Separation of Church and State

I am of the age where I can remember prayer in public schools. I also remember the outrage over the Supreme Court decision in 1962 that out-lawed prayer in public school. I also remember how Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the woman who led the fight to remove prayer, was vilified.

I learned a lesson a long time ago. There are Democrats who are good Christians as well as Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, etc.. To promote politics or political views in church is always going to be divisive and Jesus calls His church to be unified and not divided.

Another reason I have always strived to pastor in such a way as to have a non-political church is that when churches get in bed with politics or political views it is always the church that has to compromise it’s core values.

Does this mean that we don’t stand up against injustice and evil? Of course not. But too often when churches get into politics they don’t see when they the cross the line. What line you ask? The line when we start caring more about social issues than we do about salvation issues. Where we care more about trying to fix this broken world than we do about seeing broken people healed in their relationship with God. About seeing people come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior and seeing them grow in that relationship.

Slowly the Gospel that we promote becomes more of a political and social agenda and less about the Kingdom of God. We move away from a Gospel of salvation through the blood that Jesus shed on the cross and more about a salvation that comes from supporting correct political views of the day.

Please hear me again. This doesn’t mean that the church doesn’t stand with the poor and the disenfranchised people of the world. It doesn’t mean that we forget that Jesus said; (I paraphrase) That when you do good things to the least of the people of the world it is like you are doing those good things to me.

Another thing that happened after the 1962 decision of the Supreme Court in the vilifying of Madalyn Murray O’Hair was Christians lost their Christianity. Jesus told us to love our enemies. During those days people who called themselves followers of Jesus Christ were anything but, and sadly it is still happening today. People vilifying other believers because they hold a different political view.

The final thing that I want to say about the separation of church and state is that I don’t want the state telling my children what to believe. Prior to 1962 the prayers that were said in school were Protestant, because the majority of the country was Protestant.

I have to believe that if prayers were still said in school today that we would have Muslim prayers, Jewish Prayers, Hindu prayers, and whatever other religion petitioned the school board.

I want the schools to teach reading and writing and arithmetic and science and history etc. When it comes to Christianity, God, and Jesus I want my family and my church to be the ones to teach my children to pray and know Jesus.

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