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4. The Foundation of All Freedoms

Adam Ramdin

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Adam Ramdin

Youth Director for the North England Conference of SDA

Conference

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  • December 28, 2017
    4:00 PM
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This message was presented at the G.U.Y.Z. twenty seventeen conference arise in Phoenix Arizona for other resources like this visit us online at W.W.W. dot. Org. Good afternoon everyone. Good afternoon let's get ready to start next or last presentation today the foundation of all freedoms. Despite his reward of praise we can. Father in heaven we thank you for. The privilege we have to study contemplate the past and see our role today we pray Lord that you would bless us your holy spirit be here in our midst and speak through me speak to us and illuminate mines we pray in Christ name Amen. You know several these presentations are gone back to a man named John Wycliffe as we begin and with good reason John Wycliffe was the morning star of the Reformation and as I mentioned in a previous presentation is not just because he translated the Bible into the language of the common people like the first person to do that many of the stans that he took were far ahead of his time and in this particular era were going to cover tonight I believe he was way ahead of his time as I mentioned before if you're not been there this is his church and lots of work England all if the church he was at for the last nine years of his life and as a more inside secrets of the memory of John Wycliffe and this is a painting that is there in the church and believed to be an artist depiction of what he looked like towards the late end of his life and what I want to share with it is belief on the church his belief on the doctrine of the church he believe. That the church should not be linked with the state I mentioned this this morning he said the only alternative to relying on the support of the state and bring the change is needed in the church was to send out preachers with the Word of God additional to that he believed that the church should be dissin down what do you mean by that they mean the church should not be supported by the state it should not be financially with the state he condemned what he called the Caesar Rhydian clergy those who rendered their services to Caesar rather than to Christ becoming little more he basically said if you're a preacher you're just a civil servant. A priest rather you just a civil servant why civil servants they want a civil servant of the people who work for the government is that as a as a priest back in the thirty hundreds as a priest your civil servant why because you can't say anything against the rulers of the country or against the laws there and acting or against anything to do with morality that they may be enforcing why they're paying your salary. And so he wanted a complete separation of the church from the state so that the church could be more pure. He insisted that the church should be supported only by voluntary offerings now this in his day was revolutionary even today it's kind of revolutionary as I mentioned this morning I've got a got a cousin who is a Lutheran minister in Iceland. And see this is ISIS very progressive she. She says they're paid there by the government the government pays them it's just one young basically on tax dollars and she told me that in their churches they do not even collect offering There's no tithing system there's no offering system there's not even like you know women Adventism a standard anytime you get a group of Adventists together we have an offering but like they don't even do offering in the Lutheran church and I say this is not even. In the culture she said some churches leave a box at the back and they get a few coins thrown in every now and then but if if the government cut their support and there's people in the country arguing that we need to cut the support for the official Church of the country because no one's going to church anymore the church is dead like they don't have a tithing system they don't have an offering system. Now John Wycliffe said listen the church has become corrupt because we've been paid by the state we need to cut it and we believe the enormous wealth of the church had is what had corrupted it and he said if we implement my my belief he said We may lead to a loss of one for the clergy but it would be less corrupt. True. Because the ones who are corrupt are the ones that are just doing a paycheck they'll go you'll be left with the ones who are really there because they want to be there. And I think you know financial crisis is what purify the many institutions. So this is what he stood for now he was way ahead of his day the church in England never implemented this and they still have never implemented this because even though today we live in a time where we have the Church of England which is the Anglican church or you guys call it the Episcopalian church over here that church is pretty much doing what they did back then the ministers are paid through official money that comes down from above it's not through the offerings or the tithing system of the church he said John Wycliffe let men introduce to the care of souls remember how it was with their previous as in the years before Constantine when with the master whose name they bear and with the Apostles in their stream it to honor to succeed let what they solicit from the magistrate or the government be simply protection. And I believe that's what we should stand for today we should only ask but the state to give us protection