How to make sure the Church influences politics

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What is the relationship between politics and the Christian church? Are they mutually exclusive or intermingled? How often have we heard that certain plans, intentions, projects or actions should be avoided because they are possibly not consistent with the constitution’s position on separation of church and state. Careful examination, however, reveals that the United States Constitution does not specifically posit separation of church and state. Rather, Congress is prohibited from making a law that establishes religion.

Should the church and politics be separated? Since there is no specific constitutional mandate to separate the two, citizens may seemingly legally mix the two. To date there is already generally accepted intermingling of church and state. For example:

  • Religion and the church were strong elements in the founding of America.
  • When public officials are sworn into office, they typically place their hands on a Bible.
  • Both houses of Congress (Senate and House of Representatives) employ Chaplains.
  • The United States House of Representatives begins each day’s meeting with prayer.

In addition, the influence of the church on matters of justice and other moral issues continues to shape America’s political landscape. Let us not forget the civil rights movement which was permeated with religious activities. There is no doubt that sermons and speeches dominating churches during the 1960’s had an unmistakable impact on citizen activity that led to congressional action bringing another level of justice for racial minorities. The Civil Rights Act of 1968 prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, and since 1974, sex.

So, the church and the government intermingle, which I believe they should. But, what about church and government on a personal scale? For instance, should a church member vote only on issues and ignore the candidate? What about choosing a candidate whose values disagree with biblical principles? Consider the candidate’s position on issues such as sanctity of life, racial equality and healthcare. That means we should educate ourselves on candidates’ positions on key issues as well as their promises to follow through on them. Voting with biblical principles in mind consists of knowing God’s heart, which we grow to understand through reading the Bible, and looking closely at issues without regard to political party. Then, we need to vote our biblical convictions.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that in a democracy such as America, the church and the government actively contribute to the successful operation of our nation. This combined effort has been pivotal to the growth and development of these United States. Though all relationships have their struggles, as an American citizen, I am personally in favor of the marriage of church and state. Therefore, I am tempted to repeat an age old axion, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

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