Author Topic: Separation of Church and State  (Read 29002 times)

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asygo

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Re: Separation of Church and State
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2007, 06:47:28 PM »
Ending one's own life? What amoral reason would I have for preventing that? Why would I force someone to be here if he doesn't want to be here? That would be false imprisonment.
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Richard Myers

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Re: Separation of Church and State
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2007, 07:38:12 PM »
I was not thinking of preventing one from taking his own life, but helping someone else to kill himself. Following your thinking, it would appear that both you and Sister Dora believe that it ought to be legal to do so, if they are consenting adults.  If I understand what you both are saying, you do not think the state has an interest in preventing immoral acts between consenting adults. Drug use, homosexual acts, suicide.  And, it would seem that you both would absolutely oppose any suggestion that the state outlaw smoking in one's home?  This is a most interesting position that you have taken. I look forward to better understanding how it is that you come to this belief.
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asygo

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Re: Separation of Church and State
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2007, 08:45:01 PM »
I was not thinking of preventing one from taking his own life, but helping someone else to kill himself. Following your thinking, it would appear that both you and Sister Dora believe that it ought to be legal to do so, if they are consenting adults.  If I understand what you both are saying, you do not think the state has an interest in preventing immoral acts between consenting adults. Drug use, homosexual acts, suicide.

The first principle is that morality should have no say in state matters, if we want to keep church and state separate. If we are talking about adults, with the intellectual capacity to make decisions, doing things to each other, and not forcing others to participate in any way, then they should be allowed to do what they want, regardless of how immoral. Homosexual acts and suicide, even assisted ones, are up to the individual to choose.

Drug use, OTOH, could have an impact beyond the individual. If he wants to fry his brain at home, and stay there, then go ahead. But don't drive away and imperil others. One way to address this is to allow drug use by yourself, but if you impact others with your drug use, you get a really stiff penalty, like losing a finger. That should cut down on drug use.

And, it would seem that you both would absolutely oppose any suggestion that the state outlaw smoking in one's home?

Smoking is similar to drug use. It has been shown to be deleterious, so a smoker should not be allowed to impact others by his choice to hurt himself. Smoke all you want at home, but if you let that smoke out, we cut off a finger. Pretty soon, it would be very hard for the smoker to light a match.

In summary: Do what you want to yourself, but keep it to yourself.
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Dora

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Re: Separation of Church and State
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2007, 09:24:49 PM »
Brother Richard,
By now you know enough about me to know that I believe all of those things are wrong.  If I could talk with someone to help prevent many of these from happening, of course I would, and often do counsel people about health in many ways.  It is just that I really do believe that the more laws are enforced that affect us in our homes, we will be asking "how far will the government be allowed to go?"

I have worked some with the organization in our church called "Bags of Love."
We prepare attractive bags, filled with necessities, soap, comb, brush, toothbrush, etc, and with a homemade quilt and a stuffed animal.  These are for those children who must be removed from their homes, due to drugs and other things.  Often our leader is called in the night to bring one of these bags to social services.  Do I think it is necessary for these children to be removed?  In these cases, I do.  I also think that there have been times children have been removed when it was not to their best interest.  That is the risk we take when it is necessary that others are involved.

And, yes, as much as I hate smoking, and drinking, it is not yet against the law for anyone to do it in their homes.  What about overeating?  Or eating unclean foods? Or drinking the ocean of "pop" that is used? Or anything that is bad for you?  Should the government legislate all that?  Should the government legislate how many children a couple may have? And, other very personal things?  Should they legislate how much we spend (or do not spend) in our homes?

And, then....should they legislate what day of the week I should go to church?  And, where I should go?

I do hope you can understand where I am coming from.  It is not that I approve of the things you mentioned, it is that I believe that is the reason our forefathers came to this country, to try to get away from total state involvement, and that we may have the freedom of choice.

