To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here
In the year 2000, a controversy of biblical proportions suddenly became a lead news item across America.
Roy Moore, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the state of Alabama, authorized the installation of a sculpted facsimile of the Ten Commandments outside his courthouse.
Moore was warned that his actions violated the Constitutional separation of church and state. Putting his reputation and livelihood at risk, he staunchly refused to obey a federal court order to remove the religious display.
Large crowds of Christians gathered to sing, protest, and be dragged away in handcuffs.
A judicial ethics panel ultimately removed Moore from his post, after which a team of workers drew the world’s worst public relations assignment: carting off the Ten Commandments.
Indiana Jones had to be thinking: Please don’t pack them away in a big warehouse somewhere.
In the minds of the protestors, this was scandalous. With intense emotion they declared that it is God’s will that the Ten Commandments be publicly displayed.
While respectfully acknowledging their passion, we might question whether they were protesting the right scandal. The outrage is not that the Ten Commandments are being removed from public buildings in our country. The real scandal is that most self-described people of faith cannot name even half the Ten Commandments.
A stone monument is powerless to transform our culture. God has provided a pathway that is far more effective.
Are you a living monument to God’s truth in your life?
Have you decided, out of your love for God, that you simply will not lie, as the ninth commandment says?
That you will not yearn for the new furniture that was just unloaded and carried into your neighbor’s house, as the tenth commandment says?
That you will not cling to your resume, or your sex life, or your standard of living as of greater significance than God, as the first commandment teaches?
Our culture would be staggered if a significant number of people, out of passion for God, refused to spend another minute in spiritual mediocrity, but lived out Psalm 119:30: “I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.”
Should the Ten Commandments be publicly displayed in the United States?
Of course they should.
They should be publicly displayed in us.