Happy young family having fun running on beach at sunset. Family traveling concept

As a devout Christian for my entire life, I have often been asked about the things I “can and can’t” do because of my religion.

In short, there is nothing a Christian “can’t” do. However, because of our beliefs, we choose to live certain ways in order to best follow our Savior, Jesus Christ. No Christian is perfect save Christ alone, so we all fall short, but we strive to live in a way that would be pleasing to Christ.

So, what are the rules of being a Christian? Jesus Christ summarized all Christian commandments into just two: (1) Love the Lord thy God, and (2) Love thy neighbor as thyself. All other commandments are merely specific ways to apply those two main laws. Each specific Christian denomination teaches somewhat varying applications of the commandments, but all essentially agree that at their core, we are to simply follow the two great commandments.

Being a Christian is not about following a bizarre set of “do’s and don’ts”. It is about turning our hearts to Christ, who is love. It could seem to some that Christians are restricted or tied down, but that is not how we see it. We see commandments as ways to express our devotion to God.

A Few Commandments that Many or Most Christians Adhere to

The Ten Commandments in the Bible are almost universally accepted by Christians. Some of those commandments that form specific rules are:

  • Do not commit adultery (generally, this is interpreted to mean that sexual intimacy before marriage is forbidden, and strict fidelity in marriage is required)
  • Do not idolize the things of the world. While it is no sin to have material possessions, a Christian is to focus on a higher purpose in life.
  • Keep the Sabbath day holy. Many Christians attend church weekly as well as showing devotion during the week.
  • Get baptized. Jesus Christ taught that this an essential ordinance.
  • Have faith in God sufficient to lead us to repent when we fall short. Repentance is the means by which we accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Repentance means to put off the natural man and become clean of our sins.
  • Most or all Christian religions believe it is important to give financially to support charity and religion. God doesn’t need our money, but we need to be humble enough to put our faith above the things of the world.
  • Be honest in our dealings with our fellow men, as well as with God.
  • Treat others kindly.
  • Some churches teach that Christians should not get tattoos, and other churches believe they are perfectly acceptable. Jesus Christ taught the sacredness of the human body and frequently taught the people how important it was to be clean. Individuals are left to determine how they should interpret that teaching. You can pray to know what is right for you.
  • Body piercings are also common among Christians, but other Christians choose not to get body piercings other than a simple set of earrings for women. There is no universal teaching about whether Christians should have body piercings or not among the christian religions.

Commandments According to Many Common Christian Sects

Catholics follow these specific commandments:

There are a few specific commandments that Catholics keep which are unique to their religion or at least different from some other Christian religions.

One example is the Catholic teaching that no form of birth control except natural birth control should be used. Catholics are adamantly opposed to abortion.

Catholics also encourage members to go to church and receive the Holy Communion each Sunday or on special days of obligation. Also, they are to attend confession regularly.

Catholics also recognize special religious holidays such as Lent, Good Friday, and Ash Wednesday.

Jehovah’s Witnesses follow these specific commandments:

Jehovah’s Witnesses have one unique commandment that, as far as I am aware is not practiced by any other Christian religion. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that holidays should not be observed–including birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, etc. They believe these holidays have pagan roots.

I have known a number of Jehovah’s witnesses and admired their faith and devotion to God. They are good people.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints follow these specific commandments:

I am personally a member of The Church of Jesus Christ, so I have a bit more information on this one.

  • No alcohol or drugs.  Why?  We don’t want the affects of alcohol or drugs to influence us to make poor decisions.
  • Donate 10% or more of your income to charity and the building up of the kingdom of God.  We believe that God is the Creator of the world.  We obey the law of the tithe to show our trust in God.  Because of the church’s almost complete lay ministry, the tithes are only spent for good instead of lining the pockets of a professional pastor.
  • Do not view pornography.  We believe it’s incredibly belittling to women to treat them as objects, and pornography tempts the viewer to commit sin.  
  • Do not engage in same-sex relationships.  We are taught that marriage is ordained between a man and a woman.  We have great love and respect for ALL people–including gays and lesbians.  They are welcome to come to church and participate in the church, and we love them just as we would anyone else.  However, we do believe the Bible’s teachings that romantic relationships are ordained by God to be between man and woman.
  • Dedicate Sundays to the Lord.  The 10 commandments from the Bible includes the commandment “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” During the week, members of the church also visit temples.
  • No cigarettes, coffee, tea, coffee or tobacco.  We believe life is a gift from God and we do our best to keep our bodies healthy and clean.  I wrote more on why we don’t drink coffee here.
  • Teenagers do not date until 16 years-old.  
  • No abortion.  Members of the church strongly oppose abortion and do not participate in abortion in any way.  The 10 commandments say, “Thou shalt not kill.”  Church leaders have opened the possibility for abortion in extreme instances of danger to the mother’s life, incest, and rape.
  • No gambling. 

I wrote a complete post on the code of conduct that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints live by.

Etc.

