Separation of Church and State… Is That Even Possible?


When Jesus came near, he spoke to them. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to do everything I have commanded you. “And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.” Matthew 28:18-20 (GW)

Imagine for a moment that Jesus has just completed his three years of training with the disciples. He has been crucified and is now commissioning the twelve to go into the world and disciple the nations. Now imagine him also making this statement to them.

“Dear brothers, it is now time for you to share what you have learned from me. However, as you share with others be sure that you keep what I taught you separate from your social life. The principles I have shared with you only apply in situations inside your home. Do not try to make them fit into a social context. The miracles you saw in me can only be done in certain situations. Keep this in mind when thinking about praying for the sick or the lost. These truths will not work in society.”

Sound preposterous? It may, but this is the mindset of many in our world today. The spiritual does not mix with the everyday world. “What happens on Monday has no relationship to what takes place on Sunday,” they say.

These are the thoughts expressed so much in our day and time. If you heard it once you have heard it a hundred times at least. Separation of Church and State. The two should never mix. The two need to be kept apart.

The world would want us to keep our religion to ourselves and not to share it wherever we go. That is like asking you to live without breathing. It is not possible to live without breathing, nor is it possible to live your everyday life apart from Christ if you truly are a disciple of Christ. To truly follow him and live our life according to his principles it is impossible to live one way at church and an entirely different way at home or in society? Jesus would call this type of living hypocrisy. Either we are for Him or we are against Him. We can not serve Him only at our convenience for then we are not serving Him at all. We can not choose to love Him one day and ignore Him the next. 
 
We can not choose to follow His laws and commands only in the church since the laws were given to man before there was a church. The law of God was passed to Moses before there was a tabernacle or a temple. Moses was given the law of God and then instructed on how to worship Him. The law was given so that the Israelites would know how to live and prosper in the land God was going to give them. 
 
The laws were to be the principles by which God’s people were expected to live. God expected them to keep the law in all of society and not just the church. It is interesting to note that many of out founders knew how important God’s moral laws where to a civil society and based our own civil law on the Mosaic laws. No one would argue that murder is wrong. No one would argue that stealing is wrong. No one would argue that being respectful of our parents is a good thing for children to learn. No one would argue that infidelity in a marriage is destructive. 
 
Today however we hear that the law of God must end at the church door. We are told to not force our beliefs upon others, and yet those that say that have no problem forcing their beliefs on us. We are asked not to PRAY in public and yet how can we not when the world is faced with so many challenges? We are asked to not teach Christian values and principles, but how can we not if we actually believe that they are the way, the truth and the life? And yet it would seem that those who oppose God’s laws are winning the war on the separation of Church and State. Honestly how is that working out for our society? 
 
I can not force my views upon anyone since I do not have that power. All I can do is attempt to persuade others that God’s moral law is superior than anything man can come up with. Personally I have to choose for myself how to live in this world, whether I should obey the temporary dictates of man or the eternal law of God. I choose to obey the eternal law of God for I have found it to be just and right and holy and true. It is the only law that shows no partiality for all are treated equal under God’s law. There are no special exemptions for special interest groups. There are no lighter sentences for the well-connected. All are judged equally and punished accordingly. 
 
So by asking those of us who believe God’s law is superior to man’s law to shut up and keep it to ourselves, you have elected to be ruled by tyrants and subjected yourself to the inferior, biased laws of man. Remember those who make the laws exempt themselves from the law making the law only applicable to those who the lawmakers disapprove of.
 
If we acknowledge a Supreme lawmaker and judge then we have no control over how that law is going to be enforced, nor can we use the law to garner special treatment for ourselves, since we too will be judged by that same law and standard.
 
I can not separate my faith in God from His ways and laws. I can not live my life differently in public than I do in private. Since I believe

the teachings of the Lord are perfect. They renew the soul. The testimony of the Lord is dependable. It makes gullible people wise. The instructions of the Lord are correct. They make the heart rejoice. The command of the Lord is radiant. It makes the eyes shine. The fear of the Lord is pure. It endures forever. The decisions of the Lord are true. They are completely fair. (Psalms 19:7-9 (GW))

I shall continue to live my life by the law of God. You can have the inferior law of the land.

eagle_feather_icon.gifThis is a view from the nest. What say you?

