Jerry Newcombe

But here’s the problem for Ted Turner or Lech Walesa. We will not give an account before them on the Day of Judgment. But we will all stand before the Lord on that Day. We’re in bad shape as a society now because so many live, mistakenly, as if they’ll never have to give an account.

Perhaps, whatever your worldview is, we can all agree with the second part of the Ten Commandments….honor your parents (Well, maybe we don’t all agree). Don’t murder (but does abortion count?). Don’t commit adultery (in a pornography-plagued world, maybe we don’t agree on this one either). Don’t steal (unless it’s from other taxpayers). Don’t lie (unless it’s convenient). Don’t covet (who cares what I think in my heart, but God alone?).

Hmmmm. Maybe we don’t agree on these laws after all. Meanwhile, Jesus said, “Do to others, as you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets.” Perhaps, even those who don’t believe in Jesus can agree to that point.

The religious parts of the Ten Commandments are clearly the controversial aspects. God says He is the only god. He says we should not make any idols and worship them.

He says that we should honor His name---adding that He “will not hold him guiltless, who takes His name in vain.” In a nation awash in profanity, is it possible we have forgotten this principle? He also says to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy. Even the anti-Christian Bolsheviks, through experiments in work schedules, found that people can’t work seven days a week non-stop.

Why does God care about who or what we worship? Because we tend to become that which we worship. In my own Bible reading, I found this interesting statement the other day from 2 Kings 17:15: “They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless.”

In 1980, the Supreme Court said that public schools can’t allow the posting of the Ten Commandments. Writing for the majority, Justice William Brennan said, “If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments.”

What would happen if our school children today would “read, meditate upon” and even “obey” the Ten Commandments? Perhaps, that might put a lot of security guards at schools out of work.

Clearly, the religious parts of the Decalogue of Moses are what humanists see as the problem (for the most part). But without the divine sanction, the Ten Commandments lose their real punch. They become just another list of endless rules, and the rule-making will go on and on.

As G. K. Chesterton noted, “If men will not be governed by the Ten Commandments, they shall be governed by the ten thousand commandments.”

Jerry Newcombe

Dr. Jerry Newcombe is a key archivist of the D. James Kennedy Legacy Library and a Christian TV producer.