Moses called all the people of Israel together and said, “Listen carefully, Israel. Hear the decrees and regulations I am giving you today, so you may learn them and obey them! Deuteronomy 5:1 (NLT)
- Thou shalt not take any other gods before Me (there is a Creator–He is to be first in your life)
- Thou shalt not not make any graven images (don’t worship idols)
- Thou shalt not take the name of God in vain (don’t profane God’s Holy Name)
- Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy (a day of thankfulness and praise to honor God)
- Honor your father and mother (respect your parents)
- Thou shalt not kill (do not take the life of someone else)
- Thou shalt not commit adultery (be faithful in your marriage)
- Thou shalt not steal (do not take what belongs to someone else)
- Thou shalt not bear false witness (do not lie)
- Thou shalt not covet (do not get lust after what others have)
These are all reasonable instructions for honorable living.
However, a non-Christian may view these as a collection of outdated, patriarchal, man-made “laws.” An unbiased, objective assessment may return a similar opinion. Would indulging this assessment for the sake of argument, negate the value of these God-given laws in a civilized society? The answer, of course, would be no.
The Ten Commandments define acceptable social behavior, establish healthy relationships and are useful for maintaining order. So why do organizations such as the ACLU and Americans United object to posting them in government buildings?
Not everyone desires healthy relationships and social order. There are some who look no further than their own immediate wants or needs. If America insists on pushing God out of everything, there will be no moral compass, without which we will become self-centered, spoiled children.
A nation so eager to reject God’s laws, it would appear, can tolerate submitting to laws that our government creates. We can accept the regulations implemented by government agencies and the executive orders signed by one man. This contradiction doesn’t make sense.
In this land of “liberty,” we now hold our individual “right to privacy” sacred. The right to live as we choose supersedes all else. Our Constitution, created to protect our life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has been reduced protecting happiness. Freedom of religion has been twisted into an interpretation of freedom from religion–and any other type of personal offense.
This is leading us to moral chaos. At the end of the journey, it may very well lead to the forfeiture of the “rights” we hold so dear. Inevitably, order will necessarily be restored. We will ask our elected officials to impose laws to restore order. Our own insistence on rejecting the laws of our Creator will result in our willing submission to the created laws of sinful men who are in need of a moral compass.
Through Jesus Christ, Christians find liberty in obeying these laws. They are not oppressive because we submit freely to them out of our love for God. Left unchecked, however, our sin nature can lead us to break these commands.
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8 (NLT)
Do you believe all of the Ten Commandments are relevant in culture today? How do you think respect for, and adherence to, God’s law would change our culture?