An Argument Against Posting
the Ten Commandments
Rev. David O. Jones
It has become a popular element of ministry these days to promote the display of the Ten Commandments in various public settings. Nearly every County Commission and City Council in Tennessee has been urged to have the Commandments printed, engraved and/or displayed in Court Houses, City Halls, and schools.
Tens of thousands of dollars are being raised and spent in the pursuit of this cause. Christians of every doctrine and denomination have asserted their support of the cause. But it is a cause which is doomed to failure. The public display of the Ten Commandments does not change anything. Rather their posting in a government supported institution, especially a school, is akin to hanging a Channel No 5 label on a skunk and calling it “fragrant” or advising a heroin addict to “Just say no” and presuming him clean. If the substance is not changed, what purpose is served?
Displaying the Ten Commandments in a government school, is nothing more than affixing a “Christian Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” upon corruption. The conduct within the buildings will not change. Government schools might look good on the outside, but they would continue to be the habitation of death—perfect examples of what Christ called whitewashed tombs.
Every word of the Commandments speaks against the foundations and practices within the walls of the government schools. Having administrators posting them in a government school is the height of contradiction and hypocrisy.
#1.You shall have no other gods before Me.
#2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
#3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
#4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy
The first four Commandments contain our duty toward God, but the government schools declare that there is no God. They then systematically begin to invent their own god—the state. God is the one we look to for truth, for rule, for order, for provision, for nurture. Students in the government school are given an alternative to the Lord God Almighty, the Government Almighty. Where should we desire that our children look for the solution to all problems?
Within the government schools no word rules, no entity provides outside the State. Thanksgiving is not a holiday to celebrate God’s provision, but rather a love-feast between European intruder and Native American victim. Christmas is Santa’s day and Easter is a holiday for the spring equinox. But within every government school, Halloween is a joyous celebration of evil and death.
What we used to call locker-room language has not remained there. Now it is the common language of student and teacher, administrator and janitor. It is published in the textbooks. In the government school only one can determine right or wrong, what is good or bad, what leads to life or death, and that one is not the Holy One of Israel.
To call attention to our duty toward God is just not the purpose of the government school, it is entirely opposed to their purpose. Their caretakers will resist any such notion.
#5. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
#6. You shall not murder.
#7. You shall not commit adultery.
#8. You shall not steal.
#9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
#10. You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.
The remaining six Commandments contain our duty toward man. They expose the corruption within the government schools to an even greater degree. The 5th Commandment is called “the first commandment with promise.” It provides an assurance of continuity within society when the young “honor” their parents. Yet those within government schools are—with increasing frequency—advising students not to tell their parents what happened that day in class. An elementary class researches witchcraft on the internet. High schoolers are versed that the only way to achieve self-realization is suicide. But don’t tell mom and dad!
While the Commandments promote obedience to, respect of, learning from and care for parents, children within the government schools are taught to recognize their superiority over their parents.
The 6th and 7th Commandments address a person’s responsibility toward the life and person of others, but the government school promotes self over all. They teach by word and example that each person must live for themselves and for the fulfillment of their own desires. While the faculty extol the virtue of a woman’s “right to choose,” the government school’s nurse advises troubled teens where to go for “helpful advice.”
Promiscuity may not reign supreme, but not because of a lack of promotion within the government schools. From questionable reading assignments, to classroom “non-critical” discussion of “alternative” lifestyles, to readily available condoms, the student is encouraged to explore their sexuality at the expense of others (and eventually of themselves).
In order to create the great utopian society envisioned within the government school, private property must be denied. Excessive taxation must be promoted. (Taxation is excessive when the combined levy of all levels of civil government exceeds the 10% allowed in Scripture. Most would argue for no taxation without the consent of the governed, but not even the governed can approve of what God Himself denies.) So the 8th Commandment exposes the government school’s promotion of theft.
To teach human origin as being evolutionary fact is a lie. To teach that the moral character of public figures has no relevance is a lie. To teach that history has no meaning for today is a lie. To teach that mediocrity is acceptable is a lie. To teach that any socio-economic group of men is evil is a lie. The 9th Commandment exposes the government school’s commitment to the perversion of and denial of truth.
The political and social reforms promoted by the government school are directed toward equality of result rather than equality of opportunity. The desire is that everyone should be able to enjoy the same lifestyle without earning it.
Reason dictates that if a student is told they should have the same things as Johnny, but is not given the tools or opportunity to earn those things, the unmet expectations will result in covetousness. And covetousness will result in theft, whether personally or by force through taxation. Note that the 10th Commandment prohibits covetousness in four areas—possessions, family and employees, as well as means of production. The government schools practice the “politics of envy.”
After reviewing the Ten Commandments, it becomes apparent that every one of the ten speak to a false belief and practice within the government school. In several places of the New Testament, we are told that salvation is not possible through the Law. They were given to reveal our sin to us. They do not draw us to the Saviour, they only confirm our guilt.
Posting the Ten Commandments in government schools is an act of futility. The cause is birthed in an admirable desire to present a standard of morality which would result in a higher ethical performance among our citizens. But the Commandments will not improve anything or restore anything. Only our Lord Jesus Christ can save. Only He can improve and restore. It is easy to get caught up in what seems to be a worthwhile cause, but this one will not provide positive results. Let us set our labour on real results. Let Christians concentrate on teaching children truth and virtue in their own homes and their own schools and let the pagans have the government schools to themselves.