Modern-day America’s “progressivism” has progressed this nation right on past the very Christian values that allowed it to flourish in the first place, chief among those the 10 rules inscribed by the finger of God atop Mount Sinai.
This decline has hit a low point under the leadership of President Joe Biden, which shouldn’t come as a shock. After all, it is universally accepted that Biden’s administration is the most progressive to ever set foot in the White House.
The very nature of progress is to move forward, leaving old ways behind. But what if the old ways were just and true? What if they were handed down by God Himself?
That is the situation we now find ourselves in.
In the name of progress, this administration actively subverts the word of God, including the very principles He revealed at Mount Sinai.
As a result, everyday Americans are paying the price.
In light of that, The Western Journal will be releasing a series breaking down how the Biden administration is undermining and subverting our country’s commitment to each one of the Ten Commandments.
But before going down that road, some housekeeping is in order to address a few questions readers might have before diving into this series.
Did our country ever have a commitment to the Ten Commandments in the first place? Why do the Ten Commandments matter? Didn’t Christ’s death and resurrection render the old laws moot? Why call out the Biden administration specifically when so many others faltered before it?
Our Nation’s Christian Roots
Inside the U.S. Supreme Court building, carved in stone on the wall behind the chief justice’s chair, is a memorial to the Ten Commandments.
In similar fashion, on top of the Supreme Court building’s east side is a sculpture of Moses holding the very tablets upon which the laws were first written.
There’s little doubt of the influence the Torah’s Ten Commandments have had over the Western world’s justice systems, America’s especially.
This can be seen not just from a few fancy murals sitting in and on the Supreme Court building, but also throughout our entire legal system.
Christian values and principles pulled straight from the Bible influenced the creation of our system of government.
This is important to grasp because if America was simply — since its founding — a secular nation invented by deists, as many believe, then its current abandonment of Christian values could be seen as a natural progression rather than a decline.
But America was a Christian nation, through and through, since its founding. And at the very core of its legal system have always stood the ancient laws described in the Torah.
Though you may have heard differently, most of the founders were Christian, not deist. Fifty-one of the 55 attendants of the Constitutional Convention were professing Christians.
Prior to the founding, eight of the 13 British colonies in America established official Christian denominations.
Virtually all our founders, believing and unbelieving, treated the Bible as the ultimate source of moral authority.
They also quoted it plenty.
Deuteronomy is the most cited book in political writings from the founding era. According to Professor Donald S. Lutz, in such documents, the Old Testament book was “cited almost twice as often as all of [John] Locke’s writings put together.”
It’s no coincidence that the second iteration of the Ten Commandments is revealed within the pages of Deuteronomy.
When the founders’ descendants made their way to the New World, they brought with them the culture of Christendom that had dominated and shaped the European societies from which they came.
That influence can be seen in how our government applies its laws and how its people distinguish right from wrong.
Therefore, our move away from the Ten Commandments under progressive leadership is indeed a regression.
It’s at the very core of our country’s decline.
The Attempt to Diminish God’s Law
The memorials to the Ten Commandments in and atop the Supreme Court building are nothing unique. Similar displays can be seen in courthouses across the country.
Time and time again, atheists and anti-Christian protesters have lobbied to tear these memorials down.
They believe the Ten Commandments are nothing unique, that many systems — all on their own — have been able to develop similar groundings for law and government.
It’s certainly true that other cultures have instituted prohibitions on murder, theft, adultery and lying.
However, it’s only under legal systems influenced by the Ten Commandments that we find the unique notion that all men and women are bound to follow such laws under the divine authority of God and no other being.
This idea comes from the preface of the Commandments and the first four laws, which are referred to as the First Table of the Law.
The preface, Exodus 20:2, reads, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”
The first three laws command against worshiping other gods, worshiping other idols and taking God’s name in vain. The fourth orders God’s people to abstain from working on the Sabbath, which is to be kept holy in honor of Him.
Many atheists like to point out the supposed uselessness of these four laws when they criticize the Ten Commandments. While they can see the utility of prohibitions on murder and theft, they believe outlawing blasphemy is a useless gesture.
This is missing the point of the First Table entirely.
These four laws, along with the preface, serve as the entire foundation on which the rest of the Commandments are built.
Without them, everything falls apart.
God’s Law or “Common Sense?”
Why is this the case? Because these verses from Exodus establish God as the source of ultimate authority.
From this flowed many legal concepts.
Take the Magna Carta, for instance. The Magna Carta, among other things, asserts that kings are no more above the law than any other man.
“The king should be under no man, but under God and the law,” the Magna Carta proclaimed.
