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A Conspicuous Absence: Why There is No Separation of Church and State Outcry on North Carolina’s Proposition One Debate

CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 4, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — The following commentary is submitted by Dr. Michael A. Milton.

I was appalled. A sign in front of a Baptist church in Charlotte openly advocates its opposition to Proposition One in North Carolina. The proposition, which is due to go to the ballot in NC on May 8, 2012, reads:

“Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.”

One familiar with the Bible’s unequivocal teaching that God ordained marriage is solely between one man and one woman, as well as the Bible’s condemnation of adultery, fornication, homosexual acts, and incest, might be confused by this Baptist church’s position.

The fact is there are a host of others, a variety of more liberal denominations and religious groups, now coming out to pronounce that Proposition One in North Carolina is evidence of hatred and intolerance by those who preach the sanctity of biblical marriage. However, radical groups, including churches and pastors, have that right, according to our Constitution.

Now let me be clear: I think they are wrong, and are pushing our nation onto the brink of self destruction. They are fulfilling St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans, that those who have denied God and God’s Word, ultimately end up codifying that which God abhors.

Yet, although I think they are wrong in their assertion, I say again, they have every right to speak. This episode of churches speaking into the State’s affairs is lacking in one thing: the shrill voices of the separation of Church and State groups.

Where are the famous “separation” activists of the world on this occasion? The undeniable evidence suggests that as long as churches advocate radical, left wing politics, they are safe from the groups who would scream “Separation of Church and State.”  If the message reflects left wing political positions activist clergy have no fear of putting their message on a church sign on a busy street in the state’s largest city.

Ah, but let a congregation — or a minister — speak into the culture from a conservative Biblical position, that sodomy is ungodly, should be condemned as sin, and that believers have a God given responsibility to take a stand for righteousness in the public square, you will hear the familiar cries of “crossing the line” of politics and religion.

When the left wing groups come out against the public proclamation of conservative biblical positions, many local lay leaders will cower beneath the attacks of Atheist groups and liberal Protestant groups as they threaten to sue them to strip them of tax exemption and will have to tell their minister to “stay away from politics.”  Sadly, for too long, too many have done just that.

Yet speaking the truth of God from His Word into the public arena of our nation is not only biblical and with great historical precedent in America, it is critically needed at this time, when the sanctity of marriage in North Carolina needs the same constitutional protection that 30 other states already have.

Perhaps the conspicuous absence of Separation of Church and State outcries in the debate on Proposition One in NC means that religious liberty is alive and well and that gospel ministers, in fact, have the right to apply their understanding of Scripture to culture without threat. Or maybe it just means that the unmolested voicing of one’s position publicly is applied to all groups but evangelical, pro family, pro life, Catholic and Protestant voices. We will see.

By the way, consider this commentary my own “yard sign” for the support of biblical truth that marriage is ordained by God, sustained by God, and regulated by God’s Word. That means marriage is between a man and a woman.  There can be no lines of separation there.

Michael Anthony Milton (Ph.D., University of Wales) serves as the chancellor/CEO elect of Reformed Theological Seminary (one of the largest accredited seminaries in the country), a U.S. Army chaplain (instructing at the Armed Forces Chaplain School) and the James M. Baird Jr. chair of pastoral theology at RTS/Charlotte. He is an author, songwriter, singer, ordained minister, former pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga, Tenn., and he previously served as the president of RTS/Charlotte. Dr. Milton also hosts a national Bible teaching television program, Faith For Living, broadcast on the NRB Television Network, and a radio program broadcast on several stations in the southeast. For 16 years he served in the business world and has also served as a top-secret Navy linguist.


About A. Nelson

Aaron is a freelance writer who is passionate about covering topics that interest Christian readers. From breaking news and inspirational stories to Bible studies, Aaron is committed to providing concise, well written, and relevant articles that will inspire and encourage Christians to search for a deeper connection in their faith and God.


4 thoughts on “A Conspicuous Absence: Why There is No Separation of Church and State Outcry on North Carolina’s Proposition One Debate

  1. Interesting that the author advocates separation of church & state while advocating a constitutional amendment that furthers the state’s control over a church matter. Why are more people not pushing to rid the country of laws that require the licensing of marriage, a religious rite and the use of said religious rite to determine matters of the state (such as the dollar amount of taxes)? I say you can’t have it both ways. Either you want separation or you don’t. Which is it?

    Posted by Melanie Merritt | April 24, 2012, 11:21 pm
  2. I would also add that your assertion regarding God ordaining marriage fails to consider a very important point. If your interpretation of the Bible is true (I have seen it interpreted otherwise and I certainly don’t know God’s mind), then the very act of homosexuality will be judged by God. Considering the fact that homosexuality will happen regardless of whether they are allowed to marry, how EXACTLY does allowing them to marry under the eyes of the law change how God will judge them or change whatever real or imagined crumbling of society you are proposing? I simply don’t see how allowing 2 consenting adults to legally share their wealth and life decisions changes how God views the act of homosexuality that they will perform regardless of the legal document. I further decline to judge them or even attempt to know how God will judge them. Please, tell me what SPECIFICALLY changes in the eyes of God if these people are given a legal document allowing them to share their wealth and life decisions.

    Posted by Melanie Merritt | April 24, 2012, 11:34 pm
    • I can’t exactly speak for the author, but as far as my belief, I take the Bible as literal as possible. Yes I understand there are stories, poems, parables, allagories and the like. I don’t believe that God intended salvation to be as complicated as some would make it out to be, or the Bible is some great ‘enigma shrouded in mystery’.

      As far as homosexuality is concerned, Biblically, God abhors it. It is an abomonation, carrying the penalty of death (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13). I really can’t say if homosexuals were literally put to death, or if God means the act of homosexuality denies one eternal life. In the New Testament, Paul says that “homosexuality will not inherit the Kingdom [of God]” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Not that homosexuals are singled out. Paul lists a slew of behaviors: adulterers, theives, liars, murderers, etc.

      The subject of the Biblical sanctity of marriage is to big to cover in a single comment. I can only gather clues from the Bible to try to get my head around God’s view of marriage and homosexuality. First, we know that God consideres sex outside of marriage to be fornication, which is sinful. Second we know that God abhors homosexuality. By virtue of that we can assume that even though a married homosexual couple will have a legal document, the union is not approved of by God and thus not a valid marriage. The soul is in double jeapordy due to the compounded sins of fornication and homosexuality.

      But, as you say, who can know the mind of God? Certainly not me. We all have our own thorns of the flesh to deal with. For everybody it is different. We are all at war with our own demons from within and demons from without.

      Here is a pretty decent post about the subject if you would like to continue your research

      Posted by Aaron N. | April 28, 2012, 7:42 am


  1. Pingback: A Great Oak Has Fallen, but New Growth is On its Way: The Legacy of Charles Colson (1931-2012)—A Remembrance from RTS | Dr. Michael A. Milton's Blog - April 21, 2012

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