13 Comments

Separation of Church and State: Poll


The annual National Prayer Breakfast was held this morning. Reading through the speeches, prayers, and proclomations which came out of this meeting, one item got my attention:

President Barack Obama said Thursday he will establish a White House office of faith-based initiatives that will show no favoritism to any religious group and adhere to the strict separation of church and state. Obama’s advisers want to be certain tax dollars sent to the faith-based social service groups are used for secular purposes, such as feeding the hungry or housing the homeless, and not for religious evangelism. The administration doesn’t want to be perceived as managing the groups yet does want transparency and accountability.

Obama pledged during the campaign to allow taxpayer-funded religious institutions to hire and fire based on religion — but only for the activities run on private funding. (link)

Also more at the White House blog

What are your thoughts on the separation of Church and State? Have we as ‘the’ Church become, over time, too dependent upon Government? An even more important question is could God be behind this push by our new President in seeking to reinstate this line separating the two? There is a move gathering momentum within Christian circles, which is lobbying for this line to be removed.  Should it be?

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13 comments on “Separation of Church and State: Poll

  1. I’m opposed to the church taking money from the government. People need to remember this ” He who pays the piper dictates the tune” That is what those greedy bankers on wall street need to understand.

  2. Agreed. We need to stay separate, not for the sake of the nation, but for the sake of the church. Just look at how quickly Christianity deteriorated once it became the state religion of Rome.

  3. The merging of church and state is an unequal yoking which strips the church of it’s purity. Many of us have already realized this by observing the bad fruit from such a union.

  4. Absolutely not. We should not be dominist in our belief. Does God use government? Yes, of course. Does God place His people in leadership? Without a doubt. But I can just imagine the the ecstasy that it would become for those that believe the Church is to “infiltrate” all the levels of society. It is only after the return of the Son of the MOST HIGH that there will be peace. Without Christ all other notions of peace are merely an ecumenical peace.

    Is it likely to actually happen? I would not be in the least bit surprised. Why should there not be a leveling out, a greater (ecumenical) commonality, found among a larger portion of humankind but to usher in the soon appear Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.

    Those that are seeking a spiritual component to their lives apart from Christ, will find it, but I believe that they will find it in a deception. May the grace of God become known to those He was called.

  5. Sadly, most of the churches are already yoked to the government through 501c3 non profit tax covenants. The government has already used this covenant to control leadership in this country. Most church folk are not seperate from the state in their daily lives. The Lord commands His people to come out and be seperate from the Babylon system, yet few do, seeking to please the desires in the flesh, disreguarding the leading of the spirit. There are many examples of Israel mixing outside of God’s government, only to bring judgment upon the nation of Israel. Church folk need to wake up, judgment is coming, tribulation is here. Tribulation is from God to seperate the wheat from the tares. We are here to be witnesses to God’s kingdom, not to build churches for men. Quit worrying about the WORKS of men and get on with the WORKS of God. The Lord said his people live by faith, we need to excercise that promise, soon we will only receive from the Father. The won’t be any other choice for God’s true children.

  6. I think the two should be separate, government types are based on certain philosophies and reasoning, which in most cases do not agree with Church tenets and doctrines as set out in the Word of GOD.

    Governmental systems are ultimately not designed to enthrone GOD in the affairs of men, but rather man. While we have a duty to engage we should not seek to give government “power” over the church.

  7. Religious organizations and churches are free to stay clear from 501c3 or this new arrangement, if their leaders feel that the government exercises too much control.
    It’s becoming troublesome when the government _requires_ organizations to move under such an umbrella, but this isn’t what’s happening here.

    Unfortunately, many of these orgs want the advantages of being tax-free (and even gov’t funding), without the “disadvantages”, that there’s oversight and public scrunity.

  8. Dan 1:3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; 4 Children in whom was NO BLEMISH, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. 5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
    Dan 1:6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
    Dan 1:7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
    Dan 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he WOULD NOT DEFILE HIMSELF with the portion of the KING’S MEAT, nor with the WINE which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. 10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king. 11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. 13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. 14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. 15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat. 16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse. 17 As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 18 Now at the END OF DAYS that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.

  9. I noticed as of now there are 7 votes for: “America is a Christian Nation, the two can never be separate”. I would love to hear from anyone who voted in that category.

    People need to remember this ” He who pays the piper dictates the tune”

    We need to stay separate, not for the sake of the nation, but for the sake of the church.

