By Editorial Staff
Published May 2, 2008
Some Common Misunderstandings
By Don Long
Under the guise of the First Amendment, sometimes called the “Separation of Church and State amendment,” the United States government has discouraged the public practice of the Christian faith. The U.S. Supreme Court banned the posting of the Ten Commandments in public buildings. It has banned prayer in public schools. The government continues an aggresive stand against any display of religious faith in civic areas or other public lands. This is not right. The purpose of the First Amendment was not to withdraw Christianity from society, but to protect it from government manipulation.
Christianity not only played a major role in America’s independence, but also in the formation of this new country’s government. References to God, the Lord, Jesus Christ, and the Creator abound in such historical documents as the Declaration of Independence, the Mayflower Compact, and the Articles of Confederation. In addition to this the symbols of this nations’ faith, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Liberty Bell, and scores of others, all have verses from the Bible engraved upon them. These memorials and historical documents testify to the fact that Christians took the leadership in our country.
Prompted by religion, and the freedom to worship God according the dictates of Scripture and conscience, many early colonists came to this land. A major cause of the colonies breaking away from the British was England’s attempt to establish a national religion in the colonies. The colonists felt it was not government’s role to regulate Christianity.
The First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This amendment prohibits government from establishing a national religion. It guarantees the free exercise of religion without entanglement by the government. It is not a mandate requiring the elimination of Christian influence on society.
Religion and government are inseparable. Government laws and regulations are based on people’s convictions. Convictions are based on people’s beliefs concerning right and wrong. Theft is illegal because it is believed to be wrong. Any belief in a standard higher than one’s own self constitutes a religion. Government merely reflects the religious view of a nation. It should not control that view. – continued on the next page
The current distorted view of the First Amendment has brought about the government intrusion into religion which the amendment was to protect people from. It prohibits the free exercise of religion. There is nothing in the First Amendment to suggest the separation of Church and State; that is like suggesting people should not be involved in government.
Don Long is a member of CHANGE.
Forerunner - Home » Pass The Word » Pass The Word - May/June 1996
Your comments are welcome!
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine
Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese
Running Time: 28 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 200 pages
A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism
Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner
The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.
Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.
Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)