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The Ten Commandments: Should They be Displayed in Public? Copyright by Norman L. Geisler 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "The Ten Commandments: Should They be Displayed in Public? Copyright by Norman L. Geisler 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Ten Commandments: Should They be Displayed in Public? Copyright by Norman L. Geisler 2007

2 1--You shall have no other god’s before Me 2--You shall not make any graven image 3--You shall not take the name of God in vain 4--Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy 5--Honor your father and your mother 6--You shall not murder 7--You shall not commit adultery 8--You shall not steal 9--You shall not bear false witness 10--You shall not covet 1--You shall have no other god’s before Me 2--You shall not make any graven image 3--You shall not take the name of God in vain 4--Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy 5--Honor your father and your mother 6--You shall not murder 7--You shall not commit adultery 8--You shall not steal 9--You shall not bear false witness 10--You shall not covet I am the Lord your God...

3 Should These Commandments be Displayed in Public? Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore said “Yes.” Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore said “Yes.”

4 Should These Commandments be Displayed in Public? Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore said “Yes.” He lost his job! Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore said “Yes.” He lost his job!

5 The Supreme Court Said “No”--Twice! Not in Schools Not in Courts

6 Opponents Claim it is a Violation of the First Amendment--

7 Opponents Claim It is a Violation of the First Amendment-- But This is Unfounded for Many Reasons! But This is Unfounded for Many Reasons!

8 Reason One The First Amendment does not forbid the establishment of a national morality; it only forbids the establishment of a national religion.

9 Reason One The First Amendment does not forbid the establishment of a national morality; it only forbids the establishment of a national religion. 1. The first table does not tell us how to worship God, nor does it establish any particular religion. 2. And the second table is about morality, not religion.

10 What the First Amendment Says: “[1] Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, [2] or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….”

11 What the First Amendment Says: [1] The establishment clause forbids establishing any religion in particular. [2] And the free exercise clause encourages religion in general. [1] The establishment clause forbids establishing any religion in particular. [2] And the free exercise clause encourages religion in general.

12 Reason Two Both Colonists and Founders Believed the Ten Commandments Were the Basis of Civil Gov’t

13 New Haven Colonial Law 1644 “The Judicial laws of God as they were delivered by Moses… [are to] be a rule to all the courts in this jurisdiction.”

14 Reason Three From the very beginning the Supreme Court established a national morality on the basis of the Ten Commandments. In fact almost all of the commandments have been legislated and upheld by State and Federal Courts, including laws against blasphemy, profanity, murder, adultery, polygamy, lying, and stealing.

15 James Madison: “Father of US Constitution” “Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.” (Memorial & Remonstrance, 1785). This subjection was done through God’s Laws in the Ten Commandments and also by the Declaration of Independence which Madison signed (1776). “Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.” (Memorial & Remonstrance, 1785). This subjection was done through God’s Laws in the Ten Commandments and also by the Declaration of Independence which Madison signed (1776).

16 Sixth President of United States “If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and “Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free” (The Right Constitution …, Letter VI). John Quincy Adams Son of the Second President

17 U.S. Supreme Court Permits Bible in Schools: “Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament be read and taught as divine revelation [in schools]?” (Vidal, 1844).

18 Reason Four If the Ten Commandments are rejected because of references to God and His moral law, then The Declaration of Independence must also be rejected since it refers to “the Laws of Nature” given by “Nature’s God.”

19 “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights….” These are based on “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” 1776: Declaration of Independence

20 To Declare our National Birth Certificate Illegal is Unconstitutional, Un-American, and Absurd! To Declare our National Birth Certificate Illegal is Unconstitutional, Un-American, and Absurd! 1776: Declaration of Independence

21 Reason Five The Northwest Territory Ordinance of 1787 declared: " Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” And this morality was based on the Ten Commandments taught in schools for over 300 years.

22 New England Primer (c ) The Third Section was a “Shorter Catechism” which taught the Ten Commandments, Bible history, doctrine, and prayer. Note: Some estimated 3 million copies were sold. It was the most widely read school book in America for over a hundred years. The Third Section was a “Shorter Catechism” which taught the Ten Commandments, Bible history, doctrine, and prayer. Note: Some estimated 3 million copies were sold. It was the most widely read school book in America for over a hundred years.

