The first mention or allusion to 'the separation of powers' or as we now say, 'the separation of church and state' is also its best definition. "Jesus answering said unto them, render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him." (Mk 12:17) This definition clearly says we can deal seriously with both but the two are not mutually exclusive.
Ecclesiastical and civil powers are not ever supposed to enter a marriage but they have and always will have an ongoing relationship until the last day of time. But on the subject of a marriage between them we have a case today born between the admonitions of the Wisdom of Solomon that says "there is no new thing under the sun." (Ecc 1:9) and mans unfaltering proclivity to forget the past and repeat his worst behavior.
The last time the powers married was during the Dark Ages. Beliefs that skirted outside of church doctrine had to be prosecuted and punished because ecclesiastical powers were also the civil authority. Doctrine wrong; you must be punished. Not only did this make a terrible marriage but scientific inquiry, political growth and life itself were constantly suppressed and severely stifled.
You would think we would have learned the lesson. Now that the world view is largely secular we are once again repeating the past. If you hold a creation view of man you may lose all credibility and perhaps even your livelihood. You must now submit your children to a compulsory secular education for not less than 12 years which now teaches revisionist history that ignores, denies or argues against the fact that America and Europe were founded on Biblical and Christian principles. It's a new dark ages with the so called 'enlightened ones' at the helm of the repression.
The hypocrisy becomes even viler when what's offered to placate the repressed is a call to tolerance and diversity in the new PC polished public dialogue. It's a sort of 'let's lump so we don't bump' approach that reeks of repression but with a candy coating for those who accept PC props as a substitute for true wisdom, free speech or real scientific inquiry.
With the help of secular academicians and organizations like the ACLU, religion, biblical principles and all allusion to them is regarded as extraneous if not outright foolishness. It has become stylish to belittle the faithful and berate the preachers, prophets and biblical scholars that were once held in high regard. Its now vogue to be rogue and stand alone in ones own self assurance, raised up and well taught in the ways of the world, not easily moved.
We are taught to live at our peak but never be meek, we're the bold prodigal standing alone as hunger draws the skin to the bone, bellowing and boasting through teeth and tusks but not far from eating the husks, pride circles the heart until we incline to join with the stranger, and dine with the swine. (Lk 15:11f)
We would rather not see ourselves as prodigals but more as prodigies spawned of our highly touted enlightenment. We have been spinning the idea of lightning hitting the primordial ooze so long now that it is simply un-cool to entertain the idea of divine light touching the heart and thereby healing the muddled world view that makes up the encroaching reprobation of our minds.
The brightest minds are taken with tinsel towns x-rated view of America and now our legislators want to green light hundreds of deviant behaviors' so we can enjoy the full spectrum. We are urged not to waste time pondering the fine line between laxity and licentiousness, the glutton and the gourmet, suggestion and indoctrination. We are so busy handing out awards and recognition to Hollywood's haloed hacks and celebrities that we haven't noticed that the great imaginary rocket ship we are beckoned to board is not pointing to the stars but is aimed directly toward the ground.
Along come the social tinkerers to the Congress and White House with promises of 'change' and renewed prosperity and a much better deal than ever offered before. It's a sugar daddy government that mocks the tradition of hard work, self reliance and entrepreneurial pursuit all the while they spend millions on ad campaigns to assure us that the tinkering will result in better America, a changed America. Who needs to check the authority, the efficacy, the cost or the practicality of the proposed changes when the ads are assuring us that "it is time." Is there ever a time to turn our backs on the hard won lessons learned in our past?
We are busy denying our past and actively disconnecting our nation from the great eternal power source our founders told us we should use as our only source. Now, we are running on battery power. We are connected to the two posts, Tinsel Town on the left coast and Tinker Town on the east; but this battery is running low.
Lights are dimming in the drain of power and a flickering and twisted reading of the gauges in the great democratic engine are misleading the nation to believe it can go streaming down the road this way for many more miles to come. The gages are instilling us with a false and twisted comfort but they are wrong.
Twisted comfort is derived from twisted truth. Is it the Godly who are foolish? David the ancient psalmist, prophet and king says oh contraire; "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God." (Ps 14:1)
As truth loses its premium fewer Americans will notice that in the bare knuckles contest between religion and culture, religion will always lose. But in the contest between a political answer and prophetic utterance, politics will always lose. There is no battle between ideology and theology; there is no contest.
Prophecy is not a view point, a bit of social tinkering or the shifting tide of public opinion. Prophecy is pre-written history. But if a nation can blithely ignore the vision of its founders; will it be likely to heed those who foresee its demise or those who are urging its citizens to take stock and return to the faith of their Fathers?
The correlation between faith in God and involvement in civil discourse, politics and government is as old as civilization and when it is finally severed it spells the doom of civilization. In ancient times the prophet and the king interacted for the benefit of a nation. Now we sit pixilated by presidents, pundits, professors and secular prognosticators who tell us we are surely on the right path, without those troublesome allusions to accountability or an Almighty God.
When the final world ruler known as the antichrist successfully crushes all religions and the practice of them it will not result in the imaginary euphoric world of John Lennon's world with no religions. It will result in the battle of Armageddon and the re-entrance of the Lord Jesus Christ into the affairs and governments of men.
The description of his entrance betrays any notion they he returns in meekness to negotiate with rulers for a more loving and better way to have a world. Scripture says the meek and lowly Jesus will rule 1,000 years before eternity actually begins, but with a rod of iron. "And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." (Rev 19:15)
C.S. Lewis said "Reality, in fact, is always something you couldn't have guessed. That's one of the reasons I believe Christianity. It's a religion you couldn't have guessed."
Who would guess that in the end it won't be democracy, communism, socialism, fascism or any 'ism' at all that wins out. World government will once again revert to a monarchy. The confusion of misrule and civilizations failed attempts at world government will be remedied not just by having a new ruler but by one who is divinely appointed. There will be no war, hunger, sickness or death. And in case you missed the point, civil and ecclesiastical powers will finally be married once and for all, a marriage made in heaven.
In the interim don't delude yourself, religion; religious figures and Christ himself have always had to play an interactive part with civil and political powers. The interweaving of both is the only hope of keeping a bland and often tasteless world from the mediocrity of living in a salt less if not hopeless society.
Civil and religious figures will go on in peace or conflict with each other until one is not tolerated and that is what precipitates the final fall of man. Until then Moses will have his Pharaoh, Elijah his Ahab, Jesus his Pilate, Paul his King Agrippa and Nero, and the last days believers their antichrist to deal with.
As long as discourse is alive and morality is tweaked by mans refusal to leave God out of the civil and political equation there will be hope. The path mankind is choosing today will most assuredly end in a brief period of deep and pervasive darkness for the world that culminates in the dawning of the eternal morning star.