the first day of the week, that change has no basis in the Holy Scriptures...'

b) Cardinal Peter Gasparri, Katechizm katolicki z Polecenia Jego eminencji X. dr Augusta Hlonda, Prymasa Polski', p. 78, '...Question 205: Why is not the Sabbath kept in New Testament?' Answer, 'In New Testament the Sabbath is not kept, because the Church replaced it with the holy day, Sunday...'

c) The catechism arranged on behalf of the Trident Council, (Catech. ex. door. Con. trid, ad. parochos A.III. 4/18) states straight ahead, 'It appealed to the Church of God to change keeping the Sabbath into keeping Sunday...'.

4. The inconsistency of the Roman Catholic theologians.

On one hand those theologians respect the Decalogue, preach its unchangeability and holiness, but on the other hand, on next pages of their books they carelessly announce the changes made by Roman Church.

a) Rev. F. Spirago, Katechizm Ludowy Vol. II p.10, 'The laws issued by God's ministers are holy only on one condition: they must not contradict God's natural Law nor God's revealed Law. There is no commandment against God's commandment. If the Emperor orders one thing and His Procurator commands a different thing, first of all one must listen to what the Emperor says. Similarly, if God's ministers tell us to do what God forbids us to, then we have to mention the word's of the apostles, 'We must obey God rather than men!' And on page 65 he says, '... God's Ten Commandments were changed by the Church. The following formal changes were made, the second commandment was linked to the first, and the tenth was divided into two separate commandments...The order of keeping the Sabbath was changed into keeping Sunday...'

Whom shall we listen to, the, 'substitutes' or the Living God? Whose commandments should we keep?!

b) Rev. W. Zalewski, Nauka Boza, Dekalog, p.113, 'The Decalogue comprises the ten most important commands... of moral law, their importance is emphasised by its solemn announcement on Mount Sinai. (...) The Laws of Sinai alone are always fresh and life-giving, based upon the deepest longing and needs of the human nature. They were inscribed on the stone because they are as solid as a rock... The Decalogue is the most holy code the earth could have ever seen. (...) The content of the Decalogue is the basic, general standards of natural law. The greatest strength of the Decalogue lies in its eternal significance and unchangeability.' unfortunately, next statements of this theologian, a few pages on, are strangely inconsistent and irresponsible, 'The command to keep the Sabbath was changed by the church into a general command to keep Sunday' (p.13)

How is it possible to change God's Laws, which the theologian called 'solid', 'eternal', 'general', 'for all mankind', 'current' and 'unchangeable'?

Conclusion: The change of God's Commandments is an unprecedented affair. Often as the commandments were broken in the past by Israel, there was no one to dare and change the Decalogue, to remove some of the commandments and separate or link other ones. However, the Catholic Church dared do it...

God was not surprised by the change of the Decalogue as He is the Almighty God (1 Sam. 2. Knowing about the future change in ancient days God gave and in New testament repeated and expanded the prophecy of the deceptive power that would dare to do it.

The next lesson will discuss this issue.

 

Unit 14

Question 1. What changes were made by the Roman Catholi Church in the content of the Decalogue?

Question 2. What do you think of the change of God's Commandments made by the Roman Catholic Church?