In His Love,

Dora

Richard Myers

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Re: Separation of Church and State
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2007, 09:27:29 PM »
I was not thinking of preventing one from taking his own life, but helping someone else to kill himself. Following your thinking, it would appear that both you and Sister Dora believe that it ought to be legal to do so, if they are consenting adults.  If I understand what you both are saying, you do not think the state has an interest in preventing immoral acts between consenting adults. Drug use, homosexual acts, suicide.

The first principle is that morality should have no say in state matters, if we want to keep church and state separate. If we are talking about adults, with the intellectual capacity to make decisions, doing things to each other, and not forcing others to participate in any way, then they should be allowed to do what they want, regardless of how immoral. Homosexual acts and suicide, even assisted ones, are up to the individual to choose.

Drug use, OTOH, could have an impact beyond the individual. If he wants to fry his brain at home, and stay there, then go ahead. But don't drive away and imperil others. One way to address this is to allow drug use by yourself, but if you impact others with your drug use, you get a really stiff penalty, like losing a finger. That should cut down on drug use.

And, it would seem that you both would absolutely oppose any suggestion that the state outlaw smoking in one's home?

Smoking is similar to drug use. It has been shown to be deleterious, so a smoker should not be allowed to impact others by his choice to hurt himself. Smoke all you want at home, but if you let that smoke out, we cut off a finger. Pretty soon, it would be very hard for the smoker to light a match.

In summary: Do what you want to yourself, but keep it to yourself.

Sounds like a real Libertarian thought. But, while you think that one who smokes or uses drugs alone in his home hurts no one but himself, this is not true. His injury impacts society.  His family suffers as do the rest of us. That is why the state has an interest in the matter. A quick study through the Spirit of Prophecy will reveal the Biblical principle that requires society to make such injurious things illegal, even if used in private. Alcohol is a good example that will help us understand why it is that the state ought to outlaw such injurious drugs. We don't wait for innocent people to be killed to cut off fingers, but we do what is obviously the right thing to do, we outlaw the drug.

Also, in your reply you used the example of an individual by himself, whereas I gave you an example of a man helping a man to kill himself. Your principle being put forth would allow this to be legal because they are consenting adults. Do you really want to go this far?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

asygo

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Re: Separation of Church and State
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2007, 09:40:25 PM »
The moral majority will eventually say that the obviously right thing to do is to keep the Christian Sunday. And you wannabe Jews who keep Saturday are causing all sorts of judgments to come down from God and injuring society as a whole. Therefore, the state should force you to do what is right, under the benevolent guidance of the moral majority.

The wall will be torn down soon enough; we shouldn't help.
By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
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Dora

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Re: Separation of Church and State
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2007, 09:53:05 PM »
Ellen White spoke out against the use of alcohol, and I do know she thought we should speak against it, and encourage others to speak against it.  As of now, we live in a "dry" county.  It has come up twice on the ballot to vote for or against making it legal for liquor to be sold in this county.  Both times, we have voted against it, and both times it has failed, although I would not be surprised to see it go through the next time.

But, I still believe that the government should not be allowed to make "raids" on our homes, unless there is proof of illegal action going on there, action affecting the public.

I just saw your post, Brother Arnold, I whole heartedly agree.  The wall WILL be torn down soon enough. And, yes, it will be under the "benevolent guidance of the moral majority."  It could happen so quickly!!
Dora

Richard Myers

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Re: Separation of Church and State
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2007, 10:10:42 PM »
Brother Richard,
By now you know enough about me to know that I believe all of those things are wrong. 

Yes, I do, dear sister. I also understand why you are concerned. This is a good discussion so that we can think about the subject a little deeper. We have a responsibility when we vote to do the best we can to follow Biblical principles. My hope is that we will be able to better understand what is true separation of church and state. We have a very sad situation today with laws that are allowing immorality to run rampant in the name of separation of church and state. Some think we must allow immorality since morality can only originate from religion. Without God and His law, there is no morality. He is the author of moral law.

Liberty of conscience does not extend to liberty to hurt others. When one murders, he has forfeited his right to live. We need a better definition of the wall of separation.
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And, yes, as much as I hate smoking, and drinking, it is not yet against the law for anyone to do it in their homes.

