The issue known by the term “Separation of Church and State” has led to multitudes assuming that the Church and the State are exclusive entities, neither influencing the other and a wall that prevents any significant communication between the two. For the most part this has led to Christians being shut out of any voice in the State because people have assumed that is the meaning of the First Amendment.

Several things need to be considered as we look at these two institutions and learn our civic and spiritual responsibilities. History gives us the story of how these two separate entities have related to one another in abusive and manipulative ways. Of course, there is the real fear that if Christians get together they could effectively legislate their will in a democratic society. In some instances, both locally and nationally, this came about at certain times in the past, namely in the Abolitionist and Prohibitionist movements. Of course, there is the Shariah law controversy of our day that raises this issue in a dynamic new way. Those who want to shut out Christians from a voice in politics and government are, at least in some instances, getting close to allowing this tragic rule of law to become possible in many areas. This is in some cases even led by those who oppose the posting or reference to the Ten Commandments or other religious symbols in the public square.

Opening the door for Shariah Law will lead to a dominate role for Islamic citizens and their leaders to impose their Law on the rest of us. That is the exact opposite of what our Constitution and the system of Laws have given us in maintaining our liberty of conscience and religious liberty. In the United States we must be free to believe whatever our conscience allows, but that does not mean that we have the right to impose what we believeon anyone individual or any group of individuals. The grave danger of this Shariah Law situation is the support many, both Democrats and Republicans, along with the mass media drive are intentionally excluding Christians and opening the door for Islam to gain gigantic powers and influence.

Many assume that the Christian God and the Islam Allah are the same, but that is not the case at all. Jesus Christ is the only way to know God and He has brought to us true resurrection power that frees us from error and evil. Jesus does not command His followers to kill those who do not accept Him. This is the direct opposite to what Islam commands followers to do to those who disagree with them or who convert to any other religion. They have demonstrated their Shariah law in executing those who do not embrace their faith. I think that we need to truly understand what Islam believes and intends to do even though they deny this openly. You can witness the confusion and conflict all across Europe and England as Islam has come to control large areas in that part of the world, primarily through immigration and the large numbers of births.

Another religion that we need to consider is Mormonism, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. I do not believe in Mormonism for some very real and critical reasons, some of them historical, others of them theological, even archeological. Historically, Mormonism has a mixed heritage, some very bad and some very good. Mormonism does not have a good historical record dealing with opponents, often persecuting and excluding them. While that is true where Mormons are the majority, there are other instances where Mormons have been persecuted and excluded. Because someone insists they are Christians because they believe in Jesus, one must ask specifically how they define who Jesus is and how they relate to him. I do not believe that Mormons can be correctly labeled as Christian because what they believe about Jesus is not compatible with a traditional theological and biblical understanding of Jesus Christ. For people to insist that to be the case reveals a great deal about the biblical and theological immaturity and even ignorance of a vast number of people. It reveals how little those people know about what Mormons really believe. This is not to say that Mormons are “bad” people, but it is to insist on the differences between what is Christian and what is definitely NOT Christian.

Another point that I emphasized, particularly when we considered Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee for the presidency of the United States. He was not the first Mormon to run for the presidency. Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon movement, ran for the presidency in 1844 with an attractive platform partially dealing with the critical issue of slavery. That was a commendable effort on his part, but it did not prevent a mob from taking him and killing him because they disagreed with his faith and movement. I think it is important that we consider this movement realistically from the perspective of archeology and what we certainly can know about Mormonism historically and archeologically. There is not a single archeological confirmation of the Mormon Scriptures. There is a lot of literary arguments for the origin of The Book of Mormon and what this means in relation to how we view the Bible and other “holy” Scriptures.

Another important point which needs to be realized and emphasized in this discussion is the difference between individual expression and institutional expression and influence.

There are many things that we need to do as citizens. We need to elect representatives, local leaders, servant-minded executives and fair-minded judges who will listen to the common, everyday folks who are paying their salaries and defend them against those who would abuse them and rob them.

In the present situation the taxpayers are being robbed and they have no protections. Consider the prices that are coming, the tax increases that are certain, the fee increases, the inflation looming on the horizon, the losses in jobs, the growing national debt, out income and properties. Follow the money and you will find who and what the problem is. Let me hear from you on what you think about challenges facing us, the taxes, the waste?

— Share with Jerry Hopkins at drjerryhopkins@yahoo.com or via “snail” mail at Dr. Jerry Hopkins, P. O. Box 1363, Marshall, Texas 75671.