23 A Sample Lesson Q. 53. What is the third commandment? A. The third commandment is, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Q. 54. What is required in the third commandment? A. The third commandment requireth the holy and reverend use of God's names, titles, attributes, ordinances, word, and works. Q. 55. What is forbidden in the third commandment? A The third commandment forbiddeth all profaning or abusing of any thing whereby God maketh himself known. Q. 53. What is the third commandment? A. The third commandment is, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Q. 54. What is required in the third commandment? A. The third commandment requireth the holy and reverend use of God's names, titles, attributes, ordinances, word, and works. Q. 55. What is forbidden in the third commandment? A The third commandment forbiddeth all profaning or abusing of any thing whereby God maketh himself known.

24 New England Primer: Ten Commandments in Poetic Form 1. Thou shalt have no more gods but me. 2. Before no idol bend thy knee. 3. Take not the name of God in vain. 4. Dare not the Sabbath day profane, 5. Give both thy parents honor due. 6. Take heed that thou no murder do. 7. Abstain from words and deeds unclean. 8. Steal not, though thou be poor and mean. 9. Make not a willful lie, nor love it. 10. What is thy neighbor's dare not covet.

25 Lesson 21 of McGuffey’s Reader “The morality taught by Jesus Christ was purer, sounder, sublimer, and more perfect than had ever before entered into the imagination, or proceeded from the lips of man….” And this morality was clearly and emphatically based on the Ten Commandments (cf. Mt. 5:17; 7:12; 22:37-39). “The morality taught by Jesus Christ was purer, sounder, sublimer, and more perfect than had ever before entered into the imagination, or proceeded from the lips of man….” And this morality was clearly and emphatically based on the Ten Commandments (cf. Mt. 5:17; 7:12; 22:37-39).

26 Reason Six The Ten Commandments were used in American Schools for over 300 years with good results. Even Supreme Court decisions referred to America in the moral sense as a "Christian" nation (see Beason, 1890). And Christian morality is derived from the moral principles expressed in the Ten Commandments.

27 Purpose of the First Schools: To Teach Children the Bible! which has the Ten Commandments Purpose of the First Schools: To Teach Children the Bible! which has the Ten Commandments 1647: Old Deluder Satan Law

28 1830’s-1930’s McGuffy’s Reader “From no source has the author drawn more copiously than from the Sacred Scriptures…. In a Christian country, that man is to be pitied, who, at this day, can honestly object to imbuing the minds of youth with the language and spirit of the Word of God” (1848, “Preface,” 5). “From no source has the author drawn more copiously than from the Sacred Scriptures…. In a Christian country, that man is to be pitied, who, at this day, can honestly object to imbuing the minds of youth with the language and spirit of the Word of God” (1848, “Preface,” 5).

29 Reason Seven Our Country has degenerated morally since the Supreme Court forbid that the Bible be read (Abington, 1963) and the Ten Commandments be displayed in public schools (in Stone, 1980). There is a direct parallel between the decisions of the Court and the decline of morals.

30 America’s Moral Decline 1961: Atheistic religions protected 1961: Atheistic religions protected 1962: Class prayer banned from schools 1963: Class devotional Bible readings banned 1973: Laws protecting the unborn nullified 1980: Ten Commandments banned in schools 1987: Teaching creation banned from schools 2003: Laws against sodomy rendered void 2005: Ten Commandments banned in courts

31 Teen Age Pregnancy up 200% Divorce up 200% Teen Suicide up 300% Violent Crime up 500% Abortion up 1,000% Child Abuse rose to an all time high During this Same Period Sodomy has become widely acceptable

32 Reason Eight The 1980 Supreme Court's rejection of the Ten Commandments was based on a bare liberal majority of only one; it was strongly opposed by Judge Rehnquist who said it was “flawed at the core” of it. The 2005 Supreme Court’s rejection of the Ten Commandments in Courtrooms was also based on a one vote majority and was equally flawed, as the Chief Justice and the rest of the minority Justices pointed out.

