The “political” or “civil use” of the Decalogue often gets little or no attention these days. But every polis needs a legal code that will shape the way people live in relation to one another; and the ten commandments have an inexorably social dimension. Yahweh gave the Ten Words to an amorphous Israel gathered at the foot of Mt. Sinai. It was to be the charter for their new culture, foundational words that would mold and shape them into a peaceful, productive society. The Decalogue is not given simply to guide individuals in their religious, private piety. They are about how the community is called to live together in marriages, families, cities, and larger communities
Read the rest: Jeff Meyers: Usus Politicus.
Jeff Meyers is the Senior Pastor of Providence Reformed Presbyterians Church (PCA).