Are the ten commandments culturally relevant today? I'd think so, most of them. They seem to have been intended for all time.
Anything can be made relevant if it's focused on. Let's take a look at these, though...
1. "I am the lord thy God, who brought you out of the lands of Egypt. You shall have no other gods before me"
were brought out of the lands of Egypt? No, he's talking exclusively to the Hebrews here. And the content of the commandment is only relevant to Christian exclusivism. 0/1 points.
2. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments."
Not sure what's relevant here. Are we to stop drawing things? I realize it was meant to forbid sculpted/graven idols, but doesn't that mean it's not so relevant to today's culture, as written? Sure does. Plus, it's got that "your children are guilty for your crimes" bit in it. Not relevant to our culture. 0/2 points.
3. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain."
I interpret this to mean "don't swear on God's name trivially or falsely". Relevant, to be sure. 1/3 points.
4. "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it."
As the absolute prohibition it's written as, this is not relevant to our culture. It's relevant to the culture of some modern Jews, who have devised all manner of interesting means to keep alive and well despite following this law. But people work Sundays all the time. And we expect it of them. And making food is work. Technically, driving to church is work. Heck, Jesus supposedly threw this one out himself! No points here. 1/4 points.
5. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
Even if they're the extremist Muslim ones who've just decided to engage in honor-killing? Your days aren't likely to be "long upon the land" if you do. And the parents who don't know a thing about parenting, and condition their kids to be socially and personally stilted? Ones that molest their children? This works more as a general guideline than a commandment. Still, it's usually a good guideline. Half points for this one. 1.5/5 points.
6. "Thou shalt not murder"
This one is redundant, as murder is defined as wrongful or illegal killing in the first place. Somehow people manage to ignore that one anyway, probably by justifying the killing in their minds. All it does is assert that people should follow their society's laws about killing. So, by this divine standard, abortion absolutely cannot be murder, since it is legal. And in areas without any laws in force, killing anyone is fair game, to the Lord...according to this law. Half points. 2/6 points.
7. “You shall not commit adultery."
In the sense of not cheating on your partner? Sure. I'll take that one. 3/7 points.
8. "You shall not steal."
Ditto. 4/8 points.
9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."
In today's urban culture, neighbours are rarely even acquaintances. Especially in apartment buildings. It's more important not to lie to people you actually interact with, most of whom are unlikely to be neighbours. That probably wasn't true back in the Old Testament days, and this rule's relevance hasn't survived the change in how people live. 4/9 points.
10. “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.”
Directly treats humans as property. That went out of style ages ago in most civilized places on Earth. Abhorrent. No points for this one. 4/10 points.
The Ten Commandments appear to be about 40% relevant to today's culture. Intended for all time? Maybe, but not by someone who knew anything about what "all time" was going to look like. More likely "intended for all time" by men, with their own cultural blinders on. Happens all the time.
Many of the levitican laws on the other hand do not apply today and its reasonable to deduce that they were meant to apply only to a certain culture at a certain time.
That's the easy way out, to be sure. Taking the Bible seriously and as a whole is a serious undertaking, and not one that's relevant to today's culture.
Makes sense to me.
Of course it does. You designed your standard that way.