The Influence of the Ten Commandments

This is my second post on the Ten Commandments using Buddy Dano’s study: FOR THE LAND OF THE FREE: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF FREEDOM. Pastor Dano provides a detailed introduction which I will be posting a section at a time. I grew up with these doctrines but to Christians who haven’t heard them before they will require a bit of thought. Three basic concepts are emphasized:

  1. Both private property and privacy are protected by the Ten Commandments.
  2. Divine institutions numbers two (marriage) and three (family) which are protected by the Ten Commandments. Pastor Dano emphasizes the concept of Right Man, Right Woman in this study so I am going to provide you all with some background on doctrine.
  3. Freedom as provided by the Ten Commandments must be protected through military service.

Most Christians are familiar with the concepts of private property and our duty to serve in the military if called. I know that these ideas have become controversial in the last fifty years but they aren’t unheard of either. If any reader wants me to go into either of these topics more detail please let me know and I will do what I can.

What many Christians have never heard of is the concept of “right man, right woman.” R.B. Thieme, Jr. (Colonel Thieme) began teaching this doctrine in the 1970s and by the 1980’s he had pretty much let it go. It wasn’t that he decided that it wasn’t true but that people who heard the doctrine began doing some rather strange things because of it. The only story I can remember was that of a young woman who walked up to a young man (who was a member of Colonel Thieme’s congregation) and told him that she was his right woman and that he should marry her. Apparently a lot of things like this happened and Colonel Thieme decided that people really couldn’t handle the doctrine so he backed off it.

The idea of right-man, right-woman is rather straight forward: God has provided all of us with a mate that is right for us. Having the mate that is right for you involves more than good sex (even though it does include that), it involves having personalities that complement and go with one another. The right-man and right-woman complement each other in both body and soul.  This is really like the idea of a “soul mate” that you hear people talk about. Buddy Dano did a lot of work on this subject and if you do to his Bible Studies on Marriage/Family page there are some good resources there.

The reason I bring this up is that I have seen the writers over at Pyromaniacs go a little crazy over the idea of right-man, right-woman. Remember that the Pyromaniacs are Calvinists and that they believe that God has decreed in eternity past all that will ever happen. Any time someone brings up the concept of free will, or anything else they don’t like, they bring out the “plan B” gambit. When they wrote about the idea of every man having a right woman and vice versa they immediately brought up the question: If two people marry who are right for each other, end out getting divorced (I believe this does happen),  and then eventually remarry other people, what does that mean? Of course, according to them, this means that God must be forced by human sin to go with plan B! Danger Will Robinson! Danger! Blasphemy alert! As they went along with their article the tone seemed to get more and more angry (or maybe it was just righteous indignation?). God never goes with “plan B” but always with “plan A” so they say, therefore the existence of divorce means that right-man, right-woman cannot be true! There seemed to be a lot more emotion than clear eyed logic going on.

I am going to make two short responses to this. First of all, what about King David? He was a believer and a man after God’s own heart but when he made mistakes they were whoppers. He had multiple wives and even more concubines. When he finally found the love of his life he forced himself upon her, got her pregnant, and murdered her husband to cover this up. Okay, did God decree that King David should do this? Is this God’s “plan A?” I trust that this is a rhetorical question.

The other response that I want to make is that if God’s plan for us is that we glorify Him (and it is) then we can use our free will to sin and God will be glorified in spite of us. Our sin does not glorify Him but His response towards us does. God is glorified by His acts of justice, love, longsuffering, and grace that He shows toward all of us sinners (both the believer and unbeliever). We can use our free will, make mistakes, and not have to have God decree in eternity past every piece of sin and evil we commit. Calvinists accidentally impugn God’s character when they say things like this. We do pay a price in suffering but responsibility comes with free will.

Here is the next section of Pastor Dano’s study of the Ten Commandments:

THE INFLUENCE OF THE DECALOGUE.

The United States of America was founded upon these principles, and although they are under severe attack in our country today, our history is a testimony of God’s gracious provision. We have not only been successful as a nation, but our national entity has had a tremendous impact on history. The reason can be attributed to the fact that in the past this nation has adhered to the principles found in the Ten Commandments. In the function of a nation there are certain principles that must be followed and carefully guarded, for they are absolutely necessary for the establishment and survival of our freedom.

Here is a list of some of the ways in which the Ten Commandments have had a great influence upon our national entity:

THE CONCEPT OF PRIVACY AND PRIVATE PROPERTY.

Both of these are mentioned in specifics in the DECALOGUE and are protected by the Divine law declared in the Ten Commandments. Any attempt to invade the privacy of the individual or the property of the individual is destructive to freedom and to the proper function of a national entity.