I have included only a few examples of the specific commandments that some of the various Christian religions follow, but it is by no means an exhaustive list. Protestants, Methodists, Baptists, and many other good Christian religions haven’t been mentioned here specifically simply for a lack of time.

What Is the Point of Commandments?

To someone who is unfamiliar with religion or is converting to Christianity, it can easily seem restrictive to view the commandments taught by the various religions.

I once heard an analogy of commandments being like the string attached to a kite. It can seem that the string is keeping the kite from flying higher and reaching its full potential. It can seem like the string is restrictive. But, if you cut the string, the kite plummets to the ground. The same is true of commandments. It seems that they restrict, but they help us access God’s blessings and bring us closer to Him, which gives us great strength.

How Can We Know What Commandments to Follow?

This is an excellent question. For me personally, I read the scriptures, prayed, and attended church diligently for some time before I felt confident that I was in the right place. I attended several different churches.

In the end, I felt knowledge through the Holy Ghost directing my path and confirming to me what was right.

If you would like to learn about my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I’d encourage you to visit this site with tons of information about the basic beliefs of our church.

51 Comments

  1. I feel a little odd about the tea like I don’t like coffee but I don’t know why tea is bad and porn I don’t understand either because we aren’t having sex until we get married so why not

    1. Good question. Keeping God’s commandments won’t make sense until we have a foundational belief first. If you first have faith in Christ and choose to keep his commandments, and then believe that a living prophet can reveal God’s will to the Earth, then it ends up not really mattering whether we understand the purpose of the commandment or not. Abraham didn’t understand why God had given him such a strange command, but he followed anyway because he believed it was God’s will, and that at a future time he would understand.

      Regarding porn, there is a clear reason for the commandment, however. Christ gave us the answer in the Bible. Matthew 5:27-28 contains Christ’s teaching about sexual sin. Yes, it’s against His law to commit adultery, but His higher law is that even looking at another woman who is not your wife to lust after her is sexual sin.

      1. What if you have done those things and it’s hard for you not to stop and stuff and you pray to be forgive is that okay?

        1. Jesus Christ prepared a way for all of us who have transgressed. Change, pray for forgiveness, and move forward as a new person.

        2. Your only forgiven if you stop it for good you are not allowed to go back and repeatedly sin after you ask for forgiveness

          1. That’s not true. Just because we repent doesn’t mean we won’t sin again we are humans. Its like washing a pig of mud and letting it back out. What’s it gonna do? Go in the mud. Why? It is it’s nature. Our nature is sin so we will get dirty even if we are cleaned but God wants us to ask for forgiveness for every bad thing we do he is merciful. I’m not saying take advantage of God’s goodness I’m just saying if you sin by accident or whatever you will be forgiven again, you don’t only get 1 chance

    2. Hello. Pornography is evil because it trots the viewer to sin. By watching it you are allowing spirits into your life through your eyes and ears. I know of people who were in a dark place and they were addicted to that but the clung to the Lord and they stopped the addiction and they feel great relief. Believe it or not the enemy works through our screens, everything on tvs shows and stuff like that have a meaning an evil one so imagine how much meaning it must have to watch people sin across the screen considering they’re possibly not married and if they were why would they feel the need to show the whole world? Why not keep it intimate

    1. Christ’s death and resurrection provides forgiveness for ALL sins. Repent, ask forgiveness of God, change, and move on.

    2. Jesus forgive hustlers, killers and even drug dealers. You have already been forgiven. Only suicide cannot be forgiven.

      1. I agree that we can be forgiven of sins. I disagree strongly that suicide is an unpardonable sin.

        1. Jim, I would like to say may God bless you and your family, great post. Jim how can suicide not be an unforgivable sin? You took life to get away from your problems, so I’m a little bit confused as to why this sin is forgivable

          1. I can understand how you feel about it. As people not dealing with the level of mental illness required to push someone to suicide, it can be impossible to understand.

            It seems to me that the test of life is to do the best with what we’re given. As such, each person is unique and will be judged as such.

    1. Dancing to afro music? I don’t exactly know what you mean by “afro music” but I don’t really see the harm in that.

  2. Subject: \”Dedicate Sundays to the Lord. The 10 commandments from the Bible include the commandment “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” During the week, members of the church also visit temples.\”

    Why Sunday? I thought the seventh-day is the Friday sundown to Saturday sundown, why is Sunday the first day of the week? I am reading the Torah and the gospel every time I heard and saw the Sabbath of other denominations are opposed to what G-d said. Is there a reference to the OT and NT for keeping the Sabbath day on the first day of the week??

    This is my reference for the Sabbath day; no other day has ever been sanctified as the day of rest. The Sabbath Day begins at sundown on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday. Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11; Isaiah 58:13-14; 56:1-8; Acts 17:2; Acts 18:4, 11; Luke 4:16; Mark 2:27-28; Matthew 12:10-12; Hebrews 4:1-11; Genesis 1:5, 13-14; Nehemiah 13:19.

    Please explain. G-d bless you and shalom.

