Many Christians I speak with have the worldview of a separation between government (state) and religion (church). This is considered a fundamental principle of American government; but, it has an erroneous assumption that government functions apart from religion.
Though philosophers such as Locke taught that religion was a value of the individual and not to be dictated by the government, he failed to explain the source of values for government; that is, where did government get its values of right and wrong? To say that such values flow from being creations made in God’s image muddies the issue of which view or understanding of God did Locke mean? An Anglican viewpoint is certainly different from a Reformed viewpoint or the Puritans would not have come to this country. The Buddhist understanding of the hereafter (God?) varies greatly from a Christian perspective. And how does a Buddhist live under a government that defines right and wrong from a biblical perspective and not from a Buddhist perspective?
Yet, Christians who claim to be people of the Bible and live by the Bible are the most ardent supporters of Locke’s philosophy without truly understanding its implications. How does a government determine right and wrong? To make the statement that government cannot legislate morality is to demonstrate one’s ignorance of government. The primary purpose of government is to legislate morality. When the government passes a law it makes a statement as to what is right and what is wrong with penalties assigned according to the severity of the offense as determined by the government! Therefore, that which informs the government as to right and wrong is its system of believed values which is, in fact, its religion and by implication it’s God! Therefore, to argue for a separation of church and state is to demand that the Christian give up Christianity in exchange for the religion of the government which is often unstated but clearly against the Bible in the modern era.
Why is this important? Because one’s theology determines one’s politics! Every time you make a decision you consult your bank of values which are informed by your worldview which is the lens designed by your religion. This means there are NO true atheists for even they have values of right and wrong and thus an attendant religion. They just reject the God of the Bible and demand that everyone else reject the God of the Bible while accepting their religion of secular humanism, Nietzschie’s “uber man”. This is the foundational principle Satan used to entice woman to sin in the Garden (Ge 3:1-7) and is now the foundational principle at work in Western, Socialistic, and Communistic societies. Islamic societies are at war with this concept that strikes at the foundation of their religion. Incidentally, it also strikes at the root of Christianity even though Christians are its most ardent supporters.
The root issue is which theology does one follow? I have shown that everyone has a religion. The natural man, the lost person, has a belief system (religion) that rejects God and His Word while substituting his own religion in its place (Ro 1:18-32; 1Co 2:14). Everyone begins from this perspective. The Christian, the person who becomes saved, carries into salvation this lost worldview. As one grows in the maturity of Christ biblical theology replaces parts of the lost theology. This is maturity in Christlikeness but one never completes the process in this life (1Co 13:12). Therefore, the problem is the same problem faced in the Jurassic Park/World system. They replaced parts of “dinosaur” DNA with the DNA of current reptiles and fish and created uncontrollable, beasts.
Today’s Christians have largely rejected understanding theology and doctrine as being unnecessary and too complicated. Rather than showing themselves “approved unto God” (2Ti 2:15) they would rather have some simplistic elements of biblical knowledge with the gaps filled in with their secular beliefs. This “Jurassic World Theology” not only leads to muddled thinking and confusion but also to unwise decisions in the voting booth. President Reagan was not the first but perhaps the most adroit user of Christians. He courted, and won, the Moral Majority vote and never spoke with them again except over the phone on the yearly anniversary of “Roe v Wade”. This kept their vote alive for him so he remained in office. Yet, he was not a Christian nor did he believe in advancing biblical ideals. This confusion continues today in the Christian community.
Christians support this separation that allows ALL religions equal voice and equal place in the hopes that Christianity will be allowed to continue to exist. Christians vote for such issues as a strong military which will be the force that, on command, will turn against them when their vote no longer matters (Similar to Order 66 in Star Wars when the “loyal” clones turn on and murdered the Jedi). Already Christians are perceived as “haters” because of their rejection of homosexuality and transgender equality. It only takes a signature, an executive order, for Christianity to be considered an illegal religion because of these supposed anti-equality practices.
Christians cannot practice discernment if they refuse to learn theology and doctrinal clarity. Christ demanded that His people be as harmless as sheep but as wise as serpents in this world (Mt 10:16). Christians cannot do this if they continue to support and incorporate the philosophy of the world into their worldviews rather than remove the worldly philosophy and replacing it with Christ’s truth. Jesus said it best when He said one cannot serve both mammon, the world system, and God (Mt 6:24). For too long Christians have supported the world and today our children are paying the price. Many children and young adults are leaving the churches because they have advocated this confused philosophy. These young people saw the hypocrisy of their elders and parents and left the churches. They only way to reverse this trend is to rid ourselves of our own leaven (1Co 5:6-8), confess our sin to God and them and strive to learn of God in His Word, from His Word. Otherwise, we are like sounding brass and tinkling cymbals (1Co 13:1), making much noise but meaning nothing according to Shakespeare and God.