e-book FAITH BEYOND CHURCH WALLS: Finding Freedom in Christ

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Be the first to ask a question about Faith Beyond Church Walls. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. I picked this book up as a free download. The description caught my attention. It states this book is a " I enjoy reading authors describe the gospel in various ways.

Faith Beyond Church Walls is brisk reading. Yes, very. The opening was indeed creative. The authors first words grab the reader and take th I picked this book up as a free download. The authors first words grab the reader and take them on a journey.

A unique way to open a book. Reading on I hoped I wouldn't find any 'religion' bashing. I did. But only as it related to 'tradition' and denominational do's and do nots. I personally think we need to rescue the word religion. After all, it was defined for us in James The scribes and Pharisees hounded Jesus as he spoke of faith beyond religious rule-keeping.

We are not slaves but the children of God. We would not have understood what sin is, Paul says, if it were not for the law vv.

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I remember as a child my mother punishing me when I did something wrong, but there was always a clear explanation of why my behavior was wrong. But the commandment does not have the power to change your heart. Listen to Paul and do not dismiss the law as a destructive negative force. Children learn by precept and experience. He also says learning the meaning of covetousness can urge us to the doing v. Remember the story of Adam and Eve, when they chose to eat the forbidden fruit in Eden? God said no!

Satan said yes! Eve and Adam learned the hard way by their choice. He found security in the promise and history of his people. But in the middle of his security there was something missing, something beyond rules and rituals. Was it the love and passion of those early Christians? Was it the oppressive darkness of his world?

Was it the relentless burden of the law? Was it a longing for something more from God? The Massachusetts Constitution of declared, for example, that "the happiness of a people, and the good order and preservation of civil government, essentially depend on piety, religion and morality. Congregationalists and Anglicans who, before , had received public financial support, called their state benefactors "nursing fathers" Isaiah The Flushing Remonstrance shows support for separation of church and state as early as the midth century, stating their opposition to religious persecution of any sort: "The law of love, peace and liberty in the states extending to Jews, Turks and Egyptians, as they are considered sons of Adam, which is the glory of the outward state of Holland, so love, peace and liberty, extending to all in Christ Jesus, condemns hatred, war and bondage.

Stuyvesant had formally banned all religions other than the Dutch Reformed Church from being practiced in the colony, in accordance with the laws of the Dutch Republic. The signers indicated their "desire therefore in this case not to judge lest we be judged, neither to condemn least we be condemned, but rather let every man stand or fall to his own Master. However, John Bowne allowed the Quakers to meet in his home.

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Bowne was arrested, jailed, and sent to the Netherlands for trial; the Dutch court exonerated Bowne. Jackson describes the Flushing Remonstrance as "the first thing that we have in writing in the United States where a group of citizens attests on paper and over their signature the right of the people to follow their own conscience with regard to God - and the inability of government, or the illegality of government, to interfere with that.

Given the wide diversity of opinion on Christian theological matters in the newly independent American States, the Constitutional Convention believed a government sanctioned established religion would disrupt rather than bind the newly formed union together. George Washington wrote a letter in to the country's first Jewish congregation, the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island to state:. Allowing rights and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it were by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights.

For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

Separation of church and state in the United States

There were also opponents to the support of any established church even at the state level. In , Isaac Backus , a prominent Baptist minister in New England , wrote against a state-sanctioned religion, saying: "Now who can hear Christ declare, that his kingdom is, not of this world, and yet believe that this blending of church and state together can be pleasing to him? Most Anglican ministers, and many Anglicans, were Loyalists. The Anglican establishment, where it had existed, largely ceased to function during the American Revolution , though the new States did not formally abolish and replace it until some years after the Revolution.

The phrase "[A] hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world" was first used by Baptist theologian Roger Williams , the founder of the colony of Rhode Island , in his book The Bloody Tenent of Persecution. 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 his worship, that the 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 their "legislature" should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between church and State.

