A Transcendent Code
Practical Purpose of the Law
Yet they also have practical legal, moral, and political implications that define the appropriate place for God’s law in society. While Americans desperately need spiritual renewal by having the law of God written in their hearts, if individuals resist allowing God to restrain evil in the human heart, according to Romans 13 the state will use external means to preserve safety and security.
A Transcendent Code of Right and Wrong
However, “Just as the law can save no one—not even our beloved country—no state, no law, can change individual hearts and minds or stop criminals from carrying out their evil deeds. Public posting of the Ten Commandments will not achieve this result,” says Gregory W. Hamilton, President of the Northwest Religious Liberty Association. “But they do serve as a model to demonstrate that there are rewards and punishments—traditional moral values that the Magistrate must uphold in any civil society worth its salt.” In a world of instability and moral ambiguity, the Ten Commandments remain a transcendent code of right and wrong. They are an eternal standard unmoved by cultural fads and political whims—a standard for all people, because they were written by the Eternal God, the Creator of the Universe.
Misapplying the Law of God
“Today’s promotion of the Ten Commandments is fraught with potential difficulties and some irony as well. First, there is disagreement as to what the Ten Commandments say and mean, with Catholics and Protestants numbering them quite differently. Second, there are those pushing the Ten Commandment Movement who would like Biblical commands to become the law of the land, an unconstitutional and divisive goal since people disagree about what the law essentially means. Third, the government has no legitimate jurisdiction when it comes to the first table of the law of God involving acts of worship and devotion. And the irony is that those who are the strongest advocates of the Ten Commandment Movement argue that the Ten Commandments have been done away with and are no longer binding.