Nov29 2010

Rewriting The Ten Commandments

On a radio talk show, the host was discussing a court case that involved a Ten Commandments display where a plaintiff, backed by the ACLU, was demanding that the display be removed. A woman calling in to the program told the host that she agrees with the plaintiff that the Ten Commandments have no business in a public place. Furthermore, she was offended by the idea of the Ten Commandments being used as a means of “forcing religion and morality down her throat.” The show’s host, who feels that the display should remain in place, asked the caller a series of questions. He said to her, “Would you be angry if you found out that your husband was cheating on you?” She replied, “You’d better believe it!” The host responded, “So, you really do think that adultery is wrong.” He asked her another question. “Would it upset you if someone deliberately misled you regarding a product or service that you purchased?” The caller said, “Of course” to which the host responded, “So, you really do think that lying is wrong.” Using one real-life example after another, he went right down the list explaining to the caller that she’s contradicting herself when she claims that she is “offended” by the Ten Commandments or that she can “live without them”. She had just admitted through her answers that she personally benefits from and desperately needs the Ten Commandments as a restraining force in society to keep others from doing harm to her.

It’s bad enough that there are groups and individuals today who try to deny the Ten Commandments and who relentlessly pursue the removal of them from public life. But it doesn’t end there. They take it to the next level by trying to replace God’s Law by establishing “ten commandments” of their own choosing. This is becoming more apparent with every conversation that I have with the average person on the street. For example, if I was discussing the topic of same-sex marriage with someone and if I was arguing against it and the other person was arguing for it, I have no doubt that at some point in the conversation the other person would insist that not allowing same-sex couples to marry is discrimination. If I were to ask this person if they believe that discrimination is wrong, I’m sure they would say, “Yes. It’s wrong to discriminate.” This, of course, leads to a follow-up question. When they say that discrimination is “wrong”, what do they mean by that? Do they mean that it’s only wrong for them, or are they saying that it’s wrong for everyone? Obviously, they’re trying to say that discrimination is wrong for everyone.

Here’s my point. Why is it that when I say, for example, that adultery is wrong, others are quick to tell me that it’s only “wrong” for me and that I shouldn’t “force my morality on anyone else.” Yet, when it comes to something that they feel is wrong, such as intolerance, they don’t seem to mind forcing their morality on everyone by insisting that intolerance is wrong for everyone. Do you see what’s going on here? Those who are opposed to the Ten Commandments are trying to remove God’s Law from public life, insisting that there are no moral absolutes. But then they try to replace them by setting up moral absolutes of their own- “Thou shalt not be intolerant.” “Thou shalt not commit hate speech.” “Thou shalt not discriminate.” Again, it’s important to understand that these “counterfeit commandments” are being treated by today’s culture as if they are moral absolutes, written in stone!

The very fact that those who reject God’s Law feel the need to replace them with a different set of moral absolutes bears testimony to the fact that no society can survive for very long without a solid moral foundation. The only question that remains is, which moral foundation provides the best foundation for a stable society? We must either choose a foundation based on arbitrary rules that are derived from man’s shifting opinions that vary from person to person, or else we must base it on the Commandments given to us by our Creator, which have proven trustworthy throughout history. Just in case anyone has any serious doubts as to the answer to that question, all they need to do is ask the woman who called in to the radio talk show that day.

One Response to “Rewriting The Ten Commandments”

  1. Sheri says:

    The last paragraph sums it up well.

  • In today's world, there is a great deal of confusion when it comes to matters of truth, meaning, morality, our origin, and our destiny. The purpose of Renewed Thoughts is to bring clarity to such issues by examining them in light of a Biblical worldview, using the tools of science, philosophy, and critical thinking.