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(SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE)
ACTS 5:38-41 SEPTEMBER, 2007
And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
- SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
The subject for this month, is one that all of us should be familiar with. It is one that is bandied about, from time to time, when certain issues present themselves before the American public. Usually, it centers around like displaying things like the Ten Commandments, a bible, a picture of Jesus Christ, a bible scripture, or some other object(s), like a nativity scene, in area that are deemed, government property, or institutions (i.e. public schools, city halls, courthouses) and others.
The argument is, that displaying these things, in these areas, constitutes, a violation of the first amendment of the constitution, guaranteeing a separation of church and state.
For those of you that dont know what that part of the constitution says, here it is, Congress shall make no law, respecting an establishment of religion, or forbidding the free exercise thereof......
There you have it. And from this, the phrase separation of church and state was created to reflect, what the majority of this nation thinks is an accurate description of this part of the first amendment.
The reason I say that the majority of this nation thinks it is accurate
, is because, it is really an inaccurate statement, that is designed to single out one group or segment of our society. That segment is Christians.
Ever since a woman, by the name of Madeline Murray OHare, an atheist, challenged prayer in the public schools, over 40 years ago, and the Supreme Court ruled in her favor , this nation is obsessed with keeping Church and state, separate.
If you will notice, the first amendment, makes no reference to church, it says religion.
Well, if we want to know the Truth about what the constitution says, then we need a definition of the word, religion. And where do we go for that information??
The dictionary is the single, worldwide recognized reference point for finding the definition of words. No one will dispute that. So, what does it have to say about the word, religion??
Because if you want to be truly accurate in your translation, or definition of something, then you must know what the definition of a word really means. To do otherwise means that the possibility of error,
is greatest. And as we will find out later in this message, we are paying the price of the error that has been a hallmark in this nation since that Supreme court decision.
Here is the definition of religion, from several dictionaries.
Religion, is defined as, Main Entry:
(from merriam-webster online dictionary)
Etymology: Middle English religioun, from Latin religion-, religio supernatural constraint, sanction, religious practice, perhaps from religare to restrain, tie back -- more
: the state of a religious <a nun in her 20th year of religion> b
(1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : CONSCIENTIOUSNESS
4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
- re·li·gion·less adjective
Now, what is the significance of this definition??
First, no one would argue that (1) above proves that the term church and state, is the right definition for the first amendment.
Well, if we will look at that alone, we would still have a problem. Why? Because the phrase church and state only bears reference to church. Other people also believe in God, or a god and they dont go to, or neither are they called, a church.
Only Christians fit in to that category. Jewish people go to a synagogue. Muslims, go to a mosque. However, all believe in God.
Now, out of respect for other religions, that believe on one, or more other gods, I will not go in to detail, but you should be able to see where I am going. Separation of church and state, does not identify these other religions, at all. As a result of not understanding the definition of religion, many things have entered in to our public institutions, that, do not fall in to the category of (1), above, but do fall in to the subsequent (2-4) definitions of religion above.
Lets look at them.
What they say, is that any personal set of beliefs
that you have, is your religion.
As a result of them, your attitude towards other people, situations, things and government, will form how you react to them. That is known as attitude. Examples:
hatred of another race, is the religion of racism.
Favoring one race or group over another, is the religion of discrimination. [Note -
This definition includes the belief known as affirmative action]
On a somewhat lesser note, being on time
for work, or some other appointment, or function, is your religion
, if you are dogmatic about it.
Now naturally, there are also group beliefs, meaning your personal set of beliefs, can be shared with others, of like mind, and you become a group, much the same way a group of people that believe in Christ, become known as, the Church.
Now, lets go a step further.
The definition also says practices.
This means that you act on these beliefs, continually. They basically become part of your personality. They are what makes you, you.
In a nutshell, if you look at [3-4] above, you will see that essentially anything that you believe and act on, continuously, is your religion.
Also, looking at the definition of religion from the dictionary, as far back as , we find this.
From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913) Religion [was] not, as too often now, used as equivalent for godliness; but . . . it expressed the outer form and embodiment which the inward spirit of a true or a false devotion assumed.
What this is essentially saying, is that religion, is not relegated only to having a belief, or faith in God, but rather, having faith in anything.
