Seperation of church and State

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Salty, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Do you consider "Separation of Church and State" a Biblical doctrine?

    Are there limits? Are there times that pastors should speak out about government actions.

    How much control should the govt have over churches? Lets say a town had an ordnance requiring all public buildings to have a lighted red "EXIT" sign above all doors leading to the outside? Suppose a church did not want to follow that - should they be required to do so.

    Another words - where should the line be drawn - on both sides?

    (and please do not limit discussion to the "EXIT" sign. I was only using that as an extreme example)
    Actually do any of you have any true examples?
     
    #1 Salty, Apr 8, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2012
  2. Jerome

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    In last Friday's Daily Mail:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ets-fine-years-complaints-noisy-services.html

    "Locals living near the New Generation Church in the Old Basford area of Nottingham continuously complained for four years about the amplified music. . . .services, held on Sunday and on weekday evenings, could last several hours and were a form of 'torture' for nearby residents who couldn't do anything about the noise. . . .Pastor Sean Samuel appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court charged with five counts of noise nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act. . . .Samuel pleaded guilty to three counts of causing noise nuisance. . . .He was fined a total of £360, ordered to pay costs of £300 to Nottingham City Council and a £15 victim surcharge but if the church does not keep the noise down it could face further fines.

    Frustrated residents who complained to Nottingham City Council had monitoring devices installed in their homes to record the scale of the problem. . . .this was a persistent throb of bass accompanied by break outs of sound and that was very difficult to get used to. . . .Hopefully they will be able to soundproof the building or find another way of keeping the noise down. . . .the council had tried other methods, including organising meetings between the church and nearby residents, before taking the matter to court. He added: 'Unfortunately over a prolonged period of time the unacceptable noise levels have not reduced and we have felt that prosecution was the only option open to us. 'Noise nuisance of all kinds, including amplified music, can seriously undermine people’s peaceful enjoyment of their own homes and we will always act to protect that right."
     
  3. Salty

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    Jerome,

    Interesting article. My first thought was that church is not a very good witness to the neighbors of the church.
     
  4. seekingthetruth

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    1st Amendment

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


    All it says is that the government cannot establish a state religion nor can it prohibit our right to exercise our religion.

    Nowhere does it say "seperation of church and state". Jefferson wrote a letter to some preachers to assure them that the new government would not interfere with their churches. His letter is not law. Besides, neither the Constitution nor Jefferson's letter forbade the church from supporting candidates or government issues.

    In the past century, activist lawyers and judges have done all they could to promote this false idea of seperation of church and state, and have passed laws and made ruings restricting the voice of the church.

    Why do we allow the NAACP, ACLU, GLADD, KKK, and other groups to lobby our government but yet we restrict the church from being heard?

    Bottom line is this, the government should not interfere with the church, but the church should have a right to participate in government just like any other lobbiest group.

    I am not saying that the church should run the government, I am just saying that the church has a right to have a voice in government.

    John
     
  5. Arbo

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    The question posed in the OP wouldn't have anything to do with the topic of church taxation (as in another current thread), would it?
     
  6. Salty

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    But the govt does interfer with the church. Specifically, it is against the law to handle snakes, Jevoha Witness are required to provide blood transfusions for minors, ect.
    How about simple things - should a church be required - legally - to have handicap parking spaces, ect.....
     
  7. seekingthetruth

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    I think it is perfectly appropriate to monitor public safety.

    Are you advocating that a church building should not be required to meet the fire code?

    Comparing public safety to legislating church beliefs is a stretch to say the least.

    There has always been the question of what medical treatment a person can refuse on religious grounds. I say if they are an adult and are foolish enough to refuse treatment then so be it.

    But a child should get all the help available because a child is not capable of making rational decisions about what they need.

    One thing these fanatics overlook is that sometimes God uses the doctor to provide the healing.

    So yes, churches are required to meet the public safety requirements for the good of the congregation.

    John
     
  8. Salty

    Salty
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    A strict interpretation of the Constitution says
    "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"
    The question is where do you draw the line- that should be up to the church.

    We are not talking about a child make rational decisions - but rather the parents.
    Therefore if the govt decides that your 2nd and 3rd grade students should have sex education in a public school- than you would be fine with that?

    One thing these fanatics overlook is that Christian kids can be a pubic school - so there is no need for Christian school

    but no one forces a person to attend a church - The church should be free under the first amendment to practice as they see fit.


    Either we have the freedom of religion or we don't.
     
  9. seekingthetruth

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    I dont see where these things you are bringing up impede our freedom of religion at all.

    John
     
    #9 seekingthetruth, Apr 8, 2012
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