By Editorial Staff
Published September 1, 1989
The United States Supreme Court may be on the verge of reviewing exactly what the Bill of Rights means by forbidding government “establishment of religion.”
Justice Anthony Kennedy, the newest Supreme Court Appointee, wrote in a conservative dissent to a recent ruling that the Constitution provides for church-state separation in only two instances. First, the “government may not coerce anyone to support or participate in any religion or its exercise.” Second, the court should outlaw any “direct benefits” that tend to create a state religion.
Ever since 1947, when Justice Hugo Black wrote the majority opinion for the Everson case, the phrase “wall of separation between church and state” has become progressively ingrained into the consciousness of the American people. In late twentieth century America, the vast majority of persons have come to assume that church and state should be separated.
Since January 1982, however, the “separation” issue has again become a matter of debate as a result of a federal judge’s ruling in McLean vs. the Arkansas Board of Education, which banned the teaching of creation science in public schools.
The conservative dissent in the court’s controversial County of Allegheny vs. A.C.L.U. case marked the emergence of a minority led by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Byron White, and Chief Justice William Rhenquist. Kennedy claims that the 5-4 majority ruling in the Allegheny case, written by Harry Blackmun, and a whole series of Supreme Court decisions, “reflect an unjustified hostility toward religion, a hostility inconsistent with our history and our precedents.”
Kennedy’s position has worried some liberal activists. Lee Boothby, counsel to Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said that if Kennedy’s position prevails “we would be litigating hundreds of cases we thought we had settled.”
One more vote in favor of freeing restrictions against religion, perhaps from Sandra Day O’Connor or a new Bush appointment to the court, could in effect undo 40 years of laws. Rulings on everything from school prayer to public aid for church agencies could be changed.
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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?
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Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
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Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
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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.
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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.
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That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
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