Separation - Church/State Origins





1a. 235 years ago an unique and noble experiment was tied in governing a new land and a diversified people

2a. The experiment known today as a the democratic form of govt. has served this country well and set the example for all peoples and all nations

3a. One of the unique elements of this early govt. that makes it stand out so wonderfully is its commitment to religious freedom and that is protected in the constitution and the principle of the separation of church and state

4a. Though this doctrine has undergone many attacks and is presently experiencing a great deal of stress in many areas of society, still it stands forth as something to be proud of and something to be defended and protected

5a. Let us examine this principle from the standpoint of both a Christian and an American Citizen

I. The Doctrine's Definition

1a The church and the state would exist and function as equal and separate forces, governing only their sphere of authority

1b State governing man in secular matters

2b Church governing men in spiritual matters

2a Like two oxen, yoked together so that with their combined strength they might do the job that would be impossible for just one

1b Thus the state provided for religion the order, protection, and freedom that it may function as it saw fit

2b Thus the church provided for the state moral integrity that makes a government, strong, fair, and successfully

3a Two strong forces pulling together, helping each other, to govern men in a free and just way.

II. The Doctrine's Establishment

1a Scripture: the dual and separate function of these two institutes is seen in their separate establishment

1b God established Govt. separate from the church (Rom. 13:1-7)

1c Its purpose to serve the secular needs of man

2c Since God’s sovereignty demands this conclusion it is true even in the cases of bad rulers and bad governments – Hitler, Stalin, Ortega,

2b God established the Church separate from Government (Matt. 16:18)

1c Its purpose to serve the spiritual needs of the people

2c It has a God given right to exist and to function equally with the State as God designed it.

2a History

1b Stated

1c Government dominance leads to misuse of government’s authority in area of religion and personal freedoms

1d Repression and persecution

1e Rome – 1st – 3rd centuries

2e Germany – WWII – Jews

3e Russia: - restrictions on religion

2d Control of belief and practice

1e King James VI – authority to translate the scriptures

2e Henry VIII- to reject one religion (Roman Catholicism) and substitute another (Anglican Church)

2c Religious dominance leads to misuse of religion’s authority in the area of government and personal freedoms

1d Repression, persecution, and extermination of rival religious and ideas using the state government to carry it out

1e Inquisition

2e Crusades

2d Required support of State Church by all people even those of other faiths

3d Controlled rulers and govt. through fear in order to get them to do their bidding – even at the expense of the people

2b Examined

1c It was the lessons leaned from these abuses and the tendencies already present in several colonies one direction or the other that they choose the better alternative

2c This way the govt. could not control the religion nor religion could not control the government.

III. The Doctrine's Demands

1a Stated

1b Secular Government (Rom. 13:1-7; I Peter 2:13-17)

1c Submit to Govt. authority in all matters

2c Support our govt.: Not Destroy

1d Payment of taxes

2d Taking apart in elections and serving in office

3d Serving in the military

4d Honoring those in authority over you

5d Obeying Govt. laws – seat belts, parking meters, litter, helmets

2b Sacred Government (Heb. 13:17-19)

1c Submit to the authority of the Church and leaders in all matters

2c Support the Church: Not divided – disagreement we ought use proper channels

1d Gifts

2d Attendance

3d Serving

4d Honoring leadership

5d Vote and membership

2a The Exception

1b When a conflict arises one must put God first, since he established both the church and state

2b Therefore:

1c Told to pay taxes – you do

2c Told to abort your baby – you don’t

IV. The Doctrine's Demise

1a Stated

1b The equal and separate status of Church and State has begun to wobble and falter due to the attacks of many and has caused an uncertainty as to their respective realms of authority

2b This has caused a growing tension between church and state that any ultimately destroy our freedom to worship and many of our other basic freedom

2a Discussed

1b The causes for this recent tension have some of their beginnings as far back as the early nineteen hundreds

1c Cause #1: Govt. has gotten into the business of religion by adopting a state religion and expecting it to be followed and even worshipped by all

1d This state religion, called secular human gave the appearance it was neutral religiously when it reality it had its own set of beliefs and faith about God and man

1e Origins came not from God but nature and evolution – No Adam and Eve and no fall

2e Truth therefore became relevant, having no rights or wrongs, all is now up to speculation and opinion

3e Attack the credibility of the church its Scriptures and its God > Opening way to many religions foreign to our Govt.

2d The Resulted in:

1e Pushing Christianity & Principles from the schools and public areas

2e Infected the minds of millions

1f To question their Christian Faith

2f To Open the door to non-Christian religion

3f Regulation of Religion – As it appears foolish

2c Cause #2: Religion, Christianity departs from the Faith

1d No longer were the Scriptures God’s authoritative word or the moral teachings necessary to be followed

2d As more and more churches and denominations followed their secular humanistic philosophy the great effect it had on government

1e Without the Scriptures to teach, many liberal churches became politically active – crossing the barrier

2e Without the morals of Gods’ word, the men who now filled our greatest positions of leadership no longer passed the quallifications needed for good and honest govt.

1f Immorality

2f Dishonesty

3f Bribery

4f Betrayal

3d Those who still held to God’s word were alarmed at the conditions of our leaders and formed political actions groups which stepped out of their boundaries

2b The blurring of this line of demarcation is increasing all the time as govt. and Christianity now no longer where the line must be drawn

3a Applied: what can I do to presser the separation of church and state?

1b Become a Christian and lead others to the Lord, the only way to return morality and good govt. to this land is through regenerated citizens and officials

2b Participate in govt.

1c Be knowledgeable

2c Participate in the process

3c Pray regularly for leaders and nations

History of Separation