Separation of Church and State, has been controversial since 1947. Some have held that separation of Church and State had to do with having both as separate entities, while others have prohibited the free religious exercise of individuals in public places. Does the phase separation of church and state have to do with not praying, reading a bible, wearing religious clothing, etc, in public places. Does it have a complete different meaning, than we are accustomed to today. A closer look at the founding fathers, and when did the strict use of this phase begin, will give us the answer to this question.
Separation of Church and State, goes back to the Old Testament. Moses was chosen as the law giver, in Ex. 20:1-17. Aaron on the other hand was chosen as the first high priest in Ex. 28. This shows that God was setting Moses over government and Aaron over the religious institute. God wanted both offices to be separate. In 391 AD Emperor Theodosius had combined both the church and state into one office. During this time the church was in charge of the state and anyone who did not go with the states religious belief was punished as if they committed a crime. During the 1500's the reformers who followed the Bible wanted to return to the Biblical separation of church and state.
Our founding fathers came from England. The Church Of England, was the established religion in England. There was a controversy over England proposing the first American Bishop to be in charge of the British American Colonies. At the time, there were different established denominations in America. We had the Congregationalists, Puritans, Presbyterians, etc. Our founding fathers, did not want one denomination chosen as the state religion. They did not want anyone persecuted for their faith, just because they disagreed with someone else' denomination. The also knew the Bible taught, the state and church should be different entities. So they wanted the Separation of Church and State.
It is also important to note, that the term Separation of Church and State, is no where listed in the Constitution. What you will find in the Constitution, is that congress shall not pass any law respecting an establishment of religion. Note the word respecting. The state was not to choose one denomination over another. It did not prohibit Americans from praying, reading a Bible, sharing the Gospel, wearing religious clothing or any other expression of faith. In fact the Constitution prohibited congress from allowing citizens to freely express their faith.
Separation of Church and State was a response that Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to some Baptists in Danbury, CT. Thomas Jefferson's religious views were different than those of orthodox Christianity. He believed in the moral teaching of the Bible. He even believed that the teachings of Jesus, "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man". However, he did not believe in the miracles or anything supernatural in the Bible. He didn't even belief in the doctrine of the Trinity, which is the teaching that there is one God who consists of three persons (The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit). He even created his own bible, that had the moral teachings from the Bible, but left out anything supernatural. As a result, the Baptist were concerned that he would make the congregational church the state religion. So they wrote him a letter, explaining their concern. He wrote back affirming, that he believed that Government would not establish any state religion. He was affirming that government and the church would be two different entities, when he wrote back telling them that there would be Separation of Church and State.
It was not until 1948, that government refused to allow citizens to exercise their religion in public places. A look at history shows that before that schools were opened in prayer, ministers preached sermons at the US Capital. In God we trust was on the first two cent piece in 1864. Bible reading was allowed in public. Our founding fathers never prohibited the freedom to express our religion. Even Joseph Story, known as the father of our supreme court justice, mentioned how we were a Christian nation. So why do we not allow, Christians to freely express their religious beliefs today. The answer is because we no longer have Separated Of Church and State. Now the state is telling the church, what it is allowed to do and what it can not do. We now have the state running the church.
Ever since 1847, when we misinterpreted Separation Of Church and State, we have seen an increase in crime. Since then our streets and schools are filled with rape and violence. We have seen an increase in family violence. The following changes took place, when we removed The Bible and Prayer from schools, in 1962
Violent crime has risen by 350%
Criminal arrest is up by 150%
Teen Suicides are up 450%
Illegal drug activity is up 6000%
Child Abuse is up 2300%
Divorce is up 350%
SAT scores fell 10%
68% of Americans believe it is ok to have sex outside of marriage
61% of Americans claim it is ok to have a baby outside of marriage
63% of Americans claim there is nothing morally wrong with being gay or lesbian
and 59% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal
Our morals have declined, in our nation, because of this interpretation of Separation of Church and State. The only cure for our nation is, “if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14. We need to return to the values and morals of our founding fathers. We need to repent of our ways, make a decision to do what is right. Most of all we need to become a Christian nation once again. That will only happen as we all, ask Jesus to forgive us and make him the Lord of our lives. If, from your heart, you will like to make this choice, repeat this prayer.
Dear Jesus, I believe that you died on the cross for my sin. I believe that you rose again from the dead. Forgive me for all that I have done wrong. Come live inside of me. I chose to make you my Lord and Savior. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.
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