Jefferson's letter was in reply to a letter from the Danbury Baptist Association dated October 7, We have solved, by fair experiment, the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries.

Jefferson and James Madison 's conceptions of separation have long been debated. Jefferson refused to issue Proclamations of Thanksgiving sent to him by Congress during his presidency, though he did issue a Thanksgiving and Prayer proclamation as Governor of Virginia. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Govt. Jefferson's opponents said his position was the destruction and the governmental rejection of Christianity, but this was a caricature.

Jefferson's letter entered American jurisprudence in the Mormon polygamy case Reynolds v. Writing for the majority, Justice Stephen Johnson Field cited Jefferson's "Letter to the Danbury Baptists" to state that "Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order. Madison noted that Martin Luther 's doctrine of the two kingdoms marked the beginning of the modern conception of separation of church and state. Jefferson and Madison's approach was not the only one taken in the eighteenth century.

Jefferson's Statute of Religious Freedom was drafted in opposition to a bill, chiefly supported by Patrick Henry , which would permit any Virginian to belong to any denomination, but which would require him to belong to some denomination and pay taxes to support it. Similarly, the Constitution of Massachusetts originally provided that "no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience And the people of this commonwealth have also a right to, and do, invest their legislature with authority to enjoin upon all the subjects an attendance upon the instructions of the public teachers aforesaid, at stated times and seasons, if there be any on whose instructions they can conscientiously and conveniently attend.

Article III. Since, in practice, this meant that the decision of who was taxable for a particular religion rested in the hands of the selectmen , usually Congregationalists, this system was open to abuse.

"Beyond the Sixth Sense" by John Tyler CSB

It was abolished in The intervening period is sometimes referred to as an "establishment of religion" in Massachusetts. Some chose to support more than one church. He also ordained that the tax-payers were free, having paid his local tax, to choose their own church. The terms for the surrender of New Amsterdam had provided that the Dutch would have liberty of conscience, and the Duke, as an openly divine-right Catholic, was no friend of Anglicanism. Connecticut had a real establishment of religion. Its citizens did not adopt a constitution at the Revolution, but rather amended their Charter to remove all references to the British Government.

As a result, the Congregational Church continued to be established, and Yale College , at that time a Congregational institution, received grants from the State until Connecticut adopted a constitution in partly because of this issue. The absence of an establishment of religion did not necessarily imply that all men were free to hold office. Most colonies had a Test Act , and several states retained them for a short time.

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This stood in contrast to the Federal Constitution, which explicitly prohibits the employment of any religious test for Federal office, and which through the Fourteenth Amendment later extended this prohibition to the States. For example, the New Jersey Constitution of provides liberty of conscience in much the same language as Massachusetts similarly forbidding payment of "taxes, tithes or other payments" contrary to conscience.

Separation of church and state in the United States - Wikipedia

It then provides:. That there shall be no establishment of any one religious sect in this Province, in preference to another; and that no Protestant inhabitant of this Colony shall be denied the enjoyment of any civil right, merely on account of his religious principles; but that all persons, professing a belief in the faith of any Protestant sect , who shall demean themselves peaceably under the government, as hereby established, shall be capable of being elected into any office of profit or trust, or being a member of either branch of the Legislature, and shall fully and freely enjoy every privilege and immunity, enjoyed by others their fellow subjects.

This would permit a Test Act , but did not require one.

The Province of West Jersey had declared, in , that there should be no religious test for office. An oath had also been imposed on the militia during the French and Indian War requiring them to abjure the pretensions of the Pope, which may or may not have been applied during the Revolution. That law was replaced by The Pennsylvania Constitution of provided:. And each member, before he takes his seat, shall make and subscribe the following declaration, viz:. I do believe in one God, the creator and governor of the universe, the rewarder of the good and the punisher of the wicked.

