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You Shouldn't Do That

The Spirit of America  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Happy 4th of July

Happy Independence Day. Yet, I must say that with all the technology that we have, and the amazing things that have happened through the history of our nation, I believe that we are less freer now in America than we’ve ever been.
And I mean spiritually. But how many know, the spiritual affects the physical
So if we are less freer spiritually in America, than we are less freer physically.
I want to continue a series that has been ongoing for the last 5 or 6 years during the summer holidays. A series that I have entitled, The Spirit of America
And I take these three dates and speak about the history, current events and future of our country as the Bible speaks about it.
Today, I am going to start a two part message (I’ll finish up with it around Labor Day) on the Separation of Church and State.
turn with me over to
2 Chronicles 26 NKJV
1 Now all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah. 2 He built Elath and restored it to Judah, after the king rested with his fathers. 3 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecholiah of Jerusalem. 4 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. 5 He sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God; and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper. 6 Now he went out and made war against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath, the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities around Ashdod and among the Philistines. 7 God helped him against the Philistines, against the Arabians who lived in Gur Baal, and against the Meunites. 8 Also the Ammonites brought tribute to Uzziah. His fame spread as far as the entrance of Egypt, for he became exceedingly strong. 9 And Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate, and at the corner buttress of the wall; then he fortified them. 10 Also he built towers in the desert. He dug many wells, for he had much livestock, both in the lowlands and in the plains; he also had farmers and vinedressers in the mountains and in Carmel, for he loved the soil. 11 Moreover Uzziah had an army of fighting men who went out to war by companies, according to the number on their roll as prepared by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the officer, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king’s captains. 12 The total number of chief officers of the mighty men of valor was two thousand six hundred. 13 And under their authority was an army of three hundred and seven thousand five hundred, that made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy. 14 Then Uzziah prepared for them, for the entire army, shields, spears, helmets, body armor, bows, and slings to cast stones. 15 And he made devices in Jerusalem, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and the corners, to shoot arrows and large stones. So his fame spread far and wide, for he was marvelously helped till he became strong. 16 But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the Lord his God by entering the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. 17 So Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him were eighty priests of the Lord—valiant men. 18 And they withstood King Uzziah, and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed! You shall have no honor from the Lord God.” 19 Then Uzziah became furious; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense. And while he was angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead, before the priests in the house of the Lord, beside the incense altar. 20 And Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and there, on his forehead, he was leprous; so they thrust him out of that place. Indeed he also hurried to get out, because the Lord had struck him. 21 King Uzziah was a leper until the day of his death. He dwelt in an isolated house, because he was a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the Lord. Then Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land. 22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, from first to last, the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz wrote. 23 So Uzziah rested with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of burial which belonged to the kings, for they said, “He is a leper.” Then Jotham his son reigned in his place.
I want to speak to you today about a term that you hear all the time.
It’s in our courts, Its in our newspapers, it runs rampant in our schools and in any other situation where the Christian tries to do the business of the Kingdom.
The phrase is “Separation of Church and State”
In the not too far history of our nation, this phrase, Separation of Church and State, has been invoked in over four thousand court cases.
It is blamed for the removal of nativity scenes from public places, the ten commandments from our court rooms.
It is cited as the reason why some cities have removed religious symbols from their city seals, and why there are some religious expressions that cannot be used in other public places.
But to better understand this phrase, let us look at

The History of “Separation of Church and State”

God’s View: Since all history is HIS STORY

God promises Abraham that he will create a mighty nation of his posterity
He leads and guides these people until they become a nation.
He sends Moses to free them from Pharaohs hand and lead them into the land that will be theirs.
And God establishes a civil government for his people Israel
Now think about what he did and how he did this.
He puts Moses over the civil affairs - gives them their laws, and presides over how the law effects their relationships and life
And He puts Moses’ Brother, Aaron (the priest) over the spiritual affairs. - He guides them on how to live and worship God with their lives.
The nation of Israel was one, but the jurisdictions were two with a different leader presiding over both.
Here in , we see that God had planned it to stay that way.
Uzziah was King of Israel for a remarkable 52 years. That just didn’t happen in those times. Most of the kings just didn’t live that long.
Those 52 years are marked by properity and stability. They were the character of his 52 year civil leadership.
He rule was legendary for his agricultural and animal husbandry programs.
His national defense program were unrivaled, during which he oversaw the invention of catapults as well as complex but advanced machines that would powerfully propel arrows at the enemy garrisons.
He was famous.
His reign was also known for his love and worship toward God.
He openly and boldly honored God throughout his rule and kingdom. Something else that most kings didn’t do.
But then something changed.
2 Chronicles 26:16 NKJV
16 But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the Lord his God by entering the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.
As the ruler over the civil affairs of the people, he allowed pride to get the best of him and one day decided that he would also function as the priest and offer incense on the altar
But remember, God had sternly placed a priest there to do that.
King to be civil
Priest to be spiritual
When Uzziah tried to perform the responsibilities of both church and state and act as the head of each, he crossed that line set up by God himself.
And he paid with his life for it.
2 Chronicles 26:18 NKJV
18 And they withstood King Uzziah, and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed! You shall have no honor from the Lord God.”
The priests courageously and forcfully tried to withstand him, but Uzziah, continued and just became more angry at them.
He took their holy utensils and use them. Utensils which were created only for their hands.
So God instantly strikes him with leprosy.
What had happened?
Uzziah was allowed to and supposed to honor God in his kingdom.
Uzziah was allowed to and did enter the temple to worship God.
But when Uzziah attempted to violate the jurisdictional separation between church and state, when he sought to be in charge both the civil and religious arenas at the same time, God provided a dramatic precedent as a message of warning to all future generations.

