Why do so many 20 Somethings Misunderstand "Seperation of Church and State"?

My church, Main Street Baptist, (www.msbc.cc) will be hosting a 12-week series on the "Constitution". This class is being led by one of our church members, Bill Flynn. As the class was filling up (it's now at capacity) Bill posed the following question to me, "How do we get more 20-35 year olds to join the class?" The following is the actual facebook coversation that took place. I really feel what Bill says at the end of our converation was incredibly insightful and very challenging.

Michael,

Thanks for your help getting the word out on our US Constitution series starting Jan. 10. We could really use more 20-35 year olds in the class. Any ideas how to get them to join us ?
Bill

Bill,

That's a great question. The problem I see with the lack of 20 somethings being more involved in things like your class is the belief that you must separate church and state. They believe the church has no business offering (or even hosting) any class that comes close to political. Also there is a perception that if a church does offer something that appears remotely political then all they are trying to do is brainwash you into their right-wing ultra conservative mind set or recruit you for the tea party.

You can offer an honest to goodness non partisan class that explains the truth about our constitution and because the media (and current administration) has convinced almost everyone under the age of 30 that there is a hidden agenda, many won't even think of attending.

To be honest I'm not sure how to fix that problem. All you and I can do right now is keep promoting it and getting the word out. It almost has to be done grassroots where one or two 20 somethings start spreading the word to there friends. I'll keep thinking of way to bring some younger folks in. Thanks for the class!
Mike

Michael,

Thinking some: If separation of church and state is an integral source of potential repulsion, would it be helpful for me to frame the question, "ever wonder what the Constitution says on this key issue and by what authority it is spoken ?" Or, more daringly, "What responsibility does the Body of Christ have to the state, and the state to the Body of Christ ?"

Too, I wonder if the deeper issue for us is not separation of church and state, but rather the unwitting self-elimination of the church from the landscape of civic relevance via pop culture bias.

As you know, the Constitution is a government framing document for limited governance ordained of God, implemented by man, with the consent of the governed. All holders of major office, regardless of partisan affiliation, are sworn to uphold under oath. Thanks again, Michael for your insights.
Bill

Michael,

Been thinking more about the reluctance of younger members to embrace anything remotely political as a part of their Christianity or place of worship.

This question cuts to the core of the issue:
Do your rights, expressed by the Constitution, flow from God or government ?
If the answer is government, then the young adults’ apprehension we see arguably makes good sense.

If, however, rights flow from God, to be justly administered by government, then Christians of all ages must run, not walk, toward involvement and understanding of civics and our form of government.

History and proper understanding lead to the singular conclusion that our rights are indeed from God. Limited government is ordained to function with the consent of the governed. For our younger brothers and sisters in Christ to compartmentalize this into the “politics” pile places us all, especially their and future generations, at great risk of continued erosions of liberty. The liberty to worship and speak freely are among those which will undoubtedly come under further assault.

The notion of church and state separation is wildly, and I believe deliberately, misused to curtail the necessary inclusion of Christian influence in our American form of government. I kinda want to encourage believers, self included here, to “man (and woman) up !”

Younger Christians removing themselves may be the comfortable default position, but it is not a part of our Christian or American heritage.

Merry Christmas Michael. Please continue to pray for God to guide me and our Constitution series at MSBC.

Bill

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