At least not in the way we have been led to believe.
Earlier this week, a story circulated on social media, regarding the interaction between Hillsong Pastor Carl Lentz, and Joy Behar of ‘The View’.
The story dealt with the pastor’s failure, to clearly state abortion is a sin.
The conversation featured the ladies of The View, asking the pastor how he handled the big social issues of our time. Such as, gay marriage, and abortion.
At one point Joy turned to the pastor and said, “So, it’s not a sin in your church to have an abortion?”
“That’s a kind of conversation we would have, finding out your story. Where you’re from. I mean God’s the judge, people have to live with their own convictions. If I have to tell you… that’s such a broad question to me. I’m going higher. I’m going to sit with someone and say, where do you believe…”
At this point Joy interrupted him and said, “So it’s not an open and shut case with you?”
To that Pastor Lentz said, “Some people would say it is. To me, I’m trying to teach people who JESUS is first. Find out their story. Before I start picking, and choosing what I think is sin in your life, I’d like to know your name.”
The feedback to his comments, on the lives of our most helpless citizen’s, our unborn children, has not gone over well with those who are unapologetically pro-life.
My reaction then and now, is one of disappointment. I am a huge supporter of the Hillsong ministry. I like pastor Lentz, but I am heartbroken when people of faith, miss such big opportunities, to declare the truth about the lives of our unborn children.
With that said, I want to take a look at the conversation between Joy Behar and Pastor Lentz, once she concluded he was flexible — or as CHRIST might say ‘lukewarm’ — on some key social issues, she began asking him about the separation of church and state.
Here is an transcript excerpt from the interview;
Joy: We’ve talked to other religious leaders on this show about whether politics and religion mix together. We do have the separation of church and state. So you’re really not suppose to endorse any candidates for example from the pulpit. Do you do that or how do you feel about that?
Pastor Lentz: I don’t want to get in trouble, we keep it really straight laced. No… I think at our church, when people say, keep politics out of the pulpit, I say what do you mean by that? Because politics affect people. So, if that’s happening, you better believe I’m going to talk about politcs. To not do that in a church setting to me is…
Joy: Where’s the line, where’s the line where you infringe upon the separation of church and state?
Pastor Lentz: My dad’s a lawyer, so dad if you want to text right now, I’m getting into hot water. I don’t know, I feel like JESUS came to destroy the political norm of the day. So, since I’m a Christian, I believe we’re still suppose to speak directly to politics, and things that affect people, they should be talked about in our church. I’m just going to preach what I feel is right.
Joy: I’m not going to argue with you, but if you endorse, let’s say President Trump from the pulpit, you are infriging upon that particular law of the separation of chruch and state. Am I right?
No, Joy. You’re not.
There is no law regarding the separation of church and state.
The phrase ‘Separation of Church and State’, prominently appeared, in a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote during his presidency.
A group of Baptist ministers from Connecticut, had written to the president. They were concerned they would one day be forbidden from preaching, because they were a religious minority in the area.
The president responded to their concerns with a letter of his own.
He assurred them, that The First Admendment to the Constitution, clearly erected a separation of church and state, and would as it states, prohibit Congress from making ANY LAW setting up a state religion, and would not prohibit the free practice of religion in any way.
Unfortunately, Judges are not all created equally. Nor, do they have the same opinions.
In 1947, the state used the 1st Amendment to argue a case. It was regarding the reimbursement of parents, for both public and private school students. These parents, were using public transportation to get their kids to school when school buses were not available. The use of public funds, to reimburse parents that were sending their kids to parochial or other religious based schools, was deemed unconstitutional.
And, just like the Judges ruling on Roe vs Wade, this opinion has had lasting implications.
The Separation of Church and State is not a law. It is an enormous misinterpretation of the First Admendment.
An admendment that was, intended to protect all free expression of religion, not prevent it.
Churches, unfortunately, have fallen victim to the threat of losing their status as non-profit organizations, if they take a political stand.
It is constitutional extortion!
But, there has never been a case where a church has lost it’s charitable status.
As a result, more and more churches are finding the boldness to take a stand, on issues that are not just matters for the state, but matters that threaten our nation’s eternal soul.
When we allow debates, like the one this past week on The View to go unanswered, we contribute to the continued mission of misinformation, being perpetuated by those who would seek to not only ban GOD from our public spaces, but would cast HIM and HIS SON to the winds of change, till only those deemed religious radicals will know HIS name.
November 12, 2012