The bible says, Jas 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
In other words, unless you put some actions behind what you believe, you are not putting faith, in it. [Example -
Just because I believe there was a man that walked this earth over 2000 years ago, named Jesus Christ, does not make me a Christian. Just like, believing a man walked this earth named Mohammed, does not make me a Muslim.]
However, once I start adhering to the teachings of Christ, and lining up my lifestyle to His, then, and only then, am I a Christian. Just because I go to church every Sunday, does not make me a Christian, much the same way that if I visit your house every day, or live in it with you, does not make me your relative.
So, as you can see, there is a great misunderstanding to what the constitution says, and our interpretation of it, concerning this issue.
So, what is the big deal about a little misinterpretation, you might ask??
The big deal is, Gods response to it, and remind you, He does have something to say about it, and it is found in the bible as well. It says, Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
There is a warning from God about our ignorance of, and rejecting His Word, and the consequences that will follow.
Now, it is one thing to say that there are consequence to our rejecting Him, and another to actually see the evidence of this warning in our lives, the lives of our friends, and the condition of this nation.
And friend, there are tons of evidence to corroborate this, so much so, that in a just court of law, presenting 1 percent of the evidence, would immediately cause the judge to proclaim us guilty.
Now, I will present some of this evidence, and you can see for yourself, just why we are in the mess we are in today, in this nation, that was founded on the principles of the Word of God.
First, Lets look at what was the condition of our public schools, prior to the court ruling banning bible reading, and prayer.
The public schools were peaceful, and safe places for kids to come together, to get an education, that would help them become good citizens, with a good, productive, and moral foundation, that would help them, as well as this nation, to be a guiding light, to the rest of the world.
The public schools, were an extension of the family, and the church. All three working in unison. The family, instilled family values in the children. The church, instilled moral values in the family, and the public schools reinforced those values, in the educational process.
Today, the public schools, are anything but, supportive of the family, and church.
They have become war zones, where kids, as well as their parents, have to worry whether or not, when they send their children to school, will they get back home safely.
You have metal detectors, at the entrances, doors locked with chains, and bars on the windows. Police, or other security patrolling the halls. Teachers in fear of the students. Students, with no respect for the teachers or authorities.
The curriculum, and text books, have changed from teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic, in the framework of moral values [not teaching morality, that is the job of the church, but simply reinforcing them], to outright rebellion against them.
Kids are killing each other in school, doing drugs, in school, having sex in school, attacking teachers, in school, all because of the removal of the single source of Christian values.
A Christian family, can be trying to instill their values in to their children all they want, but the schools, that have their kids, under their control, more hours a day, while the child is awake, than the parents do, is undoing all that the family, and the church has done.
A child with moral values, in the public schools, is essentially the target of harassment, attacks, and made to treated as an outcast, in school.
The public school system, is at war with not only the family, but God. And what is the result??
Whereas previous to the Supreme Court ruling, kids graduating from the public schools, had credentials that guaranteed them good paying jobs, scholarships to colleges and universities, and outright good prospects for the future.
Today, over 60 percent of graduates from these same schools, cant even fill out a job application, let alone, do math. Over 30 percent of children who enter the public school system, at kindergarten, drop out before the 10th grade, and another 15 percent or so, before graduating. And these young people, are going to grow up to be parents, community leaders, politicians, and yes, one may even become president.
Look at the condition of our cities, state and this nation today, and you can see just what public education, has done to our supposed to be leaders.
Another unknown fact is, in Christian schools, where the proper values are being taught, the children, read and do math, at a pace that is 2 years ahead of their peers of the same age, in the public schools.
My daughter was educated in Christian schools all of her childhood, except for about one semester, when I had to put her in a public school. She was miserable. She told me, that what they were being taught, was what she had been taught the previous semester, in the school she had been attending.
Over 95 percent of their graduates, go on to college, or get above average jobs that they apply for, and advance faster than public school graduates.
What is the difference between the two?? God is the foundation of their education system, while He and His Word are rejected. And as such, He will not lift a finger to assist them. He will reject them.
A foundation not based on Gods Word, will always lead to failure and destruction, while the opposite holds true for those that have it as their foundation, Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
This goes for individuals, families, groups, institutions, governments, and nations.
If you reject the Word of God, either from the bible, or one of His messengers, you, in effect reject Him, and you will, and I repeat WILL, pay a heavy price.
we get further in to this message, and see more of His wrath on His enemies, and just what the position of the Church should be. Too many of us have fallen for the lies of those that are the enemies of God.