Grace Baptist Church Decatur, IL


10 Commandments America Under Attack

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10 Ways America Is Under Attack
Exodus 20:1-17

America was again attacked this week, and in grander scale than on 9/11.  Our brave soldiers in the Middle East are attacked daily, and we need to hold them up in prayer, but this week, it happened again…on our own soil…and this time, it was not by Muslim terrorists, but by American citizens, including Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who retired from the Supreme Court a week too late!

Ill.—the film “Independence Day” told of an attack which came at the hands of aliens, but this Independence Day we are under siege from many claiming to be patriotic Americans.


Sept. 11 was one of the darkest days in all of human history…we’re still reeling from it, we all remember where we were and what we were doing and how we felt.  We were glued to the news and in shock!  But our true colors shined brightly…the terrorists only brought out the best of what we Americans have inside of us!  But I tell you today that this week we were once again attacked.  It was a sad week in America!


Here is a list of the ten ways we were attacked this week:

        The first attack—

The 1st commandment was not only broken, but banned.

The other 9 attacks were simultaneous as the 10 Commandments were once again maligned in our country on the eve of our Independence celebration!

The Supreme Court of the US, in one of their most puzzling sessions of all time, ordered the removal of 2 displays in Kentucky and allowed another to remain in Texas…the only difference being what they judged to be the “motive and intent” of those who posted them.  Now, other displays are being defaced…And already, many other places are taking them down…places which haven’t been ordered to remove them…about 2 hrs. from here in Olney, IL courthouse officials took down this framed picture, just donated last year…it’s a tribute to heroes of Sept. 11 that includes the 10 Commandments…they said they were just following precedent and trying to avoid any trouble.  I think we should all be adding displays, not taking them down!

        Ironic, isn’t it?  That the Supreme Court bldg - built in 1935 – has carved on front and above it’s mighty pillars Moses and the Ten Commandments. [The justices must enter back way!]  Will they have to remodel now?  How about the House of Representatives – across the speakers’ seat is a sculpture of Moses?


This is the final nail in the coffin built for the Ten Commandments when the memorial in the rotunda of The Alabama Judicial Building was ordered removed.  This is the Supreme Court, and our only appeal now is to God!


Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore authorized the memorial as a reminder that the biblical laws stand as the moral groundwork of American law…he was right!


Here’s a little info. about the “motive and intent” of our founding fathers as it applies to the 10 Commandments:


* Twelve of the original 13 colonies incorporated the entire Ten Commandments into their civil and criminal codes.


* President John Adams stated, "The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal code as well as a moral and religious code.  These are laws essential to the existence of men in society and most of which have been enacted by every Nation which ever professed any code of laws.  Vain

indeed would be the search among the writings of secular history to find so broad, so complete and so solid a basis of morality as the Ten Commandments lay down."  (Note that the American Bible Society was started by an act of Congress and John Adams, our second president, served as its first leader.)

        Our laws are based on the 10 commandments and the Bible.


“America is great because America is good and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” 

                                Alexis De Tocqueville, “Democracy In America”

Several Pieces of Evidence To Consider:
[based largely on “Defending The 10 Commandments” by Dave Kinney]
1. The Northwest Ordinance.
Thanks to Thomas Jefferson, we have our backyards!  Because the NW Territory he scoped out and helped us expand into includes our fair state!  Congress first enacted the Northwest Ordinance in 1789, when the nation was still operating under the Articles of Confederation. The purpose of the Ordinance was to create a temporary government for the Northwest Territory (a huge patch of land that extended from the great lakes to the Ohio river valley), and to establish a procedure by which territories could apply for admission into the Union. The Ordinance was reenacted with very minor changes in 1789, after the passage of the Constitution.

The first sentence of Article III of the Northwest Ordinance reads as follows: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good governmentand the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.

