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In the Gates

Guard Against Temptation (2)

The Second Commandment

Guard Against Temptation (2)

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Deuteronomy 13.12-18

If you hear in one of your cities, which the LORD your God is giving you to dwell there, that certain worthless fellows have gone out among you and have drawn away the inhabitants of their city, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which you have not known, then you shall inquire and make search and ask diligently. And behold, if it be true and certain that such an abomination has been done among you, you shall surely put the inhabitants of that city to the sword, devoting it to destruction, all who are in it and its cattle, with the edge of the sword. You shall gather all its spoil into the midst of its open square and burn the city and all its spoil with fire, as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God. It shall be a heap forever. It shall not be built again. None of the devoted things shall stick to your hand, that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger and show you mercy and have compassion on you and multiply you, as he swore to your fathers, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God, keeping all his commandments that I am commanding you today, and doing what is right in the sight of the LORD your God.”

Notice that we’re not to make snap judgments about those who are reported to be leading the people of God astray. We are to “inquire and make search and ask diligently” concerning what is being said or taught or otherwise done to entice the faithful to turn from the Lord and His ways.

Over the past several years the forms of worship have changed dramatically in many churches. Gone are the traditional hymns, the creeds and confessions, and the long-standing liturgies. In their place are all things contemporary. Is this a turning away from the Lord and succumbing to the allure of pop culture?

Before you decide be sure to check it out thoroughly, measuring new practices of worship against the clear teaching of Scripture concerning the pattern of sound worship. Only thus will you be able to make a sound judgment and to keep from being led astray.

This series of In the Gates we present a detailed explanation of the Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, and working through the statutes and rules that accompany each commandment. For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the practice of ethics, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to and click on our Book Store.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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