The religious rules, which Christians believe were etched onto tablets by God and given to Moses, have been modified to use up-to-date language and principles. Inspired by last year’s riots, the new vows include “manage your anger”, “know God” and “catch your breath” and are understood to be used in more than 600 churches in Britain.
The original “thou shalt not steal” has become “prosper with a clear conscience”, and the lengthy “thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” becomes “take God seriously”.
The commandments, designed by popular evangelical preacher J John, have been praised by religious leaders for bringing practical advice to modern congregations.
Using short, simple language interspersed with slang, the new rules have now been released on a DVD called “just10 for churches”, aimed at providing guidance.
The tenth commandment, for example, has altered the Biblical “thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s” to just “find contentment.”
“Thou shalt not commit adultery” have been edited to “affair-proof your relationships”, and “honour thy father and thy mother” has altered to “keep the peace with your parents”.
J John claims his commandments enable “everyone to understand God’s timeless principles on how we should live” and said he was inspired to write them by last summer’s riots.
He said: “Along with a lot of people I think about the way that we live nowadays and what leads people to do the sort of things that happened in the riots – whether or not we have forgotten something about a good way of living.”
The Reverend Paul Roberts, 54, vicar of St John the Evangelist in Old Coulsdon, Surrey, which dates back to 1210 AD, is among those using the new commandments.
He said: “It’s basically a way of presenting the Ten Commandments to help people connect with them in a positive way.
“Rather than just seeing them as a list of things you shouldn’t do, it is meant to help people live as God intended for our good.
“Unlike the dos and don’ts most people imagine when quizzed about the maker’s instructions, the message is meant to be both a challenge and an encouragement.”
Wayne Dulson, 40, minister of Loughton Baptist Church, Essex said: “People really engaged with the Ten Commandments in a new and fresh way.
“People now see these commandments not as a set of rules but as a template for living so that we experience God’s best for our lives.