Combating Lawlessness in America

What We Can Do to Stop the Leftists from Hi-Jacking the Land of Liberty

Stephen McDowell


America is under assault by those who oppose the foundational ideas upon which this nation was built. While claiming to uphold the Constitution, these secular humanists reveal by their actions that they oppose life, individual liberty, property rights, the equality of all men, and the idea that government is a servant of the people.

They readily toss aside the idea that all men are subject to the law, rulers as well as common citizens. Instead of embracing the American founders’ idea that no man is above the law, they seek to become a law unto themselves and force everyone else to conform to their views of truth and morality. Hence, those we elect to uphold the law are in fact the greatest law-breakers. And it seems they are never held accountable by our system of “justice.”

Examples of this action abound. None was more egregious in recent years than the charge against President Trump that he colluded with the Russians to win the election, based upon a completely fake dossier paid for by his political opponents. All the government officials, supported by the main-stream media, who were involved in this proved-to-be false allegation trampled upon the rule of law.

Of course, such examples abound both before Trump’s administration and now under the Biden administration, and include all spheres of governing officials.

Judges regularly make law — like the U.S. District Judge in Texas who a number of years ago toppled a marriage amendment upholding the traditional and Biblical view of marriage that had been approved by more than 75% of the voters in that state. Similar federal rulings discarded marriage laws in Oklahoma, Virginia, California, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, and Kentucky.

Regarding discussion on immigration reform Thomas Sowell writes: “Immigration laws are the only laws that are discussed in terms of how to help people who break them. One of the big problems that those who are pushing ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ want solved is how to help people who came here illegally and are now ‘living in the shadows’ as a result.”

Add to this, Presidents who legislate through executive orders, government agencies that run rough-shod over the rights of individual citizens, and the failure of Congress to perform its legal duties, and we can see we have a serious problem.

But why is this happening?

One primary reason that we are becoming a lawless society is that the church (both as an institution and the corporate body of believers) has become lawless. The church has disregarded all uses of God’s basic moral laws as revealed in the Ten Commandments: for civil use as a curb against sinful action in society, for didactic use as the rule by which we should govern our lives and grow to maturity, and in many ways for theological use as a mirror that serves as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.

For over three centuries the Ten Commandments were ubiquitous in America.

  • The Ten Commandments were taught in all the churches and hung on church walls of many denominations.
  • Christian leaders followed the example of Protestant reformers like Luther, Calvin, and Knox and systematically taught the Ten Commandments.
  • Catechisms were the primary textbooks in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Ten Commandments were central in these catechisms; for example, about 40% of the questions in the Westminster Shorter Catechism deal with the Ten Commandments.
  • The New England Primer, the best-selling text during the 1700s with about 5 million sold, contained the Shorter Catechism. Almost all of our Founding Fathers, even the minority who were not Christians, would have used this book and memorized the catechism. Therefore, even the non-believers were thoroughly grounded in the moral law of God.
  • Webster’s “Blue-Back Speller” sold about 100 million copies in the 19th century. Over 100 sentences used to introduce new words taught the moral law of God contained in all ten of the commandments.
  • The McGuffey Readers, which sold 122 million copies, had a section on the Ten Commandments.
  • Other textbooks would have likewise taught the moral law of God. In fact, the Ten Commandments hung on many schoolroom walls up until 1980 when the Supreme Court ruled this was unconstitutional.
  • The Ten Commandments were the foundation of civil law in America:
  1. The first laws written in the colonies, Lawes Divine, Morall and Martiall, etc., were written in Virginia 1609-12 and contain most of the Ten Commandments.
  2. The laws of the New Haven Colony, founded by John Davenport in 1638, state: “the judicial laws of God, as they were delivered by Moses and expounded in other parts of Scripture, so far as they are a defence to the moral law, and neither typical nor ceremonial nor had reference to Canaan, shall be accounted of moral and binding equity and force.”
  3. Massachusetts Body of Liberties: the standard for this precursor to the Bill of Rights was the Word of God.
  4. The rights and liberties of the Ten Commandments are preserved in all our early civil documents, including the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
  5. Recognizing the Ten Commandments as the foundation of our laws is why many state capitols have plaques of the Ten Commandments.
  • The basis of America’s legal system was built upon the Biblical view of law as taught by William Blackstone and others. For this reason many courtrooms had the Ten Commandments hanging upon the walls, until recent times.

