In recent years, some Baptists have turned their backs on the principles of religious liberty for all people and its corollary, the separation of church and state. For the public schools, they’ve supported compulsory prayer, the teaching of creationism as science, and public school textbooks based on religious belief rather than observable and objective science and history.
“An enforced uniformity of Religion throughout a Nation or civil state . . . denies . . . that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.”
Baptists who support compulsory school prayer and taxpayer support of private schools “do not give much attention to the human nature of Jesus and the life he lived, which provides the basis of humanity’s freedom of choice. . . . Any coercion toward uniformity violates the basic nature of a person. . . . Christ did not coerce; he only invited. Therefore, the proclamation of the gospel is predicated upon an uncoerced response.”
Dr. Maston concludes with a challenge: “Let Baptists beware of pressure to control and particularly of using or supporting coercion for uniformity by political power.”