News Articles

Ten Commandments make headway to kids’ homes & classrooms

FRANKFORT, Ky. (BP)–While leaders nationally debate displaying the Ten Commandments in public buildings, some Baptists have undertaken a more personalized approach.
Framed copies of the Ten Commandments are being distributed by various members of Crestwood Baptist Church, Frankfort, Ky., to children in the church and elsewhere in the community.

Based on reporting by David Winfrey, Marv Knox and Art Toalston.
The project started two years ago after a Sunday school class discussion uncovered no one in the class displayed the Ten Commandments in their home, recounted John Shoemaker, director of one of Crestwood’s adult Sunday school departments.
“We’d love to see it in our public institutions, but we felt like the basic responsibility is in our homes,” Shoemaker said.
“The Ten Commandments are really the basis of Western civilization. It’s the cornerstone of the Judeo-Christian faith. Our judicial system is based on the Ten Commandments, and yet it’s been ignored,” he said.
Meanwhile, a 29-year-old Texas layman is spearheading a project to distribute specially designed book covers to students carrying the Ten Commandments.
Constitutional restrictions may prevent public schools from posting the Ten Commandments, acknowledged William Rasmussen, who attends Calvary Baptist Church, Pampa, Texas. But that doesn’t mean students can’t carry them in on the covers of their books, he said.
“God has put on our hearts to help our kids out,” Rasmussen said. “We’re tired of the same problems in the public schools that have been going on for quite a while. The best way to establish moral values in our children is to expose them to the Ten Commandments, which God gave to Moses.”
There’s even a bit of spiritual math involved in Rasmussen’s undertaking: If the Ten Commandments could be posted in classrooms, they would show up — at most — one time per room, Rasmussen’s pastor, Lyndon Glaesman, said. But with book covers, the Ten Commandments will be multiplied: “Instead of one time per room, they could be carried 25 to 30 times in the classrooms,” Glaesman said. “It’s a great idea. I believe this is in the mind of God.”
Rasmussen’s family has printed 2,000 prototype covers, and a number of related T-shirts. Plans call for local congregations to print the covers and/or T-shirts for their students, he said, unless a larger sponsor underwrites mass publication of the covers.
In Frankfort, the framed Ten Commandments are produced on parchment-style paper with the help of computer technology.
Copies of the Decalogue have been printed for every child in Crestwood, each personalized with “Words to life by for” and the child’s name at the top, Shoemaker said. John 3:16 is printed at the bottom. With financial help from various Sunday school members and others, every copy has been framed.
The effort gained a tremendous response, Shoemaker added. “You should see the children beam,” he said. “We had a lot of requests from people in the church who had friends elsewhere.”
Shoemaker said he hopes children will internalize the commandments by seeing them daily.

“As those kids see it over the years, it’s got to imprint on their minds,” said Shoemaker, a former educator.
Anyone interested in duplicating the project can call Shoemaker in Kentucky at (502) 695-2925. Rasmussen’s telephone number in Texas is (806) 665-3747.

Based on reporting by David Winfrey, Marv Knox and Art Toalston.

    About the Author

  • (BP)