Today we are experiencing a tragic breakdown in law, therefore, the protection of privacy and property is being eroded and the law is being subverted to promote socialism. The very essence of socialism is an invasion of privacy and property. Socialism, when carried to the extreme, results in the type of government which exists only in Communist countries. It is anti-God, anti-Christian, and anti-biblical.

You can immediately see that when a nation promotes anti-Divine principles and makes those principles a part of its legislative laws, then socialism becomes the law of the land. Socialism not only destroys freedom in a nation, it eventually destroys the national entity itself, for it is international in its scope and denies the principle of nationalism as designed by God. The Word of God, the Bible, the mind of Christ, sanctions the concept of national entities for the preservation of the whole human race.

THE CONCEPT OF RIGHT-MAN, RIGHT-WOMAN.

Divine Institution numbers two and three, marriage and family, are protected by the principles of the DECALOGUE. Both of these institutions were designed by God for the protection of the Right-Man, Right-Woman relationship and for the instruction and protection of the children resulting from that relationship.

THE CONCEPT OF THE MILITARY.

One of the great objectives of the Mosaic Law is to provide a stabilized population of young men who are willing to defend not only their Right-Woman, but every Right-Woman for every Right-Man in our nation. A STRONG MILITARY IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE FREEDOM OF A NATION. The Ten Commandments provide a phenomenal basis for establishing a stabilized military organization made up of men who have an understanding of the basic concepts of authority that make military teamwork a success.

Men who have the moral courage to go out and vigorously defeat and neutralize the enemy to the point of unconditional surrender, annihilation, or both. There are some who think they know something about the Ten Commandments and say, ‘‘Well, the Bible says ’Thou shalt not kill,’’’ Exodus 20:13. But we shall see in our study of the sixth commandment the word for ‘‘kill’’ should be translated ‘‘murder,’’ ‘‘Thou shalt not murder.’’ Therefore it has nothing to do with military life at all. To kill the enemy as a military representative of your country is not only compatible with the plan of God, but is commanded and should be done as ‘‘unto the Lord.’’

There is no biblical support for the position that some take of a ‘‘conscientious object.’’ There is no biblical support for a born again believer to stay out of the military service.

It is true that our military is under attack today, and they are not what they used to be. This situation could be drastically changed if the military were made up of a preponderance of believers with the Word of God, or even unbelievers with the principles of the four Divine Institutions in their minds. Remember, the principles contained in the Ten Commandments are for both the believer and the unbeliever. The biblical principle in fighting a war calls for the defeat of the enemy. And that entails killing and neutralizing the enemy. Now this is the Word of God, the mind of Christ, and you never stop wars by playing games with the enemy. You stop wars by killing the enemy. The best illustration of that is the Second Advent of Jesus Christ.

Fighting in the military is the basic system of preserving freedom in the devil’s world. In spite of man’s efforts for peace, there will be warfare until the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. Matthew 24:6, ‘‘And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.’’ Mark 13:7, ‘‘And when ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.’’ Luke 21:9, ‘‘But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.’’

‘‘There will be wars and rumors of wars until I return.’’ You cannot stop wars by being a peacenik. You cannot stop wars by disarmament. The only way to stop war is to be ready for war, and adequate preparation demands a strong military. The Jews in the Old Testament had the greatest military record of any national entity of the ancient world, with the possible exception of the Assyrians. In fact, it was the Lord Jesus Christ, who is called the ‘‘Lord of Hosts,’’ the Commander of the Armies, who gave the orders for the Jewish army to fight and defeat, and in some instances, to annihilate the enemy. It was through the principles which the God of Israel gave to Moses that the Jews developed that phenomenal character which is so necessary to be successful militarily. A man must have a lot of character to fight and die for his country and to do it right. Such character is built upon the principles of freedom found in the Ten Commandments. This is not to say that a lot of immoral things do not happen in war, they do. However, killing the enemy is not one of them.

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6 Comments on “The Influence of the Ten Commandments”

  1. heavenbound Says:

    I grew up with the 10 commandments in my elementary school and we said the lords prayer also. What a mistake that was. Well, I guess you can say it followed the traditions of men. It really had no reality for me as a 10 year old. As I grew up I now know the the law was nailed to the cross. That the law was established for sin to be recognized and of course Christ eliminated it. I than God everyday that I no longer live under law but grace. As far as the founding fathers, of this country well they had slaves and fathered literally a nation, didn’t they. The right to bare arms keeps this country strong. The need for a strong military is to protect our boarders from invading hoards. I guess our nuclear arsenal kind of helps that out. When we have 2 great oceans that protect our boarders, do we need that strong of a military. I am a strong believer in civil and individual liberties. Freedom of self, respect for others….

  2. Glenn Says:

    Heavenbound,

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion on this. I offer this study for your consideration and hope that it will make you think a bit.

    While a strong military is important, and quite biblical, it is not the only piece of protection a nation needs. If God abandons a nation then there is no human weapon that can save it.

