Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the grand opening of Ken Ham's Ark Encounter, a theme park inside a real-sized Noah's Ark in Kentucky. My friend Eric Hovind (CreationToday.org) and I mingled with protesters of the Ark and gave a biblical, constitutional defense for the construction of the theme park.
During my time, I had the opportunity to exchange a few words with David Silverman, head of the American Atheists organization. I reasoned with him that if there is no God, then we are all slaves to men in power. Liberty only exists because there is a God.
Even one of the heads of the Freedom from Religion coalition was protesting the park on the grounds of “separation of church and state.” It was a perfect setting to bring truth about just how important it is for civil government to obey God.
You see, when God created the world, He also created our rights at the same time. It was somewhat later - after the flood - that he instituted civil government (what we sometimes call the State), for the purpose of defending those rights He had previously given.
Later still, as part of His redemptive plan for a fallen and sinful mankind, Jesus Christ - the Son of God and fully God Himself - instituted the Church, of which He is the Head.
Now, the church and the state are separate entities, and they have separate functions and separate jurisdictions. For example, Hillary Clinton has no authority to administer the Sacraments; and a pastor has no authority to raise a federal army and declare war. But since God institutes both of these entities, neither is separate from Him.
So, you see, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a State official acknowledging the authority and the Word of God in the civil affairs of men.
Actually, quite the opposite is true. No State action or law is valid unless it conforms to God’s law and His Will. This is precisely why the primary document of America’s political view begins with the acknowledgment of God’s authority as expressed in the phrase, “The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God."
God is the authority over both the jurisdiction of the Church and the jurisdiction of the State. They are, therefore, separate from each other in terms of their function, but they are NOT separate from Him, for He is their Source of Authority.
Therefore, prayer, Bible reading, and biblical influence in civil government are entirely American and perfectly legal. As a matter of fact, our Founders encouraged it!
At the conclusion of the day’s work, twenty-three atheists joined us and attended the ARK Encounter theme park! I hope that each of them will be able see the care God has for them and the lengths American Christians have gone to secure their God-given rights whether they believe in Him or not. What a loving God!
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