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TITLE: When Church and State Collide

TEXT: Acts 4:15-21

PROPOSITION: We must determine our priority when the church and the state clash.

QUESTION: What?

KEY WORD: Propositions

READING: Same

INTRODUCTION:

  1. First, the phrase "separation of church and state" is not in the constitution.
  2. It is in one of the first decisions of the Supreme Court.
  3. Define term state = all levels of government (elected and appointed)
    State = All who determine and establish policy
  4. There are 5 important points to consider on this issue.

STATE should stay out of CHURCH matters

  1. The first amendment of our constitution promises the government will not try to establish or control churches.
  2. The state should not dictate:
    1. Church membership requirements faith, baptism, repentance
    2. Ordination of preachers homosexual, women, atheists,
    3. What doctrines are held baptism, communion, elder qualifications
    4. What is taught class material, sermon topics

 

STATE does invade the CHURCH in some ways

1.        Building codes exit doors, lighted exit signs, bathrooms

  1. Church buses CDL, insurance, tags
  2. Zoning requirements parking lot, location, driveway exits, signs
  3. Finances tax-exempt, allowed to audit books

 

CHURCH should stay out of STATE matters

  1. The pulpit of the church is not the place for:
    1. Political matters = Discuss SS, tax cuts, Medicare, foreign policy, education
    2. Endorsing candidates = tax assessor, court clerk, city council, school board
    3. Party politics = Tell people which party to belong to or for whom to vote
    4. Making political views a matter of fellowship
  2. There are laws that restrict the church from being involved in politics.
  3. It is not wise because the family of God is diverse. Age, race, education, and political views
  4. Foreign policy, tax cuts, and prescription drugs are not Biblical issues.

 

There are times when CHURCH and STATE collide

  1. Crunch time = when church and state collide
    1. Pornography (City council) [Allow porno shop near elementary school]
    2. Gambling (State legislature) [Legalize casinos, Bingo halls]
    3. Alcohol & Drugs (State and local) [Under age sales allowed]
      Legalize drugs
    4. Abortion (State and federal)
    5. Legalizing same-sex marriages (State and federal)
    6. Sex education in our schools (School Board)
  1. Remember the sermon "When Your Church Leaves You" (2/4)
    1. What applies to clubs and organizations
    2. Also applies to your political affiliation
  2. Many struggle with a real internal conflict (Battle of Armageddon)
    1. Between loyalty and convictions
    2. Between party affiliation and moral values

 

There are times when CHURCH convictions must overrule the STATE

1.        Acts 4:18-20 Should we listen to state more than God?

  1. Acts 5:29 Must obey God rather than men

 

Conclusion:

  1. When you choose for whom to vote you are forced to make a moral choice
  2. You must choose between your loyalty (person or party) and your convictions
  3. Will this person do the best job? Will they make this city, state, or nation better?
  4. Will they make decisions that will lead people back to God or away from God?


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