Nazarene Space


MISHNA:

We as Nazarenes claim the right of worshiping Elohim according to the dictates
of our own conscience. No secular government ought, in any case whatever, to
control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion, and
no preference should ever be given by secular law to any religious society or
mode of worship. But it should be the duty of secular governments to pass such
laws as may be necessary to protect the free exercise of religion and should
make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof.


GEMARA:

How are we to understand “the right of worshiping Elohim according to
the dictates of our own conscience? Perhaps one were to say this loose
Nazarenes to observe Sunday worship or keep Christmas and Easter?
Absolutely not! For the resolution says “We as Nazarenes” and
presupposes those that it speaks of as “we” uphold the teachings
Nazarene Judaism.

How are we to understand “right”? Thomas Jefferson said "Freedom of
religion is the most inalienable and sacred of all human rights.” He
also stated famously in the U.S. Declaration of Independence "We hold
these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that
they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” The
rights we claim here-in are inalienable rights. These rights were not
granted by secular governments nor are they gifts from them, they were
endowed upon us by our Creator and secular Governments may only respect
them, or infringe upon them. And if these rights are in fact authored
by the Creator, then the proper interpreter of them is a body
authorized to interpret and implement that which is authored by the
Creator. In fact any secular government claiming to be the true
interpreter of these rights which were authored by the Creator will
have immediately violated these rights by setting up its own
establishment of religion. For any interpreter of that which is
authored by the Creator must by definition be an establishment of
religion. Secular Governments should therefore seek to respect these
rights and avoid infringing upon them by simply respecting the widest
possible interpretation of them.

How are we to understand the phrase “according to the dictates of our
own conscience.”? It refers to that which is written in our heart, for
Paul writes:

13 For the hearers of the Torah are not righteous before Eloah, but the doers of the Torah are justified.
14 For if the Goyim (whom the Torah is not to), from their nature do
[acts] of the Torah, (while the Torah is not to them), to their
nefeshot [there] is a Torah.
15 And they show the work of the Torah, as it is written upon their
heart, and their conscience bears witness concerning them, as their own
reasoning [will] rebuke or defend one another,
16 In the day that Eloah judges the secret things of the sons of men,
according to my Good News, by the hand of Yeshua the Messiah.
17 But if you who are called a Jew, and take rest concerning the Torah, and boast in Eloah--
18 That you know His will, and you distinguish the proper things that you learned from the Torah,
(Romans 2:13-18)

The redeemed man has the Torah written in his heart, but the apostates
have their conscience seared with a hot iron (1 Tim. 4: 2).

How are we to understand “make no law respecting an establishment of religion”?

These words are similar to those above “no preference should ever be
given by secular law to any religious society or mode of worship”. The
U.S. Bill of Rights says “congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion” this is because only Congress was envisioned
as making laws. However since this is an inalienable right from our
Creator, it is equally true that no branch of secular government should
set forth any policy, ruling or precedence that violates these
inalienable rights. Not only should secular governments abstain from
establishing religions, they must also not indirectly establish
religions by giving any preference to any establishment of religion.
The U.S. Supreme Court has rightly understood this to mean that
property disputes between religious institutions cannot be settled by
secular courts where doing so requires the court to engage in the
forbidden practices of considering doctrine, weighing doctrine,
interpreting doctrine or resolving doctrinal issues. In fact this would
be true of any dispute between establishments of religion, not just
property disputes.

How are we to understand the phrase “make no law”?

The phrase “make no law” means as also stated above “in any case
whatsoever”. It has been argued that laws of “general applicability”
and “neutral principles of law” are not intended by this phrase. The
phrase is clear “no law” meaning “in any case whatsoever”. Laws of
general applicability and laws of neutral principles can violate the
establishment clause and the free exercise clause as easily as any
other laws. It is not the intent of a law that is at issue, but the
result of the law that infringes on rights.

How are we to understand “respecting an establishment of religion”?

