“I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” -Thomas Jefferson-
Not that ‘We the people’ ever really bought into the idea that this was ever penned by Thomas Jefferson in order to ensure that religion never had its hand in politics. Whether misconceived or deliberately misconstrued, we have, however, allowed the idea to soften our convictions towards speaking from a Christian point of view in the public and political arenas to the point that we have become quite stagnant, and somehow we feel ok, if not justified in our silence.
Maybe the church has too long preached the idea that our testimony is our lives and not much more. Not inaccurately, mind you, but this is desperately incomplete! We must be ready in season and out of season to give a defense for our hope in Christ. We must bring our children up in the way they should go. We must stop being lukewarm. The lukewarm church is spit out of the mouth of Christ, which is a perfect analogy. Have you ever taken a huge swig of ice cold water only to discover it’s lukewarm? Nasty. It certainly looked cold. Maybe it was even labeled ‘cold.’ Isn’t that what we do? In an effort to let our lives be our testimony, do we not wear the label proudly and yet sit on the fence – – dabbling in the middle ground, somehow convinced that we can tread the water even if we break through the thin ice. Only one problem: It’s quicksand.
At what point did we become complacent and by acquiescence complicit? What ever made us, Christians, blessed with unimaginable riches in Christ, think that we were gaining anything at all by digging through gutters – looking for loose change? A partial compromise is arguably worse than a complete compromise! At least there is less hypocrisy in a total surrender. “Better an open sinner than a false saint”? Not at all. But at this time in history, and certainly for good reason any point leading up to now, there should be an urgency in the life of the Christian like as in no other soul to live up to the convictions not so much felt as defined by the total in reason for the faith! “Whatever we do for the least…” Realizing that the good works we are free to either do or ignore were Put there Ahead of time for our doing!
Thomas Jefferson was convinced that ‘the whole American people’ believed that by reason the wall of separation was self evident. What purpose would that wall serve if it were ever assumed we would all be living our cozy Christian lives amassing creature comforts by the truckloads just to let our lives be our only gospel? I contend that more was expected and more is required. Not in the way that paranoid politicians fear and our early government espoused… not trapsing across the countryside ‘helping’ Christ win followers by insisting they follow or else we take their land and exchange it for some eroded patch of dirt. America has its share of shameful sins it would like, or should like to forget. But its time to move forward. In spite of and because of the fact that our Christian freedoms are in grave danger, we need to now like never before, fall on our knees before a great and forgiving God, beg forgiveness, and plunge into the deep end of the pool.
Raise your children in the true Way. An impossibility if we insist on melding the world and God together. Preach the gospel. (Use words!) Make your defense of the faith more than just a timid explanation of a watered down Savior. Be involved in politics! The greatest privilege we were granted was the freedom to vocalize our beliefs without fear of retribution from the government. These freedoms were penned by a religious people for a religious people. How then can we separate our religion from our politics? A majorily religious people charged with electing officials responsible for the continuation, amendments, and originations of (continuing) policies, laws, edicts, etc… an intricate knowledge and involvement was expected! Now we only vote for the candidate who offers the most free stuff. Even if that candidate also believes in abortion. We should be the first in line to protect ‘the least.’
America was founded on principles that a few believe are outdated. Our founding fathers were willing to die for those beliefs. Were they wrong? Freedom is never outdated. Not confusing liberty with licence here either. Whether or not we are free by the world’s or the government’s standards, we are always free in Christ. The disciples believed that one way or the other the end times were near. Whether that coincides with the current state of affairs in our nation or not remains to be seen. But let’s take advantage of what we have while we have it. The saying goes, “Make hay while the sun still shines.” The sun is setting. Let’s make some hay.
A lot of it.