Continuing our look into the Didache, the second part is an extension of the first about the way to life.
The second commandment of the teaching is this: Do not commit murder; do not commit adultery; do not corrupt boys; do not have illicit sex; do not steal; do not practice magic; do not practice witchcraft; you shall not murder a child, whether it be born or unborn. Do not covet the things of your neighbor. Do not swear or bear false witness. Do not speak evil of others; do not bear grudges. You should not be double-minded or double-tongued, for a double-tongue is a deadly snare. Your speech should not be false nor empty, but fulfilled by action. Do not be covetous, or greedy, or hypocritical, or malicious, or arrogant. Do not have designs against your neighbor. Hate no one; correct some, pray for others, and some you should love more than your own life.
Notice the Commandments and the Morality Laws? They are there. This specifically speaks of adulterous and sexually immoral behaviors, pedophilia, homosexuality, abortion, thievery, abduction, astrology, sorcery, murder, lying, bitter, two-faced, back stabbing, and more. It looks to be a short-hand version of the Ten Commandments to the Gentiles who never heard them. This section also covers the Morality Laws, and the things God and Jesus flat out abhor. Some of these are common sense practices and are also found in Codes of Law from other nations so most of these are nothing new to the receivers of this teaching. The main difference is that these are from God and emphasized, NOT ABOLISHED, by Jesus as things not to do in order to live an eternal life in the light not in the darkness of death.
Looking into these teachings, they speak of behaviors that affect mankind both physically and spiritually. The teachings are telling us what we must not do in order to live a right life with ourselves, in the community, and out in the world. I will not go into detail on all these “do not’s” and “should not’s” (although I would love to) because, simply, these are the opposite of the good morals, ethics, values, and characteristics that Believers need to be abiding in.
In layman’s terms: Once you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior you must give up your sinful past and life for Him. There is no, “This is the lifestyle I choose and will continue in it even though God says I shouldn’t”. Christians accept people for who they are and if they join in and accept Jesus, they must transform their heart and daily lives to reflect it. YOU CANNOT CONTINUE TO LIVE IN SIN. You live in sin you are in darkness, live for Jesus and you are in the light.
These teachings are called archaic by today’s standards of society. I have heard people say that the world is so depraved we should be rid of laws altogether so people can do what they see as right in their own eyes. Yeah that would be great until they are wronged and start complaining to others and crying that it shouldn’t happen and the perpetrators should be punished. This causes witch hunts and accusation band wagons that destroy careers. Does that sound familiar in society’s current situation?
The Didache teachings have just as much relevance today as they did even before they were written. So what do we do with this? Before the 20th Century it was easier to abide by these teachings, today it is an even worse struggle but it must be done. We need to live with a good moral compass, giving yourself over to Christ and following His ways all the time (not just Sunday in church). Do not being judgmental of others and stop giving in or compromising to appeal to a sinner’s ways. Have a compassionate, loving heart towards others but know when it is time to exert the tough love that the Father and Jesus has shown us.
Remember brothers and sisters, God’s rules are not to be changed or broken to satisfy our own thinking on how we should live. They were, after all, “set in stone”.