Question: "How should a Christian view the separation of church and state?"
Answer: The issue of the separation of church and state is one that has prompted much debate. In spite of the rhetoric common to revisionist historians, our founding fathers did not seek to eradicate religion in America. Indeed, an overwhelming majority of those who signed the Declaration of Independence counted themselves as men of faith. It may come as a surprise, then, for many to learn that nowhere in the Constitution do the words “separation of church and state” appear. It simply is not there. The idea of church/state separation came from a letter penned by Thomas Jefferson. Again, contrary to the nonsensical propaganda from the revisionists, Jefferson’s cause was to protect religious liberties from an intrusive government! In no way did Jefferson or any of the other framers of the U.S. Constitution seek to restrict Americans’ religious activities.
We live in a democracy rather than a theocracy—and for good reason. State-sanctioned churches become puppets of the government. Under such circumstances, the edicts of fallible man take precedence over the inspired teachings of Scripture. When the state heads the church, the integrity of the gospel is all too easily compromised. Likewise, civil servants living on tax dollars are unfit for serving as pastors, for their loyalties are divided between the One who calls them and the other who feeds them. Such compromises do not belong in the pulpit. Let the government build roads, and let Christ build His church.
Another bit of nonsense being force-fed to the public is the notion that men and women of faith have no business in politics. But it is hardly a secret that George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were men of deep, unwavering Christian faith. Their personal writings, public statements, church involvement, and the testimony of their families reveal their lifelong commitment to Christianity. They were hardly alone in their faith; again, the majority of our nation’s founders aligned themselves with Christianity.
A Christian should view the separation of church and state to be a good thing. Those who wish to combine them usually do so thinking that Christianity is the only religion that will be state-sanctioned. The opposite is true. Once the state aligns itself with religion, the floodgates will be opened for any and all religions to take their place in government.
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