33 Dissenting Justices Noted: 1. George Washington said “so help me God” in his presidential oath, as have all presidents since him. 2. The first Congress had prayer, as have all since. 3. The first Supreme Court opened with prayer, as has every Federal Court ever since, praying, “God save the United States and this Honorable Court.” 4. There are paid chaplains in the US Congress. 5. Presidents from the beginning offered thanksgiving prayers to “Almighty God.” 6. President Washington opened his term with prayer and later noted that no “national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” 1. George Washington said “so help me God” in his presidential oath, as have all presidents since him. 2. The first Congress had prayer, as have all since. 3. The first Supreme Court opened with prayer, as has every Federal Court ever since, praying, “God save the United States and this Honorable Court.” 4. There are paid chaplains in the US Congress. 5. Presidents from the beginning offered thanksgiving prayers to “Almighty God.” 6. President Washington opened his term with prayer and later noted that no “national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

34 7. President John Adams said that “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” 8. President Jefferson said in his second inaugural: “I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our fathers, as Israel of Old, from their native land flowing with all the necessities and comforts of life.” 9. Our coinage bears “In God We Trust,” as also does our National Anthem. 10. Our Pledge of Allegiance has “under God” and was supported by a unanimous vote in the Senate! (2002). God is deeply imbedded in US law! 7. President John Adams said that “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” 8. President Jefferson said in his second inaugural: “I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our fathers, as Israel of Old, from their native land flowing with all the necessities and comforts of life.” 9. Our coinage bears “In God We Trust,” as also does our National Anthem. 10. Our Pledge of Allegiance has “under God” and was supported by a unanimous vote in the Senate! (2002). God is deeply imbedded in US law!

35 The Fatal Flaw If it is unconstitutional to display moral principles in schools because they are in accord with some religious belief, then this would eliminate virtually all moral principles since they are all held by some religion. This would include laws against theft, rape, child molesting, and even murder!

36 Reason Nine It is wrong to suppose that there is no good secular purpose [Stone, 1980] behind the posting and reading of the Ten Commandments in public school. For the moral principles of the Ten Commandments are an important part of preserving our morality as a nation which in turn is necessary for good government, freedom, and prosperity.

37 Even the Supreme Court Ruled: “We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being” (Zorach, 1952). Later Court decisions affirmed this ruling (see Abington, 1963; Marsh, 1983; Lynch, 1984). As was noted from the beginning, " Religion, morality, and knowledge… [are] necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind...” ( The Northwest Territory Ordinance of 1787). “We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being” (Zorach, 1952). Later Court decisions affirmed this ruling (see Abington, 1963; Marsh, 1983; Lynch, 1984). As was noted from the beginning, " Religion, morality, and knowledge… [are] necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind...” ( The Northwest Territory Ordinance of 1787).

38 Reason Ten In excluding the Ten Commandments from schools, the government is inconsistent with its own heritage and practice for two reasons.

39 Reason Ten It is inconsistent because: 1) On the same day the Supreme Court said they cannot be displayed on government property inside a government building (McCreary, 2005) in Kentucky, they ruled that they can be displayed on government property outside a government building (Thomas Van Orden, 2005) in Texas.

40

41 Reason Ten It is inconsistent because: 2) The Ten Commandments are prominently enshrined in the Supreme Court building in many places. It is inconsistent because: 2) The Ten Commandments are prominently enshrined in the Supreme Court building in many places.

42 Top and Center: Outside the Court

43 Moses Looking East Moses Looking East

44 Doors to the Inner Chamber of the Supreme Court

45 A Closer View of the Door

46 Over the Chief Justice’s Head

47 Power of Gov’t Resting on the Ten Commandments

48 Government Resting on the Ten Commandments “The panel directly above the bench where the Chief Justice and eight associate justices are seated depicts `The Power of Government’ and `The Majesty of Law.’ Between these two allegorical figures, The Ten Commandments stand out in a position of prominence. The figure representing “The Power of Government” has his elbow squarely resting upon God’s Ten Commandments, showing from whence our power is derived” (Catherine Millard’s, The Rewriting of American History, ). Government Resting on the Ten Commandments “The panel directly above the bench where the Chief Justice and eight associate justices are seated depicts `The Power of Government’ and `The Majesty of Law.’ Between these two allegorical figures, The Ten Commandments stand out in a position of prominence. The figure representing “The Power of Government” has his elbow squarely resting upon God’s Ten Commandments, showing from whence our power is derived” (Catherine Millard’s, The Rewriting of American History, ).

49 Inside the Supreme Court

50 The Inconsistency: The Ten Commandments are prominent in the America’s Highest Court The Inconsistency: The Ten Commandments are prominent in the America’s Highest Court Yet they must now be absent in our Lower Courts!

51 And Consider This In the House of Representatives the face staring at the president from the fresco on the back wall is Moses who gave the Ten Commandments! And over the head of the president of the House are these words: “In God We Trust.”

