About That ‘Separation’ Of State From Church
This is in response to the Rev. Don Welch’s sermon/column of Oct. 23, headlined “Church, State: A Failed Marriage.”
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is not about the “separation of church and state.” Rather, it prevented the new government from ever establishing a state church as England had, and it protected denominations from being discriminated against.
The term “separation of church and state” originated with Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptists.
There is, however, one national constitution that embraced the separation of church and state. It is found in Article 124 in the Constitution of the former USSR, and it reads, “The church in the USSR is separated from the state, and the school from the church.” It was in the 1918 constitution, and after numerous constitutional revisions, it was still there in 1936.
“Our birthright of religious freedom is under attack, and the wall of separation between church and state is being eroded,” Mr. Welch said.
Congress never erected a wall of separation, nor did our Founding Fathers ever intend to wed church and state. Their public words and prayers, and their writings show that most relied upon divine guidance and protection.
Most Christians see a pattern of godlike character and leadership that led America to become a giant among nations. They also see the pattern established in the past 50-plus years where we’ve lost our spiritual moorings and are afloat on a sea of moral, cultural and economic decline.
Mr. Welch said, “A recent lesson is seen in the tragic surrender of the German state to Adolf Hitler by the Church in Germany simply because Hitler neither smoked or drank.” Does Mr. Welch really believe German Christians of that era were that spiritually naive or lacking?
It was more likely the German Christians took their focus off their real Savior and put it on an earthly savior instead. Many German Christians stood firm against the evil taking place around them.
If only more of them had taken a stand, how differently things might have turned out.
Mr. Welch states that “some Christians are not only uncomfortable but extremely frightened by the rapid changes in our culture and moral climate over the past four decades.” If people aren’t a bit frightened with the direction our country has been going in the past four or five decades, with rampant crime, drugs, gangs, porn, corruption, abortion on demand, family breakdown, sexually transmitted diseases, etc., then they’re in denial or out of touch with reality.
Most Christians take seriously the Scripture that tells them they’re to be “salt and light” in the world. I take that to mean we’re not to retreat and hand over schools, government and institutions to secular humanists and progressives, many of whom are God-haters.
The preface to the Humanist Manifesto says, “Humanism is a philosophical, religious, and moral point of view.” The Supreme Court acknowledged in Torcaso v. Watkins, June 19, 1961, that Secular Humanism is one of the “religions” that doesn’t teach a belief in the existence of God.”
Humanists basically believe that man is the measure of all things, and man will save us, and not God. These humanists are the same people with their godless “religion” that have made huge inroads into shaping our current culture of chaos, and Christians are supposed to stay inside their churches and not work to affect positive, life-affirming values and change? I don’t think so.
And when Christians do get involved, they’re not trying to usher in a theocracy. No, there wasn’t an attempt to wed church and state in 1776, and Christians aren’t attempting to do so today. There are untold numbers of non-Christians who also treasure and defend America’s traditional values. May we never forget this past century and its landscape that was littered with the carnage that godless despots wreaked upon their fellow man.
“We are ripe for totalitarianism in both the church and politics,” Mr. Welch wrote. In politics, maybe, but in the “Christian” church, no.
Why not? Because true Christians don’t put their faith in people, politicians, and yes, even in ministers and priests, because they know men can and will fail them. They also know that the Author and Finisher of their faith will never fail them.
Mr. Welch referenced Christ before Pilate, and he quoted Christ when he said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” This was the same Christ who, before he ascended in the heaven, commissioned believers to “go ye into all the world. ...”
Gloria Tarver lives in Southern Pines.
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