Symbols and Substance in the Ten Commandments Incident
"Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. 33"But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.…" Jeremiah 33Does this at least mean that the ACLU won't be suing the state now? Less than 24 hours after a privately-funded ten commandments monument was placed on the grounds of the state capitol 32-year old Micheal Reed drove into the monument and destroyed it. Reed has a history of mental illness. He destroyed a similar monument in Oklahoma.
Symbols are important. At their best, they are used to re-enforce good things from our past and from our culture which are in fact present in ourselves. At their worst, they are used as substitutes for the substance which they represent- an external fig leaf to cover for the fact that the reality of the symbol is not present in our souls.
The symbols are only good when they are a representation of what is already within us. In Arkansas, we have a legislature with people who outwardly make a big show of supporting the symbol of the ten commandments monument, but are drastically short on the actual substance of the commandments in their actions.
For example, the commandments say "thou shalt not lie" and "thou shalt not steal." The commandments are good. But the legislature has insisted on maintaining Obamacare, which steals from today's children through generational looting. Further, they have resorted to numerous deceptions since 2013 to pretend that its not Obamacare. Those deceptions are not fooling anyone who is paying attention anymore, but still they have tried and its been going on for years. Most of them either participated in the dishonesty or went along with it as a "team player." I do not exclude Senator Jason Rappert from that group.
Every session those connected to the government get more and more while expanding debt and increased tax revenues are demanded from the rest of us with private means in order to pay for it. When government has been operating like this then having a big monument gathering dust on the grounds is an empty symbol. It does not reflect what they actually respect and the way they actually operate. It is just an excuse to tell themselves they are still good people because they want to publicly flourish the symbols of righteousness while letting the substance of it whither in their hearts. I consider this a very dangerous spiritual condition.
What I suggest is the long prescribed antidote to sin - repentance. I want to put the ten commandments back in our hearts more prominently and not worry so much if there is a symbol representing them out on the capitol grounds. Instead of pointing to a rock on the capitol grounds as evidence that the Ten Commandments still mean something to us, we should point to our lives and our work and our votes. That we neither lie nor steal nor use the law as a cover for unrighteousness. Let them be written on our hearts and it will not matter if there is a monument for some insane person to destroy. There will be no symbol for the ACLU to sharpen its ax for. But righteousness and peace will flourish.