This engaging, information packed documentary will help viewers understand the multi-layered and sometimes contentious arguments that surround church-state relations. Rev. Gregory P. Seltz of the Lutheran Hour radio program assists viewers in understanding what separation of church and state really means.
Alternate formats: Digital Video - $2.99
In the United States, the intersection of church and state is a busy juncture with a long and fascinating history. Debates about the proper relationship between church and state date back to the time of the founding fathers and the arguments continue dominate the news today. The Rev Gregory P. Seltz, of the Lutheran Hour radio program hosts this engaging, information-packed documentary. Seltz assists viewers in understanding the multi-layered and sometimes contentious arguments that surround this issue. Despite the challenges Seltz believe there is still tremendous potential for church and state to work together for the common good. Includes two 55-minute versions: original televised broadcast version and four-session Bible study version with PDF discussion guide.
Session 1 - This session explores what kind of separation there should be between the church and the state. Jesus taught that both the church and the state are important entities and each has its own tasks to perform. It examines the First Amendment and what things the government should be involved in.
Session 2 - This session looks at the benefits and also the problems that would arise if the state was run by the church. It is important to remember that God is active in both the church and the state. Why is it important for Christians to be active members of both? What will happen to our society of Christians stop exerting a healthy influence on it?
Session 3 - This session explores whether or not America is a Christian nation. People have strong opinions on both sides of this question. What are some of the most effective ways you have found to witness to neighbors who do not share the Christian faith? What can we learn from Paul and his use of his Roman citizenship to open doors to share the Gospel?
Session 4 - This session takes a look at how secular Darwinism has pushed aside the Creator and replaced the solid ground of absolute standards or right and wrong. Since this post-modern worldview has taken hold it challenges the traditional understanding of the relationship between church and state. As universal, final truth is replaced by individual preference and choice, what new obstacles do Christians face in the United States?
Widescreen with Optional English Subtitles.
Jesus taught that both the church and the state are important entities, which God created for good. Each has its own tasks to perform. There are times, however, when religion and politics can become controversial, causing the intersection examined in this documentary. It begins with the history of the founding of this country, the Declaration of Independence, and Thomas Jefferson's "wall of separation" term used during his presidency in a reply to the Danbury Baptists who were struggling as a minority religion.
The question of "Is America a Christian Nation?" is discussed, as well as the idea that if God's purpose for a country is to protect the innocent and punish the lawbreakers, what difference would it make if a country is Christian or not?
At the time the Constitution was written it reflected a modern view of the world. As a post-modern view of the world is adopted, the traditional understanding of the relationship between church and state is changing. The question is asked about what things should inform our public, moral law.
This is an excellent, timely documentary that individuals and small groups could use in discussions surrounding issues that can be contentious. As one of the video commentators said, "Though roadblocks are frequent, there is still tremendous potential for collaboration."
It is important to say that this documentary takes no conservative or liberal side in examining the intersection of church and state. One Bible study lesson ends with the prayer:
"Lord God, when Jesus said, 'Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's,' He distinguished between the spheres of church and state. Give us wisdom to recognize Your purposes for each, that we may live in quietness and share the story of Your Son's salvation in peace."
There are two options for watching or using this DVD. The first is the original televised broadcast version and the second is a four-session Bible study with downloadable, interactive discussion guide and suggested Internet links for "Digging Deeper" with sites to browse and explore a subject more thoroughly.
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