Saturday, February 25, 2017

Christians NOT Being Christ•ian

Jesus Christ never intended to establish a theocracy. It's understandable that many of His followers hoped He would; but, Jesus Himself clearly distinguished the separation of religion from secular government and society. It IS about spirituality, not religion (a particular system of faith and worship).

Matthew 22:21
Mark 12:17
"Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's". [This goes far beyond mere taxation. It extends to all physical governance.]

That brings up a point, for example, when the issue of contraception and abortion comes up, is it a religious matter or the decision of the state?  If it's a religious decision, in regarding the subject of abortion, read Genesis 2:7 that says:
"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." This, taken literally, means that an unborn child is not yet human. If you're a strict fundamentalist, then you have to consider that ....

Different religions have different viewpoints. Society is composed of people with different religious views. The government serves to protect religious freedom of worship; not to impose religious values on the whole.

The question of abortion directly connects to the question of whether humans have souls. And, if so, at what point does the soul incarnate? These are religious questions and cannot be legislated. Those who try to do so are not advocates of religious freedom. They are of a fundamentalist theocratic attitude. As members of society, they are entitled to express their personal opinions and advocate for such. But, they are not advocates of religious freedom when they do so under the banner of Christianity.

The Pilgrims and Puritans did not come to establish freedom of religion. They came to escape religious persecution, but they sternly persecuted anyone not of their own ilk. In other words, religious freedom for themselves only. They were "theocratic".

It was people like Roger Williams that strengthened the concept of religious freedom (freedom from persecution) to the point that the first thing our country's forefathers did was make sure that the first thing that the First Amendment did was to assure religious freedom. They were firmly convinced that democracy and freedom of conscience were the will of God. Williams gave the most profound theological reason: As faith is the free gift of the Holy Spirit, it cannot be forced upon a person. Therefore, strict separation of church and statehas to be kept.