Romans 12:2 NIV
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Did you know that the statement “separation of Church and State” does not appear in the Constitution of the United States? Did you know that the phrase “separation of Church and State” was taken from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut? The Baptist Association was concerned the government would interfere with their religious activities, so Thomas Jefferson wrote to them affirming the United States government would not interfere with that right, because the “wall of separation between Church and State” prevents the government from doing so. In other words, the government's role was to protect rather than prevent public religious expression.
For a century and a half there was no misunderstanding about this letter. In fact, in 1853, a group petitioned Congress urging them to separate Christian principles from government. This group wanted the removal of religious expression from the public arena. Congress examined this and rejected the idea stating, "Had the people during the Revolution had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the Amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, but not any one denomination. ...In this age, there is no substitute for Christianity; ...that was the religion of the founders of the Republic and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendents."20 Since that time, however, Thomas Jefferson's "wall of separation between Church and State" has become greatly misunderstood by many.
I don’t know about you, but when I grew to understand what “separation between Church and State” really meant, I couldn’t believe it was basically turned around from its original meaning! I had believed a lie for so many years. Once my mind was renewed to the truth, I felt liberated and found myself so grateful for how this country was founded. It’s possible to miss out on God’s best about something because we may believe a lie instead. That’s why Romans 12:2 encourages us to renew our mind to God’s word so we can experience liberation in every area of our life! What’s missing in your life today? I encourage you to find your answer in God’s word and renew your mind today.
The freedom that we can exercise in this country is phenomenal. I would like to encourage you not to be discouraged by the state of our nation, but to put your trust in God.
- Read - Re-read Romans 12:2
- Think -The word “conform” means to “take the same shape as”, whereas “transform” means to change in composition or structure. We are called to be transformed. Reflect on this truth.
- Write - Journal your response to the “Think” exercise. Write about how this applies to your life as an American.
- Pray - Ask God to renew your desire transform your mind with the Word of God.
- Take away - The reason we transform our minds with the Word of God, we will be able to recognize what God’s will is for our life.