Although we can get ideas and extrapolate principles regarding the application of the moral law to culture from the 613 civic laws, it is important we also attempt to see how the Ten Commandments can affect present day public policy. Because the Ten Commandments are not the sole focus of this book, I will just use a few of the Ten Commandments to show that they are still relevant to public policy today.
For example, the first commandment, which has to do with having no other gods before the Lord, cannot be forced upon a pluralistic society in the same way it was during the days of Israel because in the New Covenant, we do not force conversions by the sword or by the law. The best that we can do is to favor the One True God in our laws and culture (in the same way the original twelve states did in their respective constitutions), but showing favor and forcing conversions are two different things.
The fourth commandment, regarding the keeping of the Sabbath, can be applied by not allowing excess commercialism to take place on Sundays; additionally, having laws protecting workers from being fired for refusing to work on Sundays so they can attend church services. The sixth commandment, forbidding murder, can easily be applied to forbid abortion and federally defund Planned Parenthood. God hates the shedding of innocent blood (Proverbs 6:17) and pre-birth murder is condemned in scripture as much as post-birth murder (the civil law is specific in its condemnation of causing a pre-birth death of an infant; read Exodus 21:22-24). Along with this command not to murder is the fact that a human being has been made in the image of God, which makes it a gross crime to kill such a living thing! (Because it is akin to killing the similitude of God Himself as Genesis 9:5,6 says.) Since all humans are image bearers of God, they are born with innate dignity, which gives us a view of the sanctity of human life. This view also makes a strong cause for human rights, which can be used against human trafficking, racism and all forms of iniquity.
The seventh commandment, forbidding adultery, like the other commands, is a category for all sexual sins according to Leviticus 18, which lumps adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, and incest together under the rubric of sexual sin. The eighth commandment, forbidding theft, can be applied to the central government extracting excess taxes from individuals, families and businesses. It also implies that God has granted humans the right to own private property because how can a person steal what doesn’t belong to them? This shoots a hole in the theory of the Christians who promote communism in the name of Christianity! The ninth commandment dealing with not bearing false witness can be applied to having a just and equitable judicial process as well as being against corrupting the law through bribes, witness tampering and by lying about others for the sake of selfish gain through lawsuits.
Finally, the last commandment, forbidding covetousness, is an indictment against those who want to force egalitarianism upon our culture and imposes equality through the forced redistribution of wealth. The bible teaches that justice is based on affording people an equal opportunity, not necessarily equal pay. Nations should have laws that promote a meritocracy (pay based on merit, skill and problem solving) not an entitlement mentality!
This article is from one of the chapters in Bishop Mattera’s book, ” Understanding the Wineskin of The Kingdom”
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