Collision Of Church & State

I believe that every Christian in the US has an increasingly blurring line where Faith meets our morals, and whether the world likes it or not, it trickles down to our political obligations.  For most of us it  isn’t enough to move our proverbial mountain of daily tasks from it’s top position into the secondary category, but it shows its ugly head every once in a while making us think a bit.  But what if our daily lives were lived with the passion of the disciples, our lives revolving around Christ which then directly correlates to a heightening of our attention to the moral boundaries?

Growing up we are told that starving children in Ethiopia would be happy to have our meals.  I don’t know about you, but I could never picture the starving children in Ethiopia, my mind was always reverted back to (what I believed to be) the starving child staring at the broccoli.  But I believe even as a child that if I were placed before that child in Ethiopia, if I were able to hug their frail body and see the pain in their eyes my broccoli would have been forgotten.  This is due to the fact that when we are faced with a moral choice we make that choice based off of the results that we can clearly see.  We always hear that you won’t find an Atheist in a foxhole, but we never think about how that mirrors every aspect of our day to day choices.  When we watch a show we know wouldn’t glorify God, we can’t see Him, so we proceed.  He isn’t visibly sitting in our passenger seat when we listen to that song…He isn’t visibly in the theater when we watch that movie.  He isn’t visibly at the voting booth when we vote for the candidate that doesn’t respect innocent life, but promises to fatten our checkbooks. 

So many Christians stray from Politics because it is considered taboo. I tried to discuss it with a Pastor once and he searched the room for listening ears like I had offered to tell him where Jimmy Hoffa’s body had been hidden.  Or we are hit with the bitter hand of separation of church and state when we do arrive at a point where our beliefs had met with conviction only to be dashed before voiced.  When our country was being founded every law was rooted in a moral code, a moral code that our Founding Fathers knew was based within the word of God.  We have a place in politics, and we have a responsibility to hold ourselves accountable to a moral code.  And just like the Ethiopian children, it is our responsibility to make ourselves closer to the issues so that we can understand and feel the moral implications our nation has on its people.

 Most importantly, it should be noted that separation of church and state was designed to protect the church… The doctrine of Christianity is what our nation was built on, it was the catalyst for our freedom…The denomination was to be protected.  If you look at the religious affiliation of the Founding members of our country you will find Presbyterians, Catholics, Evangelicals, and Lutherans…etc.  Keeping the state out of the church meant that all of these denominations had the right to their own core belief system, unlike other countries that were forced under a certain religious code.  But at the end of the day it all came down to one thing, all of the above religions were based off of the core doctrine of Christianity.  We as Christians have a right to speak up in defense of our Constitution because it is our core Faith that built it.  The Founding Fathers were not bashful about the role that God played in the founding of our nation, because their Faith went beyond the walls of their religion. Their beliefs were turned into convictions and then acted upon.   

I think my own Mom would be the first to tell you that I am a realist; sometimes she questions my worst case scenarios of being a bit “cup half empty”.   When people ask me why they should believe in God, they will never get a short answer.  I loved the proof, the facts, the history, the prophecy, and of course this is rooted in a love for my Savior.  I believe that we fail someone when we give them an answer that a high school atheist science teacher can laugh off as an invisible friend.  We all know this not to be true, and we have facts to back our beliefs, but so many times we lack the conviction to stand up for our Faith, and as Paul said, to have a defense of our Faith.

I first started thinking about those facts when I was younger; I was raised around multiple different religions.  I grew up with multiple different backgrounds, my Mom and her side of the family were unwavering core believers in the Catholic faith.  My other sides of the family, well…they were everything under the sun. I grew up going to pot lucks, church bible studies, dinner clubs, VBS…etc.  I have attended Lutheran churches to Pentecostal churches.  Every church had another round of activities that encouraged you to become closer with your fellow members.   I’ve noticed that all of these programs happen to be extremely beneficial to the status of a church member.  This is where I started to question them.   My mishmash of religious influences had made me grasp one concept that truly stuck out in my mind…When Jesus said that the sick are the individuals who are in need of the physicians most, well…He meant it.  Due to so many different denominational views I started digging into the bible when I was very young, everyone had their own contextual view of every verse.  But, muddling through it all I realized that no one EVER has it all right, and never will.  But when immersed into the bible yourself you will not come out without some truths. I personally chose to call myself a non-denominational.  I don’t believe that religion holds any answers to our biblical questions, only relationship. 