My Point: The Northwest Ordinance received final House approval on July 21, 1789, Senate approval on August 4, 1789, and was signed into law by President George Washington on August 7, 1789, in the midst of this; the same Congress was formulating the First Amendment (from June 7, 1789, to September 25, 1789).  The 1st amendment {freedom of religion} wasn’t meant to give people “freedom FROM religion” but “freedom OF religion!” 
2. Our Natural Laws Come From God’s Laws.
The Ten Commandments have been the foundation upon which much of America’s legal system has been built. To deny this fact, one would have to rewrite American history.

Former President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings… If we don’t have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

Noah Webster, the man personally responsible for Article I, Section 8 of the U. S. Constitution, explained two centuries ago: “The duties of men are summarily comprised in the Ten Commandments, consisting of two tables; one comprehending the duties which we owe immediately to God-the other, the duties we owe to our fellow men.”

The Ten Commandments are a smaller part of the larger body of divine law recognized and early incorporated into America’s civil documents.

For example, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut-established in 1638-39 as the first written constitution in America and considered as the direct predecessor of the U. S. Constitution -declared that the Governor and his council of six elected officials would, “Have power to administer justice according to the laws here established; and for want thereof according to the rule of the word of God.”
Also in 1638, the Rhode Island government adopted, “All those perfect and most absolute laws of His, given us in His holy word of truth, to be guided and judged thereby”. Then they sight, Exodus, 2 Chronicles, and 2 Kings.”

The following year, 1639, the New Haven Colony adopted its “Fundamental Articles” for the governance of that Colony, and when the question was placed before the colonists: “Whether the Scriptures do hold forth a perfect rule for the direction and government of all men in all duties which they are to perform to God and men as well in the government of families and commonwealths as in matters of the church, this was assented unto by all, no man dissenting as was expressed by holding up of hands.”

In 1672, Connecticut revised its laws and reaffirmed its civil adherence to the laws established in the Scriptures, declaring: “The serious consideration of the necessity of the establishment of wholesome laws for the regulating of each body politic hath inclined us mainly in obedience unto Jehovah the Great Lawgiver, Who hath been pleased to set down a Divine platform not only of the moral but also of judicial laws suitable for the people of Israel; as...laws and constitutions suiting our State.”

Those same legal codes in those days, in a separate section, were given the Bible verse on which that law was based because: “No man’s life shall be taken away...unless it be by the virtue or equity of some express law of the country warranting the same, established by a general court and sufficiently published, or in case of the defect of a law, in any particular case, by the Word of God.”

There are other similar examples, but it is a matter of historical fact that the early colonies adopted the greater body of divine laws (10 Commandments) as the overall basis of their civil laws.

The 3rd Commandment - “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord Thy God in vain”
Civil (common) laws enacted to observe this commandment were divided into two categories: laws prohibiting blasphemy and laws prohibiting swearing and profanity.

Noah Webster affirmed that our laws were derived from the third commandment of the Decalogue: “When in obedience to the third commandment of the Decalogue you would avoid profane swearing, you are to remember that this alone is not a full compliance with the prohibition which [also] comprehends all irreverent words or actions and whatever tends to cast contempt on the Supreme Being or on His word and ordinances [i.e., blasphemy].”

Reflecting the civil enactment of these two categories embodying the third commandment, a 1610 Virginia law declared: “That no man speak…maliciously against the holy and blessed Trinity or any of the three persons...upon pain of death.”

A 1639 law of Connecticut similarly declared: “If any person shall blaspheme the name of God the Father, Son, or Holy Ghost, with direct, express, presumptuous or high-handed blasphemy, or shall curse in the like manner, he shall be put to death.” Leviticus 24:15, 16

Similar laws can be found in Massachusetts in 1641, Connecticut in 1642, New Hampshire in 1680, Pennsylvania in 1682, 1700, and 1741, South Carolina in 1695, North Carolina in 1741, etc.

