Next time you lament the separation of church and state, ask yourself if you would prefer a Muslim government in Egypt over a secular one. The word “secular” means “of this world.” It describes a government that confines its rules and regulations to matters of this world rather than matters of the spirit, worship and eternal salvation.

Wise government officials have no interest in regulating, recommending or even defining proper religious practices for their constituents. They are not empowered to do so, nor competent to do so.

Sometimes deeply religious people, lamenting what they perceive as the moral erosion of their culture, seek to harness the power of government in an effort to bring the Kingdom of God and make people more Christian.

Laws that require religious behavior make people hypocrites, not Christians. We have a duty as Christians to participate in our democracy, but we should never focus on government over worship and prayer in the effort to effect cultural change. Government is far too weak when it comes to transforming the hearts of people. Only faith and love can do that.

The blessing of a secular government: David E. Crosby |