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Separation of Church and State

Nehemiah 11 and 12 shows us the handling of the important, and sometimes controversial, matter of church and state. The priests and Levites are seen carrying out functions commissioned by God, And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and purified the people…l (Nehemiah 12:30). Nehemiah, as a political official, was very careful not to interfere with their ministries; …and I after them (Nehemiah.12:38). The separation of Church and State is one of the fundamental principles of our republic. The concept is often perverted.

The idea of separation was born of the desire of the people to keep government from interfering with the church. In other words, the sovereignty of God and independence of His church was to be protected, not the sovereignty of the state. Both cannot be sovereign! To be sovereign is to be chief, highest or paramount; in dealing with each other one MUST be higher. It was the intention of the framers of our Constitution to have the church influence the affairs of state, never the opposite. The only wall of separation that our forefathers built against the churches’ influence was that which would keep any one particular Christian denomination from becoming the officially endorsed State Church.

The First Amendment reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the free press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

A strong spiritual commitment is essential in a republic (government by laws), if it is to succeed. Without adequate Biblical values it is impossible to maintain the involvement of the people necessary in insuring that the laws of the land are upheld. The principles of OBLIGATION and RESPONSIBILITY among the people are lost without a strong spiritual commitment. THE STATE SHOULD HELP PROTECT THE FREEDOMS OF THE CHURCH. If the state fails to do this, it will do so to its own destruction.

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