52 The House of Representatives

53 Ten Reasons to Display the Ten Commandments 1. It is Constitutional to teach them in schools. 2. Founders believed that Gov’t is based on them. 3. To reject their display is to reject the displayof Declaration of Independence as well. 4. The Supreme Court has upheld them. 5. The Northwest Ordinance encouraged them. 6. They were taught in schools for 300 years. 7. Morality has declined since banishing them. 8. The decision to banish them was baseless. 9. They have a legitimate secular purpose. 10. Excluding them from courts is inconsistent. 1. It is Constitutional to teach them in schools. 2. Founders believed that Gov’t is based on them. 3. To reject their display is to reject the displayof Declaration of Independence as well. 4. The Supreme Court has upheld them. 5. The Northwest Ordinance encouraged them. 6. They were taught in schools for 300 years. 7. Morality has declined since banishing them. 8. The decision to banish them was baseless. 9. They have a legitimate secular purpose. 10. Excluding them from courts is inconsistent.

54 Sent to me by a Judge June, 2005 “There is a good reason for not allowing the Ten Commandments in Courtrooms. Courts are filled with corrupt lawyers, politicians and judges. And the Ten Commandments would create a hostile work environment!” “There is a good reason for not allowing the Ten Commandments in Courtrooms. Courts are filled with corrupt lawyers, politicians and judges. And the Ten Commandments would create a hostile work environment!”

55 Answering Some Objections Objection One: It is unconstitutional to refer to God as the Ten Commandments do. Answer: If so, then so is-- The Declaration of Independence, Presidential oaths and proclamations, Our Coins, Our Courts, Our Congress, Our Chaplains, Our Monuments, Our National Anthem and Pledge “under God.” Objection One: It is unconstitutional to refer to God as the Ten Commandments do. Answer: If so, then so is-- The Declaration of Independence, Presidential oaths and proclamations, Our Coins, Our Courts, Our Congress, Our Chaplains, Our Monuments, Our National Anthem and Pledge “under God.”

56 Objection Two: Morality can’t be legislated. Answer: All laws legislate morality! The only question is whose will be legislated? God’s or ours? Objection Two: Morality can’t be legislated. Answer: All laws legislate morality! The only question is whose will be legislated? God’s or ours?

57 Objection Three: No one can keep the Commandments Objection Three: No one can keep the Commandments

58 Objection Two: No one can keep the Commandments Objection Two: No one can keep the Commandments True!

59 No One—Except Christ! “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit…. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes” (Rom. 8:3-4;10:3-4). “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit…. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes” (Rom. 8:3-4;10:3-4).

60 Why God Gave the Ten Commandments 1. To show us we are sinners: “For by the Law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20). 2. To show us that we need the Savior: “The Law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ…” (Gal. 3:24). 1. To show us we are sinners: “For by the Law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20). 2. To show us that we need the Savior: “The Law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ…” (Gal. 3:24).

61 1--You shall have no other god’s before Me 2--You shall not make any graven image 3--You shall not take the name of God in vain 4--Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy 5--Honor your father and your mother 6--You shall not murder 7--You shall not commit adultery 8--You shall not steal 9--You shall not bear false witness 10--You shall not covet 1--You shall have no other god’s before Me 2--You shall not make any graven image 3--You shall not take the name of God in vain 4--Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy 5--Honor your father and your mother 6--You shall not murder 7--You shall not commit adultery 8--You shall not steal 9--You shall not bear false witness 10--You shall not covet How Are You Doing on God’s Laws?

62 1--Have you ever put anything before God? 2--Have you ever put anything in God’s place? 3--Have you ever used God’s name in vain? 4--Do you always put 1 day a week aside for God? 5--Have you always honored your parents? 6--Have you ever hated anyone? 7--Have you ever lusted after anyone? 8--Have you ever taken what wasn’t yours? 9--Have you ever lied about anything? 10--Have you ever desired what wasn’t yours? 1--Have you ever put anything before God? 2--Have you ever put anything in God’s place? 3--Have you ever used God’s name in vain? 4--Do you always put 1 day a week aside for God? 5--Have you always honored your parents? 6--Have you ever hated anyone? 7--Have you ever lusted after anyone? 8--Have you ever taken what wasn’t yours? 9--Have you ever lied about anything? 10--Have you ever desired what wasn’t yours? How Are You Doing on God’s Laws? Which being translated means...

63 Then You Need to Come to Christ? He Alone Can Forgive You

64 Man God

65 Man God God-Man

66 Why Did Jesus Need to Die? Man God “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus” (1Tim. 2:5). God-Man


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