to worship in peace we should not be asking for money from the state he also believes in a separation from Rome and urged his followers to have nothing to do with the friars and is the first person of the major reformers who denounced the Pope as the anti Christ so he was calling for a separation now who is the most famous reformer. Martin Luther is probably the most famous one this year was a five hundred year the Reformation the German Reformation So where did Martin Luther stand on these issues of church and state is interesting in my little understanding little history research I believe Luther. If Wycliffe was ahead of his day Martin Luther was not as progressed as Wycliffe on this point. Wycliffe was I would say on this issue about four hundred years ahead of his time. And his views never really got to be reality until this great great nation became into existence like no country in Europe ever put into effect what this guy wanted he was like too far ahead of European culture. So we're just Luther comes along did Luther make some strong. Theological stance Yes he did he did make some very strong theological stance but what do you think about the church notice here Luther's views on Church and State Dr Irwin game page one thirty seven he says Luther's concept of the ministry the bishopric the sacraments and the priesthood I believe it implies that the church is in no sense to period a state in Temple or matters nor are the clergy a special class who may justly be exempt from the secular controls to which of the Christians are exempt Luther's kind of a complicated person in some ways he believes in the priesthood of all believers he believes in kind of flattening the landscape he didn't believe in that but what he believed and then what he practiced are exactly the same thing. So the structure of the German Reformation was such in many ways that it could only advance so far. We didn't hear weaving on. Although Luther saw it as a mandatory as a mandatory Christian duty for princes to repress rebellion and sedition in the early years of the Reformation he argued they have no right to enforce any particular belief therefore it's the is strictly lip limited to matters tempore all a print should not force the conscience of any man good statement right it's a good statement and we would read that and say. That's good but read kind of a thing where Luther went. Reading on though from the same article or book Luther's theology of the church was therefore in conflict with the political situation which he found himself in. The doing our news that Luther hesitated to institute the confessional church which was his ideal because of the political and social circumstances with which he was confronted in fifteen twenty three and again in fifteen twenty six he wrote of his desire for a gather church of believers but expressed hesitancy because the people were not ready for it. So it's almost like Luther philosophically agreed with John Wycliffe that the church needs to be separate from the state. But he hesitated going that way because he believed the people were ready for such a revolutionary idea finally he settled for the land and according to overdo it and Holbourne launched Germany on a course that led to the authoritarian state and the tragedy of Naziism and that may be debated by historians but essentially he never went all the way where he may of theologically believe where the church should be separate but he went for the land of Kirk or the the state church so to speak so in Germany though they moved away from Catholicism the Lutheran Church was still largely under pretty under the protection of the local different regional princes. And it was under their protection that the Church was able to flourish and go on but it was still. Not a fully correct relationship between the two Luther was torn between an understanding of the confessional church and the territorial church or the church on its own and the church connected to the state as the Holy Roman Church was defeated in Germany the real victors with the German princes as they were sovereign over their territory and when you read Luther's history you read about his life many of the times he was protected by the local princes who protected him in his life and in his mission praise the Lord for the German princes but what it kind of illustrates and shows is that the structure for a full reform of Christianity was not there in Germany. It would have to come elsewhere. The German Reformation the Lutheran Reformation was in many ways supported by the princes the local princes and his suite you know Sweden was the first country that officially adopted Lutheran as with and that then the. Then nationwide religion they were the first not Germany Germany was still kind of more regional then. And in Sweden as it was adopted it was supported by the sovereign or the monarch of the nation. Today in Sweden Lutheran the Lutheran Church is still the official Church of the country same in Norway same in Iceland Scandinavia now. Luther's life I mean you can in L A wise book great controversy there's a great chapter that you can recall the protest of the princes. And in that chapter they do outline in many ways the basis of Protestantism. Where the church should not have to rely on the support of this day and there should be some separation between the two where the state should not be enforcing. Religious matters and so on but in many ways they did not take that all the way that they needed to these pictures were taken there in spire where the council sorry the protests of the princes took place there but there's a really great monument there Luther's in the middle and then surrounding him in the courtyard