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)

Along for the journey

tj201009292334-3.jpg
This has been A View from the Nest. The statements, comments, or opinions expressed are solely that of the author and do not represent the views or opinions of the host of this site or any affiliates thereof. Any questions or comments should be directed to myself and not to the host or hosts of this site.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Yes America, There is a Jesus Christ


Be ready to spread the word whether or not the time is right. Point out errors, warn people, and encourage them. Be very patient when you teach. A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear. People will refuse to listen to the truth and turn to myths. 2 Timothy 4:2-4

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...
Image via Wikipedia

In Germany, as in most of Western Europe, there is a continuing debate about the emerging Muslim population. Their traditions and customs are constantly being called into question, especially those related to women wearing the burqa.

Recently German Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to enter into the debate and make very explicit her feelings on the issues that are dividing a country, fostering hostility and discrimination. In a speech to her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, she said the problem is “We don’t have too much Islam, we have too little Christianity.” She informed the delegates that multiculturalism in Germany had utterly failed.

And here in America apparently the same thing can be said of us. We too have too little Christianity. A great deal of religion perhaps, but very little true Christianity.

Last year (October 2009) the Pew Forum on Religion in America showed us to be a nation that is, more and more, spiritual but not very religious. Asked to describe their beliefs, many Americans describe a theology that is a mulligan stew of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Native American spirituality, and New Age mumbo-jumbo. http://pewforum.org/

In the mainline denominations, church attendance has replaced church membership as the measure of a church‘s success because American Christians prefer to attend churches that don’t require a commitment.

An Insight Express survey conducted for Parade magazine shows that nearly 60% of Americans believe that all religions have validity. A quarter of Americans say that while religion is part of their lives, it isn’t a big part. While 69% of Americans claim to believe in God, only 27% attend religious services weekly, and a third confess to attending only rarely.

According to the latest data, those Christians for whom religion is important don’t really know all that much about it.

Last year the Barna Group discovered that half of all Christians don’t believe that Satan or the Holy Spirit are real, living entities. A third agreed that the Bible, the Koran, and the Book of Mormon taught the same basic truths — and simultaneously believed that the Bible, which says some radically different things from the other two books, is “totally accurate” in its principles. Forty percent don’t know what they think or how they feel about Wicca, even after they’ve been told that it is an “organized form of witchcraft.”

And this year the Pew Forum on Religion in America has just informed us that Christians know less about their own religion than atheists and agnostics do. In fact, compared to Jews, Muslims, Mormons, atheists, and agnostics, Christians know the least about religion in general and their own religion in particular.

What do you suppose is the reason for these statistics. Every town has at least one church, some have several within a 4 block radius of one another. It would appear that America loves to go to church with the number of church buildings in every town and hamlet across the country. But look inside and you will see empty pews . Church attendance is seen as unimportant to many in our society. And society shows the signs of this apathetic behavior.

Promotion of the Gospel of Christ has been eliminated from most public debate and instruction. Businesses, governments, schools and the public square have all but eliminated any mention of God or God’s ways. The teachings of Christ have not only been eliminated from the public forum, it has also all but disappeared in our homes as well.

Yes Virginia, we are told there is a Santa Clause, but I ask you is there a Jesus Christ in your Christmas plans? At this time of Advent it would do us all well to evaluate our walks and commitment to the Lord. Have we made God an afterthought, or is He first and foremost in our hearts and minds? According to the statistics quoted above I fear the former is our reality. Yes America there is too little Christianity.

And that is this weeks tail feather. Think about it.

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31Open Link in New Window (BBE)

Along for the journey

Belarus Theologian Takes PCUSA to Task On Gay Issues


Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Image via Wikipedia

A hearty AMEN to Reverend Siarhei Hardum of Belarus for stating the obvious. The issue of homosexuality is clearly covered in Scriptures and there really should be no need to be debating this issue. The Christian church has long stated that Homosexuality is an abomination to the Lord. If it is an abomination to the Lord wouldn’t it stand to reason then that those who promote this type of activity are also an abomination to the Lord? But if we want to just look at this from a morality issue, any sexual immorality is condemned by the bible not condoned.

I agree with the good Reverend from Belarus when he states this is a form of paganism.

If you are involved in a homosexual lifestyle there is hope for you in Jesus Christ but you must repent of your sexual immorality in order to receive his forgiveness. Like any other sin there is forgiveness after repentance.

clipped from www.onenewsnow.com

Associated Press logo smallPCUSA Presbyterian sealMINNEAPOLIS – An Orthodox Church theologian who was invited to greet the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has criticized its approval of non-celibate homosexual clergy.

