Church-State Separation a Love Issue

2 04 2007

Filed under: Church and State, First Amendment, Christianity

I have written often about the heritage our nation proudly shares with Christianity and, from the numerous writings, speeches, and letters of our founders, the obvious connection that exists between religion, and more importantly, God, and our government. Dennis Peacocke, a Christian worldview ninja who has founded an organization that aids third-world governments in establishing God-centered governments like America, brilliantly demonstrates how a breakdown in either of the two Greatest Commandments from Jesus can cause spiritual and/or social chaos:

“‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.'” (Matthew 22:36-38 )

Jesus Christ’s genius in answering the above “loaded” but critical question was based upon an unparalleled comprehension of the essence of the vast amounts of biblical ordinances, principles, and commandments. In linking together Deuteronomy 6:5 with Leviticus 19:18, He congealed and connected the only dimensions of both life and ethics: the individual and his relationship to the extended human community. How we know and relate to God totally affects our relationship to all others. Loving God totally affects our relationship to all others. Loving God both equals and enables our loving of our “neighbors.” Therefore, not knowing or relating properly to God produces all forms of both personal and social neuroses.

It would be comforting and convenient if Christians could content themselves with the assurance that “knowing” the true God made them superior in every way to the unbelievers. Unfortunately for us, such is not the case. Indeed, if we love God solely in a self-focused way without loving our neighbor, our spirituality has no extended human value.

Conversely, if our passion is primarily for social justice and the extended welfare of mankind, without a personal centering in our relationship with God, we will damage all we touch out of ignorance of God’s love and principles of true empowerment.

Today, the “church-state” separation issues in the United States reflect this “disconnect” in startling clarity. The “church-state” issue is, at its root level, a disaffected secular community saying to the Christian community, “We see little value you bring to our lives beyond your questionable single-issue moralizing.” As Jesus pointed out, “loving our neighbor” is “like unto” loving our God. Both are essential and sequential. When we don’t center on God, we center on self, and when we center on others without God at our center, we spread the disease of deranged “love.”

Thus backing my long-held belief that you cannot remove God, or box God out of any area of life. He created all of it, and, whether secularists like it or not, Christians will be a part of this world, as we are so commanded. And, with God’s help, we’ll be loving the world until Jesus returns, regardless of what is returned to us.

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