of the Church of the believe the different princes as they are photographed when you think of the Ten Commandments. How many tables of the tank in Memphis Do we have. Two tables the first table we say other commandments want to for they deal with our relationship with God The second favor of the commandment is Commandments five to seven thirty five to ten they deal with our relationship with humanity for our fellow human beings don't kill don't steal don't commit adultery etc But the first four commandments don't have any was before don't have any gods before Me room of the Sabbath etc relationship with God. Now the question is which of these commandments do we as Adventists believe the state has a right to legislate in. Five to ten the second table it's OK for the state to legislate that shall not kill steal etc they can legislate the second table however not the first table. Because the first table is our divine or relationship with God. But it's interesting when you look at some of the writings. Or beliefs of the early reformers they didn't see the delineation between the two tables that you are now as Adventists will see today and they would just say the state can enforce whether they would say both tables the state can legislate in all matters not just five to ten. They would look at that and say why you guys are saying five to ten Why do five to ten why do want to ten. Do the whole up. Now as Adventists we understand this difference between the two first for the next six. And it's something that we need to kind of understand today in contemporary society as well many of the early reformers would say that the state has a right to enforce both tables so even though theologically we look at these reforms like a like Calvin and we say they have some hugely illogical stance that they made the just to live by faith and so on when it came to in a some ways to structure or the and break of what the church looks like in the country. They have not advanced as much of the need to John Calvin he's often called the International reformer he was from born just outside Paris educated in Paris grew up in France but he did most of his great work of his life in the city of Geneva. Where he lived for a considerable amount of time he impacted a lot of countries a lot of people came through Geneva and would go back to their countries he impacted many many people John Knox is one of the key ones he impacted. He relied heavily on the mainstream a middle class of poor and in many ways his success in Geneva was closely linked to the government in Geneva and there was times when he left Geneva there were other times when he came back he relied heavily you could say in some ways for the support and protection from the state. His view therefore of what areas the state can legislate in or what areas the state should and was clouded somewhat by this reading here from the political theory of John Calvin by George kept blueness is says Calvin sees the church as influence upon the state in some. The First Commandment the imperative of which encompasses both church and state Yah way tolerate no where the gods beside him he demands an exclusive obedience of the whole man and his whole life this has an immediate impact on all aspects of political life Calvin's God demands and obedience and that circumscribes not only religious belief and practice but also every facet of human existence social legal governmental and political. And we look at the ambulance in that concerns us was John Calvin a good reform yes or no it was mixed here some very strong stance he took but some of his theological views we don't stand for but he was overall a great reformer. But his views on this we would be like I am a little bit stuck in the past that's not where Protestantism needed to go did God use him yes was it where the church needed to finish up at the end you know John Calvin there. Stay both tables both tables Henry the eight the English breakaway. This guy is a bit of a joker. He really is. He like himself a bit too much. Like women a bit too much. Or change who we like a bit too much. Is always pictured wearing this funny dress and leggins. He was king of England if you know a little bit of English history he wanted to get divorced from his first wife she didn't give him a son so he asked the Pope if you get over divorce the pope would let him have a divorce which was political the pope wasn't standing for principle it was just because he was related in somehow to the queen didn't want to embarrass So the Pope didn't authorize a divorce he wasn't you know standing for the Bible so the Kings as well I just want to divorce so instead of he couldn't wake of the pope was going to change his mind so is it OK if the Catholic Church won't give me a divorce I will just create a church or separate from Rome I will create a church I will be the head of the church and I would divorce my wife. And so we did now theologically Henry the eight basically lived and died a Catholic. He really wasn't. You really wouldn't classify Henry the Eighth as a Protestant theologically. The big thing he did though was separate from Rome and that was kind of a huge thing. Even though he did it for personal reasons. It would play out later on to England's benefit in some ways. The act of Suprema see in England that he established established the king as the head of the Church of England and when you look at the English Reformation or the Anglican Reformation it's different to many other countries and that the change England tended to change based on the religious views and convictions of the monarch of the time so Henry the Eighth was a Catholic then he got divorced and he switched but even though he