One of my least favorite things in society is politics. Politics is present in almost every facet of life. It is an important part of our government and is a part of our work environments. Politics is also very present in our places of worship. By definition, politics is the art or science of government. I do understand that politics is a necessity. Without it, there would be no structure in our governments, on our jobs and in our places of worship. I think that where things go awry is when the fiber of politics becomes saturated with personal agendas and corruption.
During an interview with Tavis Smiley on PBS, Prince made a comment about our government that made me think even deeper about the content of his statement. He said, “You can have separation of church and state but you can’t have separation of state and morality”. When he spoke those words, I immediately thought of the disagreements that ensued over the elimination of the Ten Commandments from government and school properties. Is there a need for God anywhere anymore?
As I pondered Prince’s statement more, I thought of the condition of our nation’s churches. What happens when there is a separation of church and morality? How can the church not be a place that overflows with morals? I think we first have to understand the meaning of church. You and I are the church. We carry the church inside us. We take the church inside us to a building where we worship and fellowship in His name. As Christians, we are representatives of Christ and carry ourselves in such a manner. The church in us makes us moral creatures doesn’t it? Well, we are until the church in us and our moral character becomes separated.
When the church in us and morality become separated, a host of issues can stem from it. So as one church becomes unraveled morally, so does another and then another. What tends to happen is that these separated churches still gather for fellowship Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings because some of us are pastors, preachers, teachers, praise team members, and musicians. We still have assignments that have to be carried out and we don’t want anyone to know that we are having issues with morality. Consequently, we end up with malice, arguments, sexual immorality, hot topic gossip, and divorce in our place of worship. When all of these issues are brought into the place of worship, they cause the church body to be separated from each other.
How do we bring this separation of church and morality back into perspective as it relates to God and carry out our assignments as we were designed to do? As a Christian community, we have to keep the church inside us wrapped in the arms of morality. I know that we are fallible and this Christian life is not easy. But God never promised us it would be. If the image our church presents to the world is no different than the world itself, how can we expect to change anything?