Separation of Church and State

Separation of Church and State

There are some who promote the concept of separation of church and state. It refers to the distance between the church and the state. It refers to the relationship between church and state. The degree of separation and the length of the distance varies among governments, nations, states, and other entities. Also, note that the phrase separation of church and state is not found in the US Constitution. Moreover, one should consider to what extent the separation of church and state refer to organized religion or individual religion or both?

Those who promote separation of church and state seemingly derive the concept from the First Amendment phrases regarding religion and the no religious test phrase of Article VI.

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The concept of separation of church and state allows citizens to establish, recognize, and/or favor one religion over another. At the same time it prevents the government from establishing or officially recognizing a religion and/or favoring one religion over another in its laws.

Let’s say that the founders of the nation intended there to be a separation of church and state. But the fact that this amendment was added 2 years after the initial Constitution shows that the founders were imperfect men and could have made a mistake in either intending there to be a separation or not clarifying that no separation is intended. Moreover, the fact that there are 27 Amendments to the Constitution shows that it is not a perfect document. Indeed, the founders of the nation recognized their own fallibility and the documents imperfection. So then they included in the base Constitution a provision for amendments to be made over time.

Let’s say that the word church in separation of church and state refers to the presence of a particular organized religion or a particular church denomination or a specific community of faith to the exclusion of others. That is to say it does not refer to the influence of religion on the state. In particular, that is to say it does not refer to the influence of the universal church on the state. Indeed, the universal church consists of people not buildings or things or particular rituals. It is best viewed as a universe of people with equal religious value. So then since the government consists of people, it is unreasonable to conclude that those people could avoid applying their religious values or the lack thereof to their governmental work and work products such as policies, laws, etc. Reasonable religious liberty accommodation recognizes this unreasonableness.

So then the Christian should ask what should the Constitution provide for considering what God says? What the Constitution provides for or what men interpret it to provide for should not be the standard for the Christian.

Moreover, Christians should recognize there are non-Christians who actively seek to devalue Christianity and oppose its presence and influence in our nation and the world. Let the Christian not be deceived by such people so as to support them in their efforts. For Jesus says our love for God should have priority over our love for self and others (Matthew 22:34-40). Jesus also says “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” (Matthew 12:30)

Christians should be mindful that God through Moses established an earthly nation under the Old Covenant. This includes David as King and prophet. Yet, we should also be mindful that the Old Covenant was a teaching tool and not all of its prescriptions are binding under the New Covenant.

Jesus did not come to establish an earthly kingdom under the New Covenant. Instead, he established a kingdom that transcends nations and that transcend space and time. Under the New Covenant humanity has much more liberty than under the Old Covenant. Yet, that liberty is not to be used for evil.

Let the Christian prayer be as that of the disciples in Acts 4:24-32 where it says:

24And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 25Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. 29And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. 31And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. 32And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.”

Let not our leaders (President, Congress, Governors, Supreme Court, Judges, etc.) be like those kings, rulers, Herod, and Pilate. Let not the citizens of our nation be like those Gentiles and People of Israel. Let none be gathered against the Lord and Jesus Christ. Even if the heathen (unbeliever) does that which God has foreordained for unbelievers to do, let not the Christian believer do or support the unbeliever in so doing. Instead, let us speak the word of God with boldness and without apology.

To God Be the Glory!

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