Pastor Roger Anghis
March 14, 2010
Part 5 – The Founders
We have to go back in the lives of those who came to this country to understand why they came to America. What was their motivation to leave everything in Europe or England and risk it all to come to America? Let us look at what caused these people to come here. Most came with very little possessions. Most had to sell all they had to make the trip. But all came with one thing in common, a Bible. It was usually the Geneva Bible. This Bible was not popular in England because there were commentaries in it by people that were referred to as dissenters; Calvin, Martin Luther. You also have to keep in mind that this was the first time in history were the common person had a copy of the Bible. In the late 1600’s and early 1700’s in Europe only clergy were permitted to even read the Bible. It was illegal for the common person to read the Bible. A lot of the religious persecution in those days was because the common people would read the Bible and see where the king was not following the Word of God and they would complain. The biggest area of friction was when the common person found out that God didn’t want Israel to have an earthly king. The people decided that they wanted a government as God declared, kingless. This didn’t set well with royalty.
This is where we see why Thomas Jefferson called for the separation of church and state. Again that was to keep government out of religion. In England, there was only one authorized version of scripture that was allowed. All other versions were illegal. The king declared what you teach and how you teach it. This is why Jefferson stated that the “wall of separation” was to keep government out of religion, not religion out of government. Remember Jefferson did not write the First Amendment, Fisher Ames did. This concern was the reason for the letter from the Danbury Baptist association to Thomas Jefferson. They were concerned that what had happened in England with the Church of England would happen in America.
As the common person began to read the Bible they began to see that not everything that the church was teaching was biblical. We can even see this today in the church with some denominations teaching that homosexuality is OK, abortion is OK, and the church is not to be involved in the political arena. According to IRS regulations we are not allowed to endorse a political party or candidate nor are we allowed to speak against a political party or candidate.
Those are IRS regulations, not God’s. The church is more afraid of the IRS than God. The most prominent sermon throughout America’s history was the one given around elections talking about the importance of the church’s role in the political arena, specifically the presidential election. Today’s laws over the church restrict what I can and cannot say about candidates and their party. This is a violation of my First Amendment right to freedom of speech and freedom of religion and the free exercise thereof. As a pastor I am mandated to inform my congregation of ungodly men and women who are running for office. Oddly enough, there is a legal way around that restriction that most churches ignore. They just find it easier to not get involved at all. That is why our nation is in the shape that it is in.
I believe that the ignorance of the pastors is just as bad as the ignorance of the people themselves concerning what our rights are. Almost everyone that I have asked the question concerning the separation of the church and state has told me that it is in our Constitution. It is not in ANY of our Founding Documents and the First Amendment has been grossly misinterpreted since the 1940’s by liberal judges that were allowed to redefine its meaning and purpose. Our history refutes any notion that the church is supposed to be removed from the political arena. In the 1947 Supreme Court decision the letter to Jefferson from the Danbury Baptist Association was quoted but only the nine words “building a wall of separation between church and state.” This is the first time the Supreme Court used only those nine words. This letter had been used is several other cases before the Supreme Court but the entire contents were used, not just those nine words. When taken out of context, the true meaning is lost, which is why the Supreme Court did it in that manner.
To understand this let’s look at a larger portion of that 1802 letter that gives a better understanding of its contents and meaning. Jefferson wrote: “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none for his faith and his worship; that the legislative powers of government reach actions only and 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 of prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between church and state.” This clearly indicates that the government is to stay out of religion and gives no indication that religion is to stay out of government. Today there are organizations that are ignorant of scripture and the history of the United States. There is even one organization, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, which is headed by a so-called reverend. He is grossly misinformed as to what the church is supposed to be doing in the political arena not to mention his ignorance of the history of the church in this nation and the real meaning of the Constitution.
One of the things that the people began to realize when they started to read the Bible is how to apply the Word of God in everyday lives. Morals, righteousness, forgiveness, all that God has called the church to be. We were to be self governed, not ruled over by an earthly king. They also realized that the church is supposed to evangelize that is why we see in virtually every charter of every colony a provision that calls for that colony to reach out to the native population with the knowledge of Jesus Christ. . It started with the Mayflower Compact, a call to evangelize. This was something that the king did not allow. It was even illegal to print a Bible in the colonies until after the Revolutionary War. We could only us the ‘approved’ version supplied by England. They discovered in the Word of God that we were supposed to own our own property. The pilgrims began to buy land from the Indians and divide it up amongst the families.
This didn’t set well with the king. He felt that he owned the land and we were to use it and he would take all the profits and let us keep barely enough to get by on and then he would tax you on that. Kind of sounds like the IRS today doesn’t it? They discovered in the Word of God that we were to take care of our own. They also discovered that if you won’t work you don’t eat. When Jamestown was founded they operated on what would be called today a socialistic form of government. But when looked at real close it was a Biblical system where everybody’s needs were addressed by the people, NOT a forced redistribution of your goods by the government as we see our government trying to do today.
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When it came to education, Europe had a high percentage of illiteracy and the people in America began to see that the atrocities that had happened in the world happened because of ignorance of the Word of God. In America they began to teach children how to read and write so that everyone would be able to know when government was attempting to do something that was contrary to the Word of God. Their textbook was the Bible. The first schools were run by the church. This was the foundation our Founding Fathers were established in.
© 2010 Roger Anghis - All Rights Reserved
Pastor Roger Anghis is the Founder of RestoreFreeSpeech.org, an organization designed to draw attention to the need of returning free speech rights to churches that was restricted in 1954.
President of The Damascus Project, TheDamascusProject.org, which has a stated purpose of teaching pastors and lay people the need of the churches involvement in the political arena and to teach the historical role of Christianity in the politics of the United States. Married-37 years, 3 children, three grandchildren.
Web site: RestoreFeeSpeech.org