The Decalogue is as relevant today as it was 3,000 years ago.

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Dick Dayton's picture

Think about the way The Lord Jesus Christ went to the essential heart of the law.  All the commands can be summarized by "Love God. Love your neighbor". The essence of genius is to take complex issues, see them clearly, and state them plainly. 

I agree with the author in the vital importance of the timeless words.  Our laws should reflect God's character rather than the latest opinion poll.

i would encourage pastors to occasionally preach the commandments in the "love God, love neighbor" summary. It is good exposition and easy to remember and make application.

Dick Dayton

James K's picture

The 10 commandments are the only hope?  Really?  I thought we preached Christ crucified.  Seeing how Paul identified the 10 commandments as the ministry of death and no glory (2 Cor 3) in contrast to the work of the Spirit, freedom, righteousness, and glory, I will just ignore this article as the ramblings of yet another ignorant person.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

TylerR's picture

Editor

Dennis Prager is a Jew. He doesn't believe Christ was the Messiah. Just so you know where he's coming from!

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

James K's picture

Yes, which is why I typed the last sentence.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Marsilius's picture

James, you surely do not mean that every Jewish person who writes about the 10 commandments is a rambling, ignorant person!

James K's picture

Every PERSON who writes that the 10 commandments are the only hope for anything is a rambling, ignorant person.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Marsilius's picture

Oh, the hard words that I have sometimes read against the holy law of God! How very unlike to those which the apostle used when he said, “The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” How different from the reverent spirit which made him say, “I delight in the law of God after the inward man.” You know how David loved the law of God, and sang its praises all through the longest of the Psalms. The heart of every real Christian is most reverent towards the law of the Lord. - Spurgeon, "The Perpetuity of the Law of God."

 

Put me down as one who is extremely thankful for the 10 Commandments. It is too bad that children are no longer taught them in the public school. There is great hope for any nation that teaches its children the 10 Commandments.

JobK's picture

Marsilius wrote:

Oh, the hard words that I have sometimes read against the holy law of God! How very unlike to those which the apostle used when he said, “The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” How different from the reverent spirit which made him say, “I delight in the law of God after the inward man.” You know how David loved the law of God, and sang its praises all through the longest of the Psalms. The heart of every real Christian is most reverent towards the law of the Lord. - Spurgeon, "The Perpetuity of the Law of God."

 

Put me down as one who is extremely thankful for the 10 Commandments. It is too bad that children are no longer taught them in the public school. There is great hope for any nation that teaches its children the 10 Commandments.

For those who are outside of Christ, the Ten Commandments is a curse that brings only death in this world and the next. So if the Ten Commandments bring death, how can it be our hope? If your hope is death, then you are indeed a rambling, ignorant person! The Ten Commandments is a blessing only to those who are in Christ Jesus. For everyone else it is a death sentence. Jews like Dennis Prager who deny this are not only fools but liars and anti-Christs after the manner of 1 John 2:22. 

Also, teaching children the Ten Commandments is not necessary to produce an orderly and just society, which is the sole purpose of human government. So why do it? And the nation that knows the Ten Commandments while rejecting Christ, what hope does it have other than the false hope of its own self-righteousness?

Finally, consider the source of this: Dennis Prager. I have no more tolerance for a Jew promoting his false, Christ-denying religion than I do similar lies from a Muslim, atheist or Hindu. The Jews who sentenced Jesus Christ to death and delivered Him to the Romans to carry out the sentence knew the Ten Commandments backwards and forwards in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin and Babylonian. But as they did not know Christ, in what way was their knowledge of the Ten Commandments a hope and a blessing? Their own actions, including continuing to deny Christ even after they knew that He rose from the dead, shows that apart from Christ there is no hope or blessing in such things. 

Look, now that Jews - in concert with their allies in the Democratic Party which Jews support by 4 to 1 margins and give heavy financial and media support to as well - have succeeded in removing Christianity from the public square, Jews like Prager are getting bolder and bolder about asserting their own religion to try to fill the void that they have worked so hard to create. Christians should not be duped by that nonsense based on the lie that is "Judeo-Christianity" nor should we be party to it. It is funny that so many of us are ever on the lookout for "creeping Sharia" from Muslims when Jews have been using the media, educational system and politics to push their religion and culture for at least 100 years.

Solo Christo, Soli Deo Gloria, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura
http://healtheland.wordpress.com

James K's picture

Exactly Job.  Some people are just not willing to let scripture be the authority on this matter.

2 Cor 3:7 Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel were not able to look directly at Moses' face because of the glory from his face-a fading [glory]- 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness overflows with even more glory. 10 In fact, what had been glorious is not glorious in this case because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was fading away was glorious, what endures will be even more glorious.

Paul identifies the 10 commandments as the ministry of death.  What reason does the Christian have again for trying to push the ministry of death?  Paul even contrasts it with the work of the Spirit in the new covenant.  Just... amazing.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

JobK's picture

James K wrote:

Exactly Job.  Some people are just not willing to let scripture be the authority on this matter.