switched to the Church of England theologically he himself remained Catholic. Though he was Church of England it was Henry the Eighth that killed William Tyndale but he didn't kill him but he ran him out the country so that gives you some kind of idea. Then he was succeeded by his son Edward the sixth the only male heir he had this was the boy king he was nine years old. He reign until he was fifteen he was a Protestant. During his time you have Thomas Cranmer as the Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer Cranmer had authorised King Henry the Eighth divorce from Catherine of Aragon that's where he liked her him. He stayed on as Archbishop of Canterbury join Edward the sixth reign then after Edward the six there's actually should be someone in the middle it was she was called the nine day Queen Lady Jane Grey so she was a cousin of Henry the Eighth they wanted to find a Protestant successor so they made the cousin the queen Well that didn't wash because Mary Stuart who was the daughter of Henry the Eighth first wife. Gets complicated she then was No I'm not I have in this cousin being the queen who has no royal blood I will be queen so she killed Lady Jane Grey and became the queen now Mary Stuart was the daughter of Henry the Eighth first wife who was Catholic she was very embarrassed and humiliated that her mother got divorced by a Protestant archbishop to see then killed all the Protestants. As revenge for her life as a illegitimate whatever she rain for about six years and during which time she killed two hundred eighty key Protestant leaders. Then she died and we then got Elizabeth the first who was the daughter of the second wife of King Henry the Eighth. And she was staunch Protestant. And then we had about fifty in the forty years or so of Elizabeth the first and England was then kind of joining her reign stabilized and established as a Protestant country there were a few flipflops back and forth in the in the sixteen hundreds kind of where Charles the First was very cozy with the Catholics but England kind of went back and forth. So this building here you would recognise a building there. Maybe yes. That is the Tower of London doesn't look like much of a tower but it's the Tower of London it's part of the Tower of London there's obviously walls around it but inside here is part the Tower of London where they keep the crown jewels if you go through in the holiday today you can go and see the Tower of London will cost you a cool twenty five pounds which I think is extortionate price but you can see the queen's crown and her scepter and all these are the things anyway in the fifteen hundreds that went back and forth there was Protestant prisons and there was Catholic prison there was part of that prison and then catholic and it kind of went back and forth the English Reformation was very back and forth this is the Westminster Abbey this again kind of changed hands today is established as being a Church of England building the Westminster Abbey but if you look at the church in England they would probably have said that the state can enforce both tables. Now in the Reformation there's a term that you may have heard called the magisterial Reformation OK this was where they believe the magistrate had the right to authority within the church just as the church could rely on the authority of the magistrate to enforce discipline suppress heresy and maintain order this is from historical theology ballasts to McGrath page one fifty nine he's a professor Oxford University very good. Protestant The A Logan the proctor magisterial Reformation is what summarizes much of the mainstream Reformation though there may be theological stands that will good to show truck char they never dealt with the structure so they went from having a state run Catholic Church to a state run Protestant church. It was the radical reformation if you heard of the radical reformation this really is where our heritage lies as adamant it's. Yes we mention Luther and Calvin and Knox and these guys but our real heritage you could say lies with these guys that are less named the radical reformation Who are these guys these are groups such as the Anabaptist Anabaptist literally just means we've got ism and about this were a group of people that came along and said it doesn't matter if I but if I have been baptized as a child I need to be baptized as an adult when I make the conscious decision. Hence it was call Anabaptists all rebaptised or so they strongly argued against having the magistrate in force the first table strongly arguing that they said the magistrate or the government should have no authority in the first table only the second table. Unfortunately they were heavily persecuted both by the Catholics and Protestants and that's kind of a sad blocks on Protestant history but the Anabaptist were killed as much by the Catholics as they were by the Protestants so the magisterial reformation would include the Lutheran the reform the Anglican the radical reformation though their kind of heritage today would be in groups such as. Seventh Day Adventist Church you know their heritage is kind of in groups like the Mennonites. The Amish these guys were all Anabaptist roots back in Europe. Mental Simons the Mennonites the Amish and so on these guys who are kind of the modern continuation and some of those groups that are kind of stayed within themselves and married within themselves they literally have a bloodline going all the way back to the end about just in Europe. The radical reformation they would say that the state should only enforce the second table. The first Anabaptist matter was that but they are a man by the name of feel it feel is man he was the first