When the United States was established as a new nation the Constitution of that nation expressly provided for a separation of church and state. The United States is often called a Christian nation. And yet after two hundred and thirty-six years of this new nation's history the Christian Church has continued to fail to live up to her responsibility inherited in the teachings of the founder in which she takes her name. Because of this failure the Federal Government has stepped in and taken over some of the responsibilities that the Church has failed to perform. Is there then truly a separation of church and state?
At the Council of Nicaea the church leaders accepted the history and teachings of the Hebrew texts as part of her official canon. There was much discussion and debate but finally the texts for the New Testament were chosen and finalized and the Church now had her Bible. If you listen to the prophetic voice of the Hebrew texts and the New Testament you can't help but notice the proclamation for a Social Gospel. There are three Trinities proclaimed in the Bible. The third Trinity is proclaimed in the New Testament consisting of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The first two are the prophetic voices of the Old and the New Testament Prophets instructing all those who fear God and want to live in his blessings to care and provide for the widow, the orphan and the stranger in the land. If one scrutinizes the teaching and actions of Jesus you will find that Jesus disregarded many of the Old Testament laws but always acted and taught within the boundaries of a Social Gospel. And yet almost two thousand years after the last prophets decried our failure to fulfill our responsibility to the human Trinity the Church has still not fulfilled her calling. I repeat my first question "is there then truly a separation of church and state?
Why is it that personal piety is the main of Christianity and not a Social Gospel? Why can't there be both? In our religion we accept and proclaim that man is created in God's image. And yet millions are living is a state of starvation, poverty and oppression. We see it every day on the evening news. We read about it in the newspapers and on the internet. And yet there is not a concerted voice of the Church speaking out and fulfilling (what I call) her responsibility. All that the Church really has is her moral currency. She either speaks out on the basis or morality and grows stronger or stands back and conforms to the current situation and becomes irrelevant.
In this country there are literally millions of people who require help or assistance or they will fall through the cracks of our society. Due to downturns in the economic growth of the nation and the loss of available jobs that will support people more and more Americans are falling out of the middle class into poverty. Most people in the middle class are only a few paychecks from desperation. As they say, "It's a recession when your neighbor loses their job; it's a depression if you lose yours." Is it too late for the Church to begin to act; to make things easier for those she is charged to care for or will the Federal Government always be required to cross the line in the separation of Church and State and support them? To paraphrase NANA DOT, Until we realize that we are social beings, that only when we act and work and share together do we EVER achieve how great we truly are.
I'm John Q.