2 Cor 3:7 Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel were not able to look directly at Moses' face because of the glory from his face-a fading [glory]- 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness overflows with even more glory. 10 In fact, what had been glorious is not glorious in this case because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was fading away was glorious, what endures will be even more glorious.

Paul identifies the 10 commandments as the ministry of death.  What reason does the Christian have again for trying to push the ministry of death?  Paul even contrasts it with the work of the Spirit in the new covenant.  Just... amazing.

If I recall, he called it such because it was given by God, reveals the character of God, and was given to man for good purposes and not evil. If I am correct, the Hebrews epistle makes the same point. The issue is Christ. The redeemed faithful of the Old Testament knew Christ even if only through types and figures (some reformers held that the Old Testament believers had an even better knowledge of Christ than via typology). The redeemed faithful of the church age know Christ as the Risen Lord. That is why the 10 Commandments and the rest of the law are a blessing to Old Testament and New Testament saints: Christ. It is because of Christ that Old and New Testament saints receive the blessings of the law. Apart from Christ, the Ten Commandments are only a curse. The New Testament is explicit on this, and this is why the Ten Commandments cannot be generalized to believers and unbelievers alike. Only common grace can be generalized to both believers and unbelievers. Only common grace is a blessing to the saved and the unsaved, where God causes it to rain for the just and the unjust. The law is not common grace but special revelation. 

And even this is with respect to Christians. The original issue was in response to a Christ-denier trying to push his doctrines of devils in Prager.

Solo Christo, Soli Deo Gloria, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura
http://healtheland.wordpress.com

Marsilius's picture

Please let me make it clear that I do not share Prager's view that the 10 Commandments have the power to bring us as near the Kingdom as possible. Their promotion in the American nation, however, would bring about a much more orderly, just, safe, moral, and merciful society.

I also have no difference with you, James, about 2 Cor 3.

My difference with you and Job has to do with your insistence that the 10 Commandments do no one, outside of genuine Christians any good.

Paul stated quite plainly, that the Law of Moses is not for the righteous person, but for the lawless person (1 Tim 1:9-10). Here, Paul balances one truth ("we fulfill the law") with another. The Law, written on our hearts (Rom 2:14-15), is affirmed by the written Law. So when an unbeliever hears the 10 commandments, it affirms what his conscience already tells him. He may become a believer, he may not, but the words of God have their impact on his behavior (notice how Abimelech responded to God directly talking to him about Sarah).

Likewise, in the time prior to, and during the early church, thousands of people in the Graeco-Roman world who were not Jews, attached themselves to the Jewish religion. They found in it both a personal God, a more sensible explanation of life, a more reasonable portrayal of history, and a superior moral lifestyle. Many of these people responded to the Gospel when they heard it (as written in the book of Acts), but their learning the Law and the Prophets changed their lifestyles prior to hearing the Gospel (as evidenced by Cornelius, Acts 10).

 

Now, can we please put away the anti-Jewish rant, Job, and your affirmation of it, James ("exactly Job")? Assigning the moral decline of America to the Jews is not worthy of someone who professes Christ. So Jews vote Democrat 4 to 1? Hispanics vote rather similarly. Asian-Americans vote 3 to 1 Democrat. Black people favor the Democrat party 9 to 1. American Indians vote heavily Democrat. Are these five groups likewise the culprits involved in moral decline? Blaming the Jews for moral decline because they usually vote democrat is utter nonsense.

Yes, the Gospels make it plain, that the Jewish nation was responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus. But how is it, Job, that you neglect Pilate (and with him the whole Roman Empire)? How is it that you so heavily blame the Jewish nation, but are silent about the Romans? The Apostles saw this quite differently, assigning guilt first to the world rulers (Acts 4:24-28). And how is it that you are so silent about yourself? Because, if you believe the Gospel, you must admit that you are just as responsible for the death of Christ as any Jew: past or present.

James K's picture

Marsilius, if by good you refer to a decent society, then sure, the 10 commandments could help in some way.  However, that is not the goal of the Christian.  A biblical concept would recognize the law as vastly inferior to the point of working against what the Spirit is now doing.

You do know that the law written on the hearts was not the 10 commandments right?  A knowledge that law exists is not the same as the decalogue.

"Many of these people responded to the Gospel when they heard it (as written in the book of Acts), but their learning the Law and the Prophets changed their lifestyles prior to hearing the Gospel (as evidenced by Cornelius, Acts 10)."

You say this as though it had any bearing on believing in Jesus.  The gospel condemns the moralist and the pagan and then offers the same salvation.

It isn't an anti-Jewish rant at all.  Claiming that many Jews are in control of the media empire and recognizing how antiChristian it is is not anti-Jewish.  The difference between the Jews and all the other groups you named is that only one of them has the 10 commandments as their history.

As far as responsibility for the death of Jesus, I am not responsible the same way that others were.  Jesus put more fault on Judas than others.  He died for my sin, but I had zero part in nailing him up on the cross or unjust trials.  Popular platitudes must die hard it seems.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

christian cerna's picture

For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:10-14, ESV)