Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Church and State
One of the biggest myths circulating in our country and our culture is that there is a Constitutional basis for the “separation of church and state”. Anytime something even remotely spiritual is associated with government these days, a huge cry goes up declaring the action illegal due to the separation of church and state. Lawsuits have become increasingly common as atheist activists attempt to rid our country of its religious heritage.
One of the irritating components of this issue is that the words “separation of church and state” do not appear in any of our nation’s founding documents. They do not appear in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or any other document. How, then, did this phrase become a rallying cry for the unbeliever?
First, one should examine the intent of the Founding Fathers. The first amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the exercise thereof….” The framers did not want Congress to establish a mandatory religion for everyone. This precluded the English system, which forced everyone to belong to the Church of England. However, they intended religion to be part of the government, as the vast majority of the framing committee was composed of Christian men. This is why they inserted the words “or prohibiting the exercise thereof.” This, they realized, would be the basis of a normal government.
Our Founding Fathers may also have been following God’s model for the Biblical nation of Israel, where He imposed a type “separation of powers”, not unlike what we have in our government. In early Israel, no man could be both leader and priest. The Levites were designated as the religious leaders and forbidden to lead. Kings, judges, and other leaders came from the remaining tribes. God knew sinful man should not be entrusted with such wide-ranging powers. Only Melchizedek and God’s own Son were ever able to be both priest and King. Yet the separation of powers did not mean Israel should abandon religion in their government. It was normal for them to have their faith as an integral part of their government, as it should be for us.
How, then, did the concept of church and state separation arise? In 1802, a rumor arose that a group called the Congregationalists were about to become a national religion. In response to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut, Thomas Jefferson, not a supporter of Christianity, wrote them. He quoted the first amendment then adding “thus building a wall of separation between church and state”. The “wall” was intended to keep government out of our religious lives, yet allow our religious lives into the government. This phrase has been perverted and taken out of context to the point that it is being used in exactly the opposite way as the framers of the Constitution intended. It is so familiar that most people think it is in our founding documents.
This phrase was used in 1961 when the Supreme Court ruled (Engel v. Vitale) that prayer must be removed from schools. Now our faith is under attack for displaying the Ten Commandments in government buildings, opening government session in prayer, for displaying nativity scenes on public property, even for license plates that reference John 3:16. Things that were once considered normal and good are now being denounced as unconstitutional and offensive.
Satan perverted God’s Word when he tempted Jesus in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11). He is no doubt behind the perversion of the phrase “separation of church and state” as well as his followers today who endeavor to remove all references to Christianity. They crave freedom from religion, which they think will set them free. Christianity is what gave us freedom in this country, and ultimately is the only way to achieve freedom (John 8:32).
Darrell Scott, father of Rachel Scott who was murdered at Columbine for declaring her faith in God, speaks around the country. He reminds audiences that one woman, Madolyn Murray O’Hare, was responsible for getting prayer out of schools. He is committed to seeing if one man can reverse the law that overrides our tradition and first amendment rights. We need to pray for him and others who are working actively to reinstate our religious heritage in government as well as society.
So-called “separation of church and state” is eroding our society and its fundamental moral values. The Founding Fathers knew this would happen if we abandoned our faith. John Adams said it well when he stated:
“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
May God have mercy on America as non-Christians work to remove Him, His morals, and His righteousness from our land. When His hand of protection is withdrawn, we will suffer the consequences.
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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