The Reverend Siarhei Hardun of Belarus said that vote and efforts to approve same-gender “marriage” looked to him like an attempt to “invent a new religion — a sort of modern paganism.”

“Christian morality is as old as Christianity itself. It doesn’t need to be invented now,” he said of attempts to create what he described as a “new morality.”

Hardun added, “When people say that they are led and guided by the Holy Spirit to do it, I wonder if it is the same Holy Spirit that inspired the Bible.”

Do You Have a Back-up?


clip_image002_thumb.jpgA View from the Nest
Random Ramblings from the Resident Raptor
Insight from the Journey across the Sky

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5,6

My work requires me to travel throughout Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. It is important that I get to my destinations on time every time. Therefore I invested in a GPS navigation system that I can take with me each day to make sure that I arrive on time. It has been over two years since I purchased this unit and it has pointed me in the right direction every time I called upon it. That was until this past Saturday.

Now to be fair I can not blame the unit for failing because it was working fine until the battery went dead. Even though I had the unit plugged into the cigarette lighter of the truck I was driving, I failed to notice that there was no power coming from that cigarette lighter outlet to keep the battery of the GPS unit charged. I am thankful that the battery lasted long enough to get me to my first destination at which time the CHARGE light came on and the unit shut down.

What was I going to do? How was I going to navigate from the first stop to the next stop? I had a general idea how to get to where I needed to go but I was not sure of the direction I was traveling and how to get from the first stop to the proper highway to head to the second. I had never been to the second location before so I was not sure I was going to be able to find the location without help from a map or the GPS unit which I have totally relied upon for two years.

It is amazing how dependent we become upon technology. The convenience these gadgets bring to our lives are both a blessing and a curse. I have never been known to be one who can not find my way around and it is difficult to get me lost but I have been lost on more than one occasion. It is not a problem if I am not pressed for time or being relied upon to be somewhere at a particular time and others are waiting on me. If I have all day to get somewhere then it is not as imperative that I stay on course.

Well I had to come up with a solution to my DEAD battery dilemma. It just so happened that I had another piece of technology with me on that trip, my cell phone. Being a SPRINT subscriber I had access to SPRINT NAVIGATION and I was happy to find out it worked. In fact it worked great. I was not sure it was going to work because I had all data and extra services deactivated on the phone because I only wanted it for making and receiving calls. My first thought was to call customer service and have the SPRINT navigation service activated so that I could use it to get to my second location. I called the customer service center only to find out it did not open until an hour past the time I needed to arrive at my next destination.

I simply prayed and tried the Sprint Navigation application that I had downloaded onto the phone 2 years prior and was pleasantly surprised to find it still worked. I programmed the unit for the address I needed to get to and it took me right to the location with little or no problems.

I was relieved to have had this back-up option. I really did not know what I would have done had I not had this option. This got me to thinking about other electronic devices that I own. Most I can live without’ but some I use regularly and would find life a little less convenient if they quit working. One of those devices is my computer. The computer has become such a huge part of my life and my work that it would be difficult to function without it. I use it to keep a journal, I use it for daily devotional work and study, I use it to compose letters and articles as well as maintaining this blog and others. I use it heavily for church work. And because I have used it so much I am always mindful of the need to back up often. It is only a matter of time before the computer will crash and data will be lost. If you do not maintain a backup of your work you are going to loose it.

When it comes to electronics it is wise to have a backup because all these gadgets will fail at one time or another as my GPS adventure demonstrated. Because I have been through computer crashes and dead cell phones I have learned how to deal with the eventuality of a malfunction. I have several copies of my most important files backed up and stored in several places. So far I have been able to recover from all major computer crashes without much difficulty. Although everyone who has ever had to undergo a restore knows it is not painless.

Having a backup plan for my GPS problem and having backup files for computer malfunctions is wise especially if those electronic devices are important in your day to day activities.

But what about your day to day life? Do you have an alternate plan for the times when things just do not go as you hoped or planned? I mean what do you do when you are faced with a loss? What do you do when you find yourself in a situation that you do not know how to handle? What do you do when you find yourself in a place that is uncomfortable and unfamiliar? What do you do when you find yourself at a loss for an answer to a problem, or faced with a life threatening circumstance? Do you have an emergency back up plan? What would you do? Who would you call? Where would you go for assistance?

In the world of electronics having a backup is not difficult. It certainly does require some forethought and will probably cost you some out of pocket expense but in the long run the little it costs is priceless to the piece of mind a back up plan provides.

