Church and State

This is so sad that I don't even know where to begin. If you click on the story, you can watch a news video about a church that excommunicated all members that were known to have voted for Kerry in the last election. During the last election, several folks made a point that, if you support your church (Christians), then you MUST support George Bush. I took serious issue with that. After all, Jesus even said "give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and give to God what is God's". Most of the time that phrase is used in reference to taxes, but I think it is equally applicable to seperation of Church and State. I believe that one of the reasons the American Way works so well is that we have a healthy seperation of religion and politics. The pioneers who first settled this land were racing to escape persecution for practicing their system of beliefs. How sad is it that we've now come all the way back to where we started. Whether you are Democrat, Republican, Green Party, Libertarian, or whatever... I don't care! You are welcome at my church anytime. I'm okay with disagreeing on politics, and I don't feel that anyone's political standings should remove you from God's sight. It infuriates me that our politics and religion are getting so twisted up as to create this kind of lunacy. This is the kind of thinking that has led to the situation in the Middle East: theocratic systems where the political leaders whip their party into a frenzy and declare religious war on anyone who would oppose them. All of this, what I would call blasphemy, so that the leaders can keep their position of power. How very, truly sad that we seem to be nearing a precipice, where our politics and religion become so indiscernibly intertwined.

My hope is that this stops, and stops soon. We need to be able to not just tolerate those with a different opinion from our own, but celebrate our differences. There is so much to learn, so much opportunity to grow when we have a diverse environment with a variety of beliefs, backgrounds, cultures, and ideas. I'm not interested in a gray race, nor a monoculture of religion. I want variety.


Absenth said...

I was raised with the understanding that being excomunicated is an invitation to spend more time in church, untill you come to the realization that what you did is wrong, and are ready/willing to publically ask for the forgivness of the church. This story is extremely sad, as I agree with you. It is not the churches place to say that voting for the canidate you feel is doing to lead the nation best is a sin. To be honest this story shocks me. I don't hardly know how to respond.

I say it to my wife all the time, but I'll say it again here. "It's a good thing I'm not in charge."

Samuel said...

Very Interesting. Remember when the Pharisees tried to trick Jesus with if it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar? (Matt. 22:15-22) The Pharisees along with the Herodians hated the fact that Jesus claimed to be the Messiah. To trick him they asked this question to make him compromise his Messiahship or risk being charged with disloyalty to Rome. In Verse 17 the Pharisees asked Jesus "Is it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?" Jesus then asks to see a denarius. After seeing it Jesus asks (verse 20) "whose image and inscription is this?" They said to Jesus Caesar's and then the famous quote. "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's" Caesar's coinage is representative of Caesar's government with all it's intended benefits and because of this they had to pay taxes. (Kind of like social programs of today, road tax, gas tax etc...) Then things that are of God represent the Spiritual obligations, which are separate from civil government but not devoid of our spiritual obligation to follow the law but a believer is always first subject to the will of God (Acts 4:19-20). What I struggle to understand is why the Republicans are always praised from the pulpit, but then in the same breath they will say vote for the lesser of the two evils. Things I've heard said from Christians are that we are morally obligated to vote and we are rejecting our freedom if we don't vote. (First) Our freedom doesn't come from the modern day Rome but from the freedom from Christ. When I am a believer in Christ I must follow the law and by paying taxes I receive benefits of the law of the land. (Second) I don't agree that we have a moral obligation to vote. What is inconsistent with the following statement? We are morally obligated to vote for an evil person (just vote for the lesser one). I can't do it. I'll admit that. I've lost faith in our political system, but guess what? That faith was never getting me to heaven anyway. Remember there are children of God starving in Africa, being threatened in Ole Russia and many other parts of the world. We need not to feel that God has a place in our "Republican" party.

The Zombieslayer said...

Yikes. I can't imagine a church that intolerant. What a sad day when a church here starts taking cues from the middle east.

Jade Mason