Personally, I think the manufacture of cigarettes ought to be made illegal. Is there any reason why we ought not do so? I can think of none. It is very similar to the manufacture of alcohol that kills so many. It also ought to be made illegal. When  you study this out, you will find that God has given us light on this and He is not pleased when we who ought to know better, do not press for laws against the selling of alcohol. It sounds rather fanatical today because so many are so far removed from Christ and His ways. Even Christians now believe that wicked men ought to be able to sell their intoxicating drinks to weak humanity.

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What about overeating?  Or eating unclean foods? Or drinking the ocean of "pop" that is used? Or anything that is bad for you?  Should the government legislate all that?  Should the government legislate how many children a couple may have? And, other very personal things?  Should they legislate how much we spend (or do not spend) in our homes?

Your question is a good one. But, God expects us to use some common sense. There is a large difference between homosexuality and eating McDonalds fries. We cannot equate soda pop with vodka or how much money a family spends with use of cocaine.  We are no where near the line when we discuss homosexuality or abortion or adultery. They are of such importance that the Bible addresses them in a manner far different than lessor sins.

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And, then....should they legislate what day of the week I should go to church?

Now, we have made an important shift in principle. As we noted earlier, this type of legislation is forbidden by the US Constitution because it deals with worship. One cannot legislate in matters of worship without infringing upon liberty of conscience. The state is not to restrict one's freedom of religion.  Yes, it may restrict the use of illegal drugs for a religious service, but it may not dictate how I am to worship God and on which day. The principle is clearly laid out in the first amendment to the US Constitution and I believe follows Bible principle.

To legislate in areas that deal with our personal relationships with each other does not address how we worship God.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

asygo

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Re: Separation of Church and State
« Reply #28 on: December 27, 2007, 08:47:07 AM »
Sounds like a real Libertarian thought.

Because I have very strong Libertarian leanings.

But, while you think that one who smokes or uses drugs alone in his home hurts no one but himself, this is not true. His injury impacts society.  His family suffers as do the rest of us.

How does it hurt me if someone smokes in his house?

A quick study through the Spirit of Prophecy will reveal the Biblical principle that requires society to make such injurious things illegal, even if used in private.

We should stop people from hurting others who don't want to be hurt, but I don't see permission given for my conscience to be law for another.

Alcohol is a good example that will help us understand why it is that the state ought to outlaw such injurious drugs. We don't wait for innocent people to be killed to cut off fingers, but we do what is obviously the right thing to do, we outlaw the drug.

Cut off one finger when you catch someone weaving in traffic, and alcohol use will dramatically drop. Those who support capital punishment can even push to make intoxication and smoking in public capital crimes.

Also, in your reply you used the example of an individual by himself, whereas I gave you an example of a man helping a man to kill himself. Your principle being put forth would allow this to be legal because they are consenting adults. Do you really want to go this far?

If I want my friend to kill me, and he's willing to do it, why should your morality interfere with my wishes? If God gives me the freedom to choose, why do you think you have the authority to take it away?
By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
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Brian M

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Re: Separation of Church and State
« Reply #29 on: December 27, 2007, 08:59:02 AM »
How does it hurt me if someone smokes in his house?

Does society have a responsibility to protect children? They cannot dictate whether their parents smoke in the home or not - and they suffer for it. It may not hurt you, but it does hurt the child and society at large. Think of the increased medical costs and the burden on society.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7

asygo

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Re: Separation of Church and State
« Reply #30 on: December 27, 2007, 10:04:23 AM »
Does society have a responsibility to protect children? They cannot dictate whether their parents smoke in the home or not - and they suffer for it. It may not hurt you, but it does hurt the child and society at large.

Then protect the child. Ban his parents from smoking. Take him out of that dangerous environment. There are several options available. But why should little Billy's lungs in Florida keep Joe Hermit from smoking in Montana? If he keeps his smoke to himself, why would it hurt anyone else?

Think of the increased medical costs and the burden on society.

