The Separation of Church and State

Psalm 139, I have come to believe best embodies the God of the Bible. If we are believers, God’s spirit infills our being. Indeed we move, live, breathe in His presence. A dear friend, also a ‘foreigner’ to this country, said to me that one ought to go to the church solely to worship God. I love her discipline and focus. Being in the presence of the living God, in the quietude of my soul, is good. My friend is not one to mince words. She said, one does not go to church to network, fundraise, negotiate, be entertained, entertain or seek recognition.

Psalm 141. v.5. “Let a righteous man rebuke me – it is a kindness;
let him rebuke me-it is oil on my head
My head will not refuse it.”

My friend is right. If one gets too involved with the church as an organization, it is easy to fall prey to all the temptations inherent to the secular organization.

God in three person, Father, Son and Holy Spirit now makes sense. As we were driving to church this beautiful Sunday morning, we watched people headed in the opposite direction. They were going to ski down the snow clad slopes. Once, I was taught that these people really ought to be in church, every Sunday, but today, I realize that if you are a believer God’s spirit is always with you. Even when you are sking and not sitting on the church pew, who can truly escape the spirit of God?

God,who is the truth, asks us to honor Him with the truth. In my former faith, Swami Vivekananda, a Hindu philosopher, said that one who dreams of wealth ought to go ahead and fulfill his ambitions, instead of being a hypocrite and pretending to be religious. I have come to appreciate these words. Only too often I have seen individuals within the church jockey for power, wealth and recognition. Vivekananda said, “Go then, fulfill your dreams” and then return to seek God.

What is the truth? How do we honor God with the truth? And how will we change and thus change the organizations and institutions we are a part of to honor God ? Jesus changed lives by speaking the truth and describing and embodying the truth. Elie Wiesel when speaking of the holocaust said, the question to ask as regards the holocaust was not so much where was God during the holocaust but where was man?

I have tired of wondering where everyone else is and what they do for God. I think being a believer is to request daily faith and strength from God to do what is before me that is true, just and good. The beauty of God is that He really does love us and know us personally. Psalm 139 for this reason is beautiful. It is a description of God, and His character, knowledge, power and presence. How aware are we of His presence and how can we be led by His spirit as we wander in this vast world?

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