    4 Through your own fault you will lose
    the inheritance I gave you.
    I will enslave you to your enemies
    in a land you do not know,
    for you have kindled my anger,
    and it will burn forever.”

    5 This is what the LORD says:
    “Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
    who depends on flesh for his strength
    and whose heart turns away from the LORD.

    Jeremiah 17:4-5

  3. heavenbound Says:

    Let me suggest to you that I have a solid foundation of support from my point of view. I suggest you might find enlightened reading from these following gentlemen.
    Sir Robert Anderson, John Nelson Darby, Clarence Larkin, C.R. Stam. Some of which i have books in my library and another outstanding book that I have also is the complete works of Josephus. A contemporary of some of the apostles during the time of Christ. Amazing reading……….

  4. Shane Says:

    Glen,

    There is a passage in the NT which goes along the lines of, “she can be married to whoever she wills, but only in the Lord” (after the death? of her previous husband).
    To me, there is no idea of Thieme’s “right-man” teaching in this text itself.
    What are your thoughts about this text?

    Secondly, if one has adopted this teaching of Thieme in their mind and become married to the one they believe is “right” for them, how firm should their marriage commitments be? (aside from reasons for separation in the NT).

    I ask this because the late Thieme Jr was celebrant to his son at all three of his marriages (which all ended in divorce).

    We can’t know the mind of Thieme Jr. during these times, but I can’t understand how he could have championed this teaching while at the same time being celebrant for his son three times.

    I don’t think it would be a stretch for persons outside of Thieme’s environment to see this act as ‘burning’ through marriage (3) partners until you find your “right” partner.

  5. Glenn Says:

    Shane,

    Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I would agree that Exodus 20:1-17 does not develop the concept of right-man/right-woman. What Pastor Dano is claiming is that the Decalogue (the Ten Commandments) is designed to protect the four divine institutions:

    1. Volition
    2. Marriage
    3. Family
    4. Nation

    The doctrines relating to these institutions are developed elsewhere throughout scripture. Of course if marriage is being protected by the Decalogue then it is legitimate for Pastor Dano to bring this into his discussion of the text. As I mentioned in my preface, Pastor Dano does provide some more material on the topic of right-man/right-woman at his site (link here).

    As to your second question regarding how firm a person’s commitments should be to their spouse if they believe them to be their right-man or right-woman, the issue of right-man/right-woman has no bearing on whether that person can biblically get a divorce. As far as the bible is concerned if you marry the wrong person you are “stuck” with them. God provides for us in spite of our mistakes whether those be a particular sin or marrying someone other than the one who is “right” for you. Two wrongs never make a right.

    As far as I know Bobby Thieme (R.B. Thieme, III) has been married and divorced two times. I do not know any details of his failed marriages and I plan on keeping it that way. However, you should know that Colonel Thieme also taught that there are circumstances under which divorce with the right of remarriage is allowed by the scriptures. Robert Dean, Jr. (one of Colonel Thieme’s students) has a good short write-up on marriage (link here). In this document he provides a short discussion of the biblical conditions which allow for remarriage:

    Adultery, that is unfaithfulness to the marriage contract, Matt 5:32, 19:9, not simply an act of sexual infidelity.

    Desertion: 1 Cor. 7:15, remember a person can desert a marriage mentally or emotionally.

    Divorce gimmick, one person can so emotionally badger or manipulate the other that they end up initiating the divorce, and the other person looks like the innocent party.

    Physical abuse, protection, child abuse, sexual abuse, drug abuse, financial abuse.

    If you remarry a divorced person and either of you or both of you do not have a biblical cause for the previous divorce then the law of the status quo comes in plus confession and forgiveness. Confess it, move on, God forgives and the issue is behind you.

    Since I don’t know why Bobby got divorced I do not have first hand knowledge of whether he had the right to remarry (and I’ll bet you don’t either). I will say that I really doubt that Colonel Thieme would be such a transparent hypocrite as to perform the marriage ceremony in direct contradiction to what he had been teaching his entire life.

    In closing you said:

    I don’t think it would be a stretch for persons outside of Thieme’s environment to see this act as ‘burning’ through marriage (3) partners until you find your “right” partner.

    Even if you have inside knowledge of Bobby’s motivations (and you don’t) that is just a cheap shot. Don’t do it again.

    Glenn

  6. Shane Says:

    Glenn,

    You are correct in observing that we don’t (and it is none of our business) know the motives of persons.

    Marriage records can be found online through the Harris County records, showing three marriages and the late Thieme Jr. as celebrant at each.

    I was hoping not to make a cheap shot in my argument. Still, I believe that this point should be considered carefully, as you yourself may perhaps know of the greater history of how this teaching played out within Berachah over the years.

    A final point here. The right-man right-woman booklet is not being promoted anymore.

    Thanks for the discussion.


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