In a recent article, some are pushing the idea that separation of church and state extends to the use of school buildings by churches. As a church planter, this is a hot topic. I know several churches that had their start in school buildings. But the real question is how does a group even think that separation of church and state extends to the use of a state paid building. The state pays for the building, occupied on Sunday or otherwise. Many church plants pay at least a little compensation for their use. So, what’s the deal?
It is amazing how far separation has been taken in America. The first amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Ultimately, there’s not much here about Congress not supporting, should they wish, establishments. Nor does it seem viable that taking churches out of unused schools on the weekend can be construed as violating this amendment. Further, if they were to pass a law state by state to take churches out of the schools on the weekends or any other time for that matter, it is explicitly prohibiting the free exercise thereof. It is sad that America has fallen from the Puritan influence and into this enlighten and post-modern influence where everything is up for grabs, even law that has remained unchanged for two centuries.
This whole new perspective on the law in America is fueled by the same mindset as the new perspective on Paul in Christendom. But more on that later next week.