The current judicial exercise in ensuring a hard separation between religion and the federal or state governments has a fairly short history. It really dates to the last century when Justice Hugo Black resurrected a comment that Thomas Jefferson had made in reply to a letter from the Danbury Baptist Association. The Connecticut group had written to congratulate him upon his election to the Presidency in 1804. His use of the phrase â€œa wall of separationâ€ is its first occurrence in text in this land, and in its context it was used as part of his explanation as to why he had chosen not to call for a national day of fasting and thanksgiving as his two predecessors had done upon election. Justice Blackâ€™s appropriation of the remark was much more insidious.
Authority is defined as: “The power to determine, to adjudicate, or otherwise settle issues or disputes; jurisdiction; the right to control command or determine.” (Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language). Jesus stated God, the Holy Father, He and the Holy Spirit were unified, singular in purpose, and were all deity. (Jo. 17:21, 1 Co. 8:6, 1 Jo. 2:14, 1 Jo. 5:7, and elsewhere).
While here Jesus also stated that “all authority has been given to Me in both heaven and on earth.” (Matthew 28:18 and elsewhere). So, we asked this question a few years ago: How much authority does Jesus have?
A simple conclusion — Who is the end source of all things from our point of view? And where should we be getting all our information: 1) about how to become a Christian, 2) on how to save our souls, 3) how to be pleasing to God, and lastly, 4) on how we should live and worship? The source is not the preacher, not the rabbi, a shaman or a pope. It is not found in some book on a shelf from some PhD or a Master of religion. The source is “the Word” – which is how the Apostle John referred to Jesus. (John 1).
Reading the Word is sometimes difficult – but reading or listening to it is a must. Studying to discern what is needed is also required. And then, once we wipe the smoke from our eyes, obedience to what Jesus said to do is needed. We must get to that single source – first and foremost.
“All Authority has been given to Me…”