Commander-in-Chief George Washington issued numerous military orders during the American Revolution that first prohibited swearing and then ordered an attendance on Divine worship, thus relating the prohibition against profanity to a religious duty. Typical of these orders, on July 4, 1775, Washington declared: “The General most earnestly requires and expects a due observance of those articles of war established for the government of the army which forbid profane cursing, swearing, and drunkenness; and in like manner requires and expects of all officers and soldiers not engaged on actual duty, a punctual attendance on Divine Service to implore the blessings of Heaven upon the means used for our safety and defense.”

This civil prohibition against blasphemy and profanity drawn from the 10 Commandments continued well beyond the Founding Era. They also appeared in the 1784 laws in Connecticut, the 1791 laws of New Hampshire, the 1791 laws of Vermont, the 1792 laws of Virginia, the 1794 laws of Pennsylvania, the 1821 laws of Maine, the 1834 laws of Tennessee, the 1835 laws of Massachusetts, the 1836 laws of New York, etc.

Judge Zephaniah Swift, author in 1796 of the first legal text published in America, explained why civil authorities enforced the Decalogue prohibition against blasphemy and profane swearing: “Crimes of this description are not punishable by the civil arm merely because they are against religion. Bold and presumptuous must he be who would attempt to wrest the thunder of heaven from the hand of God and direct the bolts of vengeance where to fall. The Supreme Deity is capable of maintaining the dignity of His moral government and avenging the violations of His holy laws. His omniscient mind estimates every act by the standard of perfect truth and His impartial justice inflicts punishments that are accurately proportioned to the crimes. But shortsighted mortals cannot search the heart and punish according to the intent. They can only judge by overt acts and punish them as they respect the peace and happiness of civil society. This is the rule to estimate all crimes against civil law and is the standard of all human punishments. It is on this ground only that civil tribunals are authorized to punish offences against religion.”

In 1824, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania reaffirmed that the civil laws against blasphemy were derived from divine law: “The true principles of natural religion are part of the common law; the essential principles of revealed religion are part of the common law; so that a person vilifying, subverting or ridiculing them may be prosecuted at common law.”

Key: The court then noted that James Wilson, a signer of the Constitution and original Justice on the U. S. Supreme Court, had drawn up its State’s laws against blasphemy: “The late Judge Wilson, of the Supreme Court of the United States, Professor of Law in the College in Philadelphia, was appointed in 1791, unanimously by the House of Representatives of this State to ‘revise and digest the laws of this commonwealth…’ He had just risen from his seat in the Convention, which formed the Constitution of the United States, and of this State; and it is well known that for our present form of government we are greatly indebted to his exertions and influence. With his fresh recollection of both constitutions, in his course of Lectures (3d vol. of his works, 112), he states that profaneness and blasphemy are offences punishable by fine and imprisonment, and that Christianity is part of the common law. It is vain to object that the law is obsolete; this is not so; it has seldom been called into operation because this, like some other offences, has been rare. It has been retained in our recollection of laws now in force, made by the direction of the legislature, and it has not been a dead letter.”

The 10 commandments’ influence on our profanity and blasphemy laws was reaffirmed by subsequent courts, such as the 1921 Supreme Court of Maine, the 1944 Supreme Court of Florida, and others.

The 4th Commandment- “Keep the Sabbath.”
Examples of the early implementation of this 4th commandment into civil law are seen in the Virginia laws of 1610, the New Haven laws of 1653, the New Hampshire laws of 1680, the Pennsylvania laws of 1682 and 1705, the South Carolina laws of 1712, the North Carolina laws of 1741, the Connecticut laws of 1751, etc.

In 1775, and throughout the American Revolution, Commander-in-Chief George Washington issued military orders directing that the [NT Sunday] Sabbath be observed. His order of May 2, 1778, at Valley Forge was typical: “The Commander in Chief directs that divine service be performed every Sunday at 11 o’clock in those brigades to which there are chaplains; those which have none to attend the places of worship nearest to them. It is expected that officers of all ranks will by their attendance set an example to their men.”

