Rocky’s recent article concerning the “Separation of Church and State,” some might say is political, yet this displays a very generic and broad definition of the word, particularly in regard to how our government defines this terminology.
Politics, in its common vernacular normally has to do with party affiliation which is referred to as partisanship, which Rocky was not addressing (Merriam-Webster, states concerning: 3a “political affairs or business; especially: competition between competing interest groups or individuals for power and leadership (as in a government).
However, as Rocky was addressing the issue of our Constitution and the makeup of our government in regards to our framework as it concerns religious belief, separate from any party affiliation, he was not expressing a political view; but a religious one.
The reason I bring this up is the following issue might thought by some to be political as well, yet in nature it really is not, I am simply using a political example to address a much more important issue, the power of our choices.
It has to do with choices, responsibility, and accountability.
I was speaking to a self-proclaimed young Christian man who stated that because one particular politician belonged to a Christian cult, and the other who claimed to be a Christian, yet did not base any of his choices on his personal stated belief, and displayed a lack or moral character; he was in a quandary on who to vote for. He ended up not voting at all.
Now we know after the election, that the evangelicals showed out in very small numbers compared to a few years ago, and many expressed the same reasoning as the above young man, and that if evangelicals had turned out and voted, conservatively as they had before, the end result would’ve been totally different.
When I asked this naïve young man why he chose to sacrifice his right as an American citizen, he reiterated that the party that he normally aligned himself with, which was considered conservative, had a member of a Christian cult for their nominee, and he could not vote for that individual based upon the nominee’s beliefs.
I asked him a few questions.
I asked him if the United States of America was a theocracy, a religious government ruled directly by God; he said no.
I asked him if our country was designed to be a Christian entity; he said no.
I asked him why our forefathers (many who were believers), created a system void of any religious guidelines within out founding documents?
He intelligently articulated that because of the abuse of King George and the state church he had created within Great Britain, dictating what salvation was (based upon unBiblical reasoning), deciding what was to be preached, who was doing the preaching, even how long they were to speak, while claiming to be Christian; it was obvious that this abuse had nothing to do with Jesus Christ, and that our forefathers established our secular government wherein men were free to practice their own religious beliefs separate from any governmental interference, which mandated that religion was not the basis of who was to govern.
I went on to ask him, if we are a secular government system, would not the basis of who we choose to represent us be the character and quality of the person, as opposed to a group affiliation, denomination, or any other determination in regards to religion – he said yes.
I then asked him why he violated this premise in his voting? Because he chose to promote the individual who he had previously stated he thought had an immoral belief system. He said he didn’t – he reiterated that he voted for no one. I responded that by not voting for the more moral man, he promoted the immoral man.
Without entering into a conversation on who would be correct to vote for or not, but simply using this opportunity to expose this young man to the consequences of such naïve misgivings, I presented the following to him.
I asked him if he had ever heard the story of Paul and Barnabas, and Paul’s speech at Lycaonia, he said he thought so. The text for this event is found in Acts 14:9-15, which states:
“The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein“
I then asked him if he ever heard of the how Herod had died, he said he had. The story is found in Acts 12:21-24, which states:
“And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. But the word of God grew and multiplied.”
I went on to say, do you realize what this text is saying, it is saying that Herod’s refusal to NOT say something, to make an overt choice to correct the assertions of the people, that he was god, and not a mere man; that had the consequences of God striking him dead.
I went on to contrast the two events, how the believers, Paul and Barnabas when called gods by the people because of a miracle, spoke correction to the people clarifying that they were not gods, and later; God healed Paul back to the living (V.20), and the gospel of Jesus Christ increased in the whole area because of their choices.
Yet by Herod’s refusal to make a choice, his refusal to take action, his refusal to speak words in correcting the people that he was not a god, brought him a horrible death.
The point of these two contrasting stories is that not making a choice, is a choice and never neutral – and indecision in and of itself can be evil and unchristian.
Satan uses this kind of thinking all the time within naïve Christians, and those that are self-centered and worried about their own interest, who refuse to speak about Jesus Christ; thinking that their inactivity is not a choice – indecision is always a choice.
There is nothing neutral in life when it comes to important decisions – There is never a justification for indecision when right must be done.
We should always remember that no decision is still a decision.
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matthew 25:31-46)
Yet, when all is said and done, what the believer should remember is that none of this, including our elections has taken God by surprise. God is, and always will be in control. It is He that knows the ending from the beginning, and even though evil men may perpetrate evil deeds (which Jesus retorts: “Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!” ~ Luke 17:1), it is God that controls humanity’s destiny.
It is He that uses mankind like pawns and puppets to achieve His will (You see God gets His Will done with our help or without it, but it is us that either share in the reward for our choices, or die naked in our indecision), those things He has spoken beforehand in His Word that will happen in these last days.
Therefore, be of good cheer. This is the reason that we should be thankful, that our God is sovereign in all the affairs of men, even in our elections.