Some have interpreted this as a “Separation of Church and State” but
these words are not found in the First U.S. Bill of Rights. The First
Amendment (and in fact the Bill of Rights as a whole) in each clause,
restrains the Government and not the people. The U.S. Bill of Rights
itself states that its purpose is “in order to prevent misconstruction
or abuse of its [the Government’s] powers”. The Establishment and Free
Exercise Clauses restrain the Government as well and not the people or
religion. This means that these clauses in no way restrict religion.
Religions have every right to take a stand on Government (political)
issues, it is simply it is only the Government that is restricted from
taking a stand on religious issues! Religious bodies are free to speak
out against abortion, against homosexuality, against gay “marriage” and
in support of Israel. In fact Religious Groups can even endorse
political parties, candidates or ballot propositions. Some have tried
to use the IRS and 501c3 status to regulate the Church and what it can
say, in direct conflict with the intent of the founders. The First
Amendment ONLY restrains the Government and does NOT restrain Religious
bodies in any way whatsoever. In fact the First Amendment prohibits the
Government from favoring Religions that do not take political positions
over those who do, or from prohibiting the free exercise of religion by
those whose free exercise thereof results in taking stands on political
issues.

Many Religious bodies in the U.S.A. have been compelled to become
“corporations”. This is a serious problem because Black’s Law
dictionary defines a “Corporation” as “an artificial person or legal
entity created by or under the authority of the laws of a state. An
association of persons created by statute as a legal entity”

The word “Corporation” comes from the Latin “Corpus” (“body”). To
“incorporate” is to “make a body” and a “corporation” is a “body”. Some
have asked if the Worldwide Nazarene Assembly of Elohim is
“incorporated”. In fact the Worldwide Nazarene Assembly of Elohim is
the Body of Messiah and is therefore a “Corporation”. This
“corporation” was incorporated by YHWH at Mount Sinai around 1450
B.C.E.. Neither the State, nor ourselves can “incorporate” Elohim’s
Assembly, because He already incorporated it in a foreign jurisdiction
over 3,000 years ago! We cannot incorporate this Body with the state,
because our “Corporation” is the very Body of Messiah who is a very
REAL person. We cannot accept any attempt by the State to classify the
Messiah as an “artificial person” when our very faith is rooted in the
fact that He is a REAL person. In fact every time a “church” or
religious body incorporates with the State, the State by definition
creates a “church” or religious body in direct violation of the First
Amendment.

A religious group need not incorporate with the state or file 501c3
with the IRS in order for its donations to be tax deductible so long as
the religious group made meets “the statutory requirements for a
beneficiary of deductible contributions” (Morey vs. Riddell, 205,
Federal Supplement 918)

How are we to understand the phrase “the free exercise thereof”?

The U.S. Supreme Court has said that this clause “embraces two
concepts, -- freedom to believe and freedom to act. The first is
absolute, but in the nature of such things, the second cannot be.
Conduct remains subject to regulation for the protection of society.”
(Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296, 303-04 (1940)) However this
interpretation if is flawed in its very basis. The phrase “remains
subject to regulations” implies that regulations came first and that
rights came later, and that some regulations “remain” after the rights
were given. The problem is that this very reasoning implies that rights
are granted by the secular government in the first place and that the
governments power to regulate came first and may therefore “remain”
after the right is granted. But the right in inalienable and was given
by the Creator (YHWH) and the “regulation” of secular government came
later. A regulation does not “remain” it can either be made or it
cannot, and it either infringes on the right of free exercise or it
does not. Society is not protected by secular “regulation” but by other
“inalienable rights”! Religious freedom that embraces the right to
believe but allows “regulation” to limit the right to act, is no real
religious freedom at all. For example the secular government that says
that one can believe in their own mind whatever religion of doctrine
they want, but the government claims the right to regulate what they
actually do, can effectively infringe on the free exercise of religion.
Exercise by nature is the right to act, not just the right to believe.
We therefore maintain the right not only to believe, but to act, a
right limited not by secular regulations or laws, but only be the
inalienable rights of others.

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