And what were they singing that so riled the ACLU?
The Doxology—a hymn that says, “praise God from whom all blessings flow”. It was their prayer before their meals.
I’m not kidding.
The Senior Center’s board suspended the singing of the Doxology—fearing it might invite a lawsuit from the ACLU.
More precisely, their fear was losing federal funds for the center’s Meals on Wheels program.
Thankfully the board reversed its decision after Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys confirmed the right to sing religious songs.
. . .and to do so without fear of such drastic consequences.
The board did the right thing! These seniors have every right to sing thanks to God without fear of censorship! Their “song” is clearly protected by the First Amendment.
As a pastor you might expect I’d have something to say about it!
Hang on. . .I do!
Claiming to be a follower of Jesus—yet rejecting affiliation with a church? Really?
It’s like you’re a member of a team, but refuse to put on the jersey.
Face it—you’re not on the team.
A life lived for Jesus isn’t lived in solitary confinement.
And about those who say the church is irrelevant, hypocritical. . .
. . .the church has its weaknesses—no question, but only because we as members have weaknesses. We’re all flawed.
But the church has ten thousand strengths!
I admit the church has lots of problems—but it’s better than any alternative.
Isolationism is not a biblical concept.
With all the gathered church has against it, it’s still God’s best plan!
For years, senior citizens at a Pennsylvania Senior Center started lunch by saying the Pledge of Allegiance, and then a prayer.
The Center suddenly announced the seniors could pray but only, and I quote, with a “moment of silence.” The Center claimed the ruling was necessary because meals are partially funded by the federal government, and one senior found the prayer offensive.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys stated in a letter to the Center, that they’re a private, non-profit organization and free to celebrate their faith at the facility.
. . .and good news. . .the senior center leadership did the right thing and removed the ban on prayer before meals.
With a little—legal clarity, thank God common sense prevailed!
I’m so glad you asked!
Some people say to me, “Oh pastor, don’t talk about political things.” And my response is that political issues are usually not simply political. They’re moral issues. Ethical issues.
All biblical issues.
If I were the evil one, I’d try to convince God’s people that Jesus’ command for us to go into all the world—does not include the political realm. Abandon that realm; that’s what I’d try to convince you.
We talk about church versus state. It does not mean God versus government. For Christians it means God is over all three types of government—the home, civil government and government in the church. God over all.
God’s Word is emphatic: go into all the world.
Guess what? It includes the political realm!
I can answer that question for you: there isn’t any time left for the people you love.
A wise man wrote a book several years ago simply called, “Margins.”
In it he suggests we try to establish “margins”—or boundaries—in our lives that allow us to protect time—time for the things that ultimately will make a difference.
I call it the “million year” test. In other words, what things are going to make a difference a million years from now?
For starters, how about your relationship with God?
How about your relationship with your family?
You may not regret accumulating more things in your lifetime—but many have regret not cultivating a relationship with God—with their family.
Now’s the time to make a correction!
Any religion worth practicing has a public dimension!
Don’t be intimidated by those people who’re trying to get God out of the public square. A popular buzz these days is “separation of church and state.”
It’s not a phrase found in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. And it certainly isn’t in the Bible.
It was Thomas Jefferson who coined the phrase—and it had an entirely different meaning in the 19th century than the way it’s being mis-used today.
God established three governments: the family, civil government, and church government. All three are founded on God, so there can be no separation of church and state.
All authority comes from God—and is only temporarily given to people who then loan power to elected officials.
God in the public square?