master of the radical reformation and the first person who was a Protestant killed by another Protestant. Why they he lived in Zurich and he believed that as wingless reform had been compromised he says when what he's doing is good. But he's compromised because he's linking himself with the City Council and he's compromised on some of his reforms and he's not going as far as he should just because he wants to keep in good relationship with the state and so these guys want to step further and they said when we need to go all the way and one of the things they pushed for was we need to have I don't baptism adult baptism in then became illegal you could not baptize an adult it was illegal to have a baptism. The Anabaptist movement proved to be a significant foreign law of the modern spirit of religion religious tolerance because the church was not co-existing with display the latter had no authority to dinner determine story the religion of its subjects Unfortunately Thomas mans Thomas mans was sentenced to death and died at the hands of of the Protestants in Zurich and. They drowned in Brazil are you going to be rebaptized are going to drown you and so a lot of the Anabaptist that the form of death that state chose for them was to drown them which is kind of a little bit of sick humor. So he was drowned you can go to work today and find the spot where they they drowned him and many many Anabaptist were persecuted and were killed by both Catholics and Protestants and they saw the difference between the two the two tables that we would see today all of a crime well this is a picture is taken outside Westminster. Ten down sorry that the Houses of Parliament and Westminster all over a crown well was the leader of England for about I think it was eleven years. He was Lord Protector of England you can go inside the Tower of London you see you've got Charles the first sixteen twenty five to six hundred forty nine. And then you have Charles the Second his son sixteen sixty to sixty in eighty five what was in the middle well somewhere here in the middle is all over Cromwell who ruled for eleven years for eleven years England was a republic and all the American said a man. And for eleven years England had no king all of a crown was views on on the nature of a government well way ahead of his time he was going to move to America some people say he knew Roger Williams I'm not quite sure if he did but he was going to move to America his views on how the state should be were way ahead of England he tried to bring reform in England where they got rid of the king they killed him. And he became a lord protector of England but the English people never got it they really didn't get it they didn't get the idea that the government would run the country and the government elected they didn't get the idea and so when Oliver Cromwell died there wasn't a system of kind of but they still have the succession system or they tried it and then his son who had gone into hiding came back in the people crowned king and then went back to being a monarchy. But all of a crown Well it was a Puritan Puritans believe that the Church of England was not reformed enough and needed further purification and hence the kind of got the name Puritans of Puritanism. There's a difference though we don't have time to go into detail between the non separating Puritans and the separated or the dissenters which ones kind of came to America. On the Mayflower it was a separate is for the dissenters So they're the ones a kind of on the Mayflower thing that was forty of the hundred on the Mayflower were what you would classify as separatists or dissenters but Puritans as a whole weren't very tolerant of those with other religious views so they had their view was how they wanted the church or the state to be but they weren't very tolerant of others. Then you have the Mayflower the Mayflower comes to American sixteen twenty the berthing of America this photo here is taken at Plymouth Rock where you have the stone sixteen twenty and as anyone who has seen a stone few of you can move you have is very underwhelming. Is another bigger Torbay anyway did the Pilgrims step foot on that rock when they landed I don't know but it's a bit of an American. History. So these guys they fled persecution in Britain OK they landed a six hundred twenty or Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts fleeing persecution but unfortunately they didn't really understand the whole idea of religious freedom they wanted freedom for themself but then what would they do if someone had a different view to them became a problem. And in these pictures were taken this monument marks the burying ground they were you know that the first winter many of them died unfortunately they would bury the dead at night so that the native indians or the Native Americans around wouldn't know how many of them had died and how much they were depleted. Nearby in Plymouth Rock Massachusetts there's this statue national monument to the forefathers erected by grateful people the members of the labor sacrifice and suffering for the cause of civil and religious liberty however. The irony was that they were not very tolerant of others who have different beliefs now. They don't recognize this building you may not because it's only the back of the building this building here is jewels of Bates' Hoang Fairhaven Massachusetts and this is an interesting part of history that I think the early at the Adventists Historical Society is just kind of on Earth in the last five years or so behind his house is this wall here what's this wall and why is it significant. Is fascinating because this wall belong to a house of the son of a man called Thomas table