While the Ten Commandments were found everywhere in our nation in the past, they have come under assault in recent times: in 1980 the Supreme Court ruled they could not be hung on the schoolroom walls in Kentucky; Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore was removed from office after he refused to remove the Ten Commandments from the courthouse; laws are passed and judicial opinions issued that are contrary to the moral law of God.

However, the reason the commandments were removed from the schoolroom and courtroom walls is because they were first removed from the church walls and the walls of the hearts of Christians. Not that keeping the commandments is the means of our salvation (for salvation is a gift of God, given by His grace and a result of our faith in the atoning work of Christ), but, His moral law is to be the standard for right behavior within our society. Without this, we can have little liberty, justice, peace, or Biblical prosperity. The Bible teaches myriads of times that great blessings come from obeying His law-word.

Yet, if we do not know His commandments and how they apply to all of life, we cannot obtain the good fruit that comes from obeying them. Most Americans and, sadly, most American Christians, are ignorant of God’s moral law. In the fall of 1997, a friend of mine took a survey of 500 men attending the Promise Keepers prayer gathering in Washington, DC, asking them to name the Ten Commandments in the order they appeared in their Bible. Only one of these sincere and devoted believers could do so! I have taken numerous surveys of people attending our seminars asking the same question. Only a small percentage of them have been able to list the Commandments in order, and there has never been a majority of attendees who could list all ten even in random order.

Resources on the Ten Commandments

Ignorance of God’s moral law, which has led to great lawlessness in America today, prompted me to write two resources on the Ten Commandments. The first is a Bible study on the Ten Commandments designed to be used by parents in the home, by churches, by Christian and home schools, and by civil leaders and anyone else needing an understanding of the moral law that formed the foundation of Western Civilization.

This Ten Commandments Bible Study (God’s Blueprint for Life, Liberty, and Property) guides you through both the prohibitive nature of the commands and the positive corollaries and rights rooted in these commands. The format is primarily to ask questions regarding the Commandments and then give Scriptures for you to look up and write out the answers. When completed, you will have a thorough understanding of the marvelous principles contained in the Commandments.

The second resource is a booklet on the Ten Commandments entitled The Ten Commandments and Modern Society.

Jesus reiterated what is taught throughout the entire Bible: that God’s Law/Word, which is summarized by the Ten Commandments, contains principles that, if obeyed, produce life — life for men and nations — but if ignored, produce death. He said: “Do this [keep the commandments] and you will live.” America’s laws were based upon God’s higher law. This higher law, as summarized in the Ten Commandments, used to be taught to all Americans, was greatly revered, and all looked to obey it. Today, few obey, revere, or even know His commands.

Many people are doing all they can to remove any vestige of His law from our nation, claiming they are a great detriment to society. In 1980 the Supreme Court ruled in Stone v. Graham that the public schools of Kentucky could not display the Ten Commandments on the walls. The Court said: “If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the school children to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments.” Just imagine if our children obeyed the Ten Commandments. Some may consider this dangerous, but in reality this would solve many of our problems. About 1.7 million Americans are behind bars today — 1 in every 155. To learn to not steal or murder might not be too bad an idea to help deal with this problem. The Ten Commandments and Modern Society shows the importance of the commands for us today and gives an overview of them, highlighting the positive corollaries of the negative laws.

The material in these two books is essential for American Christians to know and apply if we hope to turn the nation from a path of lawlessness to one following after God and His truth. America needs to repent (turn and go a different way) for many things. Most importantly, we need to turn from man’s law to God’s law. We need to once again acknowledge God as sovereign, the source of law (the First Commandment) and return to His moral law as revealed in the Ten Commandments.