However, I need to be clear up front that, from a constitutional stand point I don't believe having it on our money in any way violates the First Amendment (if history means anything). If we were to take into consideration the context under which the First Amendment was written, it was not at all separating church from state in the sense of separating religion and state. It was simply declaring that congress (at the federal-level) did not have the right to establish a national Christian denomination. Even after the ratification of the Bill of Rights, many states had their own state religions (read "denominations") at the state-level of government.
To say that Congress (at the time) was saying religion had no place in government at all is really to just dismiss history and context all together. We won't get into that here, but if you're interested I'd recommend the following for starters:
Isn't it interesting that Scripture teaches so clearly such an ambivalent attitude toward money and wealth.
For instance it is seen as a definite blessing that Abraham and Job were wealthy individuals (Gen. 13:2; Job 42:10). Likewise, Moses prays for the Lord to establish the work of their hands (Ps. 90:17 - bless their work and the fruit of that work), while Jabez also prayed for God's material blessings (1 Chron. 4:10). And both of these were seen as good things. Yet eslewhere in Scripture there are very sharp rebukes against the wealthy (Jas. 5:1-6;cf. Lk. 6:24).
On the other hand, I also believe there were many more moments in her speech, which came through quite clearly, that we would do well to reject - in light of Scripture.
Of the two titles below, which do you think would be more likely to lead your children away from the Christian faith? Which would be more likely lead you away from the Christian faith?(1)
Obviously the answer might be very different depending on where you (or your children) are in the Christian walk already. And it would also depend on each individual's own areas of particular temptations.
But one thing I do think we ought to be cognizant of is that neither one of these is done with the specific purpose of building us up in the faith. And both of them need to be evaluated with scrutiny through a Biblical lens - for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14-15).
A Greatly Needed Work in American Churches
This is a terrific primer on the Biblical view of economics. And it is immensely needed in our churches in America - if nothing more than to demonstrate the following: “That the Bible is not an economics textbook does not mean that it is totally useless for understanding economic issues. … Where ethics touches economics, the Bible is relevant.” (p. 16)
In this short but greatly useful book, R.C. Sproul Jr. gives a Scriptural presentation of stewardship, property, profit, money, inflation, debt, poverty, equity, government, and more. The book is very readable and has solid practical value. I would recommend it to every Christian minister and layperson alike. Not only is it edifying in personal use, but I think it would be highly valuable for a small group study as well.
Get this book and read it with Scripture!
A Must Read for Politicians and Laymen Alike
This is a very good and timely book. It’s a downright shame that it was written in 1946 and governments around the world have not heeded the simple lesson and practical applications advanced in this work.
It’s divided into three sections:
Part One: The Lesson
With one chapter, “The Lesson” - in which he asserts: “The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.” (p. 17)
Part Two: The Lesson Applied
Here is the bulk of the book in which he goes into the particulars of applying that one simple lesson to various situations, including (but not limited to): public works programs, taxes, tarrifs, governments “rescuing” businesses, price-fixing, rent control, minimum wage laws, unions, profits, inflation, and saving. He ends the section with a restatement of the lesson and how if applied it would enable success on such a grander scale than what we’ve come to see in our own lifetimes since the government did not apply this lesson but did just the opposite.
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