Separation of Church and State

Essentials of Life Holistic Enrichment Center is a home-based interfaith church.  We choose this designation for many reasons, mostly to preserve our freedom.  Freedom of religion...and from very important to us.  We believe in the right to believe as we individually believe, without threat or restriction of any kind. so long, of course, as we practice in love and reverence for life, causing no harm. 

Wars have been fought for religious freedom.  Countries have been formed and others destroyed.  People have been persecuted, imprisoned, burned at the stake for practicing religious beliefs contrary to what the State deems appropriate and loyal to the local rule.  The Church and the State were one.  To deny the power of the Church was heresy, and often considered to be traitorous.  Many, many people have been put to death for this crime. 

The Catholics burned Protestants at the Stake.  The Protestants burned anyone suspected of being a witch.  Even in modern day history, look at what was done to the Jews.  Native peoples have been forced to become Christian upon threat of death.  There is still much violence over religion today.  We may think it's a thing of the past, but it's not. 

America, for instance, was supposedly founded for the purpose of religious freedom.  It started with the British wanting to break away from the Church of England, and to live somewhere that the Bible could be read and interpreted as each individual saw fit.  But then, once they got here, they forced the Native Americans to deny their own faith, and many Christians today are quite intolerant of anyone's views but their own.  Violent acts, of course fall into this category, but we must also consider the hateful words which are often expressed towards those of differing views.  For examples of what I'm talking about, just look around some discussion threads on the internet regarding topics of comparative religion.  There is much intolerance at large.
We want to skip over all that at Essentials of Life Holistic Enrichment Center and simply focus on God's healing Love.  We believe God is Love, God is Good and God is Life...everywhere present, always available, in everything living, the only True Power there is.  Beyond that we don't take a stand on what God actually "IS."  God is everything.  That is enough!  We don't care if people refer to God as Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Higher Power, Father/Mother God, Great Spirit, Universal Principle, Nature, Muhammad, Jehovah, Yahweh, Allah, Divine Mind, the Man Upstairs, the Great I Am, or anything else that suits your particular beliefs or traditions.  God is Love; God is Good; God is Life!

No individual should tell another how to believe, and certainly no government entity!  Separation of Church and State is extremely important, for individual freedom is derived from that.  Freedom of thoughts should never be an issue for people, but yet people have been, and still are in some places, being put to death for how they believe.  Freedom of religion is a basic right we should never take for granted.  We stand behind this right as a church, ever defending the right of each of each person to believe the way they believe.  As an interfaith church, we hold this right as sacred.

An organization for which I, personally, hold a great deal of respect is that of Alcoholics Anonymous.  One of the things I admire so much about them is their use of the phrase "God as you understand Him."  A.A. has had unprecedented success due to this one little principle, which isn't so little at all.  By allowing each individual their own idea of God, the common purpose may be focused on in an atmosphere of spiritual development for all.  A.A. is indeed an extremely spiritual program, yet they have no set definition of God.  This is pivotal to its success.  A spiritual awakening is the result.

That's what we want to accomplish here.  We wish to provide an atmosphere in which spiritual awakenings occur!  We want to encourage people to look within their own hearts and find their own sense of God.  God is Love.  God is Good.  God is Life. 

Separation of Church and State is important for many reasons.  We not only do not want the State to tell us what to believe, we also don't wish for them to tell us how we can practice our beliefs as a church.  At Essentials of Life Holistic Enrichment Center we practice the art of healing and teach others to heal using the gifts provided by God to us all.  We do not wish interference in conveying and practicing the principles of Love, Goodness and Life.  Under State authority a person must be licensed by this State Board or that in order to about food that God made to nourish our bodies...advise each other that water is healthy to drink and how to use it for wellness...tell others about the healing miracles that occur through the use of herbs...use touch to heal...use much of anything to heal without a medical license...they even expect you to have a license to counsel in order to talk to each other, it seems!  Then they want to tell you what it is you can say.