    The merging of church and state is an unequal yoking which strips the church of it’s purity

    I think the two should be separate, government types are based on certain philosophies and reasoning, which in most cases do not agree with Church tenets and doctrines as set out in the Word of GOD.

    Yes… i agree with all those statements. Those are exactly the reasons why, in my opinion, they have to be separate.The early church at its inception, was not joined with the Roman state in the least. They saw themselves as citizens of a new kingdom, the kingdom of God.

    I also believe the attempt to combine the two in recent years in America, has weakened the Church. don’t you?

    Sadly, most of the churches are already yoked to the government through 501c3 non profit tax covenants.

    Bob i agree. I’m wondering now, if we’re going to see a change in this within the near future? Not that there won’t be many churches who will continue to take this tax break, if it continues to be offered, but that we may see other churches who will decide its more important to preach the whole truth rather then be unequally yoked with Government for the sake of a tax break..

    Of course this could also lead to more home groups being formed.

    Religious organizations and churches are free to stay clear from 501c3 or this new arrangement, if their leaders feel that the government exercises too much control.
    It’s becoming troublesome when the government _requires_ organizations to move under such an umbrella, but this isn’t what’s happening here.

    Right.

    I read through this new or revamped faith based org Obama has set up. I personally saw nothing wrong with it. Not when you see its a government ‘thing’ not a church thing..And you’re right–no one is forced to be included.

    This is why i wondered if its possible God may be behind this. God doesn’t want his Church to be yoked to anything or anyone but him.

    I’ve been reading around on other Christian blogs, news org. and boards: just to get a feel for other christians opinions on this issue since yesterday. Most are freaking out! And see, i don’t understand that kind of response

    A few conservative news org. headlines since this story came out:

    -Will Rights of Faith-Based Groups Be Set Back Under Obama

    – Christian Right Challenges Obama

    LOL even this:

    -People of faith may be target of ‘stimulus’ package

  10. One issue with the new setup might be that it requires great care to separate “worldly” issues that can get funding from that org from the normal church operation.

    For example: Suppose, a church is providing some service to society (say, a kindergarden for poor families), and it gets federal money (say 2 mio us$) for that. Does it have to spend the 2 mio us$ _on top_ of what it spent before now? (and what if the church loses parts of its income for whatever reason?)

    Otherwise, some could (and would) claim that by reducing the monetary burden for the church for this project, there’s free money in the church to direct toward non-secular issues (“oh no, they could evangelize me!”), so any money free now is “essentially” money from the government for non-secular purposes.

    I’ve read a very similar example on some forum.

  11. P.J. I beleive we are about to see a lot of changes in the world, not just the U.S. and the churches. Even today the news services are speaking of some of these United States giving notice to the federal government, because of their violation of the 10th amendment that some states are going to refuse federal governance under the constitution. Does anyone see what is happening here ? The whole world is falling under judgment of God and the church is worried about their standing with men. How about our standing with God. I see all this coming upon the world to force a separation between the world (come out of her my people) and the church. God said He will take all our lovers away. Jesus said He came to cause separation. I don’t know how much clearer it’s got to get. I guess if the world gets the understanding first, that God is using the world to judge the church, then God’s people will come out and hide. Maybe the problem is the churches haven’t told the people that because we worship false gods and sin at will that we will be the first tobe judged by God. God did say, I will judge My house first. Wait till the world gets an understanding of that, it will be like Jesus said, you will be hated of all nations for my namesake. I think it is a good time to be seeking the Lord in spirit and Truth, quit trying to please the flesh in the churches of flesh. Think about the traditions man has established in the churches, it is all about pleasing our flesh and not our GOD. Lets give glory to GOD and all bless Him.

  12. Church and state is an obtuse blur in America today.

    What originated as the Church helping steer the conscience of the state has now become the government protecting itself from the cereal crowd seen in churches weekly.

    (Fruits, nuts and flakes… get it?)

    Churches are usually first in line to a federal grant when they know funding is available, but then want to claim “separation” when the government sticks its collective nose in the grill of the Church.

    We can’t have it both ways. You know, if more than 15 percent of the Church tithed and gave alms, maybe we wouldn’t have this conversation.

    But hey what do I know.

    Nicely done, PJ.

    Peace,
    HiScrivener

  13. I have a post up about James Madison’s views on this that you might enjoy.

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