Our unbridled tendency to cling to our own circles, our own balance of comfort and flower scented religious complacency has become our excuse to remove ourselves from political and moral obligations.  During our dinner parties we fellowship with other Christians, yes…but are our dinner parties truly dedicated to growing in the knowledge of Christ?  Are they teaching Christians to grow in their Faith and extend the word of Christ to the lost…the sick?  Are our children learning worship songs but missing the meaning and the education behind the song? In a world of no music and parties could we still be moved by the unwavering word of God?  We are reaching an impasse both politically and spiritually, I fear that religion has claimed its ground in the hearts of many, and relationship has been placed on a shelf next to the church directory.

Let’s be honest, the American flag will not be flying in heaven…Our political dedication should be focused on 2 things, the correlation it has with our moral grounds, and the implications it has on the lost.  We are not silent, but long ago we ventured to the middle ground in the name of reaching the lost and I fear that we as a church never returned.  And so many of those that did return, came back with a religious ideology that shut the world out and focused on pot lucks, dinner clubs, and status.  Not to say that there isn’t exceptions, because I have personally witnessed them…but unfortunately they are not the norm.  Whenever I visit a new church I always know what they are like during my first exchange with the Pastor.  I am in my 20’s, and I ask a good deal of questions concerning the fundamental values and objectives of their church.  Sometimes this is welcomed, but most of the time they go on guard as though to show a presence of someone who prefers not to have the supposed boat rocked…As though the questions throw a wrench in the systematical gears of a church family.  My questions are not meant to spark debate, but I am interested in the relationship, not the religion…and the outreach.  I have been to churches that have outreach youth centers that watch R rated movies in the name of middle ground…If that isn’t putting roots in the middle ground I don’t know what is.  But I have also been to outreach youth centers that create an air of acceptance, but also accountability.  I found Christian teens in both, but the daily life results were polar opposites.  The center that had camped on the middle ground produced Christian teens that strived to be accepted by peers.  But the outreach center that was based on accountability produced teens that were approaching fellow students and welcoming them to be friends, but living a moral code that set them apart.  It isn’t about being better than the other person, it is about the lives of those around you being at stake.  The teens that were held accountable were closer to God, they felt the choices of their morals because they had been encouraged and nurtured to grow in Christ as well as be Christ to the world.  

I was forced to look at myself months ago when my Stepdad made a choice that he would no longer support companies that used a company that supported the abortion industry by using aborted tissue cells for testing.  My response you ask?  All I could think about was how Digiorno pizza was my favorite, how could I possibly give that up?  See, we have accustomed ourselves to think that our personal gain is of higher importance than our moral obligations.  So, I have now given them up…unfortunately when they are such large companies you have no idea what they sell, so sometimes I will get stuff home and realize that I can’t buy that item anymore either.   

I think about other countries where they long to merely touch the bible, the same bible that collects dust on our nightstands.  They are imprisoned for beliefs that we shelve while dining with our clicks and discussing our favorite recipes.  They die in the name of the same Savior that we fail to mention on a daily basis to those we know best.  Their life is dedicated to a Faith that sustains them; our lives tend to mirror a dedication that sustains our good name in the church. The people in other countries who are persecuted wake up to a foxhole daily. The disciples had the faith to stand up for what is right…I am just as guilty of these offenses as anyone else, but my heart is heavy with the thought that we will be entering a time of suffering not only on unstable economic foundations, but on unstable spiritual foundations.  And those were the foundations our Founding Fathers relied on the most.  

We have members in our current administration that would prefer our Faith be accompanied by a foxhole.  We not only have a responsibility to act on our Faith, no matter what that means giving up…but we have a responsibility to spread the word of Christ, the middle ground should be a compassion for the pain, suffering and confusion…but our presence in the middle ground needs to be something that is different than the rooted morals that are living in the middle ground.  We need to be vocal in our support of individuals who stand for life, and the morals that were rooted into our nation from men of Faith.  We need to be focused on helping each other grow stronger, because sometime down the road if the current administration has their way, we may be the ones searching for the voice of Christ amidst the silenced masses, left scratching our heads in disbelief.  I know that day is coming…But the thought of being accountable for the thousands of lives I failed to touch makes my stomach turn…I don’t want that number to continue raising drastically.  I want to stand for what is right, and when people question my stance, I want to give them a valid defense as to why.  No matter what status your account balance is, or what you THINK a man in power can do for it…You are responsible first to be a voice for the millions of innocent lives taken by abortion.  No matter what insurance you have or what you think someone can offer, your responsibility is the freedom to worship your God and encourage others to do the same.  It is our responsibility to face the issues, to stare them in the eyes and do what we know we need to do.

We will be blogging about current events and how Christians should be involved.  We welcome feedback and will approve comments as long as they are appropriate. Thank you for visiting!

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