Copyright © December 10, 2012
Note. This is a modified version of Section VI, Chapter 10 of God Betrayed: Separation of Church and State/The Biblical Principles and the American Application.
God left all things, including the mind, body, and soul of man himself, in trust with man. God’s desire is for man to include God in every covenant, not for man to contract with man or with any other entity. A covenant which includes God is spiritual. Contract, a device conceived by man, leaves God and His principles out of the equation and therefore is not pleasing to God.
The Constitution, the product of a blend of enlightenment and biblical thinking, created a partly humanistic atmosphere by implementing some enlightenment principles. On the other hand, thank God for some biblical principles such as separation of church and state which are included in the Constitution. As a result of the spiritual fight of God’s persecuted people, the principle of separation of church and state/religious liberty/freedom of conscience was implemented in the First Amendment.
Satan inspired men, brilliant men, to include certain humanistic principles in the Constitution. The two most devastating of these were the goal of the nation under the Constitution—the happiness of man—and the contract principle as implemented in Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution. These principles seem good according to man’s reasoning “under the sun.” After all, humanism says that man, who is basically good, has the reasoning ability without God’s guidance and principles to solve all problems and bring about happiness for all. To God, such reasoning is foolish and vain and speeds the occurrence of ill-consequences.
The contract principle has been used by the legal system to construct a humanistic environment and has successfully destroyed, among other things, knowledge of the real meaning of the two types of marriage in existence in this nation—the marriage of man and woman, and the marriage of Christ and His church. The ultimate consequence of treating the marriage as a contract is occurring before our eyes. Marriage is disdained by many. People “shack up” to see if it will work before “tying the knot.” Some just “shack up” without having any thought of marrying. The state effort to define marriage as a contract between any two or more persons, whether they be men, women, or any combination thereof is well under way. This destruction of the knowledge of what marriage is has resulted in the destruction of family.
Likewise, the contract principle has been used to destroy knowledge or encourage willful ignorance concerning the marriage of Christ and His church. Provisions for incorporation seduced spiritual entities, churches, and persuaded them to place themselves under an earthly head, the state. Incorporation requires churches to comply with satanic earthly principles and procedures in some matters rather than God’s spiritual biblical principles and procedures in all matters. Corporate trustees of incorporated churches conduct church matters according to contract principles. They walk in the flesh and not in the spirit. The corporation, not God, according to state law but contrary to God’s Word, owns the property utilized by the church. The members own the corporation. The members/owners of the church, not the pastor, are the overseers, rulers, and trustees of the church. The members/owners many times exercise their contractual powers given them by their sovereign state to control the pastor, even hiring or firing pastors at will.
In addition to incorporation, civil government has also enticed incorporated churches to become religious organizations under federal law, the IRC. The IRC presents an exemption-education-control scheme which most churches, motivated by fear and greed, have not been able to resist. Some corporate 501(c)(3) churches ease their consciences by claiming that they can do more for God with state help and by using state methods, which are designed to keep the gospel within the four walls of a building. Some corporate 501(c)(3) churches have not studied the issue. In effect, corporate 501(c)(3) churches lose the power of God; and more seriously, grieve our Lord by placing themselves under an additional head. The result has been disastrous consequences for individuals, families, churches, and the nation.
The principle of separation runs throughout God’s Word. Christians in America have therefore betrayed the trust God placed in them as his children and His church. They have mixed the spiritual with the earthly, including combining the church with the state.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Co. 6.14-17).
Like Balaam who, working for the civil authority, was able, for reward, to conceive of a plan to corrupt the children of Israel, so have leaders conceived of plans to successfully corrupt God’s churches in America. “It is that union of the world and the church who is spiritual unchastity (James 4.4)” (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 2 to Revelation 2.14, pp. 1332-1333). “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (Ja. 4.4). Isaac Backus wisely observed:
“When God took the nation of Israel to be his church, he was an husband unto them. Jer. xxxi. 32. And Moses said unto him, If thy presence go not with us, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here, that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? So shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. Exod. xxxiii. 15, 16. But Balaam, for an earthly reward, taught Balak how to destroy that separation. And it was done by the Midianites, among whom Balaam dwelt, who enticed Israel into adultery and idolatry; and those Midianites were of the posterity of Abraham. Numb. xxv. 6; xxxi. 8, 16; Gen. xxv. 4. And how many children of believers are now guilty of this iniquity! for covetousness is idolatry. Col. iii. 5. And many make a god of their belly. Phil. iii. 19. And idolatry is also adultery in the sight of God, who said of the church of Israel, Their mother hath played the harlot; she that conceived them hath done shamefully; for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink. Hosea ii. 5. All lawful things, but they were sought in an unlawful way. So one apostle says of many teachers and professors, An heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children; who have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but was rebuked for his iniquity; the dumb ass, speaking with man’s voice, forbade the madness of the prophet. II Peter ii. 14, 15, 16. Another says, Woe unto them; for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. Jude 11. And Christ says by a third, I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. Rev. ii. 14. Now, since covetousness and luxury are idolatry in the sight of God, and idolatry is also adultery, how many are there in the world who entice Christians into these evils, in order to grasp the honors and profits of religion to themselves! Yea, and who go out from the ways of God to gratify their love of the world! I John ii. 15, 19. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. Jude 19. Mystery Babylon is the mother of harlots, and abominations of the earth. Rev. xvii. 5” (Isaac Backus, A History of New England With Particular Reference to the Denomination of Christians called Baptists, Volume 2 (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock Publishers, Previously published by Backus Historical Society, 1871), pp. 367-68, 377).
