The Philippines won the Guiness record for having the largest Ten Commandments tablet. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering that our country likes claiming to be one of the ‘most Catholic’ in the world. But will the Philippine Catholic hierarchy be happy and proud of this record? Probably not.
That’s because the gigantic Ten Commandments erected in Baguio happens to be the Protestant version, and if we look closely we will find that there is a significant difference from the Catholic version:
President of Teaching the Word Ministries Dr. Paul M. Elliott wrote:
The Roman Catholic revision is obvious: The Vatican eliminates the second commandment against idolatry, and subdivides the tenth commandment against covetousness in order to keep the number of commandments at ten.
Rome claims that it follows a version established in the late fourth century by Augustine, which in turn was allegedly based on a then-current Jewish synagogue version. But this is one of the many cases where Roman Catholicism (like Judaism) places the traditions of men in authority over the Word of God. The commandment against idolatry is clear, strong, and specific.
The Vatican must maintain the fiction of the revisionist Ten Commandments in order to perpetuate its extensive idolatry. Rome commands its faithful to bow before statues and crucifixes…
Vatican teaching alleges a distinction between what it calls dulia (venerating saints and bowing before statues and human remains) and latria (worship directed toward God). But it is a distinction without a difference. Idolatry by any name is an abomination to God.
I guess this only makes religion all the more suspicious of being a human construct. How could two major churches both claiming to represent the same God disagree on something as fundamental as the Ten Commandments?
And if it’s true that it was the Roman Catholic Church which caused the difference by eliminating the graven image clause, why make up for it by simply subdividing covetousness into thy neighbor’s wife and thy neighbor’s house? This could have been a golden opportunity to add a much needed commandment like “Thou shall not commit rape.” But perhaps such revision would be too obvious and put even more doubt on the supposed divine origin of the Commandments.
As for the Philippines’ record of having the world’s largest Protestant Ten Commandments, it would be interesting to see the Vatican put up an even bigger tablet with the Catholic version just to save face. This defensiveness and pettiness would stir up lively discussions and get people to examine their beliefs more closely instead of blindly following whatever their religious leaders say. Some of them might even be compelled to question doctrines deemed sacred in an attempt to seek the truth. That way they will be one step closer to becoming freethinkers. That way we will be one step closer to becoming a more enlightened nation.
Image from Yahoo!