Give Him 15 Daily Devotional for May 3, 2022, by Dutch Sheets (givehim15.com/post/may-3-2022)
Dutch Sheets is an internationally recognized author, gifted teacher, and conference speaker. He has pastored, taught in several colleges and seminaries, and served on the board of directors of numerous organizations. He travels extensively, challenging believers for passionate prayer and societal reformation. Seeing America experience a sweeping revival and return to its Godly heritage is Dutch’s greatest passion. He is a messenger of hope for America, encouraging believers to contend for awakening.
I have decided that one more post regarding government is necessary. We did several posts a week ago on the subject; however, I believe "the separation of church and state" needs to be addressed. In last week's teachings, we stressed that God honors the concept of government. More than simply believing in it, however, He tells us in Isaiah 33:22 that He IS government: Lawgiver, Judge, and King. Our government, with its three branches - Legislative, Judicial, and Executive - was formed after this pattern. He, as the Author of government, desires to funnel His wisdom, will, and ways into the earth's realm through a righteous government.
I have often said, "Although God initiated, endorsed, and therefore blesses the concept of government, He despises the 'political spirit.'" The political spirit is to government what a religious spirit is to relationship with God. Both are perversions of the truth. They are evil. These spirits partnered to crucify Jesus. In America, the political spirit has so defiled our government that deception, a lust for control and power, antichrist ideals/agendas, and greed control much of Washington, D.C. This rebellion and rejection of God eventually opens the door to depravity, such as killing babies up to a month old, which some are now trying to make legal.
One of the most important statements in America's founding documents is found in the first sentence of the Bill of Rights, Amendment I: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
This Amendment was written to keep our nation from favoring any denomination or religious group, and from forming a state Church or religion, as had occurred in England. The king was the overseer of the Church of England and the combined power of church and state in that situation was very oppressive to many people. The First Amendment also ensured individuals could relate to God as they desired without the intrusion of government. It was meant to keep government control out of the church, not keep God or His influence out of government. Our founders wanted God's influence in our government. The rotunda of the Capitol was actually used for church services every Sunday morning for decades. Presidents, including Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, and others regularly attended. Jefferson actually did so just two days after penning his now-famous letter to the Danbury Baptists, in which he used the phrase "wall of separation between church and state."
This statement, "a wall of separation between church and state," does not exist in the First Amendment - or any other place - in the Constitution. Jefferson stated it in a letter to answer a question posed to him by the Danbury Baptist Association of Danbury, CT, who were concerned about the government forming a state religion. Here is what Jefferson, one of the authors of the U. S. Constitution, actually said in this response dated October 17, 1801:
"Gentlemen - Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of government reach actions only and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State."
David Barton, considered an expert on the intent of our nation's Founders, said this:
"Thomas Jefferson had no intention of allowing the government to limit, restrict, regulate, or interfere with public religious practices. He believed, along with the other Founders, that the First Amendment had been enacted only to prevent the federal establishment of a national denomination."
Over time, the overall effect of the false doctrine regarding "The Separation of Church and State" concluded that neither the church nor God should have any influence in the American government. The true meaning, government not controlling or favoring certain religious groups, has been largely ignored.
Consider the following examples:
- The Little Sisters of the Poor won a Supreme Court case on July 8, 2020, after a 10-year-long battle regarding the Obamacare mandate requiring them to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees. This is against their religious beliefs. While "churches" were exempt from the mandate, other religious organizations were not. President Trump's "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" made all religious organizations exempt, as they should be. It took an Executive Order to finally get this basic First Amendment right granted to Little Sisters of the Poor.
- COVID-19 saw the shutdown of almost all businesses and places of worship. On re-opening, some states tried to keep churches and synagogues locked down while opening bars, casinos, malls, and the like. This made no sense and was obvious discrimination against Christians and Jews. Churches went on the offense. Some chose civil disobedience, opening anyway, while complying with the same laws similar businesses were following. They also sued their states and cities. Pastor Mike McClure and Apostle Che Ahn, both in California, were on the frontlines of that battle. Pastor McClure was fined millions of dollars for keeping his church open. He spearheaded a case representing the Christians of Santa Clara County against the state of California and the County. Che Ahn's case for Harvest Rock Church was returned by SCOTUS back to the lower court decision, giving them a victory. On 2/6/21, the Supreme Court ruled in McClure's favor.
- "Boston violated the free speech rights of a Christian group, Camp Constitution, by refusing to fly a flag bearing the image of a cross at City Hall as part of a program that let private groups use the flagpole while holding events in the plaza below, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday (voting 9-0)…The dispute arose over Boston's practice of allowing private groups to hold flag-raising events using one of three flagpoles on the plaza in front of City Hall. From 2005 to 2017, Boston approved all 284 applications it received before rebuffing Camp Constitution. The vast majority of flags were those of foreign countries, but also included one commemorating LGBT Pride in Boston…The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, has taken an expansive view of religious rights and has been increasingly receptive to arguments that governments are acting with hostility toward religion." We give God thanks for this!
We currently have an administration that is anti-Christian. Therefore, we will continue to see boldness in trying to advance the restrictions of religious freedom during their tenure. We must stand strongly and bravely against those attempts. We will pray, we will act, and we will never allow any tyrannical government to restrict our freedom to worship as we believe is right. This is not only a political or philosophical battle; it is a spiritual battle. We will fight and we will win.
"For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and He will give you victory!" (Deuteronomy 20:4 NLT)
Pray with me:
Lord, we exalt Your holy name and proclaim that YOU are God over America. This reality is something no government entity can ever take away from us. Some people in their foolishness, are trying to convince the world there is no God, or that You are irrelevant. Whether because they believe the Church is unimportant, or see us as a threat, they are actively trying to silence us. Our courts have been attempting to interpret our Constitution in progressive, humanistic ways for over 50 years.
We have sat back in compliance giving the enemy a foothold. Now we must reverse the damage. Help us to watch carefully and teach us to intercede with wisdom and understanding. Also, give us skill and sound ideas as we take action.
We appeal to You, Lord. We ask You to grace us with a holy boldness to push back against the darkness. We will not allow the government to say we can't have a voice in governmental matters, nor will we comply with laws and judicial decisions that are contrary to Your word and ways. We want Your influence in every aspect of government, so that we and our offspring may live in peace and prosperity. Be glorified in us, Father, and may this nation glorify You. We welcome You into every area of our lives, including government. We pray this in Christ's name. Amen.
We decree that God is restoring righteous, God-honoring government in America!