And no further or other religious test shall ever hereafter be required of any civil officer or magistrate in this State. Again, it provided in general that all tax-paying freemen and their sons shall be able to vote , and that no "man, who acknowledges the being of a God , be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right as a citizen, on account of his religious sentiments or peculiar mode of religious worship. Prior to the adoption of the Bill of Rights , this was the only mention of religion in the Constitution. The first amendment to the US Constitution states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

In sum, citizens are free to embrace or reject a faith, any support for religion - financial or physical - must be voluntary, and all religions are equal in the eyes of the law with no special preference or favoritism. The First Congress' deliberations show that its understanding of the separation of church and state differed sharply from that of their contemporaries in Europe.

The American separation of church and state rests upon respect for the church; the [European anticlerical] separation, on indifference and hatred of the church, and of religion itself The constitution did not create a nation, nor its religion and institutions. It found them already existing, and was framed for the purpose of protecting them under a republican form of government, in a rule of the people, by the people, and for the people.

An August 15, , entry in Madison's papers indicates he intended for the establishment clause to prevent the government imposition of religious beliefs on individuals. The entry says: "Mr. Madison said he apprehended the meaning of the words to be, that Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contrary to their conscience. Some legal scholars, such as John Baker of LSU , theorize that Madison's initial proposed language—that Congress should make no law regarding the establishment of a "national religion"—was rejected by the House, in favor of the more general "religion" in an effort to appease the Anti-Federalists.

To both the Anti-Federalists and the Federalists , the very word "national" was a cause for alarm because of the experience under the British crown. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts took issue with Madison's language regarding whether the government was a national government, or a federal government]] in which the states retained their individual sovereignty , which Baker suggests compelled Madison to withdraw his language from the debate.

Following the argument between Madison and Gerry, Rep. Samuel Livermore of New Hampshire proposed language stating that, "Congress shall make no laws touching religion or the rights of conscience. Benjamin Huntingdon of Connecticut and Rep. Peter Sylvester of New York, who worried the language could be used to harm religious practice.

Others, such as Rep. Roger Sherman of Connecticut, believed the clause was unnecessary because the original Constitution only gave Congress stated powers , which did not include establishing a national religion. Anti-Federalists such as Rep. Thomas Tucker of South Carolina moved to strike the establishment clause completely because it could preempt the religious clauses in the state constitutions.

However, the Anti-Federalists were unsuccessful in persuading the House of Representatives to drop the clause from the first amendment. The Senate went through several more narrowly targeted versions before reaching the contemporary language. One version read, "Congress shall make no law establishing one religious sect or society in preference to others, nor shall freedom of conscience be infringed," while another read, "Congress shall make no law establishing one particular religious denomination in preference to others. At the time of the passage of the Bill of Rights , many states acted in ways that would now be held unconstitutional.

All of the early official state churches were disestablished by Massachusetts , including the Congregationalist establishment in Connecticut. It is commonly accepted that, under the doctrine of Incorporation —which uses the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to hold the Bill of Rights applicable to the states—these state churches could not be reestablished today. Yet the provisions of state constitutions protected religious liberty, particularly the so-called freedom of conscience.

During the nineteenth century and before the incorporation of the First Amendment of the U. Constitution through the Fourteenth Amendment , litigants turned to these provisions to challenge Sunday laws blue laws , bible-reading in schools, and other ostensibly religious regulations. But when the First Amendment was ratified in , it did not apply to the states and would not until well into the 20th century. As a result, the First Amendment did not prevent states from paying churches out of the public treasury, as Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and South Carolina did when that amendment was written.

And those states that did not fund churches still favored Christianity. Because many thought religion was the foundation of American society, they used their power to imprint their moral ideals on state constitutions and judicial opinions for much of American history. It includes the due process and equal protection clauses among others. The amendment introduces the concept of incorporation of all relevant federal rights against the states. While it has not been fully implemented, the doctrine of incorporation has been used to ensure, through the Due Process Clause and Privileges and Immunities Clause , the application of most of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights to the states.