Just going to set this out there.
I lean for the separation of church and state.
While our nation was indeed founded upon the ideals of Judeo-Christianity, many of the men whom we call “Founding Fathers” were also greatly impacted by the Enlightenment- and a huge tenet of the Enlightenment was Deism. At it’s base, Deism is the belief in God as a divine watchmaker, He’s built the watch, wound it up, then let it run. No miracles. No intervention. No personal relationship.
Add to this one more thing- Western Philosophical Thought- going back to the ancient Greek philosophers and their ideals of heart/mind separation, from which we get Stoicism, Epicureanism, the separation between the sacred and the secular, and eventually Gnosticism.
Today is the National Day of Prayer– a time for people to come together and pray for our nation and it’s leaders. On this day, President Trump has created and signed an executive order about religious liberties.
And, because we are a rage culture, well, rage ensues from all sides- one side is angry and disappointed, with the other seemingly mocking their Christian brothers and sisters.
As I prepared yesterday for an upcoming message, I read Acts 3-4. Peter and John are out in the Temple, healing people and talking about Jesus. They’re arrested by the priests and brought before the council- the same ones who about 60 days before had killed Jesus. Since the guy that was healed was standing there, there was literally nothing the council could do except “command them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.”
The response from Peter and John is simple and should guide each and every person who claims the cross- “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.”
While legal religious liberties may indeed be governed, proclaimed, enforced, or legislated, there is a higher authority. In fact, it is this higher authority (the Creator alluded to in our founding documents) that allows (appoints, even!) this lower authority. It is to this higher kingdom that we are commanded to obey and live in.
While I’m thrilled beyond measure to live in a nation founded upon high ideals, even “Christian” ones, there’s a Higher Kingdom in which I, and everyone else on earth, truly reside and it is the law of this Kingdom to which we are bound.