A Live Issue

William C. Brownson

READ : Deuteronomy 4:9-13

He declared to you his covenant . . . that is, the ten commandments. (v. 13)

The Ten Commandments, given thousands of years ago, have become a live issue in present-day America. Do you remember how Roy Moore, then chief justice of the state of Alabama, lost his job? He had defied a government order to remove a stone monument installed on the grounds of the state capital—a monument to the Ten Commandments!

Those who objected to this monument charged that such a display on government property had crossed the line of separation between church and state and represented an “establishment of religion” forbidden by the Constitution. Those who defended the action, on the other hand, while they acknowledged the religious background of the Commandments, pointed out that they are also a basic text for the legal codes of Western culture, a foundational document for American history. They argued that to reject them would be flatly anti-religious, which the framers of the First Amendment never intended. How ironic that the U.S. Supreme Court which dealt with this case did so in a courtroom featuring a large frieze carving of Moses holding two tablets—the very Commandments at issue!

Could it be that opponents of such displays are really resisting something much more basic—the authority of God our Creator to set norms for human life?


Lord, give us hearts to love your commands!