Baptists > Distinctives > Church and State
"Civil liberty can be established on no foundation of human reason which will not at the same time demonstrate the right of religious freedom."
                                            ~ John Quincy Adams
   Does the Bill of Rights really call for the separation of church and state?
   There are actually those who would have all Americans believe that anytime a Christian exercises his freedom (I did not say "right") to influence government based on his Biblical convictions, he/she is violating the Bill of Rights.  Furthermore, that same believer is infringing upon the rights of others.
   This is indeed ignorance in it's saddest form, for the Bill of Rights does not state what rights we have but, rather, what restrictions are placed upon government so that it cannot infringe upon our God-given freedoms.  It is much less a document stating what citizens can do but much more one that clearly states what government cannot do.
   The ongoing argument still being put forth by those who resent Christians (including us Baptists) is that our wanting to keep such things as prayer and the Ten Commandments in our public school systems smacks of violating the human rights of those who do not accept such things.
   Before we go any further, let's read what the first ammendment to the Constitution actually says...
"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."

   Was it simply a matter of chance that the ammendment concerning how government is to protect religion is at the top of the list?  Of course not.  One of the major factors that forced Europeans to leave their homelands for the new world was the promise of religious freedom.  The Anabaptists of old had endured persecution but now they could come to America and finally be free.  State sponsored churches were intolerent and jealous not to allow it's citizens to worship outside their sometimes brutally enforced and totally intollerent laws.  Those who would not comply for shunned, ridicutled, and even tortured for their faith. 
   Therefore, the chief cornerstone of this nation is that government is totally restricted from establishing religion.  Neither can it prohibit us in exercising our faith as we determine to do so.  That promise was extended to all peoples regardless of their religious persuasion.  No nation on earth has ever been as tolerent toward so many divergent religious views as this one.  As a result, Baptists have flourished in this nation and continue to do so.
   Prayer in our public schools?
   The Ten Commandements in public schools and governmental buildings?
   Manger scenes set up in front of post offices?
   Christian political action groups?
   Where in the Bill of Rights does it say that the state is establishing religion or deny it's free exercise by allowing children to pray in school, some of the first laws to ever govern a people be displayed, the recognition of what is considered to be a major holiday in our culture, and the freedom of Christians to unite so as to influence government?
    If a child does not want to pray in school, he/she has the freedom not to do so.  That is a right we believers will defend to the death.
    Do schools not teach views and theories that conflict with those of Bible-believing Christians?  Let all of man's thoughts be presented but let God's Word be included, too.
   Would Christians get upset if the Star of David were to be displayed in front of a United States Post Office during Hannakuh?  Of course not!
   Are Christians of a mind to destroy and extinct all other political action groups?  Absolutely not!  We will die to protect the freedoms of even those with whom we disagree.
   By having a correct understanding of the First Ammendment, we are able to see through the ways in which Bible-believing Christians are being attacked.  Let's call it what it is.  It's just another form of persecution by those who, should they be allowed to press their agenda all the way to it's obvious end, desire to force government to establishing a religion (whether secular or spiritual) that opposes Biblical Christianity.
   The history of the indomitable Baptists gives us the insight we need to recognize the true motivation of such agendas.  We are fully aware that the end of such philosophies is the subjugation and persecution of those who cling to their own Biblical convictions.
   We've been there and done that.
   We won't allow it anymore.
   Let that be understood once and for all.

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Slippage Questions: Separation of Church and State

"Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip."  ~ Hebrews 2:1

   Are you willing to submit the the false concept that the Bill of Rights states that the Christians have no right to influence government?
   Is it not true that all religions, philosophies, and political action groups work very hard at influencing government?  If so, are Christians to take a backseat just because we are told to do so by those who disagree with our agenda?
   Do you think that it is possible for Christians to be too involved in polititcs, thus, losing site of our main purpose to be that of leading souls to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ?
   Can we legislate righteousness to those who remain unsaved? 
   Therefore, can we be sure that Biblical principles can be set forth with the expectaton that those who are spiritually unregenerated will honor and follow them?
   Would it then be better to be more active in evangelism so that we can lead others to Christ, thus, maintaining an ongoing Bible-centered influence in our nation?
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