An Introduction to the Ten Commandments
Buddy Dano was assistant pastor at Berachah Church (R.B. Thieme, Jr.’s church) at one time. I was too young to remember the exact dates but I am fairly sure that his time at Berachah began in the 1960s and ended sometime in the 1970s. The men that studied under Colonel Thieme have always had a wonderful orientation toward freedom that is very unusual in this “stick your nose in everybody’s business” day and age.
This freedom orientation comes through very strongly in Buddy Dano’s study of the Ten Commandments. Pastor Dano passed away in 2003 but his teachings are still available at the Divine Viewpoint Bible Studies website. I will regularly visit the site and sift through the materials that are available. I have known about Pastor Dano’s study of the Ten Commandments (FOR THE LAND OF THE FREE: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF FREEDOM) for quite some time and have wanted to make a series of posts around them even before I started this blog. I have decided that I am going to reprint the entire study one piece at a time with each post having an introduction written by me. My guess is that this will require about twenty easily digestible installments but that estimate could be a bit on the low side.
The first installment is Pastor Dano’s introduction to the Ten Commandments. He makes clear that the principles contained in the Ten Commandments are for all people, believer and unbeliever alike. The Ten Commandments, when followed, make for a stable society where it is possible to disseminate the Gospel. The people will then be free to accept or reject that Gospel as they see fit. I know that is will be considered to be “unorthodox” if not just plain heretical but the Ten Commandments were never intended to be the Christian way of life! To have a nation’s laws reflect these principles is not to become an “oh so scary theocracy” but is actually an act of national self preservation.
Now, for Pastor Dano’s introduction:
Today it is obvious to every one of us that the United States of America is facing utter destruction. The spiritual, moral and social lives of our country are in a state of disintegration. The cause of the national disintegration and the solution for the recovery of our country are clearly stated for us graciously in the Word of God. In fact, they are closely related to a subject which many people are familiar with and about which very few know even a little. The ‘‘DECALOGUE,’’ or ‘‘Ten Commandments,’’ are found in Exodus 20:1-17.
Some times young people find themselves in a position where they are required to memorize the Ten Commandments, and sometimes they are even rewarded with a gold star in Sunday School class for this great achievement. But on the other hand, there are those in our country who have never been in a Sunday School room, and never have attended a church of their choice, and never intend to, and they may not even have a Bible in their possession, but they are still, oddly enough, knowledgeable regarding the Ten Commandments.
It is amazing that people can occasionally quote almost verbatim something that is found in this passage, even though they have never ever looked it up in the Bible in Exodus 20. Therefore, generally speaking in our country today, there is some understanding of, or at least some familiarity with the ‘‘DECALOGUE.’’
Now for many people the last five commandments are about the only system of morality known, and these principles are lodged in their minds as part of their conscience, their norms and standards. But what is generally not understood is that all ten of the Commandments are a summary of God’s principles pertaining to our precious freedom here in this country. Each of these commandments is backed up by a series of Divine laws which were given for the protection and the happiness of both the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, and those who are not believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, it is for the whole human race.
Now, even though the Mosaic Law is not our MODUS OPERANDI today, the commandments have always applied to the human race in general. The DECALOGUE summarizes a system of ‘‘spiritual maturity,’’ not one or the other, but a combination of both.
The first five commandments declare the principles of spirituality, or the possibility of relationship with God. The last five apply to man’s responsibility toward his fellow man. This is also found in Romans 13:8-11.
Now to the Jews of the generation of Moses, to whom the Law was given, these things were pertinent because their’s was a generation of believers. Now to subsequent generations, the commandments have become principles of morality without the concept of a relationship with God. However, the Ten Commandments are not a set of specific detailed laws, but are the principles God has set forth for the protection of life, the protection of liberty, and the protection of property within a national entity. When a nation operates under these laws, under these Divine norms and standards, the result is individual freedom and happiness and national stability and prosperity.
No group of people can survive as a national entity without a basic system of spirituality- morality, and where these commandments and the principles found in them are violated by a maximum number of people, that nation will be destroyed. Good-bye United States of America.
The dispersion of the Nation of Judah in 586 B.C. was the result of this very principle. For 40 years prior to their fall, the prophet Jeremiah continually warned the people of the consequences of a negative attitude towards the Word of God. Jeremiah 11 tells us that he taught the Word of God every day, but the people were negative to his teaching and their rejection of God’s provision for the protection of their freedom led to their personal and national destruction. The people became so saturated with degeneracy that they destroyed their own souls and finally their whole nation.
Freedom in our nation is being destroyed today because the principles of spirituality-morality are being subverted by our enemies and rejected by our citizenry in general. This is a part of the satanic attack on a nation involved in a great missionary activity for the Lord. Satan knows, even if a great many believers do not know, that there must be freedom if the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, for the salvation of mankind, is to be proclaimed and the Word of God is to be communicated. A national entity under God’s principles is always the object of satanic attack.
As in Jeremiah’s days, Jeremiah 11:9 ‘‘And the Lord said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem,’’ so in our day, the satanic attack is manifested through a conspiracy, the Communist conspiracy, which is dedicated to the total destruction of individual freedom and national sovereignty. Yet, God, in His matchless GRACE, always continues to warn of such disaster right up to the fifth cycle of discipline, which is by means of military defeat and dispersion, found in Leviticus 26.
God did so in Judah’s day during the ministry of Jeremiah, and He is doing so in our day in the United States of America. No conspiracy can ever succeed unless the people of a nation first go negative to the Word of God and specifically the principles laid down by God, for human freedom can be established and preserved only when the nation follows the Lord’s principles.