Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Separation of Church and State?

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”   Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Have you ever asked yourself whether you are too extreme for Jesus?  Or whether you should temper your talk as it relates to spiritual things?  Let’s be honest… there certainly have been those in the past and even those today who are “extreme for Jesus” and kill or murder in the name of God.  These people will use violence or coercion in sharing the message of the Bible and they reflect that they are more extreme for themselves than they are for Jesus.  These kinds of things are so far from His teaching it is amazing that they can’t see the inherent contradiction.  He came teaching that we should bless those who curse us and to do good to those who hate us (Matthew 5:44).  Jesus did not come physically forcing His message on people and neither should we. 

Nevertheless, Jesus was bold in proclaiming His message that all humanity must repent of their sins and place their trust in Him or else they would forfeit participating in His kingdom (John 14:6).  There certainly is a difference between force and being bold.  God commands us in Deuteronomy to constantly be consumed with His Word and message.  There should never be a time when we don’t seek to speak or live out His teachings.

If we are obedient Christians then it is impossible to separate our spiritual life from our political life and viewpoints.  One of the most controversial topics and phrases that have entered our everyday language is “the separation of church and state”.  It is common in our culture to say that our constitution promotes or “demands” a strict separation of church and state.  Others make the claim that our founding fathers were deists or agnostics at best and did not see any value in religion.  These thoughts and claims are extremely far from the truth.

John Jay, the first Supreme Court Justice of the U.S. and appointed by George Washington, wrote, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”

This is just one instance where we see that our founding fathers (John Jay helped write the Constitution) believed strongly in seeing Christians in politics.  They were faithful in following the command in Deuteronomy to keep the truths of God permeating all of their life, including politics and government.  It is true that our nation is no longer predominantly Christian and that there are many secular people who deny our Christian heritage.  Such people are constantly crying that there is a “separation of church and state.”  However, most of these people do not understand the origin of this phrase and what it means historically and contextually.  I am not sure who originated the phrase, “if you repeat a lie long enough, people will see it as true”, but in this case this adage has proven itself.  The phrase “separation of church and state” is not found in any official documents during the founding era of our country.  Instead, it is found in a private letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists of Connecticut.  In one of my classes in college I wrote a thesis paper on this topic that you will find it in the link below.  I prove in this paper that there is no such thing as the “separation of church and state” as thought of today in the founding of our country.  It is a complete contradiction and fabrication of what Jefferson originally wrote.  Nevertheless, we continue to pray for our country and trust that God is still on the throne as our country continually goes down the path of moral and spiritual decay.

Click for paper:
Separation of Church Thesis Paper


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