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Strasburg Church of Christ
PO Box 321
Strasburg, VA 22657

VERSE OF THE DAY

HOW TO STOP THE DRIFT AWAY FROM CHRISTIANTY

May 5, 2013

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L. John Bost





L. John Bost

Last week: Rest For The Weary.

The United States Of America used to be known as a "Christian Nation." Now, Christianity is about the only "minority" that is not protected. I started to say, "Protected by the constitution." Actually the First Amendment to the Constitution does guarantee protection of Christianity as a religion. It says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Note the last phrase, "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." That part of the amendment has been perverted and ignored by many in recent years.
Many, especially atheists, have set that part of the amendment aside in favor of another phrase that is not a part of the Constitution - "A wall of separation between Church & State" - which Jefferson used in his response to a letter from the Danbury Baptist Association*. Jefferson's sentence containing the "wall of separation" phrase reads in toto:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.
It is clear, reading the phrase in context, that Jefferson did not intend to define the establishment clause as prohibiting all religious expression in government, or in/on government-owned property. Rather, he understood it as prohibiting laws respecting or prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Thus, laws and opinions today suppressing religious expression, based on the "wall of separation phrase," are the exact opposite of what Jefferson intended!
That perversion of Jefferson's statement, and the resulting suppression of religious expression, as well as modern teachings of evolution and humanism in our schools, has resulted in a rapid departure from the traditional respect of Christianity. What can the Christian do to stem the tide of anti-Chistian ideas, and the resulting drift away from Christianity?
A scripture that immediately comes to mind is 1 Corinthians 15:58. Paul writes, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." In the original language, the word stedfast (steadfast) means, "sitting, sedentary" and "firm, immovable." The word, unmovable, means, "Firm, immovable, steadfast. So, the first thing a Christian can do to stem the drift away from Christianity is to be steadfast in the faith, never drifting away form God and Christ. That is not easy in today's world, but if every Christian is steadfast, it will be far easier to stop the drift. See also Colossians 1:23; 2:7.
Next, Paul writes, "Always abounding in the work of the Lord." That is, give yourself to Bible Study, worship helping the needy, teaching the Lost, and. "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might" (Ecclesiastes 9:10.
What can the Christian do to stop the slide away from Christianity? Paul says, "Be a Christian!" Do not be "wishy-washy," "carried about with various and strange doctrines" (Hebrews 13:9, NKJV). Do not give in to persecution (2 Timothy 1:8; 3:12-14;1 Peter 5:9). In 2 Timothy 3:13, Paul describes many in today's society: "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." In verses 14-15, he tells what we must do to be steadfast in a society filled with those kind of people:
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
How can the Christian help stop the drift away from God, the Bible the Church and morality? By being a Christian in word and deed (Colossians 3:17!
*Further reading:
The Danbury Baptists' letter to Thomas Jefferson.
Jefferson's letter responding to the Danbury letter.
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