“You shall not kill.”
– Exodus 20:13
The fifth commandment prohibits injury to or direct attack on human life. We must protect God’s gift of life by promoting care and respect for the life and dignity of all persons. Our life has its basic value and dignity because we are all created in God’s image and likeness. On Christmas eve, we remember how Jesus became man to add further dignity to this human life. The Holy Spirit, Giver of Life, gives life to us making our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. This means our bodies are to be respected, for it is a gift from God to us.
This commandment rejects abuse of our physical and spiritual well-being. Anything that seriously threatens the quality of human life is rejected by this commandment.
“For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach – and that for the sake of dishonest gain.” – Titus 1:10-11
Spiritual abuse includes acts such as saying bad words and teasing, insulting and making fun of others. These rude words emotionally and spiritually offend the dignity of persons.
“Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.” – 1 Corinthians 15:33
Common vices includes taking alcohol, drugs and smoking. These vices have been medically proven to seriously injure the body and cause addiction. The quality of life, and sometimes, life itself, of both the users and their family and close friends suffer greatly.
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4
Physical Abuse includes hurting others physically like fighting, torture, corporal punishments and initiations before one becomes a member of a fraternity. These acts degrade the dignity of the life given by God.
“Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death.” – Leviticus 24:17
Murder is unjust, willful and intentional act of killing a person. Murder denies the Lordship of God over life.
“And when he has made her drink the water, then, if she has defiled herself and has broken faith with her husband, the water that brings the curse shall enter into her and cause bitter pain, and her womb shall swell, and her thigh shall fall away, and the woman shall become a curse among her people. But if the woman has not defiled herself and is clean, then she shall be free and shall conceive children.” – Numbers 5:27-28
Abortion is the removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus resulting in its death. This can happen spontaneously during a miscarriage or artificially induced by chemical, surgical or other means. This deliberate ejection of a fetus from the mother’s womb is equivalent to killing an innocent human being.
“And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.” – Thessalonians 5:14
Mercy killing is the termination of life of the handicapped and the terminally ill in a painless or minimally painful way. No one has absolute power over life and death but God. As stewards of the gift of life, we must use ordinary means to preserve life such as medicines, treatments and operations that can be used without excessive sacrifice or expense on the part of the family, and when there is reasonable hope of benefit for the patient. However, if there is no real hope for the patient’s genuine benefit, there is no moral obligation to prolong life artificially by the use of various drugs and machines.
“Be not overly wicked, neither be a fool. Why should you die before your time?” – Ecclesiastes 7:17
Suicide is the willful act of taking one’s own life, expressing a total loss of the will to live due to extreme depression and despair. Suicide is resorted to when one feels that he or she can no longer handle his or her problems anymore. As Christians, we must do all we can to help those tempted to take their own lives by helping them recognize God’s personal love for them and to realize their hope in the Lord.
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” – Romans 12:19
Capital punishment, which is also known as death penalty, is the execution of convicted criminals who committed heinous crimes.
“Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” – Matthew 26:52
War is an armed conflict between factions and nations. The Church teaches us to work for peace through nonviolence and justice where there is respect for human dignity and human rights and the promotion of the common good and unity among others.
© Phoenix Christian Life Education 6