Separation Of Church And State

Which is closest to your idea about Separation of Church and State?

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Just wanting to explore people's ideas around the Christian world on this subject.

Please choose as many as you like that fit with your opinion.
Messrs. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, and Stephen s. Nelson A Committee of the Danbury Baptist Association, in the State of Connecticut.

Washington, January 1, 1802

Gentlemen,--The affectionate sentiment of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist Association, give me the highest satisfaction. My duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature would "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and Creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect and esteem.

Th Jefferson Jan. 1. 1802

On marriage:

My argument is that 'equal citizenship' should not include legislation that is based on sexual orientation, marital status, gender, religion, age, etc...(It is reverse discrimination-if there is such a thing.)

The 'state' in the United States has been granted too much power and 'marriage' shouldn't even be a consideration in any type of legislation since it is a belief issue. BUT the conundrum happens when you have non-believers who join together through the 'state' because they desire to go outside of God's parameters. Then we have the issue of 'separation/ divorce' when a union is wanted to be dissolved by one party or the other. Because the state was allowed to compensate for non-believers, it is allowed to write the definition of 'marriage' as it pertains to it's citizens. Also, since many believers utilize certain benefiting ordinances (like the tax code) as it applies to 'married couples'; we subject ourselves to the authority of law by the state-rather than by God creating a royal mess.

So the mess is: since the state now is able to define 'marriage' it can basically dictate what the 'legal terms of union' are without Church involvement. Can Christians really do anything about this? NO! (Romans 13). BUT to keep the sanctity of 'marriage' as put forth by God-the 'state' cannot be allowed to dictate rules inside the Church which is what we see happening in the USA; because when a Pastor refuses to marry a couple-that gay couple starts civil action against the Church and the Pastor even though technically they have no 'right' to be married in the Church. Gay couples probably will be allowed nationwide to be 'married/ unionized' in the USA in the relative near future.

The problem is that the 'state' definition of marriage is allowing civil action against churches forcing them to bow down to an abomination. No it shouldn't be that way-but it is. The biggest problem I see thus far is 'Christian' Business owners standing up for their beliefs and being sued for discrimination against homosexuals. This is how the Church will be viewed and persecuted under 'hate crimes' which is the new wave of anti-Christianity. It happened to the Jews-why do we think we are safe from it?

And the list could go on forever...

The truth of the matter is this: Christians are losing their ability to practice their faith in an 'establishment' manner in the USA. the 'rights' of gay people are just the same as straight people. 'Marriage' on the other hand is viewed as the 'Gay Mecca' if you will here in the USA. Because churches and businesses are trying to stand up for their faith, they are being persecuted. Maybe that's the way it should be?

Amendment 1: US Bill of Right's
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 press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

That does not stop the individual states of the union from allowing 'marriage' or 'civil unions' of gays. The purpose of the battle is to desecrate God and remove Him from our nation's power structure completely. The states already have the capability to create legislation to allow this.
Hey forgot to vote.

And please! We have one gay topic....I'll close this one if it becomes another one. Over killing a topic is not the point of this survey!

Think larger....Read the questions.

Just a mental prod:

  1. Church tax exemption....a good thing? Not every nation has this. Keeps politics out of the pulpit legally.
  2. Contraception among teens: moral matter for the state or the church?
  3. Military non-combatant status on religious grounds.
  4. Christian "political action": an oxymoron or a denial of faith?
  5. State licensing of Christian schools: destroying the Separation?
  6. The Senate chaplain: a paid by taxes minister of the Gospel, or...?

This is my idea....What does Separation of Church and Sate mean in the real world and to YOU?
I was using marriage as an example for the idea. I thought i presented the 'separation of Church and State' from a real world stance in current events and politics in the USA.

On paper it should be easy enough to understand-but using the example I posted above-it should be obvious that 'freedom of religion' is tainted when secular organizations/the state define terms that relate religious worship and ritual. Simply put, when the 'church' allows the state a foothold in anything, it is a downhill tumble from there. That includes schooling, taxes, etc...

The point I was trying to make repeatedly in other threads and apparently failing to do so is this: As Christians; when the body of Christ is divided and weak on issues and seeks after worldly things (the love of money), we reap the benefits of what we sow. In other words, since we cannot agree on doctrine and live for Christ like we should, the world is corralling us under 'state law'. It may not be a rounding up and tossing to the lions in the physical sense, but in a 'spiritual' sense using the 'the laws of the land' (which are but vapor-and we know who the prince of the air is...) Christians are being persecuted. It is a slow demoralizing decay because of our lack of obedience as a Church.

I guess I am using the US as an example as what is happening around the world; but it is my perspective since I am in the US.

Do I believe God is still working here? Yes I do, but I also believe there is a seriously lack of 'work' being done by those who claim to be in the Body of Christ. Government intrusion into faith is a symptom not the problem.

