On June 13, 1966, the Supreme Court issued its landmark Miranda vs. Arizona decision, ruling that criminal suspects must be informed of their constitutional rights prior to questioning by police. 

That’s right, for the last 50 years, every time someone got arrested on TV you heard those Miranda Rights that begin with “You have the right to remain silent. If you give up that right, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law…”

Our rights are very important to us in the USA. We exercise our right to vote. We protect our right to keep and bear arms. We definitely prefer rights over rules. Maybe this is true of citizens of other countries as well. 

When I read about the anniversary of the Miranda vs. Arizona decision, and started thinking about rights vs. rules, I had this thought: What if the 10 Commandments were expressed as rights rather than rules? It isn’t a stretch at all. The 10 Commandments actually provide those who follow them with an awesome set of rights and privileges. They are the rules that offer us a good and happy life and an eternal future. 

Maybe we in the USA would be more comfortable with them if we looked at the rights that the 10 Commandments offer to those who follow them, and frankly to those around us who will also benefit from us following them.

So, here is my take on the 10 Christian Rights (from Exodus 20:2-18):

  • You have the right to a personal, intimate relationship with the one, true God.
  • You have the right to know the God who is too large to be imagined as an image created by human hands and to, thereby, have thousands of your progeny blessed.
  • You have a right to reverently use the personal name of that one, true God.
  • You have a right to the day of rest, a whole 24 hours of it. One day to put aside the pressures of life, commune with the one, true God, fellowship with other believers, nourish your soul as well as your body. What’s more, your employees and animals are extended that right as well.
  • You have a right to a loving, respectful, nurturing relationship with your parents and your children and to a life that is as happy as it is long.
  • You have a right to life and so does everyone around you.
  • You have the right to a happy, secure, respectful, loving marriage. 
  • You have a right to keep the things that belong to you and so does your neighbor.
  • You have a right to hear and speak the truth, especially in serious situations and to the trust that this builds.
  • You have a right to be satisfied with what you have, satisfied with your home, your car, your mate and everything that belongs to you. 

Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that he offered us this bill of rights, more awesome than any right this nation offers us. He offers us not only the 10 rights of the 10 Commandments, He also offers us salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our Lord. And just because God says so, we have the right to step up and accept that salvation and eternal life in His Kingdom. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts too. You can write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org

About this N.E.W. Church Lady – She is just an average middle aged woman who has been a believer and church attender all her life. She is married with three grown children. She lives in a small town and works in sales. Her hobbies are fitness, reading, cooking, writing and travel.