Anytime you hear the concept of the separation of church and state being talked about these days, it is never in regard to maintaining the restraints on government; instead, it is always talking about what Christians and churches cannot do. (D. James Kennedy, “Character & Destiny: A Nation In Search of Its Soul,” p. 50)
Mr. Kennedy, in this quote, tries to prove that there should not be a separation between church and state. He is saying that, because of the modern-day secularists are trying to restrain religion and not the government, that there should not be a separation. That, however, is not a legitimate reason. The world has always and will always oppose religion, especially true Christianity. He also has the following quotes:
And the real danger of the so-called “sepatation” doctrine is not that religion has been put at arm’s length from the govenment, but that this false concept has been used to install government as the sovereign power and benefactor of the nation. (p. 123)
“The real object of the First Amendment,” said Justice Story, “was not to countenance, much less advance, Mahomentanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity; but to exlude all rivalry among Christian sects, and to prevent any national ecclesiatical establishment.” (p. 126)
Our government was set up to have a separation between it and religion. The Framers and Founders of our country knew and understood what government was like when there was a blending of church and state. Yes, they established our government on the Bible; but, along with that, they were putting the government into its rightful and proper Biblical place. Government is to protect life, liberty, and property. As long as religion does not physically threaten a person, a person is allowed to believe and worship as they believe they should (liberty of conscience). For example, public prayer does not hurt a person, even if it is in court or the senate; if there are hurtful things said, that may make it inappropriate, but not unconstitutional.
Mr. Kennedy further defends his position by using issues such as divorce, teen suicide, drug abuse, and violent crime:
Given all these intractable problems, Christians have no other option. They have to speak up, and they have to be involved in offering solutions. Throwing more money at problems such as these will not solve them. Government will never be able to solve any of these problems, becuase they are moral problems that affect the depths of the human soul. And that is an area that can only be touched by faith. (p. 66)
He is correct in saying that government will not be able to solve these problems by throwing money at them (which is exactly what they are doing now). They can only be truly addressed through the Word of God – BUT that does not mean that the government should enforce Biblical principles to “solve” these issues. The solution lies in the preaching of God’s Word, both publicly and privately (soul winning). When churches stopped following God’s command in these areas, that’s when society began falling apart and the government swooped in to “save the day.”
The answer? The government needs to step back, separate from the church, and allow the church to do what it ought to do. The church needs to get back to old fashioned, Biblical teaching and preaching.
This four-part series on Separation of Church and State: