Love the sinner, hate your own sin

What is the proper relationship between religion and the government?

Is it the complete separation between church and state? Even Thomas Jefferson in his letter to the Danbury Baptists didn’t completely define the “wall” he talked about.  The wall itself seems to be penetrated at times by Jefferson’s own words in the Declaration of Independence which reveals that the source of life, freedom, and man’s ability to be happy comes from the Creator.

In 1787, the Northwest Ordinance allowed for the creation of five states, of which, Ohio was first. The ordinance states, “No person, demeaning himself in a peaceable and orderly manner, shall ever be molested on account of his mode of worship or religious sentiments, in the said territory.” This predates the First Amendment to the US Constitution which was adopted in 1791. This ordinance provided for religious freedom in the territory. It further states that religion and morality are to be taught. Article three says, “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” From reading the ordinance, it is obvious that this “religion and morality” was taught in public schools and paid for with public taxes.

The constitution of Massachusetts written in 1780 by John Adams asserts, “As the happiness of a people and the good order and preservation of civil government essentially depend upon piety, religion, and morality, and as these cannot be generally diffused through a community but by the institution of the public worship of God and of the public instructions in piety, religion, and morality.” It goes on to instruct that groups, political bodies, and religious societies should carry out this public worship authorized through the legislature.

Are these legal documents breaching the “wall of separation” that Jefferson talks about? Do they violate the First Amendment? Or do these writers and framers of legal documents and constitutions understand better than we do the proper relationship between church and state? A comparison of public scenes from the 18th century and today shows us that the former had greater religious freedom than the modern people of today. I postulate that this wall of separation as is thought of in the modern sense actually inhibits the freedom of expression and freedom of worship. If you doubt my statement and begin to invoke the undefined “wall”, consider if you will ever hear in your lifetime, a speech from a government official with these words:

“I congratulate the people of the United States on the assembling of Congress at the permanent seat of their government; and I congratulate you, gentlemen, on the prospect of a residence not to be exchanged. It would be unbecoming the representatives of this nation to assemble for the first time in this solemn temple without looking up to the Supreme Ruler of the universe and imploring his blessing. You will consider it as the capitol of a great nation, advancing with unexampled rapidity in arts, in commerce, in wealth, and in population, and possessing within itself those resources which, if not thrown away or lamentably misdirected, will secure to it a long course of prosperity and self-government. May this territory be the residence of virtue and happiness! In this city may piety and virtue, that wisdom and magnanimity, that constancy and self-government, which adorned the great character whose name it bears, be forever held in veneration! Here, and throughout our country, may simple manners, pure morals, and true religion forever flourish.”

–  John Adams, November25, 1800, the year the first Congress opened session in the Capitol.

I submit to you, the reader, we have lost some freedom when any religious expression in public places and public institutions is allowed to be defeated by a “wall”.

Dear Law-Condemning Atheist

You joyfully apply Old Testament laws to today’s society to show how ridiculous they are.

“If you worship other gods…then you get stoned to death.”

Does this apply to you? Do you fear stoning? No. These are obsiously not laws that apply to all times and all cultures. You have the same choice as any other man. God created man, gave him the ability to choose, and set a choice before him. “Of every tree in the garden you can freely eat, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die.” Adam chose and we still choose today. The Christian should allow the same choice for every man, but he should still cling to the truth he knows and expel and refute the lies around him. If the truth purges, that’s great. But force shoudn’t be used unless there is a threat of imminent harm to freedom.

I know why you bring up stoning and other harsh laws in the Old Testament, and leave out the rest of the Bible in your assessment of God. That harsh part of God that demands perfection is hard to reckon with and is easy to reject as unreasonable. You know, if that’s all there was, no man could have hope. I urge you, don’t ignore the merciful and gracious side of God either. He has provided a way to bring us to himself without requiring us to follow a list of do’s and dont’s. Jesus is that way. Without him, our imperfection could never be reconciled with his perfection.

A Kink in Evolution

Christian evolutionists believe that God created the world and evolution is the way in which he did it. I just have one question, well maybe more. At what point in time during the evolutionary process did we stand in need of salvation? I’ve been thinking about this for a couple days and I have my own theories about what Christian Evolutionists may think. I apoligize for my lack of research in this area. Usually I take from a few sources and form an opinion. However, before I share my own I would like to hear from the reader. A further question on top of the previous is: Would this mean that the species leading up to humans were without sin? At what point did sin enter the world? Does this mean the Bible is to be taken figuratively?

Cool it with the Phones People!

Why is answering the phone so important? People drop whatever they do so they can answer it. People answer their phones in the middle of speeches, on the toilet, while they’re on another phone, in church, in the movie theater, while they’re eating dinner, in the middle of a conversation (with an actual living person in front of them), and the list goes on. Nowhere is this blatant disregard for dealing with what’s in front of you more annoying than in the store. I’ll walk into a store and try to get the clerk’s attention but he is busy answering the phone. (And don’t those phone conversations seem to last forever?) Nevermind that the line at his register is 10 people long.

 

The phone rang in my house yesterday and even though I was eating dinner I instinctively went to get it. Ah, but fate threw a twist in my plans. The phone was not on the receiver. I put a valiant effort into finding it, i.e. scanning the room quickly after which I proclaimed the phone would not be answered. My wife about had a panic attack, so I continued the search. Finally, the phone stopped ringing and we went back to eating.

 I’m a firm believer in not answering the phone. Most of the time, nothing on the phone is more important then what I’m doing at the time even if I’m watching Phineas and Ferb. People, if you call my phone, you can…. oh… wait, the phones ringing.

Decaffeinated Please!

coffee-cup-spoon-sugar-l

For all you people who take everything so literally, this next section is satirical.

 I do not drink coffee in church. It’s a cultural thing. Other people do it, therefore I must stray away from it. Some churches accept this culture and drink their coffee black. Still others, are even more liberal and like it with sugar and even some cream. They do this all in the name of being culturally relevant. I wouldn’t be surprised if those churches started allowing espressos in their services. I tell you, these people with their fast ideas and their caffeinated theology, they’re are all about the quick relationship with God. They know nothing of spending real personal time with their creator. That’s why these folks have itching ears, always learning but never experiencing the truth. I’m glad my church doesn’t drink coffee. Water is all we need. After all, Jesus didn’t give the woman at the well coffee.

I Say……..Neee!!!

blas⋅pheme [blas-feem, blas-feem] verb, -phemed, -phem⋅ing.

 –verb (used with object)

1. to speak impiously or irreverently of (God or sacred things).
2. to speak evil of; slander; abuse.
–verb (used without object)
3. to speak irreverently of God or sacred things; utter impieties.

What is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit

I myself am confused on the subject. People claim that this “unpardonable sin” can be committed today. Still others claim that it cannot. So I pose the question to you the reader.  The question comes in three parts:

1. What is it.?

2. Can it be committed today?

3. Can a believer commit it?

Hoemskoolers

 

Whut in tarnation is wrong wif bein’ homeshooled? ah’s a smart kid, cuss it all t’ tarnation. Not so fine at English, but ah speak it alright. Mah Mammy says thet ah will find a friend someday. She don’t knows thet ah go t’th’ next dore neighbo”s house when she’s not lookin’ an’ play wif Dillon. Th’ reason she doesn’t like them is cuz they lissen t’rock moosic. She talks all th’ time about how bad th’ beatles moosic is, but I’ve got a few of them in mah jar an’ they nevah hurt no one. Ennyway, they doesn’t lissen t’it while ah’s aroun’. They seem like church gwine varmints t’me cuz they lissen t'”Stairway t’Hevvin” all th’ time.