Now why would Ed Smoker's lung cancer cause a burden on society? He smoked himself into that predicament, he can figure out how to get out. I allowed him the freedom to smoke, he should allow me the freedom to use my hard-earned money on what I want, not his self-imposed medical bills. So, why are Ed Smoker's medical costs a burden for me?

Note: Now you're starting to see the bigger picture. Let's keep exploring this avenue and you'll see where the wall started breaking down. I'm guessing Bro Richard already has an idea where this is headed.
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Arnold M. Sy Go
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Dora

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Re: Separation of Church and State
« Reply #31 on: December 27, 2007, 11:08:24 AM »
Yes, Brother Arnold, I can see.  There are things that just cannot be legislated and this nation still be "The land of the free, and the home of the brave."  Since 9-11 there have been many encroachments on our privacy, and all it will take is some other similar event, and we will see those freedoms of privacy, and all our freedoms quickly moving more and more toward being DICTATED to us by the government, and the government telling us all of the things we can and cannot do.  How easily we could turn into a "Police State."  Is that what we want?  All one has to do is to read the testimonies of people who have lived through the communist control to know that it is not what we want!!

Again, as you said earlier, it will happen, but let's not rush it, rather, let's do all we can to help the lost to see Jesus...our Saviour.
Dora

Richard Myers

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Re: Separation of Church and State
« Reply #32 on: December 27, 2007, 11:38:25 AM »
Think of the increased medical costs and the burden on society.

Now why would Ed Smoker's lung cancer cause a burden on society? He smoked himself into that predicament, he can figure out how to get out. I allowed him the freedom to smoke, he should allow me the freedom to use my hard-earned money on what I want, not his self-imposed medical bills. So, why are Ed Smoker's medical costs be a burden for me?

Note: Now you're starting to see the bigger picture. Let's keep exploring this avenue and you'll see where the wall started breaking down. I'm guessing Bro Richard already has an idea where this is headed.

Yes, Brother Arnold, I do. It is not my thought that I am expressing, but that which I believe we have been given from above. What you believe to be liberty, I see as imprisonment. To allow a man access to alcohol and other debasing drugs does not improve his lot in life, but rather helps to enslave him. The same is true of acts of homosexuality and general abortion. They are not "freedoms" but rather acts that reveal enslavement to powers from below. Society is not protecting freedom, but is allowing evil to flourish when it turns a blind eye to such immorality. We above all people have a responsibility to present the truth, no matter how unpopular it is. The condition that existed in the world just prior to the great flood, exists again today. The world is given over to immorality. We are to be an example of righteousness, and we may also encourage others with correct Bible doctrine.

Here is a statement of truth that will clearly reveal where I am coming from and I pray it will help others to see the issue clearly. God would have society outlaw alcohol even though you argue against this. This presents the principles we are discussing in a manner that will help guide our teaching. I pray it will bring us into unity.

     San Francisco's Object Lesson.--For a time after the great earthquake along the coast of California, the authorities in San Francisco and in some of the smaller cities and towns ordered the closing of all liquor saloons. So marked were the effects of this strictly enforced ordinance, that the attention of thinking men throughout America, and notably on the Pacific Coast, was directed to the advantages that would result from a permanent closing of all saloons. During many weeks following the earthquake in San Francisco, very little drunkenness was seen. No intoxicating drinks were sold. The disorganized and unsettled state of affairs gave the city officials reason to expect an abnormal increase of disorder and crime, and they were greatly surprised to find the opposite true. Those from whom was expected much trouble, gave but little. This remarkable freedom from violence and crime was traceable largely to the disuse of intoxicants. 

     The editors of some of the leading dailies took the position that it would be for the permanent betterment of society and for the upbuilding of the best interests of the city, were the saloons to remain closed forever. But wise counsel was swept aside, and within a few short weeks permission was given the liquor dealers to reopen their places of business, upon the payment of a considerably higher license than had formerly been paid into the city treasury.

