The Separation of Church and State

Separation isn’t always a good thing.  Some things go great together; church and state aren’t on that list.  Want an example?  Martin Luther lived 500 years ago.  During the middle ages the church and state were so mixed you had the worst of both worlds!  A bishop would actually purchase a political position – corruption in the worst way – and then use his bishopric to make the payments on the loan he had to take out to afford the purchase!  What would he sell?  Why indulgences of course!  After all he was high enough in the ranks of the church, he could offer that “service” for God’s people.  Corruption in the worst way again!  This time it wasn’t just an abuse of the public service of government, it was also an abuse of the gospel!  Back to the original point – there was no separation of church and state.  Check out Sunday’s Reformation message HERE for more on this topic.

Let’s fast forward to 2020.  Is there a complete separation of church and state?  Hardly.  The church (and schools associated with the church) benefits greatly from the government.  I suppose there is the obvious levels of protection from police and fire for our churches.  No one would argue against these services.  The line starts to blur a little when someone calls for prayer in schools.  The first thing I point out is that my children have always prayed in school.  As part of their regular lunch meal my children would pray publicly.  What I am uncomfortable with is the school sanctioned prayer – some would call it civil prayer.  It is naïve to think that only a Christian will be praying with my child.  It’s not fair for the teacher or administrator to follow all of my beliefs.  It’s equally dangerous to have a child lead into prayer by someone of another faith.  Prayer is worship; prayer is sacred.  It’s best to keep state sanctioned prayer separate.  It’s also best churches everywhere to pray for our children, our schools, and our government.

Want to hear more?  Including whether or not our church schools should accept vouchers from the government?  Watch this Sunday’s lesson from our series on politics.

You can find all of the Bible classes in our Politics series HERE.

Please click HERE for the Bible class slides.