We know from both history and modern times of countries where the religious leaders control government, and where government squelches religion. Here we’ve attempted to keep the two respectfully separated. Unfortunately, those who find it in their best interest to have the separation be a one-way street often don’t see the contradiction, and the subsequent danger they pose to the very integrity of the “separation”.
Making the state an arm of the church has been tried, and usually creates a lot of false believers who are putting on a show. Trying to force out religion or reduce it to “just a private matter” steps on beliefs and causes resentment and persecution. We’ve so honored the sincerely held religious beliefs that even military service, when it was compulsory, had an exemption for those who believed God would not accept their killing of others. We’ve gone from that to the point where people can be compelled to provide homosexual wedding services against their beliefs. What happened?
Beliefs aren’t simply private. They affect others. If we can’t practice our beliefs publically, then we are limited. Further, we are getting the message from the courts and the government that some of our beliefs are simply wrong because society has progressed.
What does this have to do with reasons for faith? Well, if we are being told by society that God’s words are no longer correct, and that the Supreme Court or majority sentiment are the real standard, it will gnaw at us and make us question if God’s word is true and complete. As Satan asked in Genesis, “Has God really said…”
Has God said that sex outside of marriage is really a big deal, or that homosexual acts are unacceptable to Him? Is it really wrong to break certain laws, when everyone else is skirting them? Do we really have to pay all our taxes?
If you feel somehow that God isn’t “modern”, or that He must have changed His mind on what is right and wrong in these modern times, remember that God says He doesn’t change. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Government regulations and court rulings don’t change that. Don’t let shifting societal norms question the solid ground on which you stand. God is amazingly gracious, and practices His own form of “separation of church and state”, where He won’t prevent us from living as we choose. But in His case, He is utterly consistent in His practice of the separation.
I hope this sparks some discussion. Christianity in particular is under fire these days, and it can make us question our basic beliefs. Let’s make sure we are not shaken.