When it comes to the matters of life however I fear that many people fail to plan for the eventuality of an unexpected disaster. They do not have a backup plan. They have no alternative to whatever life throws at them. Many live lives of quiet desperation, toughening it out without much hope of a solid solution. Apart from faith in God the world can be a heartless, cruel place. There are not many DO OVERS permitted in real life. IN fact most of us only get one chance to get it right.

There is hope however, there is a backup plan. There is a restore button you can press to get back up and running when life throws you a curve ball. There is a place you can go to get direction and navigational tips to get you back on course. That place is found in the LORD JESUS CHRIST. His word can provide comfort, hope, solace, joy, direction, instruction for daily living and even a do over when you find yourself gone astray. God’s love and forgiveness can restore a life that has crashed. His Holy Spirit can restore the broken hearted. God’s goodness can make up for life’s cruelties. He is life’s reset button.

However it is wise to not abuse God’s mercy by continuing to live recklessly. But if life throws you a curve ball and things seems to be spinning out of control, remember that He is as close as the whisper of His name.

Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord (Jesus) shall be saved, restored, and set on the right path once again. Thank God for back-ups! Thank God for a navigational tool that never fails however it does require to be recharged from time to time. By praying and reading God’s word you keep God’s internal guidance system running at full power. Failing to plug into the power source daily weakens the navigational power of God’s Holy spirit.

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)

Along for the journey

clip_image005_thumb.gif

______________________________________________________

Disciple Makers



Random Ramblings from the Resident Raptor
Insight from the Journey across the Sky

So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to do everything I have commanded you. “And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.” Matt 28:19-20 (GW)

God looks at the church as if they are already making disciples. And in fact we are. The only question that remains is what kind of disciples are we actually making? Are we making disciples of Christ or of the Anti-Christ? Are we making children of God or children of the devil? What lessons are we teaching those who look upon our lives? Are we showing forth a dedication to God or some other allegiance? What takes priority in our life? Is it God or the world? Leisure or some hobby? Travel or retirement? Are we loving the Lord our God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength? Do we really see it as our responsibility to be making disciples? The truth is you are whether you intend to or not.

Your decisions and actions will shape those with whom you come in contact with and your lifestyles will pattern an example to others of what you deem important. If your life is led, for the most part, without a God consciousness then your actions and activities will reflect that viewpoint. When was the last time you actually talked about your love affair with Jesus? When exactly was the last time you told someone else about the hope found in Christ? When was the last time you actually talked about the goodness of God? When was the last time that you spoke up for the saving grace of God? When was the last time you testified to the blessings of God? When was the last time you actually told someone about something God had done in your life? When was the last time you spoke of your faith?

Contrast that with the last time you talked about the weather, or what was on TV, or how things were going on the job, or a school activity, or some other community event. Do you find your conversation to be about everything but God and His kingdom? If so then you are making disciples of the devil and not of God. God expects the church to be disciple making organisms. And you can tell by the declining numbers the church is not doing a very good job of it. If we were fruit bearing trees there wouldn’t be enough fruit to make a pie. Why are we not producing fruit? Why is the tree barren? What has happened to the life of the church?

BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, prosperous , and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather. 2 But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night. 3 And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]. 4 Not so the wicked [those disobedient and living without God are not so]. But they are like the chaff [worthless, dead, without substance] which the wind drives away. Psalms 1:1-4 (AMP)

Have we relegated God so far back on the back burner that we have actually grown cold? Have we become so much like our surroundings we are indistinguishable? Has our witness been so tarnished that our testimonies ring hollow? Has the fire of God’s love simply gone out and we are dead towards the things of God? Whatever the reason for our inability to witness and make disciples for Christ I wish to remind you disciple making is a requirement of the church, and by extension, of us. It is not a suggestion or an option but the intended purpose of the church. If the church is nothing more than a social gathering place, or a weekly retreat and escape from the cares of the world, then we have missed the grander design for the church. If we  fail to reach out to others and invite them into a right relationship with their loving heavenly Father, we are not walking in love toward our neighbors. If we fail to mention in our daily routines the love of God and the mercies of God we are allowing Satan to ruin lives and destroy souls.

Rise up church and be the salt and light God desires you to be. Rise up church and make a statement in the world. Rise up  church and make a difference in your communities. Otherwise you might as well shut the doors, board up the windows and put a for sale sign on the front lawn because you no longer are fulfilling the Lord’s calling, nor are you walking in the Lord’s purposes.

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)

Along for the journey