WALL OF SEPARATION
One of CWA’s goals is to educate our members so that they are able to educate others on vital principles that help guide our lives. With that goal in mind, I share the following from recent “American Minute” articles written by William Federer. The issue of religious liberty is often misunderstood because of the misuse of Thomas Jefferson’s famous quote about the wall of separation between church and state. Federer presented the following explanations of that phrase:
Baptists were familiar with Jefferson’s metaphor “wall of separation,” as Baptist founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, used it in his Bloody Tenet of Persecution for Conscience Sake, 1644: “Jews under the Old Testament … and … Christians under the New Testament … were both separate from the world; and that when they have opened a gap in the hedge, or wall of separation, between the garden of the Church and the wilderness of the world, God hath ever broken down the wall itself … And that therefore if He will ever please to restore His garden and paradise again, it must of necessity be walled in peculiarly unto Himself from the world.”
Jefferson viewed the “wall” as limiting the federal government from “inter-meddling” in church government, as explained in his letter to Samuel Miller, January 23, 1808:
“I consider the government of the United States as interdicted (prohibited) by the Constitution from inter-meddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises.
This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment or free exercise of religion, but from that also which reserves to the states the powers not delegated to the United States (10th Amendment) …”
“Certainly no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the General (Federal) government …
Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises, and the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets.”
CWA seeks to educate our members, and I hope Federer’s discussions have increased your knowledge and understanding of the “wall of separation of church and state”.
BIBLICAL MARRIAGE: The U. S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has agreed to hear the court case regarding the issue of whether states can be compelled, against the will of the people and their elected representatives, to impose homosexual marriage on all citizens, despite their sincerely-held religious or moral beliefs about marriage.
Voters in 31 states have gone to the polls to include natural marriage in their state constitutions. The legislatures in another 13 states have passed laws expressly forbidding recognition of homosexual marriages. In spite of the overwhelming voice of “We the people” in support of natural marriage, nine unaccountable justices will determine our nation’s fate, similar to the 1973 decision to legalize abortion in spite of public opinion and long-standing legal restrictions on the killing of unborn children.
Please keep the marriage issue in your prayers and educate others from CWA’s website: cwfa.org. The SCOTUS is scheduled to hear the case in March. You may read CWA’s CEO/President Penny Nance’s statement here.
Stay Alert! The 2015 Washington State Legislature started up on Monday, January 12. We will be sending out information on bills of interest to our members next week.
Sunday, February 15, 2015: CWA is excited to announce A Day of Prayer and Fasting for the Victims of Islamic Terrorists. The national office will be e-mailing information out to our members this week, and we want to include you and your church, family and friends in this exciting project. Please ask your own, as well as other pastors, to consider leading their congregations in these prayers on Sunday, February 15, and/or distributing the attached flyer in the bulletin, post on church bulletin board, allow you to lead the congregation in prayer, have a table in the back to distribute the flyers every Sunday till February 15. In addition, please do all you can to distribute this information to like-minded churches and friends you are associated with and spread the word far and wide via social media until February 15. Thank you in advance for all you are able to do on this. Click here for more information.
We still have two important religious liberty cases pending in Washington State:
Baronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, is being sued by AG Bob Ferguson in an attempt to intimidate all citizens to comply with the unbiblical homosexual agenda on marriage. Please make a call to the Attorney General’s office at 360-753-6200 to express your opinion and ask Ferguson to respect the First Amendment regarding freedom to practice our religion in all walks of our lives.
Ken and Lynn Stormans, owners of Ralph’s Thriftway pharmacy in Olympia, have stood firm in their refusal to stock or dispense abortifacients, despite years of boycotts and state prosecution.
In both cases, continue to pray for perseverance and strength, for excellent legal counsel, and that judges will seriously consider our Bible-based religious heritage, as well as our founding principles insuring freedom of religion and of speech.
That wall of separation between the church and the state was intended to prevent the state from intruding into the church, not to prevent “We the people” from living out our lives according to our religious convictions.
We would love to expand our number of CWA Prayer/Action Chapters in Washington State. If you or someone you know can give just two hours per month to praying with a group of concerned citizens, please contact the main CWA of Washington office. We will help you find members in your area, train you and support you along the way!