Separation of Church and State? Good? Bad?
Somehow, since taking a stand on what I believe about homosexual relationships (that God smiles down on them) I feel like I’ve had no choice but to embrace a handful of other principles that are connected but not entirely dependent on one another. And I’m not really sure what to make of that.
One is the principle of separation of Church and State. You know, “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s.” I think I’m totally buying into it though, and not just because of the gay thing, but because using the government to impose our religious beliefs on others is the WRONG way to be witnesses of the Gospel. Totally the wrong way.
Does banning gay marriage keep homosexual couples from living in lifelong commitment to one another? Nope. Does banning abortion keep them from happening? Quite the opposite. Does enforcing strict rules for illegal immigrants keep them from crossing our borders? Of course not! (Remind me again how that is biblical!?)
When I am trying to live out the Christian life, I must remind myself again and again to return to the pages of the Gospels, and look at Jesus’ life as my model—as well as I can, anyway, in this hyper-materialistic, abundantly selfish culture I live in.
Anyway. What I remember again, and again, and again, is that Jesus up and completely ignored the State and the clearly anti-Christian laws it had! Do we really believe Roman-ruled Israel was any less decadent than modern America? Not on your life! But did we see Jesus rallying folks to picket abortion clinics and raise funds to propagate a favorable ruling of Proposition 8? No!
Jesus ignored it all. He ignored the government and political policies of his time. He transformed his culture in the most potent way possible: reaching into the hearts of those who listened to him and convicting them, making disciples of those who responded to that conviction. He saw people who had hurts that needed to be mended, not degenerate sinful liabilities who were threatening a “Christian” nation.
I think we all need to take a page out of Jesus’ book, and focus a little less on fighting so desperately to uphold conservative politics and a little more on loving those we don’t agree with. That is how you transform a nation.