Thomas table or came over on notes on the time of year John Cook sorry John Cook came over on the Mayflower he was excommunicated from the first plantation or settlement because he had some different views to the church members there he went there to Fairhaven Massachusetts his daughter married Thomas table and built the house right behind the home today of Joseph Bates So it's a fascinating piece of history where you've got kind of the home of one of the founders of Adventism And you what the home of the daughter of one of the people on the Mayflower is like you've got the birth of America and the birth of Adventism next door to each other. So the history has it or people say that John Cook who was on the Mayflower would have warmed his feet by this fireplace in his daughter's house. Most likely because people had cold feet back then. Because houses in V.T. so that kind of vicious white one little kind of story that illustrates to us that all of the reformers all of the pioneers the pioneers pilgrims their view on religious liberty the journey from six hundred twenty to seven hundred seventy six was a long and rocky journey and sometimes we have this romantic view as to what the pilgrims stood for the pilgrims stood for who came over on the ship it wasn't as great as we sometimes think but this guy's a pretty good guy Roger Williams Roger Williams started a colony in a way. Rhode Island he started in Rhode Island in sixteen thirty five the masses Massachusetts Bay Colony expelled Roger Williams for opposing the Puritan church of control of the civil law sees expelled Where does he go after his exponential Roger Williams settled and narrow and Narragansett Bay where he purchased the land for the Narragansett try and establish a new colony he called Providence Williams proclaim that everyone had the freedom to worship as they choose government would have no control over a legend and religious ministers would have no power to make or enforce laws we now call this the separation of church and states would go on to say the Rhode Island charter that no person with the said colony at any time there after shall be in any wise molested punished disquieted or called in question for any differences in opinion in matters of religion who does not actually disturb the peace of a said colony but that all and every person persons may from time to time and at times thereafter freely and fully have and enjoy his own and their judgment and consciences in matters of religious concern is there at the tract of land therefore to their true for mention they behaving themselves peaceably and quietly and not using this liberty to licentiousness them profession is not of the civil injury or outward disturbance of. This is more where we stand today I meant. America was on a journey so you can see kind of like from John Wycliffe who said we need to separate the church from the state then you've got the Lutheran reformation then you've got Calvinism then you've got the Anglican then you've got Puritanism none of them really got it it wasn't until America as a nation was founded that you start to have a group of people finally getting this principle that in many ways is the foundation of all freedoms the separation of church and state something that I believe today is under threat again all civil States with this offices and justice in their respective constitutions and administrations approved essentially simple and therefore not judges governors or defenders of the spiritual or Christian state of worship God requires not a uniformity of religion to be enacted and enforced in every any civil state which enforced uniformity is the greatest occasion of civil war ravishing conscience persecution of Jesus Christ in His servants and of the hypocrisy and destruction of millions of Souls. These guys would say that the state should only deal with the second table not the first some Christians today are calling for the state to enforce both again. Even well meaning Christians here in America. Are calling for the government to legislate in areas that the government should not really be legislating in. I believe this is the quote from Roger Williams as well but who is to decide who truly fears God The magistrate has no power to enforce religious demands the laws of the first table of the Ten Commandments are not regulations for a civil society or a political order they belong to the realm of religion not politics what about the founding fathers whether the founding fathers stand of America but you're all good Americans and you all know your history a man. Americans are a great country when it comes to knowing their heritage. And then. I believe in you even if you don't believe in yourself. Because it was a long road as I mentioned earlier from sixteen twenty to the Declaration of Independence. Then you recognise this house here it's not a great picture. I forgot actually. It's the one just outside. To monitor which was what Jefferson right Jefferson. Jefferson was one of the people who help end the Declaration of Independence. And they believe it was sitting in the room there. These last where they tell you on the tour sitting on the room there at the desk looking out the window over the fields is where he was gazing at the countryside and help to write it it was Thomas Jefferson who when eight hundred twenty wrote that letter to the Danbury Baptists that you've probably heard or read about where he used that phrase where we get that that phrase the day the war between church and state believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God that he owes account to none other for his faith or worship that legitimate powers of government reach actions only and not