Summary: The foundations of America and how we are to view our role in society.
Separation of church and state
Matthew 22: 15-21
One nation under God in the Pledge of Allegiance. A Ten Commandments monument in a local courthouse. A Manger Scene on the town common. In God we trust on our currency. What do you think of when you hear those things? For millions of Americans it’s the following: YOU CAN’T DO THAT, THAT’S A VIOLATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!
But is it? Is that true? Is it really unconstitutional to pray or hand out Bibles in school? Is it really wrong for politicians to form their views based on their faith? Is it wrong for the state to give churches “Tax Exempt Status”?
Let me get straight to the point and say NO! No its not wrong, no its not unconstitutional, No this is NOT a violation of the separation of Church and State! But what about all those who say YES? Yes, it is wrong, yes it is unconstitutional and yes it is a violation! Three statements to remember
1) Separation of Church & State does not mean that the church must stay out of the affairs of government and public life IT MEANS THAT THE STATE IS TO STAY OUT OF THE AFFAIRS OF THE CHURCH!
2) Those who tell you otherwise are either blatantly dishonest or they simply do not know, understand or care about the history of the United States of America!
3) This is an organized attempt primarily being carried out by those who have contempt for Christ, hate the Bible and despise the influence the church has had on Western Culture and they are literally willing to rewrite history in order to demonize the Christian Church.
That being said we can close early and all go home, I mean, what else is there to say?
No, this morning we are going to look at what America has believed traditionally and we will also take a look at what the scriptures say about the role of the church and government. Before we continue lets open in a word of prayer.
People have been worshipping the One True and Living God going all the way back to the early chapters of the book of Genesis. 6000 years of Godly men and woman, yes God has ALWAYS had His people. Human government however has not always been present on the earth but it was established early on, much earlier than most people realize.
Human Government first shows up on the pages of scripture in Genesis 9, which we estimate to be around 3000 B.C. give or take a few hundred years. How does human government come about? Through the might and power of men? No! It was (and this will be surprising to some) but it was ordained by God Himself. Genesis 9:6
Whoever sheds man’s blood by man his blood shall be shed for in the image of God He made man. In this passage God institutes human government in the clear form of Capital Punishment. Whose idea was the death penalty? Like it or not, it was Gods idea. Ironically one of the most common objections to the death penalty is this: But doesn’t God say in the 10 Commandments “Thou shalt not kill?” Yes, He does, but if you keep reading what is the penalty for killing another human being? That person must face the punishment of death so the proper rendering is “Thou Shalt Not Murder” but when it comes to the death penalty that is the power that God gives to the State, the power to punish evil doers!
I think it is important to note that capital punishment is NEVER abolished in the New Testament. In fact, it is affirmed by both Jesus and Paul
Matthew 26:52 But Jesus said to him (Peter), “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
Acts 25:10-11 So Paul said, “I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you very well know. 11 For if I am an offender, or have committed anything deserving of death, I do not object to dying; but if there is nothing in these things of which these men accuse me, no one can deliver me to them. I appeal to Caesar
Romans 13:4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
I bring this up to make it abundantly clear that human government is ordained by God -Romans 13:1 “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” So according to the Bible human government is ordained by God and its primary purpose is to restrain and punish evil.