This explicitly Christian notion was undoubtedly influenced by the First Table’s assertion of a monotheistic God with total authority over all.
In a similar fashion, the concept of universal/unalienable rights comes from these biblical precepts as well. After all, it asserts that all men are subject to and protected by the law.
Those rights can never be taken away by any man or government because they come from the only true lawgiver, God Himself.
You can see this influence embedded throughout our founding documents.
Take the Declaration of Independence for example.
“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, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” the declaration stated.
The founders believed our “unalienable” right to life came from God’s commandment not to murder.
They believed in a right to property because God commanded us not to steal from our fellow man.
Absent the Ten Commandments, neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution or any other founding document would have been created.
American rights as we now know them would not exist.
The Ten Commandments Allow Freedom to Flourish
Many of us see laws and rules as limiting forces. We think all they do is restrict our freedom.
When it comes to God’s law, precisely the opposite is true. As it says in 1 John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” [emphasis added].
God delivered the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. But after doing so, His work was far from over.
Even after escaping physical bondage, He knew His chosen people were still subject to a greater slavery: The slavery of sin.
The only way to escape this kind of slavery — the greatest slavery of all — is to know God and follow Him.
But how could fallen beings such as us learn to know a being with infinite power and goodness?
That’s what the Ten Commandments are for.
The Ten Commandments aren’t some arbitrary set of guidelines. They are a reflection of His holiness. To follow the Ten Commandments is to know God’s perfect character.
This is where true freedom lies.
It’s why James refers to the law as one that “gives freedom.”
“But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing,” James 1:25 reads.
It’s no coincidence that the countries that have provided the most freedom in all of world history — the countries of the Western world — just so happen to also be the ones most influenced by Christian values.
Those countries who rooted their own legal systems in the Law of Liberty experienced just that — liberty — because following God’s character offers the greatest kind of freedom.
Didn’t Christ’s Death Render the Ten Commandments Moot?
Now, it should be noted that following the law is not a requirement for salvation. All biblically literate Christian men and women understand that they are no longer under the law.
When Christ died on the cross, so too did man’s need to follow the law for salvation.
As it says in Romans 7:4-6, “Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.
“For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.”
But the fact that the law is no longer necessary for salvation does not mean it is no longer important at all.
Pastor Doug Wilson makes this quite clear in his recently published work “Mere Christendom.”
“… [T]wo things are crucial. The first is that Christians who believe the Bible must acknowledge that the death and resurrection of Jesus transformed our applications of biblical law,” Wilson wrote.
“But the second is that our understanding of this will never be advanced by denying the essential goodness of the Old Testament law …”
The Least in the Kingdom of Heaven
The Ten Commandments reflect God’s character; this is just as true today as it was when they first came down from Mount Sinai.
Therefore, an abandonment of the Ten Commandments is an abandonment of God’s holiness.
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Himself made it clear that He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it.
“[W]hoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven,” Jesus said, according to Matthew 5:18-19.
This brings us to the reason for this series.
It’s not just that our increasingly anti-Christian culture is actively subverting the Ten Commandments; it’s that our nation’s leaders are actively “teach[ing] others to do the same.”
Those who do so are “least in the kingdom of heaven.”
Our Leaders Have Abdicated Their God-Given Role
As the head of government, President Joe Biden is called to use his administration to act as our God-given civil magistrate.
In Romans 13, Paul describes the head of government as “God’s servant for your good” who “does not bear the sword in vain” but rather as “an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.”
In other words, our government has a duty to uphold what is right and to punish the wicked who do wrong.
Now, the specifics of what exactly that looks like in action are up for debate, including when it comes to the Ten Commandments. That said, whether you agree that the government should enforce all Ten Commandments is irrelevant to the point at hand with this series.
It’s not that the Biden administration refuses to enforce blasphemy laws or prohibitions on adultery.
This column is by no means advocating such action be taken.
Rather, the point being made in the articles ahead is that — through both its policies and rhetoric — the current administration has taken active steps to encourage others to break the Ten Commandments. We’ll show, unequivocally, how the Biden administration has encouraged blasphemy, idol worship, adultery, murder, theft and so on, and also what consequences such actions have given rise to.
This is not to say past administrations, Republican and Democrat, have not done so as well.
But it is to say that this decline has reached a unique extreme under the administration that prides itself on being the most progressive to ever take up the White House.
President Biden and his followers have a God-given responsibility to uphold what is right. Instead, they are leading their people astray.
Jesus warned us that those who teach others to break His Father’s commandments are “least in the kingdom of heaven.”
In the series ahead, we’ll hold this administration accountable for this grave violation. We’ll show that the only fruits born out of this kind of “progress” are those of sin, slavery and death.