Of course, this betrayal extends far beyond the issue of church and state. Many of God’s children, marriages, and families have operated according to man’s rules instead of honoring the relationships between God and each individual son of God, between the parties to a marriage and God, and between families and God. They are more American than they are Christian. Men have sought material wealth, not spiritual wealth. Even should men look to God’s rules, they have not understood that the key is the relationship, not the rules. If one truly loves God, obedience to His principles will follow. Many of today’s “Christians” dress, act, look like, and bow down to the world. In America today, a church may look historically sound on the outside, while on the inside the foundations are being destroyed. Inside the facade are rotten timbers:
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great” (Lu. 6.46-49).
A church who subjects herself in any way to any head other than the Lord Jesus Christ, according to the Word of God, has some termites eating away at the structure of that church. Those termites have been in many of America’s churches since the nation was constituted and before. They kept eating away to the point that the door has been left open for a proliferation of religious liberalism through the Church Growth Movement and now the Emerging Church Movement. Many of the megachurches as well as some “Bible believing churches” are churches by declaration only, are rotten to the core, and are perverting truth and misleading millions. They are the dead ministering to the dead. Other fundamental churches blend the world with the Word of God.
Bible believing churches, especially some fundamental Bible believing churches—not the liberal churches and the churches of the Church Growth Movement—led the way to heresy. They took the first step towards heresy and apostasy when they betrayed their Lord and Savior and Husband and placed themselves under a worldly head. They did not heed the warnings, and they did not seek biblical truth about the issue. They became pragmatic and supplemented or replaced the goal of “the glory of God” with the goal of “the happiness of man.”
The author, until after he began a serious study of this subject in 2003, preached and taught that Christians must apply the principles in II Chronicles 7.14 to church and America in order to bring America back under God. That verse says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” The author emphasized that if “good Christians” pray for America, America will seek God’s face and turn from her wicked ways.
The author incorrectly interpreted II Chronicles 7.14. In context, that verse was written to an earthly nation, God’s chosen people, and called for a national repentance by the Jews. Israel’s main sin was that she “laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them” (See 2 Sa. 7.16-22). Today, Christians, not Israel or America in general, are God’s chosen people with whom He is working. A New Testament church is a spiritual, not an earthly, entity. Churches in America—just as did the nation Israel which, in asking for a king, rejected God as head—placed themselves under another head, the state. That led to heresy in other areas. Finally, apostasy overran many American churches, first churches which succumbed to modernism starting in the late nineteenth century. America is now seeing the inevitable result of deviation from God’s plan in Faith Movement churches, many churches which still call themselves fundamental Bible believing, many of the megachurches, and emerging churches.
II Chronicles 7.14 can only be applied today, if at all, to the church and not to the nation in general. As has been pointed out, Gentile nations continue under the dispensations of conscience and human government, still accountable to God. God’s rules and admonitions toward Israel do not apply to Gentile nations and therefore to America. Of course, God would bless America if America chose to proceed under God and His principles, the chief of which is God’s promise to bless those who bless Israel. But the nation is not part of the church and vice-versa. In other words, the verse cannot be applied in such a way that if the church meets all the requirements of the verse, the nation will be healed. Rather, if the church meets all the requirements, the church will be healed. Churches, in order to satisfy requirements in the verse, must seek God’s face and turn from their wicked ways, one of which is the union of church and state in any way, but primarily union through incorporation and 501(c)(3) status. If pastors and Christians cannot seek God’s face, establish the proper goal by, for one thing, choosing to place God in His desired place over His churches, how can they hope to see God over a nation which has rejected God?
Every born again believer should attempt to make sure that he and the church he attends honors the Lord Jesus in all things. Thank God that churches in America can still choose to be “under God” without going underground. This may not be true much longer. But in persecution much more than in compromise and union with the world, the believer, unlike the lost person, is free and can praise and glorify the Lord.
”Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass. Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven” (Ps. 148.1-13). [Emphasis mine.]