We’ve all heard that this country was built upon the basis of religious freedom. At least, that’s the story. We know the story as our elementary school teachers programmed into us. America was formed to escape a corrupt church in England. People migrated to America to experience religious freedom.
The founding fathers struggled with the protection of both church and state without them encroaching on each other. Afterall no one wanted the church to control government or vice versa. But this is an internal war that has been fought since the formation of this country. Laws are still being passed based upon someone’s religious beliefs. In some cases, the same laws are often struck down by the Supreme Court.
So, is there really a way to separate church and state? I’ll tell you why we must try.
The truth is the church does not want religious freedom unless this so called freedom supports their ideas and beliefs. To truly tolerate and embrace religious freedom would mean that the church agrees that it is okay to worship other gods, sacrifice, practice polygamy or any other religious rituals.
The church, the body of Christ does not want religion at all. (Religion vs Faith is a different blog altogether.) Christians are grateful for being involved in politics in some form. Having the church involved politics is both a blessing and a curse. It is profitable because as a Christian, we can clearly see some of our beliefs engraved into our political and economic make up. There are still some governments albeit more local governing bodies, that still pray before meetings. (A lot of them are now in court because of this practice.) Our very own currency still reads “In God We Trust”. (This will soon disappear unfortunately.)
The curse comes when we make the mistake in believing that as Christians, we are the only ones who can make this world right. We forget that we are not here to save the world, but the souls in it. We become too entangled in our own self righteousness and shun the rest of the world for not “doing as we do” or “believing as we believe”. This is true whether we are talking about our faith or politics. But lately, with the election 11 days away, it has been all about politics.
Now, before you get upset, hear me out.
Yes, we are to be ambassadors, missionaries of Christ. It is so our jobs to make sure souls are saved (Ephesians 2:8-9). But how does this happen when we suck politics in with our beliefs? How is witnessing the saving grace of God to others possible when we zealously persecute others for not following our “good Christian principles”?
A few days ago, I stopped logging onto a social networking site because I had become disgusted with the things I saw. I witnessed numerous arguments, disrespectful political smear campaigns, name calling, untruths, hate speech…the list goes on. But, what broke my heart was to see the names attached to these posts. They were Christians, members of the body of Christ and my brothers and sisters. I was sad, ashamed and just angry to see such a thing.
What if Chrissy Doe wanted to go to one of these people to ask about salvation? What if Chrissy Doe saw the bickering from these Christians and changed her mind? What if dear Chrissy decided to pass on Christianity for a “more peaceful faith”?
Just what would we tell our Father in Heaven when he asks about this? Lord, I didn’t want the other guy in office?
Why are we so entangled in the bondage of politics, especially since so many of us have struggled to be finally free from the bondage of religion? Galatians 5:1
So, instead of the hate speech and the disrespect to these people we place in political office or desire to place in office, we should pray for them and their positions. Stop fighting each other about something that is going to happen anyway. It doesn’t matter who makes it to the White House. Send them information about the grace of God.
1 Timothy 2:
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Yes, I believe we all have the right to say what we want. Hey, I’m a blogger! The freedom of speech is my friend! But, I am a Christian first and foremost.
I believe in the right to vote. Many people died for us all to have this right. And yes I vote. But I know that regardless of who is in office, God’s word is true. I know that no matter how many times we change presidents, the word of God is unchanging. God’s promise firm, concrete.
We have to live in this corrupt world while we are about our Father’s business. We must remember that God’s word is our first order of business. Afterall, we are looking for that blessed hope. Amen?
20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.