opinions I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that there legislate should make no law respecting an establishment of religion you know it's interesting when I got the tour of month the cello the guys the guy at the guy who gave us a tour was saying that there Jefferson never wanted to include that in the declaration is that the Declaration of Independence the the the Bill of Rights he didn't want to include that phrase that make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof Jefferson at least according to the tour guide I had didn't want to put that in because he believed that was just kind of. I say redundant or just an inherent truth that people should know which is why according to the tour guide I got and I haven't really verify this other people may have read more on it he said which is why it's phrased in the negative as opposed to the affirmative. So kind of to make a subtle point here if he phrased it in the negative they should make no law respecting an establishment or prohibiting the free exercise thereof anyway thus building a wall of separation between church and state so that we get the phrase from and here into this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of right of conscience I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rise convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his civil duties. This was written in one thousand twenty obviously before that you had the Declaration of Independence that was signed in this building here if you had the privilege to go this is in Philadelphia is Independence Hall and I believe it was somewhere in the room on this side where the Declaration of Independence and later on I believe the bill of rights that they were signed and this is the room you can get a tour I think you got it now is free but I think of the book Utah. Register and the tables are there you can see the bell the Liberty Bell is in the museum just opposite the bell that they believe you know was was what was wrong. And the Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof this kind of frames America today what America stands for still and where America is now today in twenty eighteen years say in America to some kind of tension on one side you've got the SEC secular liberals on the left. Some of them would say that their roots extend back to Thomas Jefferson or the philosophies of the French and liked him and then on the other side in America you've got the Christian Republicans on the right which is a not an easy coalition of Catholic groups who want state funding and evangelical Protestants who support the Bible reading in public schools on the Blue Laws and religious tests for political office their roots will go back to things like the Puritan theocrats of New England the Anglican establishments of Virginia and South and in many ways it mirrors the magisterial reformation that took place in Europe where there was a close relationship between the state and the church. Some say. There's a third group the dissenting or free Protestants Baptist and about this Quakers and later on Methodist and Scott is Presbyterians they were opposed to the state's provision of resources to religious groups and insisted that churches should be free from state oversight or control this really is where the Seventh Day Adventist view of church state grew out of OK. The third group would have their roots in Rhode Island Pennsylvania New Jersey Delaware Virginia New York the Carolinas and it grew explosively during the Great Awakening of the seventeenth forty's and by seven hundred seventy six they were in the political ascendant in most colonies and they had a huge impact on the framing of the Constitution however today in many ways I think Americans have forgotten what would kind of be this third group of people who are harking back to the secular liberalist on one side or the Christian Republicans on the other side and saying that that's the basis of America. Jeffersonian secularism Puritan Christian Republic or dissenting Protestantism today the battle is really over the first two and many Adventists are caught on either side of this or this and I've largely forgotten our true birthright which is dissenting Protestantism and neither of the first two positions I believe are in line with our heritage as Protestants. The state should say stay out of spiritual morality but notions of public safety are directly affected by stable morality which moral philosophy studies that's from a book by Nick Miller called the Reformation the remnant page sixty nine was moral philosophy is something Ellen White spoke about and something we've kind of forgotten in many ways is the church she said in education a five page five to one moral philosophy the study of the scriptures in physical training should be combined with studies usually pursued in school it was the judicious use of moral philosophy that allowed Ellen White and the plan is to advocate for societal moral issues it was interesting early Adventists as I mentioned in the last presentation early Adventists were all abolitionists. All bar none Ellen what had visions on the Civil War and abolition in churches to deal with some members that still wanted to have slavery. Early Out of interest were into the temperance movement so they were for legislating for government army advocating for government legislation. In prayer in favor of temperance because they saw the difference between what the government could legislate and what they couldn't some Christians they are some Adventists they are are kind of out of the view that the. The church or the Christian should not ask the state to do anything. While there are certain things we should ask the