Thursday, April 3, 2008

separation of church and state :: Thursday E-Devotion

I am a night owl.  Sometimes that is cool and sometimes it stinks.  Last night between periods of sleep I caught a show that struck my fancy.  It was a debate on the separation of church and state from the Miller Center that took place on March 6th.  Pretty cool and got my attention.  The 4 people in the debate were very well spoken.
OK.  It is an election year, and you may call this e-devotion a soap box.  Get over it.
Psalm 33:12 (nlt) --- Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.
I have this core value and believe that we cannot separate our public life from our private life.  I honestly believe that God intends for our faith to extend to everything we do.  No, that does not mean that we take our Bibles and beat people up or make them do what we want them to do.  It does mean that we let our convictions stand strong and our morals and ethics stand tall.
Then I had one of those mornings when Proverbs hits the same thing (it is April 3rd, so Proverbs 3 was where I spent some time).  Here are some of those verses, and then I will give you my knock out punch:
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take...
13 Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.
14 For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold... 
17 She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying.
18 Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly. 
19 By wisdom the Lord founded the earth; by understanding he created the heavens. 
20 By his knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth, and the dew settles beneath the night sky. 
21 My child, don't lose sight of common sense and discernment.  Hang on to them, 
22 for they will refresh your soul.  They are like jewels on a necklace...
27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it's in your power to help them...
31 Don't envy violent people or copy their ways.
Fact: wisdom and knowledge come from God.  Fact: common sense comes from God.  Fact: some of the people in Washington or Richmond or Oklahoma City or wherever need a good dose of common sense.
You cannot separate God from wisdom.  What does it take to be part of the democratic process?  What does it take to govern well and right?  It takes wisdom and commons sense.  Duh, they both come from God.  Go ahead, try to kick God out of the school house or the white house or your house.  But mark this truth, there will be no ground left to stand on if you do.
I consider myself a political conservative.  Yet more often I find myself saying this ... God, we desperately need you.  Anybody want to join me?  America needs God.
Several years ago a precious black lady came to our church to sing, Hiawatha or something like that.  She said something that hit me (kind of like this program did).  It goes like this: we sing "God bless America" when we ought to turn it around and scream "America Bless God".  I hope you get where I am coming from.
Whether you talk about legislating morality, abortion, prayer in schools, the death penalty or whatever, you have to admit that all wisdom started with and ends with God.  If you don't agree with that, take it up with God.

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happy birthday, Julie

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