Politics and the Church – Building a Free Nation [Part 28]

Today, “separation of church and state” is believed to be a direct quote from the First Amendment.  In fact, it is a rather obscure phrase from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson on January 1, 1802, in response to a letter from the Danbury Baptist Association, Danbury, Connecticut.  In their letter to Jefferson, they expressed their concern for a rumor being circulated that a particular denomination was about to be recognized as the national denomination.  Jefferson calmed their fears by writing:

“I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between Church and state.”  

Jefferson was writing a personal letter to a group of concerned Baptists, assuring them America was not about to have a ‘Church of the United States’, patterned after the ‘Church of England’.  Ironically, those whose purpose has been to protect our children from the God they deny exists, have resorted to extracting nine words from a private correspondence to validate their views, which is foreign to the Constitution’s original intent.  They were written by a man who was in France, serving as the US Minister to France, throughout the time of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and the drafting of the Bill of Rights in 1789.  They had to bypass all of the participants in the Constitutional Convention, and every member of Congress who authorized the First Amendment, to find someone who had written a letter from which they could extract favorable language to make their case.  These facts are a moral outrage to our nation, and the resulting moral morass, apart from God’s intervention, is irreversible.  But people of faith must remember you never lose until you quit.  This is a time…‘to stand up, speak up, and refuse to give up.’

     From this we can be reminded of Nehemiah.In the fourth chapter of the book of Nehemiah we are told: “So we rebuilt the wall ’til all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart” (Nehemiah 4:6).  But it goes on to say, “So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn ’til the stars came out” (Nehemiah 4:21).  This is the kind of dedication we must have if we are going to see the United States restored to the great nation she was designed to be by our gracious God. We must be willing to work, and we must be ready to engage the enemy, not with swords and spears, but rather with truth and ideas that are based on the Word of God.  We must stand up, speak up, and refuse to give up!

     Still, some may ask…should Christians be politically active?  I believe that to do less is a sin against our gracious God.  This nation was designed to be governed”…of the people, by the people and for the people.”  We were ordained to be “One nation, under God.” Our coinage is stamped, “In God we Trust,” not believe…Trust. Our founding fathers wrote into our “Declaration of Independence” their conviction that we were “endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable right, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  Now consider the fallacy of using the logic of some that believe mentioning God in a public place is constitutionally prohibited, and that our courts could declare our own Declaration of Independence to be unconstitutional.  After all, it does declare that we are a ‘created’ people empowered by our ‘creator’ with certain rights.

     Christianity is unique among all religions.  In every other religious tradition, man is on a quest to find God and win His approval.  Christianity is the story of God coming down to man through the person of His own Son, Jesus Christ.  Instead of man seeking God, God was seeking man.  Christianity recognizes what our human hearts tell us…we are sinful.  But unlike every other major religion which teaches that man must do something to atone for his sin, Christianity teaches that all that is necessary has already been done at Calvary, when Jesus died for our sins.  The Bible says,” For God made Him (Jesus) who had never sinned to become sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Man cannot earn forgiveness, for the Scripture reveals that forgiveness of sin, and ultimately our peace in heaven, are both free gifts which can only be received as we willfully acknowledge our sin.  Scripture is clear: “For by grace (God’s unmerited favor) are you saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).  If a person could do something to merit eternal life, heaven would be just like earth…full of egomaniacs strutting around bragging about all they did to earn their mansion. Instead, heaven will be full of grateful people all acknowledging that they are there because of the gracious and undeserved love of Jesus Christ, demonstrated by His death for their sins on the cross of Calvary, and secured forever through His miraculous resurrection.  It ‘boils down’ to a final analysis, that Christianity is nothing more than ‘Christ-in-you-ity’ or ‘Christ-in-me-ity’.  Remember, some who profess Christ do not possess Christ.

     Today many of our politicians who make no pretense of knowing Christ, have created and manipulate a system that that was unashamedly built on Biblical principles and ideals.  True believers cannot simply check their Christianity at the door when they leave the church facility and never mention it again.  Christ lives inside of the true believer and is a vital part of everything that true believer does.  Our forefathers understood that central theme of Biblical Christianity and built a unique system of government that:

>   Recognized man’s fallen sin nature

>   Recognized that true Christianity empowered the people to rise above that nature by exercising self-restraint.

>   Provided for checks and balances in every human relationship because we live in an imperfect world where some who profess Christ do not possess Christ and others make no pretense of knowing Him at all.  

     Our forefathers created a system that was unashamedly built on Biblical principles and ideals.  For example, the concept of the three branches of government that would oversee one another through a system of checks and balances was birthed out of Isaiah 33:22 which states: For the Lord is our judge (Judicial branch), the Lord is our lawgiver (Legislative branch), the Lord is our King (Executive branch); He will save us.”

     When George Washington and his colleagues wrote about religion, it never occurred to them that later generations would interpret that to include non-Christian religions.  They used religion and denominations interchangeably.  Their writings make it clear they were speaking of Christian religions, and while they demanded a nation that would be tolerant of other belief systems, they never in their wildest dreams conceived of a country where through laws and judicial rulings, atheism would be preferred over Christianity.  In today’s America, God has been all but expunged from public life and the name of Jesus is not even tolerated in many quarters.  That makes mixing church and politics necessary and right.  The Church is not a building but a people.  The Church is composed of every person who has ever truly trusted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.  And when they made that commitment, Jesus became an inseparable part of their lives.

     The only way to separate the church from the state is to prevent Christians from participating, and you can rest assured that is the true agenda of the secularists in our society.  Next week we will start to take a look at an effort to remake the world society.  It is part of the efforts of a powerful economic group that on the surface sounds peaceful enough but in reality, is Satan driven.

-Bob Munsey

“Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy.  Don’t throw your pearls to pigs!  They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.”  Matthew 7:6

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