church and state

After seeing the report on ABC News about this and reading the L.A. Times article on it, I began thinking a lot about churches and their tax-exempt status. "What if Vox was in danger of losing its tax-exempt status?" To be honest, it's not an immediate concern because we're dirt poor, but what kind of precedent are we setting?

It seems we have forgotten that government was to have no say in what churches talked about, including politics. My dad [and others] has said many times that churches should just stay out of politics [and many other important debates] because it doesn't involve religion.

This is a misunderstanding of God. To say that religion has no voice in these matters is saying that God also has no say in it. This is not to say that God and religion are the same, one is the Creator and the other is our attempt to worship the Creator. But when people say "religion" doesn't belong, they mean an agenda that is God's [i.e. - God's agenda to redeem mankind, conforming us to the likeness of Christ, bringing grace to us through the cross, etc] is not welcome. "Religion" is meant as God's will being imposed.

This rhetoric illustrates a very important distinction between worldviews. If there are parts of our society, certain issues or certain professions, where religion has no voice, then there are different castes. One caste is under the influence of religion and might include things like being good to people, Christmas, family, children, weddings, and funerals. Another is not under the influence of "religion" and might include things like the price of gas, science, war, "politics," government, the economy, social security, and industry. This is one worldview, one with relious and non-religious castes.

The other worldview states that God is the ultimate Creator and Sustainer of the entire unvierse, including all those things in the non-religious caste. In this worldview, I worship God with everything from how I put on my shoes to how I vote. Everything in my life is in submission to God and His will. I trust Him completely with how He wants to lead me, even into death. When I hold back parts of my life from Him, it is sin. My life isn't casted out into religious and non-religious.

This is true of every person, and every group of people, no matter how large or small. If we continue in our caste system of religious and non-religious, we will only serve to solidify the perception that God has nothing compelling to say to us.

It's been suggested that churches begin to break ties with "state" in ways that aren't compromising. Taking the "state" out of weddings [by the power vested in me by God and the state of Louisiana, I pronounce...], willfully resign tax-exempt status, and things like this can take the state out of church. Although there are some good ideas, the worldview still remains and future problems will undoubtedly come from it.