The ten commandments and the modern world


The Other McCain has a piece up about the cult of self esteem, a topic which in the past I have also addressed although I referred to it as the cult of happiness. But I found this snippet from McCain’s article particularly interesting:

Many years ago, I spoke at a national Christian home-schooling conference and my speech was more political than religious, addressing the issues of liberty involved in educational freedom. During the Q-and-A afterwards, I was asked: “How does your faith affect your political views?” Having not anticipated such a question, I was silent for a moment before answering: “I think it’s about that ‘Thou shalt not steal’ thing.”

From there, I went on to explain how the fiscal action of the Welfare State amounts to theft on a grand scale, taking money from the people who earned it and giving it to other people who didn’t. This is immoral, and our participation in this immoral system corrupts us.

One of the aspects of my consistent behaviour that I am proud of, (and it is good to sometimes acknowledge where you have done well), has been my total rejection of welfare for myself in my adult life. There have been times when I could have availed myself of the public purse but it was never an option for me, and precisely for the reasons that McCain stated in the quoted section. I consider it to be stealing, and God said, Thou shall not steal.

It is an indictment of our modern times that such a fundamental commandment is broken, and broken in such a way by the welfare state. The rejection of this commandment is the very basis for modern Western society. And it got me wondering as to exactly how many of the ten commandments are broken as a fundamental core premise of our modern societies. So let’s have a look at them.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Our rejection of Christianity over the last few decades has not resulted in some atheist paradise where everyone just digs everyone else, man. A vacuum was created by our rejection of God and into this vacuum poured every conceivable opportunity to worship false gods. The cult of self esteem is bound up in this as people now worship the self at the expense of all others. Feelings trump facts because to hurt their feelings is to attack their cult of self-worship.

But that is only the beginning. Climate change, veganism, multiculturalism, and homosexuality are all examples of false gods. The cult of Gaia is one of the largest and most infamous. It is no coincidence that the rise in environmentalism coincided with our turning away from God. The breaking of this commandment is not a foundation of our modern world but rather a result of it.

Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image.

There is much crossover with this and the first commandment. The second commandment is really concerned with idolatry, the worship of craven images. Environmentalists are particularly susceptible to this as they idolize trees, plants, rocks, and stones. But modern materialism is also an excellent and disturbing example as well. Take modern a brand such as Apple and the diehard Apple followers. Is it really difficult to deduct that they are actually engaged in idolatry? The warning from the bible is that those who worship inanimate idols will become like them, unseeing and unfeeling, and thus unable to hear the word of God. Our embrace of materialism once again condemns us in this regard. It is hard to argue otherwise.

Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.

The third commandment is much misunderstood. The presumption is that we should not say something like, “Oh Christ, this is the best mango smoothie I have ever had!” While a willingness to drink mango smoothies and boast to God about it is deplorable, this is not what is meant by the third commandment. Rather, it is a firm direction to not claim to represent God, or to deliberately misrepresent or distort God’s words, and particularly for your own gain.

The preachers that Dalrock routinely takes to pieces are prime examples of this. They misrepresent the bible and twist its words so as to place women at the head of the congregation or so as to convince their followers to allow open homosexuals into their ranks, and sometimes even their homes. This distortion of God’s words while pretending to represent what God wants is a clear example of taking in vain the name of the Lord.

Once again this sin abounds in our modern world, and particularly in the churches and congregations that remain. The final stab in the back of God, if you will.

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Is there even any doubt about this commandment and its complete negation in our modern world? An entire film, Chariots of Fire, tells the story of the Olympic runner and devout Christian Eric Liddell who refuses to run an important race as it falls on the Sabbath. The moral battle in the film works because 100 years ago such an act was both relevant and believable. That it would be impossible today merely underlines the complete abandonment of this commandment.

Honour thy father, and thy mother.

Mothers are honoured today at the expense of almost all other things. To be a single mother is to be a saint. But fathers are not honoured at all. Instead they are attacked, mocked, ridiculed, and debased. They are seen as unnecessary and toxic. On top of this families are not honoured. The traditional roles have been systematically destroyed and it is now almost socially unacceptable to encourage a young women to marry a man, worship him, and raise a large family. Such a women will instead be brainwashed and deceived into believing that this would be a waste of her life. My own mother believed the pretty lies and subsequently lost everything, including any honour that might have been due her.

Thou shall not murder.


Thou shall not commit adultery.

Fault free divorce and the sexual revolution. We are so far from this commandment it’s simply tragic.

Thou shall not steal.

Covered already.

Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

You merely have to consider an episode such as the Kavanaugh hearing to understand that this commandment is also routinely thrown to the curb for the sake of personal and political power. The amount of false witness in the divorce courts alone is an abomination, and that is in the family, not even thy neighbours.

Thou shall not covet thy neighbour’s house.

Unlike sins of actions, the last three commandments are sins of thought or the heart. What lies within you that only God can see. This is the sin of keeping up with the neighbours, and it is alive and unwell in our modern societies. Coveting your neighbour’s house is in effect the desire to destroy another person’s life and what they have laboured to build for your own gain.

Thou shall not covet thy neighbour’s wife.

The sin of desire is revealed in our collective rejection of modesty. To walk in a public space such as a giant shopping mall is to bear witness to a crush of humanity that has made almost no individual effort to dress in a decent manner. Anglo Saxon nations are the worst offenders for this, with England leading the pack. In the depths of winter you will be visually assaulted by hordes of overweight young women squeezed into body hugging clothes that barely cover their nether regions. In fact, the fatter they are the tighter the garments need to be.

Our eyes are bombarded on a constant basis from all forms of advertising and real life examples that all break this commandment.

Thou shall not covet thy neighbour’s possessions.

The more treasure that you store on earth then the less treasure you will have in heaven. The rush to buy material items stems from a desire to plug a hole in our very souls that resides there due to our turning away from God. The pursuit of money above all other things leads to spiritual ruin. There are very few in this day and age that do not fall into this trap. Our own governments are the worst examples of this as they burden future generations with massive amounts of debt in order to satisfy their citizen’s desire for more, more, more.

In summation, we live in godless times and the ten commandments seem no more relevant now than mutterings from Delphi. As individuals all we can do is to try and do our very best to not fall into the same traps as so many around us. But entire nations in the bible were wiped out by God for far less failure than what we are seeing now. As such we are damned by our participation in our own society. Which is like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. But I make no false pretences; my own past performance with a good many of the commandments is pitiful. We are all fallen creatures.