    1. Good question. We believe that Christ resurrected on Sunday and thus that is the day we remember Him. But honestly I don’t think WHAT day we remember Him matters nearly as much as the fact that we do.

      1. If that’s the case, then Sunday may be the wrong Sabbath. We don’t observe Sabbath as Christ’s resurrection, but rather the day God the Father, our creator, had rest from the 6 days of creation.

    1. We can always be forgiven by changing and becoming better, praying and asking for forgiveness, and becoming a new person.

    1. I sometimes feel that way. I recently did as our family was undergoing a move to another city and I felt no direction on what we should do or where we should go. But I realized I was not showing much faith at the time. I think my lack of faith was keeping me from feeling the Holy Ghost in that situation.

    1. My wife definitely wears makeup and colors her hair. I don’t think that prevents you from being a Christian in any way.

  3. I have been struggling with sexual sin and swearing for a long time and feel too far gone to stop. I was recently baptized and gave up smoking and have been trying to be closer to God. I believe in God and Jesus Christ and the power of His love, but it feels impossible to stop these sexual sins, and I’m scared that if I can’t stop I’ll be condemned to hell. I’m in college and I can’t escape from temptation and although I pray for strength to abstain I can’t. It’s also hard to agree with all the teachings in the Bible and I struggle to blindly follow all the rules, even though I know I need to let go of ‘self.’ I don’t know how to approach this. I feel overwhelming religious guilt due to this continual sin, but part of me doesn’t want to stop. I just want to do better.

    1. I’m so sorry you’re struggling with temptation. You should meet with a bishop or missionaries. It’s hard to be open about something so private, but bear your soul and let the Lord take your burden. Confess your sins and come unto Christ through baptism and repentance. You won’t succeed in becoming whole all alone. We need to let God prevail in our lives.

      1. Hi there,
        you need to repent and then be baptised according to Acts 2:38. Do Mormans believe Jesus is the Son of God and divine?

        1. The first principles of the gospel are faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Also yes we do believe that Jesus is the son of god and that he is divine.

    2. God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. His grace is there for us in our struggling with our sin. He is long suffering towards us in that he is not willing that we should not perish

  4. Hello, i would like to know, as a christian, are piercings and tattoos forbiden or are they in anyway bad?

    1. ok so this is what i found on google

      To get a tattoo or a body piercing or not is a personal decision guided by personal beliefs, and if you are a Christian, it depends on how you choose to interpret the Bible. For most people, including modern-day Christians, there is nothing wrong with getting tattoos or body piercings.

      so yes you can get a peircing if you like same as tattoo

  5. The Apostles debated what kind of burden to impose upon the new Gentile converts. In Acts 15:20, at the council of Jerusalem they decided to not impose any other commandment except; “Not to recognise any other god nor engage in any sexual immorality, nor drink blood.”

  6. Escuse me, I have a question.. I am a girl (under 18) and i identify as bisexual. Will I go to hell?

    1. I don’t believe that having sexual feelings, one way or another, is cause for someone to “go to hell.” So no, I don’t think that will happen because you identify as bisexual.

      God does have laws governing how we should act. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe that sexual activity should be reserved for those who are married, and that God intends for marriage to be between a man and a woman. That said, no one has the right to say who will and will not go to hell except Jesus Christ who intercedes for all of us. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God.

  7. I dont believe that Sunday is the Sabbath day as you say. Jesus said, Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. Exo. 20:8, even dictionary says that its Saturday, the google too. worshipping sundays is just the commemoration of Jesus’ Ressurection when in fact, he said REMEMBER…

    1. That’s a perfectly reasonable line of thought. I will continue to believe that the Lord has designated Sunday as his Sabbath day after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. But I respect your belief as well. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Hello, so I’m lesbian and I’m not sure how to repent this. I’m aware this is a sin, and I’ve begged Jesus for his forgiveness but I still can’t control it. I’m supposed to bare children with a MAN. I need help repenting, please.

  9. In my church it is a believe that ear ring and trousers even make up and hair attachment is a sin . This is what i hate the most …….. Doctrines that makes me feel caged and uncomfortable even to the extent of believing that every one who put on this things are sinners… What should I do ? Eventually I am planning to leave the church am I doing the right thing ??.

  10. Hello,I am a minor Christian. I have a question why can’t I get baptized twice? I’ve been wondering this.

  11. I want to be a Christian. I have two questions. I am 17 years old and want to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Maybe a little bit of a weird question, but is it a sin to kiss girls or have sex before marriage, and what if I don’t want to get married? I have also this question : when does somebody glorify himself? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fx1mGhTXdg&t=3s. David Gogins is my mentor and inspiration, but some Christians say that wanting to impress God with achieving success is glorifying oneself. Thankyou sir! I wish you the best! God bless you!

    1. Hey Timo. We do not believe it is a sin to kiss or have sex. However, we do believe God’s biblical teaching that sex should only be had in the bonds of marriage.

      I think David Goggins is an incredible person and I’ve also learned a lot from him. I think anyone could choose to take what he says the wrong way and interpret it as self-agrandizement.

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