state to do a man like maintain the fabric of society that the second table of God's Law outlines. We should ask the slate to enforce the laws not to kill and steal and adultery and so on why is that maintains the fabric of society they could do this while still uphold in a separate C We can still do that while upholding the separation of church and state because we understand the difference when first table and second table. They could do this while upholding the separation of church and state because they distinguish between spiritual and civil morals. To survive the coming religious challenges Adventists need to learn again to do the same there's a difference between. Spiritual morality first table and civil morality second table. We can ask the state to enforce civil morality table to. But push hard that they stay out of spiritual morality which is the first table we are not to just totally disengage from the state that we live in. And I think in some ways as a church we've kind of lost this edge are really Adventists pioneers is interesting as I mentioned they were all kind of anti Ab and they were anti slavery abolition of slavery Ellen White herself and she said you know you don't obey that law high displays who escapes to your property you know she was kind of on the edge on social justice issues in a sense because she saw the different first and second table and we've got to grapple with that again on different issues today and learn where it lies in many ways I think the younger generation want to see a church that understands that. And knows what those differences are how to tell the difference between civil and spiritual and civil morality we've got the first table and the second table of the Ten Commandments I think in many ways our church went backward on some of these issues. In the one nine hundred twenty S. or thirty's and onwards you know some of our Adventists colleges following our early Adventist pioneers they were integrated colleges racially and we have colleges that were integrated in the one nine hundred twenty S. we were ahead of the curve. Ahead of the curve in America we have colleges Adventists colleges where blacks and whites study together. Then by the one nine hundred thirty S. we went to segregated and it's an issue we've struggled with since. Like that at least I'm kind of speaking from my own views and that I believe should be one issue where we as a church are ahead of society. By far it was society looks the worst to see what the model is we've kind of lost that. We've lost that. I believe the world today wants to see a church. That mirrors Christ in all areas and we can understand the difference between the two we can understand the separation between first table second table our Protestant heritage when we look at the past from Wicklow all the way through Luther and Calvin and the English Reformation and and the Mayflower and the Puritans or and Roger Williams and so on we see aggression or a development so where we stand today. America or in some ways is at a crossroad where those people obviously we understand a prophetic understanding of prophecy where people are going to want to go back to the state enforcing both tables. And we as Adventists need to understand these differences and argue and use whatever means we can to preserve the freedoms that we have not just the freedoms of us but the freedoms of others. We should not just be arguing that the state allows us to keep Sabbath but argue for the freedoms of other people as well. Because when their freedoms go our freedoms in time will disappear as well and we need to understand that our freedoms are linked with theirs as well. Reagan said Freedom is never more than one general we are generation away from Eckstein extinction we don't pass it to our children in the bloodstream it must be fought or protected and handed on to them to do the same the foundation of all freedoms in many ways I believe is the freedom that God gives us through his Bible religious liberty but it's something we have to defend is something we have to understand we have a heritage of it going back through the Protestant Reformation the early reformers never the rich never really got it which is why the structure of the Reform Church in Germany England Switzerland the structure was not put in place even though there may theological advances the structure was not put in place for full reform it wasn't until America was founded where the fabric of society was structured in a way eventually the media right for the birth of the adamant this church which is why Europe today is struggling official church is relying on the state that have died the church does not need the state and the state should not need to judge. Anyway. As valid as we close with a word of prayer. Father in heaven we thank you for the privilege we have today to. For many of us live in a country. That still has liberty of conscience and we see this as a heritage And it down to us from the past that has been fought for that has been grappled with and that we have today may this be something we treasure. May be something we truly understand and maybe something that we stand for and fight for Bless us Lord as a people that we may do the work you've commissioned us to do. During this time while we can we pray Christ like. This message was recorded at the G Y C twenty seventeen conference arrives in Phoenix Arizona. G Y C S A pretty Ministry of the Seventh Day Adventist Church seeks to inspire young people to be bible based Christ centered and so when Christians to download or purchase other resources like this visit us online at W W W dot G. Y.C. Web dot org.

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