Separation of Church and State, really?Rich Stigall
By: Adrien Lewis
Separation of Church and State has caused a tremendous amount of controversy and confusion in our country. Historically, the phrase separation of church and state, which is not found in the Constitution, is often credited to Thomas Jefferson to explain the purpose of the Establishment Clause of The First Amendment (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…) Unfortunately, some have tried to apply this phrase to remove the Church’s seat at the table to shape and solve societal issues. Fortunately, people are smarter than that in Texas, where the government is embracing the church as a partner to provide care for children who need family.
This week, the TX state office of child welfare is on tour with GO Project Field Director, Pastor Aaron Blake, to train state employees on how the Church is called to care for the orphan. Social workers, case planners, supervisors, and the like have been told, “go to the church…they are a big part of the answer!” You might expect that from a pastor with a passion for the orphan, but those aren’t Pastor Blake’s words. Those are the words of Jackie Hubbard, Texas Division Admin for Foster and Adoptive Development. The State of TX has assigned her to work side by side with Pastor Blake and his team to train front line child welfare professionals to engage the church.
Now, Church, we have a huge responsibility. James 1:27 and many other places in the bible make it clear….these kids, the least of these, are, in fact, OUR responsibility. There is no shortage of need, but is there a shortage of churches ready to say, “YES” to children in need? How about at your church, what do you say? Our prayer, our mission in TX and around the world, is to help the church say, “YES” and remove barriers so the children God has called us to serve come into our family.
The tide has shifted, brothers and sisters. The state is ready to partner with us to serve the least of these the way God intended us to.