A simple way to stay on the right side of the law

There was a 95 year-old lady who was passionate about prison ministry. Every week she visited the prison witnessing to and encouraging the inmates. The inmates came to respect and adore the grandmotherly figure. One day, one of the inmates, who had taken the time of his incarceration to study law, said to her, “Did you know that there are over ten thousand laws which, if broken, could send you to jail?” Without a moment’s hesitation the wise old lady answered, “Did you know that there are ten which can keep you out?”

The wisdom of the ages! This dear little old lady, who had very little formal education, knew the simple way to stay on the right side of the law. Ten simple rules to live by which will keep you out of trouble – Christians know them as THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. For over two thousand years these “laws” which God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai for the Nation of Israel have been used as a basis for civil law in almost all civilizations. “Natural” or “moral” laws have been universally accepted as “binding rules of moral behavior from God’s creation of reality and mankind.” In simpler terms, they are the basic, immutable rules by which all mankind operates. For thousands of years these laws have governed civilizations and, when followed, maintained a peaceful and just society.

The historical significance and effectiveness of these laws is difficult to overstate, so why is it that they are now being banned from public display? What suddenly happened in the last half-century which caused these treasured and respected principles to become a target of ridicule instead of a guiding light? That is a long story describing America’s degeneration into immorality. While there are several political factors involved in the attempt to dethrone God’s laws, the primary reason they have fallen from prestige is that Christians allowed it to happen. I don’t mean to assert that Christians actively attacked the public display of the Ten Commandments, but rather that we passively allowed it to happen. By most statistical accounts, the majority of Americans still identify themselves as “Christian” by faith. Since we live in a democratic republic and elect representatives who make the laws, shouldn’t government policies be those which are favored by the majority?

The truth is that Christians have segregated their “faith” from their “politics” and tried not to be involved in civil government concerns. The result of this withdrawal from civic duty is the escalating immorality in our country – much of which has now been “legalized,” and sanctioned by the state. Things like abortion and same-sex marriage are now “protected rights” under the law of the land rather than “sins” as determined by God. There are many things Christians must do to turn this country around and get it back to being the “one nation UNDER GOD” which (for the time being) is still our money’s motto! Let’s start with something simple. I challenge you to memorize the Ten Commandments. You don’t need to get them word for word or from any particular translation – just get the meaning of each and memorize it. As you do this exercise, say them to yourself several times a day and see how your own personal behavior changes. Remember, God’s Word does not return void!

-Pastor Dave