Bible Studies At The White House

I saw this article posted at Facebook this morning, and it was very interesting to read the comments. Of course, the subject of “Church and State” came up.

Bible Studies at the White House: Who’s Inside This Spiritual Awakening?

(from CBN News)

WASHINGTON – A spiritual awakening is underway at the White House.

Some of the most powerful people in America have been gathering weekly to learn more about God’s Word, and this Trump Cabinet Bible study is making history.

They’ve been called the most evangelical Cabinet in history – men and women who don’t mince words when it comes to where they stand on God and the Bible.

Ralph Drollinger of Capitol Ministries told CBN News, “These are godly individuals that God has risen to a position of prominence in our culture.”

They’re all handpicked by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

“I don’t think Donald Trump has figured out that he chained himself to the Apostle Paul,” Drollinger laughed.

Drollinger is a former NBA-playing giant of a man with an even bigger calling. He founded Capitol Ministries with the idea that if you change the hearts of lawmakers, then their Christian world view will guide them to make good policies.

He’s started Bible studies in 40 state capitols, a number of foreign capitols, teaches weekly studies in the U.S. House and Senate and now leads about a dozen members of President Trump’s Cabinet in weekly studies of the scriptures.

Read more to find out who attends; you might be surprised.

Anyway, as I said (above), it was very interesting to read the comments and join in the conversation. One of the people commenting is a distant relative, a retired state employee, a church goer, but a union member and a progressive. Probably not as far left as many, but from a small town and lives in the country.

Here is how the conversation went:

Relative: While I think this is good, I’m a former government (state) employee and because of constitutional separations of church and state, this would not be allowed.

Commenter 1: Not in the Constitution. Jefferson letters.

Relative: I stand corrected!

Commenter 2: lol the separation of church and state means that the government can’t force you to practice a religion. It doesn’t mean you are prohibited from having a bible study in a government facility.

Relative: Commenter 2, there is a lot of differences of opinion in that interpretation, hence many pu luv schools not allowing prayer.

Commenter 2: Relative, no it’s pretty clear friend. It’s been a manipulated statement that people hijack when it’s convenient and innocent uninformed people replay the recorder. 💚I’m sorry.

ME: CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

ME: FTA (Library of Congress): “The celebrated phrase, “a wall of separation between church and state,” was contained in Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists. American courts have used the phrase to interpret the Founders’ intentions regarding the relationship between government and religion. The words, “wall of separation,” appear just above the section of the letter that Jefferson circled for deletion. In the deleted section Jefferson explained why he refused to proclaim national days of fasting and thanksgiving, as his predecessors, George Washington and John Adams, had done. In the left margin, next to the deleted section, Jefferson noted that he excised the section to avoid offending “our republican friends in the eastern states” who cherished days of fasting and thanksgiving.”     http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel06-2.html#obj163a

Religion and the Founding of the American Republic
Religion and the Federal Government, Part 2

ME: Relative, Read my comment further down (same Library of Congress link). Jefferson (and other Presidents) attended church services in the House of Representatives for many years, and religious gatherings were held in other government facilities, including the Supreme Court. [For those following along, the text of that comment is shown below]

RELATIVE: I read it.

[NOTE: RELATIVE is ticked off.]

ME: Relative, Interesting, isn’t it?

RELATIVE: What is interesting is how these things have changed.

ME: Relative, Putting things into context. If Jefferson’s “wall between church and state” is still significant, isn’t the fact that he supported church services in the Capitol also significant?

RELATIVE: Not arguing,  just observing that it’s no longer policy most places.

[RELATIVE is still ticked off, trying to regain control of the conversation. Epic fail.]

ME: I’m not arguing either. Just discussing.
—————————————-

My comment that I referred to, above:

ME: Did you know that church services were once held in the Capitol every Sunday?

FTA: “Within a year of his inauguration, Jefferson began attending church services in the House of Representatives. Madison followed Jefferson’s example, although unlike Jefferson, who rode on horseback to church in the Capitol, Madison came in a coach and four. Worship services in the House–a practice that continued until after the Civil War–were acceptable to Jefferson because they were nondiscriminatory and voluntary. Preachers of every Protestant denomination appeared. (Catholic priests began officiating in 1826.) As early as January 1806 a female evangelist, Dorothy Ripley, delivered a camp meeting-style exhortation in the House to Jefferson, Vice President Aaron Burr, and a “crowded audience.” Throughout his administration Jefferson permitted church services in executive branch buildings. The Gospel was also preached in the Supreme Court chambers.”

From the Library of Congress

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel06-2.html

I love that our President and his cabinet members are holding a weekly bible study in the White House. It presents a very different picture of President Trump, and the men he relies on.

“It’s the best Bible study that I’ve ever taught in my life,” Drollinger said. “They are so teachable; they’re so noble; they’re so learned.”

 

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7 Responses to Bible Studies At The White House

  1. MaryfromMarin says:

    Yay, yay, hooray! For the Bible study and the zinger FB conversations. You rock, stella.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. stella says:

    The article from the Library of Congress about the church services in the House of Representatives continues:

    Jefferson’s actions may seem surprising because his attitude toward the relation between religion and government is usually thought to have been embodied in his recommendation that there exist “a wall of separation between church and state.” In that statement, Jefferson was apparently declaring his opposition, as Madison had done in introducing the Bill of Rights, to a “national” religion. In attending church services on public property, Jefferson and Madison consciously and deliberately were offering symbolic support to religion as a prop for republican government.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Menagerie says:

    Another point worth thinking about, in my opinion. The Bible studies are great in and of themselves. But time and again I’ve seen the door cracked open a little bit opened wide. Give God just a little invitation and sometimes you get taken way past where you thought you were going.

    There is indeed “power in the Word” as old southern gospel leaders used to say. Jesus is the Word made flesh.

    At the beginning of the Liturgy of the Word, as the priest or Deacon brings the gospel to the pulpit, which in our church is a very elaborate raised structure with a little ceiling to it, the altar servers precede him with candles, and stand to either side during the reading, the light of Christ coming to us in the Word. All this is accompanied by the cantor and choir singing the Alleluia, and most of the time that is my favorite part of the mass.

    I believe blessings and graces above and beyond simply learning more about the Bible will come from this, not to belittle at all the lessons and their value.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. auscitizenmom says:

    I got this warm feeling all over when I first heard of this.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Reblogged this on Special Connections and commented:
    Great News! Some of our national leaders are studying the Word of God together!!! Let’s keep them in prayer, that they would take His Word to heart & make decisions in accordance with God’s Will.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for this great heads up & your example of appropriate warfare. I re-blogged it to my SpecialConnections.wordpress.com blog, fyi. Thank you for all you do here Stella. What a blessing you are to me, to many of the other readers/commentors, & to The Kingdom!

    Liked by 2 people

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