Man’s View

For the first 300 years of church history, there had never been a thought of merging these two separate and distinct, God-ordained (say that with me. NOT MAN MADE) institutions of church and state.
This changed when Roman Emperor Theodosius I assumed control of the church and assimilated it into the state.
He decreed Christianity to be the official religion of his massive empire and that all other religions were illegal.
Cool, right? Not so much.
At that moment, the state had crossed the boundary setup by God himself.
And secondly, at that time Christianity became coercive. You have to join us.
That is so far against the teaching of Christ, that it’s rediculous. Nobody has to join us, We are commissioned to make disciples, but Christ wanted their participation to be voluntary. We serve God because we love him.
This made every emperor after him to be a King Uzziah.
They made themselves officers of the church.
It became a time of secularization of the church
Christianity became a depraved religious belief.
and the church leaders, (who voiced their opinions to the opposite) became state officials and answered to state authorities about what could or couldn’t happen in the church.
They were also required to to enforce any religious doctrines that the state decreed as such.
This marked a period of untold atrocities in the church.
Civil and religious leaders inventing sadistic ways of torture and inflicting death. Foxes Book of Martyrs counts the slaughter of countless thousands of Christians by these so called religious leaders.
This continued for far too long, and carried into future cultures as well.
It would not be until the early 1500’s that an English minister, named Richard Hooker, would use the words and demand the phrase, Separation of church and state before King Henry VIII.
These Bible based ministers stood up and demanded, (listen clearly here) that the state separate from the church.
Richard Hooker used the word divorce. He wanted a divorce from the state, or course, the church was a lucrative business and a way to control the people involved in it so the state (King) said no. The state even determined who could take communion, who could be a minister and such
But Reverend Hooker was persistant. He started his own national church, “The Anglican Church”, decreeing new state-established doctrines and gave himself a divorce. Remember, we are in England now, so his phrase would have been separation between the church and commonwealth.
Rev. John Greenwood also joined the Bible-Centered pastors who were speaking out against the intrusion of the State into the jurisdiction of the church and he would go and start a congregation that would be attended by many of the pilgrims while they lived in England.
He spoke out against Queen Elizabeth I, who was recognized as the head of both, the state and the church and he told her that there could only be one head over the church and that was Jesus Christ.
She had him beheaded. “For denying Her Majesty’s ecclesiastical supremacy and attacking the ecclesiastical order.
Parliament passed a law requiring that if “any of Her Majesty’s subjects deny the Queen’s ecclesiastical supremacy that they shall be committed to prison without bail.
That was the last straw for the pilgrims and they left England for holland.
As we know they would leave Holland to go to America, where they would boldly avocate separation of Church and state, asserting that government had no right to compel religion, to plan churches by power, and to force a submission to ecclesiastical government by laws and penalties.

The Truth of Separation of Church and State

That is important my brothers and sisters. Let me make that a little clearer.
The Pilgrims came to America to get away from the Monarchy who ruled the church.
They came to America to follow God’s views about the church, not man’s views.
They believed what God had said, and what we saw in - That the King had no right being in the church as far as being over it.
They believed that religion could not be compelled. You could not force anyone into it or out of it.
They believed that churches were born and planted by the leading of the Holy Spirit and not by the words of the King or Queen who just deemed it to be right for them.
They believed that the Government had no right to punish you if you didnt’ agree with their views of church and state. Or more rightly, their control over the church.
How many know today that God’s view is correct. Right?
Then we do we just lie down and accept what the world tells us about separation of church and state.
God separated them on purpose.
They each had their place.
But also in God’s view, the church spoke into the life of the state and caused it to line up with God’s views.
Nathan and David
I believe that our leaders want to maintain control of the church because they know in their hearts the evil they do.
They want to silence us
They want to try to keep us in a place where we can’t act or are afraid to act.
We know that they don’t want to hear what God has to day about our situation. Did David?
Our spiritual founding fathers, were willing to die for this
They were willing to leave their home, and travel some dangerous journeys to secure this for us
And we can’t give up a little of our time to live in what they have given us. And we will lose it.
Uzziah was punished for crossing the line set up by God.
Well you have one case. No, there are plenty.
King Saul, Israels first king, told to go and get ready to fight the philistines and wait seven days for the Prophet Samuel to get there to make the sacrifice.
Separation of Church and state.
What does Saul do? He wants it now. He makes the sacrifice. And is removed from office.
Folks we have our examples. And America will just become another statistic, if we don’t get this right.
God gives us examples for our futures. Let’s follow his.
PRAY
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