Continuing from Part One.
The Ten Commandments as found in Exodus:
“I Am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
“You shall have no other gods before Me.
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.
“You shall not misuse the Name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His Name.
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
“You shall not murder.
“You shall not commit adultery.
“You shall not steal.
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
- Exodus 20: 2-17On the surface, the argument against having the Ten Commandments removed from government property seems irrefutable enough.
On the surface it reads like a religious memorial and, resembling such, has no place on government (secular) property.
The secular argument is that secular government is supposed to represent all people, even those who do not believe or follow God / a god, or identify with any particular religion or moral code.
However, the law of the government, whether interpreted as moral or ethical (or not) is not only enforced, but expected to be obeyed by all people.
THIS is that what these commandments really represent.
Most of the world's religions espouse a single 'god', and the majority of ancient cultures that have influenced modern societies always beckoned an ideology based on a god or gods (divine order), speaking to mankind's dilemma of desiring to do what is right, yet wrestling with the fact that man does wrong.
Are the commandments only an ancient religious relic needing to be buried and forever forgotten?
Although the diatribes on social media surrounding the argument are largely instigating and divisive, the world has a great learning opportunity that may bring opposing views closer together and an appreciation for what has been established on earth.
A greater understanding is at-hand.
What most ancient civilizations have wrought through their ideas of divine order is a common desire to be at peace within society, hopefully with those outside society, promoting peace and mutual respect, lawfulness and an ordered society.
Such societies, although still far from perfect today, have reasonable desires considering the manner the not too distant past was experienced in absence of a code such as these commandments.
Many places on earth still thirst for a semblance of human rights and the enforcement of what these commands signify.
This is one outcome the Ten Commandments have produced.
Where one person desires not to have a bunch of rules restricting them from living their life, one can attempt to imagine a world without rules.
Let us try to imagine a world without some of the commands mentioned.
Imagine a world where murder is not outlawed or answerable, but instead can be easily justified for many reasons.
Or imagine your neighborhood being a place where stealing was a constant reality.
Aside from you fighting to keep your home from being occupied, or your possessions from being stolen away, you have no one to help you enforce the idea that stealing is wrong and dealt with by law-enforcers.
What if whoever was in charge answered to no one, but made up the rules as they went along.
Today they decide to take your house for no reason, and all your possessions, and then your family and finally your life (kill you).
They justify this not by the code expressed in these commands, but reasons all their own.
Only a strongman would be able to possibly withstand such tyranny and arbitrary rule...unless, of course, you were the strongman with the bloody blade in your hand.
This is exactly what happens when rebellion arises and current lawful systems are ignored, abandoned or suspended.
A recipe for outright chaos and disorder is the recipe for a society without such basics as stealing and murder being held to account.
Those who have enjoyed living in a civilized society that upholds the law have an expectation of enforcement of these commandments.
In the better societies, these laws are applied equally to all people with few or no exceptions.
The idea of all people being subject-to and equally accountable under the law, and such as these commandments, is the reason law and order exists and has existed in those places the rule of law has been honored.
What do these commandments speak to if not the value of life, the respect of others, even the weak or indifferent?
This work of valuing all human life as priceless (what these commands evoke) is yet to be realized universally on earth...and sadly has been ungratefully overlooked and mocked by those who are nearsighted and have enjoyed their legacy.
Some people assume that mankind would have eventually arrived to a place of law and order without such ideas as these commands.
This is why theories are a late development on the scene of human history with reality the fact, not supposition.
What does history show?
The world has been formed by these commands, and due punishment for its violators has long been prescribed.
Yet still many people mock and ridicule the governance they are protected by.
Sadly ignorant and nearsighted are the rebellious.
Some presume that the moral code found in the Ten Commandments would have somehow developed without God...or without a mutual respect for the law.
This is why a bribe may buy certain individuals in certain places at a certain time, but will not buy all people throughout all places throughout all times, since the law of conscience has infiltrated the hearts of men by these commandments.
Some desire to remove themselves and their governments from the belief that an all-knowing Judge will condemn the wicked either on earth and / or after death.
What is unrealized is that this code has already been intertwined into society like two hydrogen molecules are attached to one oxygen molecule in forming water.
This law is the water that has permeated the stone hearts of mankind and formed a groove in such hearts to allow for proper adjustments to mankind's carnal condition.
Mankind and life on earth cannot exist without water, thus why these commandments were authored.
The two fundamental molecules that make water have always been found together, as the search for what is true from what is false (love being true, hate being false...right being true, false being false).
One cannot have water by removing either hydrogen or oxygen, thus one cannot have what is correct by removing what is right.
Today, far too many people unwittingly advocate for the removal of oxygen, thinking they'll enjoy the reality of water in some other manner, much how they desire to remove what is true in order to pursue their own definitions of truth...and societies repeat the breaking apart as in times past.
The desire for a separation of church and state can be arguably justified because of the many crimes religious institutions have caused...no argument in defending the crimes of the religious.
But let us consider: is a rudimentary code that has been the foundation of lawful and ordered societies, or the inspiration of its Author, to blame for the misdeeds of certain individuals or their defunct understanding of the code and its Author?
Yet, this is what people argue against all the time, ignorant to the fallacies and nearsighted conclusions to history's message.
Notice that in Christ, the Author of these commandments has been made known.
Christ is the very definition, expression and explanation, of Love manifested.
Yeshua / Jesus is Lord.
It is Yeshua who has declared “I Am the Lord your God” and “You shall have no other gods before Me”.
Perhaps it would be easier to now look over those Ten Commandments when realizing that Christ is the One who further commands to love your enemy and bless and do not curse.
The world would look very different today if, for example, it was another ideology which came to dominate the world as Christendom has.
A simple look at any other current civilization's development that doesn't fully embrace the consciousness of Christ would reveal their shortcomings and their myriad stagnation.
It is by no coincidence or empty chance that another societal development supplanted the kingdoms of men.
Why is this?
Look where tyranny continues with an entrenchment in archaic manners...places where the God depicted (as revealed in Christ) is absent, denied, or substituted for some other idea besides Yeshua as the Lord of these commandments.
This is a clear example of Providence and Prescience.
God's protective power (Providence) and the Word (the foreknowledge) that has formed our reality (Prescience).
Some desire to remove the notion of God from everything public, or from government, and they have no idea what they are doing or who is acting in and through them...that rebellious spirit who desires to wreak havoc, not further peace.
To change this longstanding reality some of us enjoy and thrive under would be to deny the very fabric of what has molded the civilized world and made it civil and life tolerable.