     In the calamity that befell San Francisco, the Lord designed to wipe out the liquor saloons that have been the cause of so much evil, so much misery and crime; and yet the guardians of the public welfare have proved unfaithful to their trust, by legalizing the sale of liquor. . . . They know that in doing this, they are virtually licensing the commission of crime; and yet their knowledge of this sure result deters them not. . . . The people of San Francisco must answer at the judgment bar of God for the reopening of the liquor saloons in that city. --Review and Herald, Oct. 25, 1906.


There is a way which seemeth right unto man, but the ways thereof are the ways of death. Let us accept the light given us from above. Society has a responsibility to enact "moral" laws that do not enter into the domain of worship. The drive to legislate Sunday has nothing to do with our present discussion. There is a huge wall of separation between church and state that prohibits the state from entering into the area of worship. Not so with morality between people. Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not commit adultery require moral laws to help protect society. They are indeed based upon the Ten Commandments and God would have them enforced. When they are not, you end up with what we have today, rampant immorality.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

asygo

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Re: Separation of Church and State
« Reply #33 on: December 27, 2007, 11:49:43 AM »
Yes, Brother Arnold, I can see.  There are things that just cannot be legislated and this nation still be "The land of the free, and the home of the brave." ... All one has to do is to read the testimonies of people who have lived through the communist control to know that it is not what we want!! ... Again, as you said earlier, it will happen, but let's not rush it, rather, let's do all we can to help the lost to see Jesus...our Saviour.

Amen, amen, amen, and amen.

There are many immoral things that must be stopped. But whenever the power of the state is used to enforce the standards of the church, big problems follow. Let the state do its job, let the church do its job, but never mix the two.

If people are attacking other people, call the police. If people are being immoral, call the evangelists.
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Arnold M. Sy Go
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asygo

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Re: Separation of Church and State
« Reply #34 on: December 27, 2007, 03:24:05 PM »
Yes, Brother Arnold, I do. It is not my thought that I am expressing, but that which I believe we have been given from above. What you believe to be liberty, I see as imprisonment. To allow a man access to alcohol and other debasing drugs does not improve his lot in life, but rather helps to enslave him. The same is true of acts of homosexuality and general abortion. They are not "freedoms" but rather acts that reveal enslavement to powers from below. Society is not protecting freedom, but is allowing evil to flourish when it turns a blind eye to such immorality. We above all people have a responsibility to present the truth, no matter how unpopular it is. The condition that existed in the world just prior to the great flood, exists again today. The world is given over to immorality. We are to be an example of righteousness, and we may also encourage others with correct Bible doctrine.

I agree that these things constitute bondage, not liberty. But you're not hearing what I'm saying. The point is that only Christ can set us free from these bonds. To try to control it through human legislation is only going to hide the problem. The drunkard knows that he's in trouble, but the one who wants to be drunk but is afraid of going to jail for it will remain a slave of his unconverted passions.

Your desire to "encourage others with correct Bible doctrine" shows exactly what I'm talking about. These things are the doctrines of God expressed in the Bible. But the state has no business enforcing the doctrines of your Bible. If it did, it would be respecting a religion.

Or do you also want the state to enforce the precepts of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shamanism, paganism..........? Guess what? Regardless of your good intentions, we know what's going to happen in the end: Apostate Protestantism - the Image to the Beast - will be the one controlling the state. That's going to bring a lot of bloodshed and persecution. IOW, Satan will use your desire to end alcoholism to end your life and your friends' lives.

Is that a good exchange? Maybe. IF the alcoholism was actually stopped in the sense that will be acceptable in the IJ. Unfortunately, human legislation can only stop the physical manifestations of immorality; it has no power to change the heart. And so, you will end up with dead Christians, killed by closet alcoholics who are slaves of their suppressed passions and who will not survive the IJ anyway. Bad deal all around, IMO.

I like Paul's idea:
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deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (1 Corinthians 5:5)

IOW, sacrificing the body for eternal gain is a good deal.
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Arnold M. Sy Go
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asygo

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Re: Separation of Church and State
« Reply #35 on: December 27, 2007, 03:50:02 PM »
Review and Herald, Oct. 25, 1906.