And if we live by Romans 13, all we have the power to do is accept the authority over us and grin & bear it. So the real question is-should Christians stand up and voice their opinions against legislation that effects the Church or just shut up about it? We in the USA still have a 'right' to voice our opinions in government-although that is slowly fading away too and being labeled as "hate speech"...
So...You're not voting, DRS?

I'm trying to get specific viewpoints, not just general ideas.

Leave the marriage issue on it's own thread, please!
It's kind of hard for me to vote on this one....

As 'we the people' influence policy; if 'we the people' were a majority of true Christians-I think there would be less debate on what policy is coming down the pipe that directly effects the 'Church".

As I said-it is a symptom of the state of the Church-we are apparently failing to reach out, influence and set an example worthy for the next generation to follow.

The misconception here like using the hot button issue of 'Gay Marriage' is this: the homosexual individuals already share the same "rights" under US constitutional law as the evangelical Christians. It is the state governments, insurance companies and businesses that influence the 'gay marriage' debate more than Church. Redefining marriage in 'law' is a slap in the face to God. As I said, with this type of legislation, it is about eliminating God from policy, not about the 'rights' of individuals. It is a facade. Let them have their 'unions' and call them whatever you want, just let people of faith practice as they see fit. That is the real attack-against freedom of religion.

Churches shouldn't have to pander to the states will in the practice of faith: BUT we end up playing the game because of things like building codes, vehicle inspections, education accreditation, tax exemption, food service, public through fare, etc, etc, etc...

Are any of these things necessarily bad to do? I guess that depends on your perception of 'the common good' / 'the greater good'/ universalism. It's one of those man-made grey areas.


Account Closed
The problem is that men are evil, this corruption colors the issue.
I would have the church as the state, tax exempt, all powerful. But, the church is fragmented, men cannot be trusted to not use positions of power to line their own pockets and persecute their rivals.
Up here in Canada it seems to work a bit differently; the debate doesn't seem to be as strident as in the US; it seems to revolve here around charitable status.
I find it hard to narrow it down. Basically, there needs to be mutual respect (which there often isn't), and a quick political fix isn't the answer... (But, then, what do I know? I'm Canadian...funny lot, up here... :) )
I'm not talking JUST about America: these issue touch every Christian in every country anywhere.
The problem is that men are evil, this corruption colors the issue.
I would have the church as the state, tax exempt, all powerful. But, the church is fragmented, men cannot be trusted to not use positions of power to line their own pockets and persecute their rivals.
What? A TOTAL union of Church and State?
I'm not talking JUST about America: these issue touch every Christian in every country anywhere.
Kind of assumes that what is defined as 'religion', 'church', 'state', etc. is either similar or the same worldwide.

Which I would beg to say it isn't...



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The idea of separation of church and state has always been a bit misunderstood, at least in the last several generations. We are so afraid of this idea, that we seem to have forgotten the original lesson. In fact, 9 of the 13 original colonies had officially recognized state religions (Church of England and Congregational being the most popular). The problems isn't so much when the two interact, but when one begins to exceed its purpose. If we take a look at heavy Islamic nations, we can see some great examples of a religion dominating the government. We can't get too smug about that because it happened in Christianity as well, and would happen again if given the opportunity. That is because it is about power, not about politics or religion. Right now in America we have a situation where a religion is actually taking far too much control over our government, it just isn't one that is recognized as an organized religion. Our government is serving the Atheist religion, which has become the new religion of man. I see very little difference in how that religion operates when in power, so granting them control is no less dangerous or harmful than granting any other religious group power.
Oh to be free from the law;
To be liberated in faith.
Justified in the Creator;
And living life anew.
Sinless, guiltless, bondless,
Living according to love.
Worshiping in Spirit,
The Holy One sent from above.
All Hail the God of ALL!
Praise the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Any man made creation given any perceived power will corrupt itself. Man given the choice being left alone will sin...


Account Closed
I see no reason for civil government to exist at all. It is only because mankind is evil that government serves ANY purpose. I do not need some duly elected nitwit to tell me how to live or what I may do or not do with my own.
Name one function of government that is not a response to bad behavior on the part of people.


Account Closed
Can we coexist with unbelievers? Over the long haul I would very much doubt it. Heresy and apathy tend to increase, not decrease. Unbelievers have no moral statutes to limit their behavior, so we fight at a disadvantage. Just in the last century, the rot that has been eating away and the Protestant churches in the US and Europe is quite pronounced. I see no reason why it should not continue. The RCC has had it's share of corruption and an ugly liberal trend also.
From where I stand "politics" in and of itself is a corrupt practice, for it holds no value in truth. Sort of like lawyers, what virtue is there in a profession that exists to misrepresent reality?