Tag Archives: christians in government

The Separation of Church and State, Part 1

Do we want our state to run our church? Do we want our church to govern our state? I submit to you that without the guaranteed separation of the two, either is possible.

I once thought that a church directed society would be good, but what is church? Is church a building, or a series of edifices, where people worship Christ? Is church an organized gathering of people who profess to believe in the existence of Christ? Is church a group of human beings who believe that Christ Jesus is the Son of The One True God and knowingly submit to His Lordship- to The Living Word of God? Is church a place where, or a group of people who, have something to do with Christ?

The separation of church and state is actually meant to imply the separation of religion and state, and is meant to impede any religion (including those of Secular Humanism and Atheism) from taking over the state, as well as to aid in the prohibition of the state taking over any religion.

The separation of church and state is reportedly first mentioned in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to a group of Baptists concerned over their religious liberty. History assures us that at the time of Mr. Jefferson’s use of the phrase, Christianity was the only religion openly practiced in this country.

Interestingly, the religion of Christianity is unique in that it was never meant to be another religion separate from the core of a man, but rather ‘The Way of the Followers of Christ Jesus, The Lord of All’: It is meant to be a way of life actually lived. The directions for the way of the followers of Christ are of course contained in The Holy Bible.

I am especially concerned, today, that we, the True Church- The Followers of Christ Jesus, The Lord of All- will be made to submit to the governance of the state should we fail to recognize the importance of our binary state of being. Now, this is not a matter of urgency if the true Christians are permeating the institutions of man, as well as the institutions of God, but if we have failed to maintain our influence through leadership in these institutions, then we must take joy in the establishment of the first amendment to the great constitution of The United States of America, in that we know it protects our right to assemble together and to live out God’s Truth openly and without fear.

Oh, that we might be a country, in which the influence of the True Church is felt in every area- no, not simply felt, but acknowledged as the greater persuasion!

At this present moment, it appears that we have lost much of our influence in the institution of the state, and we must seek to regain it through active participation in our government – local, state, and federal levels. I am so grateful for those followers of The Way of Christ Jesus, The Lord of All, continuing to stay involved in the political arena, as I am for those working in the institution of our military- pledging to protect, to defend, and to honor this great and imperfect nation.

©2010, L.L. Shelton

Gay Marriage Ban Overturned

Is the effort surrounding California’s Proposition Eight, banning gay marriage, and the fact that CA Proposition Eight has been recently overturned- as well as many other similar efforts concerning gay marriage- necessary? In 1989, Denmark was the first country to recognize civil unions. A civil union or similarly titled act, is one which recognizes the physical unions that the true church will not recognize; because of their failure to meet the standards clearly outlined by God, in The Word of God, which is The Holy Scriptures, the Truth which governs the true church.

Civil unions, and the like, permit these couples to exist in relative peace; being allowed the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness- or whatever are the rights protected by a particular society for its citizens- as  these unions define for them the same political legal rights as are extended to those couples who are recognized as married by the church. These unions also allow those couples, who recognize fully that they do not wish to include a God to which they show no allegiance in their own alliance with one another, to exist as a couple, with political legal rights equal to those afforded legitimately married couples.

At this point in time, the debate encircling California’s Proposition Eight, banning gay marriage, and other similar legislation is centered around the question:  Is marriage an institution which should encompass two consenting adults? Soon, the question may be:  Is marriage an institution which should encompass two human beings? Then:  Is marriage truly an institution that should encompass only two beings? The alarming trend is evident.

It appears that the institution of marriage originates with the Hebrew God, Yahweh, and that the definition of marriage is clearly stated by that God in His Word in the second chapter of Genesis.  The problem then is largely one of semantics.

Let those outside the church, our neighbors, be treated civilly, humanely.  May it be that we, as a church, treat them better than we treat ourselves- loving our neighbors as we love ourselves, as our King has ordered us to do in the twenty-second chapter of Matthew, verses 37-40.  Let us invite our neighbors into our homes and into our gathering places, and there let us love them.   However, let our neighbors not demand the rights of membership in the body, unless they have complied with the standard set forth in our Governing Body of Truth.  Let us not wittingly include (in church membership) those who do not agree with our constitution.

Lastly, if the world at large insists upon commandeering the term ‘marriage’ and its derivatives, maybe we must consider a new term to label and define the unions which we as a church are willing to recognize.