I went to school to do many things.  Counseling, addictions work, social work, crisis intervention work, working with families, and many other specialty areas along the way, up to and including natural medicine.  I have been licensed under State Boards in the past, and what I found was that the paperwork, the bureaucracy, the requirements, the push towards medication and other methods with which I do not agree always got in the way of truly doing my work.  I have been involved in holistic healing study and practice for most of my life, and I believe deeply that the person (or animal) is the one who should be the focus of healing, not the needs of the State. 

My interest in healing began in church, and that's where it's rooted for me.  I further believe that in holistic healing, which is the only true healing as far as I am concerned, the Spirit is what leads the way.  Without the will to live, no efforts can keep you alive.  Illness begins in the spirit and then the mind before it reaches the body, and it must be healed in this way for the healing to be complete.  I have been a minister for many years, and this is the point from which I choose to do my work.  Healing is between the individual and God.  I enjoy teaching others how to make use of God's healing gifts, directed at healing the spirit, the mind and the body, all three. 

God gave us soooo many gifts for our healing.  Our bodies are the temple of God!  God placed us in an environment perfectly suited to meet our physical needs.  Otherwise we'd have gone extinct long ago.  The air, the water, the earth, the plants, the colors, the aroma, the love of each other, the healing power of movement, touch, rest, laughter and tears...the ability to choose healing thoughts, words and deeds...these are the types of gifts I am talking about!  God gave healing gifts to us all! 

As a church, free from State rule, we are able to share our knowledge and experience with using these gifts.  We believe it is our God-given duty and right to help others realize their healing birthright and to openly share of these gifts.  The State should not interfere.  Separation of Church and State allows us to participate openly in the practice God-centered healing rather than...or in addition to, our choice...medical practices governed by State.  Practices licensed by State have their own set of rules.  We are separate from that.  We are under the rule of God as we understand God to be.  God is Love; God is Good; God is Life.  We are answerable only to that.

Some people think that separation of Church and State takes something away from us, but it doesn't.  Actually what it does is give us freedom and it denies them power to tell us how to believe, how to practice our beliefs and which beliefs are acceptable to them.  Separation of Church and State allows us the freedom to form our own relationship with the Healing Power that we know as God. 

Take the instance of public schools...separation of Church and State prohibits teachers from giving their own personal opinion to your children as fact in matters of faith, and it prohibits them from interfering with how your children believe.  It allows you to be the teacher in this regard and not them.  If you want a teacher to instruct your children in spiritual matters, then  you seek that type of education out according to your own preferences, rather than it just being given to them regardless of what you may wish.  It's actually a protection rather than an insult.  It's the exact opposite of an insult, in fact, for it respects the individual's rights and will not permit trespassing on the right to believe as a person sees fit.  It gives parents the authority on how their children are raised to believe.

So it is just the same on the level of a church.  It gives our church the right to practice and believe and teach what we believe is best, without interference from outside authorities.  We are very grateful for this!  Let the politicians do their political work and leave the work of healing to the servants of God! We do not do the same kind of work as medical doctors do, so we don't need a license for that.  We do not do surgery and we do not recommend drugs.  We work with the tools given for healing directly by God.  We make use of the Principles of healing which have been in place since the beginning of time!  God's healing power has been with us since then.

We pray for the people of the world who are still persecuted for their beliefs, and we work to always be tolerant and understanding of anyone with different beliefs from our own.  As an interfaith church we strive to promote understanding and appreciation for each other's beliefs.  We can only cover so much, however, because every individual really does have their own way of looking at things, whether they belong to this group or that. 

God bless those who are persecuted for how they believe, and God bless those who persecute them, for they do not understand the True Nature of God as Love.  May they realize their blessings and no longer feel the need to make everybody conform.  We are meant to be different and unique expressions of God!

Blessings and Much Love to All,
"Vibraceous, ND"

Dr. Jody Evans, ND, CTN, CNHP, D.D.
Founding Minister and Director of Healing Ministries
Essentials of Life Holistic Enrichment Center


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