There is a way which seemeth right unto man, but the ways thereof are the ways of death.

I'll get back to you on the RH article after I read it.

As for the proverb, I agree. It just looks to me like your idea is the way of death. My idea might result in more physical death, but that is only the first death; the curses they bring upon themselves by disobedience to God's principles might open their eyes enough to see their need of a Savior from the second death. Your idea will only lead people to find good hiding places for their moonshine.

Have we learned nothing from history?
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Arnold M. Sy Go
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Greg Goodchild

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Re: Separation of Church and State
« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2007, 10:22:21 PM »
We know that Jesus could have stopped Lucifer from conducting his evil sales of false ideas but Jesus did not use the power of His State to suppress Lucifer or stop his sales of evil. Jesus allowed it to develop and informed all of His subjects so that they would be informed and choose how they wanted to deal with things. After all had decided then Jesus allowed war to enter into heaven and cast satan out.

Did not the RCC try to implement a theocracy without Jesus? Did they try to legislate moral issues and used capital punishment to control behavior? Once they got going did they then go the next step and try to legislate and force moral thought and feelings? Did they try to control evagelism, conversion, and worship? We have our history lesson but since the nations did not learn their lesson it will come again.

The papacy is an attempt by a religious organization to enforce spiritual principles by the arms of the state, without Jesus. We do not live in a theocracy today that is recognized by the state. We live in a voluntary theocracy, we submit to Jesus and choose His principles to live by. We can tolerate no force in spiritual matters. The state can force principles in the arena of the last 6 commandments, but not in the first four.

asygo

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Re: Separation of Church and State
« Reply #37 on: December 31, 2007, 12:33:54 AM »
The state can force principles in the arena of the last 6 commandments, but not in the first four.

I would say that the state can force outward compliance with the last 6 commandments, but not its principles.

God, OTOH, does not use force. He only accepts the service of love.
By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
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Richard Myers

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Re: Separation of Church and State
« Reply #38 on: December 31, 2007, 10:27:46 AM »
The state can force principles in the arena of the last 6 commandments, but not in the first four.

I would say that the state can force outward compliance with the last 6 commandments, but not its principles.

God, OTOH, does not use force. He only accepts the service of love.

Communications is difficult at best. "Principles" can be thoughts of in different ways. We will have to explore this in more detail, but first, I think we are making progress.  Outward compliance is all that is ever considered, although motive is brought up. If killing is an accident, then that is different than pre-meditation. Our laws were very good, many based upon Bible truth, the only standard of morality.

God would have "moral" laws in our societies.  Brother Arnold says yes, to the state legislating in outward compliance to the last six commandments. This would include legislation regarding making adultery illegal.  Is this correct Brother Arnold?  Do you want legislation banning adultery(real, not imagined)? We seem to be moving away from your strict "libertarian" stance?

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

asygo

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Re: Separation of Church and State
« Reply #39 on: December 31, 2007, 12:58:18 PM »
God would have "moral" laws in our societies.  Brother Arnold says yes, to the state legislating in outward compliance to the last six commandments. This would include legislation regarding making adultery illegal.  Is this correct Brother Arnold?  Do you want legislation banning adultery(real, not imagined)? We seem to be moving away from your strict "libertarian" stance?

If we are talking ONLY about the outward physical acts of adultery, then the state can legislate that. BUT, its basis for doing so must be limited to preventing the coerced participation of any of the (at least) three participants in this crime: 1) husband, 2) wife, 3) 3rd party. The state must protect each one of these parties from unwilling participation in the adultery.

But if everyone is willing, then the state has no right to prevent it.

There is also a huge caveat to consider. Let's say the wife doesn't like the husband committing adultery with the 3rd party because it sets a bad example for the children, and keeps him from doing what he needs to do as a father. The state must be careful not to legislate based on the obviously moral implications of the matter. Being a bad father is not necessarily something we want the state to judge. If it did, many pastors and elders would be guilty, as they already are before God. Moreover, the time will come when leading your family against the current of Sunday-keeping will be considered bad parenting.
By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
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