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British Survey: Majority believe only six of 10 commandments still important today

Ten Commandment outside the Texas State Capital in Austin. Credit: Office of the Attorney General of Texas/Wikipedia

Ten Commandment outside the Texas State Capital in Austin. Credit: Office of the Attorney General of Texas/Wikipedia

A YouGov poll of people living in England released this past October discovered the majority felt only six of the 10 commandments delivered by Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20) are relevant today.

Commandments such as ‘though shall not murder’ and ‘thou shall not steal’ still did well with both receiving 94% and 93% support respectively. Note the survey properly referred to the sixth commandment as forbidding murder, not killing that was sometimes justified in cases of self-defense.

It is difficult to understand why there wasn’t 100% support for the two. However, it can possibly be explained by the growing extreme left-wing beliefs particularly on university campuses where some feel there is justification in certain instances for murder and stealing.

Perhaps in a less extreme agreement with this later sentiment only 61% believed “thou shalt not covet” was relevant today.  This meant nearly 40% of those surveyed felt it was alright to covet a neighbor’s goods. At times, our hearts can justify theft because its unfair that some have wealth and others don’t.

There were four commandments that fell below the 50% threshold, where less than half of those surveyed believed they were still important today. Surprisingly even Christians were in agreement.

This included forbidding the ‘worship of idols’ where only 31% of Brits believed it was still relevant today. Even Christians were less concerned with only 43% saying it was important. The survey described an idol as a symbol or statue.

The other three to receive a failing grade included the first commandment, and some would argue the most important, that the Jews/Christians were to have no other gods but Jehovah. Only 20% of Brits thought it was important today compared to 36% of Christians.

The other two to get a failing grade were taking the Lord’s name in vain, where 23% considered it wrong (38% for Christians) and keeping the Sabbath where only 19% of Brits considered it relevant today compared to 31% for Christians.

Curiously among Christians, 49% of Catholics considered keeping the Sabbath importance compared to 29% among protestants.

In the New Testament, the Jewish Saturday Sabbath (seventh day) had become the traditional day to attend the synagogue. Christians changed this to Sunday, the first day of the week, to honor the day that Jesus rose from the dead (Acts 20:7).

As for the importance of keeping the Sabbath, the Apostle Paul further wrote:

One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. (Romans 14:5 NASV)

16 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17 NASV)

Paul was essentially saying a person should follow his or her conscience on this matter. If you are convinced that the Sabbath is still sacred then live accordingly. If you believe all days are the same, that is fine as well.

More importantly, Christians are not to judge each other about our differing opinions on the Sabbath. Even today, certain Christian groups, such as the Seventh Day Adventists, hold their church services on Saturday instead of Sunday.

YouGov Poll results:

The percentage of Brits who consider the following commandments important:

  • 94% — Thou shalt not murder
  • 93% — Thou shalt not steal
  • 87% — Thou shalt not lie
  • 73% — Thou shalt not commit adultery
  • 69% — Honor your mother and father
  • 61% — Thou shalt not covet
  • 31% — Thou shalt not worship idols
  • 23% — Thou shall not use the Lord’s name in vain
  • 20% — Thou shalt have no other gods, but Jehovah
  • 19% — Keep the Sabbath



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