In 1950, the Supreme Court of Mississippi had similarly legislated: “The Sunday laws have a divine origin. After the six days of creation, the Creator Himself rested on the Seventh. Genesis, Chapter 2, verses 2 and 3. Thus, the Sabbath was instituted, as a day of rest. The original example was later confirmed as a commandment when the law was handed down from Mt.
Sinai: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

The 6th Commandment – “Thou Shalt Not Kill”
Courts have been very candid in tracing civil murder laws back to the 10 Commandments. For example, a 1932 Kentucky appeals court declared: “The rights of society as well as those of appellant are involved and are also to be protected, and to that end, all forms of governments following the promulgation of Moses at Mt. Sinai has required of each and every one of its citizens that ‘Thou shalt not murder.’ If that law is violated, the one guilty of it has no right to demand more than a fair trial, and if, as a result thereof, the severest punishment for the crime is visited upon him, he has no one to blame but himself.”

The 8th Commandment – “Thou Shalt Not Steal”
In 1940, the California Supreme Court had made this statement: “Defendant did not acknowledge the dominance of a fundamental precept of honesty and fair dealing enjoined by the Decalogue and supported by prevailing moral concepts. “Thou shalt not steal” applies with equal force and propriety to the industrialist of a complex civilization as to the simple herdsman of ancient Israel.”
        Significantly, other courts acknowledged the same, including the Utah Supreme Court, the Colorado Supreme Court, the Florida Supreme Court, and the Missouri Supreme Court.

        And it all results in what we see today, as our nation is breaking God’s first and most foundational commandment to “have no other gods before me.”

3.     The Opinions of Our Founding Fathers.
Justice William Paterson, a signer of the Constitution placed on the Supreme Court by President George Washington, declared: “Religion and morality…are necessary to good government, good order, and good laws.”

Justice Joseph Story, later appointed to the Supreme Court by President James Madison, similarly declared: “I verily believe Christianity necessary to the support of civil society. One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law…there never has been a period in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying its foundations.”
In closing…To ban the display of the 10 Commandments simply because the first four commandments are more religious in nature than are the other six is like permitting the display of George Washington’s “Farewell Address” or Patrick Henry’s “Liberty or Death” speech or the “Mayflower Compact” only if each document is displayed without its religious portions. To display any of these historical works – it’s not the endorsement of religion that is happening - but it’s the recognition of the historical contribution made to America that also happens to include religion!

        We have many reasons to be optimistic and there is hope in II Chron. 7:14 [quote]…the hope of America is not in the white house, state house, and certainly not the court house, but in God’s house, and your house!

[Many more quotes from our founding fathers included in these sermons:]

10 Ways America Is Under Attack
Exodus 20:1-17


On our own s______ by A______________ citizens


The __st commandment was not only broken, but b__________.


·        Twelve of the original 13 c______________ incorporated the entire Ten Commandments into their civil and criminal codes.


·        President John Adams, "The law given from Sinai was a c________ and municipal code as well as a moral and religious code." 


          “America is g________ because America is g______ and if America ever ceases to           be g______, America will cease to be g________.” 

Evidence To Consider:

1. The N________________ Ordinance.


·        Article III: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good g__________________…”


·        The 1st amendment wasn’t meant to give people “freedom F______ religion” but “freedom O__ religion!” 


2. Our Natural Laws Come From G________ Laws.


·        The __rd Commandment - “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord Thy God in vain”   Leviticus 24:15, 16


·        The __th Commandment- “Keep the Sabbath.”


·        The __th Commandment – “Thou Shalt Not Kill”


·        The __th Commandment – “Thou Shalt Not Steal”


     Our nation is breaking God’s f________ commandment to “have no other gods      before me.”

3. The O______________ of Our Founding Fathers.

All Sermons and Slideshow Presentations Copyright Jerry Shirley and Grace Notes Ministries unless otherwise credited.