I believe in the separation of church and state as the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution describes it – and as it was intended by our nation’s founders. The entire principle can be boiled down to this idea: “The government does not have the right to tell churches what they CAN and CANNOT do.” The full text of the amendment reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
God-haters all over America have taken this seemingly clear statement on religious freedom to ban everything from prayer in schools, Scripture reading, Ten Commandments monuments, assault on the Pledge of Allegiance, and on and on and on. Just last week, I received a letter in the mail from Barry Lynn, Executive Director of the Americans United for Separation of Church & State, threatening me with potential legal action if I made my political views known regarding the upcoming Presidential election. The law is very interesting. As a Pastor, I am in violation of American law if I endorse, or SPEAK AGAINST a political candidate at any church function. Even if I preface the statement by saying it is my PERSONAL position and not necessarily the church’s position. When the Pastor speaks at any church gathering, the United States government considers him to be a spokesman for the church at large. And will prosecute the church for what the Pastor says.
When you hear this, you might be prone to say that this sounds much more like Soviet Russia, or Nazi Germany, or Fascist Italy in the 20th century. Yet, sadly, this unconstitutional law is vigorously enforced in 21st century America. (So much for the part about free speech!)
Or, perhaps you go in the other direction and are tempted to say that pastors should be concerned with spiritual/moral issues and leave political/governmental issues alone. Therein lies the greatest misconception on the issue of Church and State relations. Church and State CANNOT be separated because Spiritual and moral issues CAN NEVER be separated from the political and governmental entities that pass the laws. Though some erroneously say, “you cannot legislate morality” the fact is that ALL LAWS are an attempt to legislate morality. We have laws against murder because our society believes murder is immoral (unless it’s a baby in the womb then we mysteriously say it’s OK). We have laws against rape because we believe rape is immoral. We have laws against stealing because…..(you get the point).
Church and State cannot be separated because morality cannot be separated from the law. Any attempt to do so will either create churches that are secular and worthless….or laws that are immoral and dangerous. Both of these absurdities exist in our country today, espoused by liberal organizations and the Democrat party, they have pulled America further and further down the slippery slope to immorality, and the inevitable judgment of God. You see, GOD isn’t really intimidated by the ACLU. Their threats don’t scare Him. He’s not afraid of losing His tax-exempt status. God calls nations and people to follow Him and His ways. And when they arrogantly thumb their nose at Him, He continues to show them grace….until He decides enough is enough. And His judgment falls on the un-Godly.
We are currently studying the book of Jeremiah in our Wednesday night Bible Study, and the similarities between Old Testament Israel/Judah….and modern day America are shocking. Israel thought their greatest problems were political and military. So they made alliances with the world powers of their day Assyria and Egypt. They turned from Yahweh, the One True God with whom they had a covenantal relationship with…and they turned to pagan nations for protection. God offered them “fountains of living water”…but they rejected it for “broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:13) When pagan kings ordered them to desecrate the Temple they willingly obliged. When pagan nations worshipped idols, Yahweh’s people joined in. Israel took money from the Temple treasury and gave it to pagan kings as a gift. They thought they were appeasing the powerful….but in reality, they were mocking the ALL-POWERFUL. God makes it very clear, through the prophet Jeremiah, that though they were offered blessings -- they chose worldliness -- and they would receive Divine judgment. The same is true of America today.
Morality cannot be separated from Law. Christians cannot be banned from the Political process. And Church CANNOT be separated from State….NOR SHOULD IT BE! When you eliminate the true Church, redeemed by Christ, from matters of State, you remove the influence of the One True God from the laws of the people. And Divine Judgment always follows. The First Amendment is supposed to protect, rather than silence, churches.
This year, our Presidential election is the most dangerous we’ve seen in our lifetime. Barack Hussein Obama has no interest in hearing what the Bible says about morality, in fact he openly mocks it. Obama favors Hate Speech legislation that silences those who speak out on moral issues such as homosexuality. Obama embraces homosexuality as a “civil right” and will ultimately push for gay marriage. Obama opposed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, and was the only Senator to actually give a speech opposing this bill which would have outlawed the murder of newborn children who survived a botched abortion. Obama favors re-instituting the “Fairness Doctrine” which requires radio stations to have as many liberal shows as conservative. Should the government have the right to monitor political and religious speech in a free society? No. But Obama doesn’t favor a free society. He favors a far, left-leaning dictatorship where the Government is God…and He serves as King. Don’t let the smooth speeches and pretty smile fool you. His record speaks loud and clear…and he has surrounded himself with some very vicious people. Yet, like sheep to the slaughter, the masses go after Obama. Not realizing the danger of what they’re doing.
America’s greatest problems ARE NOT Economic. Nor are they Military. Nor are they Educational. Nor are they Health Care related. America’s greatest problems are Spiritual and Moral. America has repeatedly thumbed its nose at God and mocked Jesus Christ and the slide to judgment has picked up steam in the last several years. A booming economy does no good, when it exists in a nation full of people who are slaves to the government…and are told to look to it for their survival. God, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, warned the nation of Judah: “Your own wickedness will correct you, and your rebellions will rebuke you….For you forsake the LORD your God, and the fear of me is not in you…. And you will be put to shame…” (Jeremiah 2:19, 36)
I don’t know exactly how God might choose to judge America. But an Obama presidency could certainly bring much of it about. I speak now, because I still can. Obama, and others like him who may very soon be in power, will seek to silence the voice of opposition. In the style of a dictator, all dissenters will be “tarred and feathered” and laws passed in the name of fighting “hate” will only serve to remove the true and loving voice of God and His people. As a Pastor, I’m already banned from endorsing political candidates. Obama will try to ban me from making other “moral” arguments as well…..but we must obey God rather than man (Acts 4:19-20). Obama and his goons….or some future president and his goons may one day pass laws to silence, imprison, or even execute those that disagree with them. You say it could never happen here? That’s the same thing Germany once said, prior to Hitler. Anything is possible…even in America. Especially in America….where people are more concerned with their 401 K’s than they are their standing before God. Yes, I may be one day silenced by liberal goons calling themselves the “hate crimes police”…..but if so, I plan to die happy. I’ll be with Jesus, who died the same way…..and I’ll be in Heaven where God’s judgment won’t be necessary anymore.
Jeremiah was aghast at what was transpiring in his nation, and as God said through the prophet: “Be appalled O Heavens at this, and shudder….for my people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and made for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:12-13) Listen up America! Jesus is the fountain of living waters. Obama is a broken cistern that can hold no water. McCain falls WAY SHORT of Christ….but is MUCH BETTER than Obama. And on Tuesday, November 4…the ball will be in your court. Will you choose to reject the immoral policies of Obama? Or will you embrace Obama and reject the living waters of Almighty God? Your judgment hangs in the balance.