April 22, 2003
LOUISIANA – There is no such thing as separation of church and state when Missouri Secretary of State Matt Blunt steps foot in the Capitol. His Christian world view will not permit it.
“Andrew Jackson said that the Bible was the rock upon which the republic rests,” Blunt said. “I strive to ensure it’s the foundation for my life as well.”
Speaking March 30 at a celebration of the 150th anniversary of First Baptist Church, Louisiana, Blunt identified family, church and government as the three institutions ordained by God. Just as a pioneer who settled Missouri with an ax, a gun and salt, a Christian today must learn to think similarly, he said.
“Government in a lot of ways is a force that ensures order and protects the rights of its citizens,” said Blunt, comparing government officials to the preserving nature of salt. “Surely Christians have a responsibility to participate in the affairs of men.”
Part of that participation, according to Blunt, involves taking the good news of Jesus Christ to the unbelieving element of government.
““We know about the greatest deal on the planet, which is that God sent His only Son as a sacrifice for our sins, that He suffered a terrible, terrible execution and then rose again to walk with all who would call Him their Savior,” he said. “That’s a message we must share.”
Blunt grew up in a Christian home and became a Christian at a young age. His world view was shaped somewhat by reading C.S. Lewis, yet he has been mostly influenced by reading the Bible, which he believes to be both inerrant and sufficient.
“Set aside time every day to study and enjoy God’s Word,” Blunt said. “If you do, it becomes a habit that’s hard to break. You’ll thirst for it as it becomes a part of your daily routine like you would food or water or air. It will be something you won’t go without.”
Blunt views FBC Louisiana as part of Missouri’s rich Christian heritage that ought to be championed. Ever since March 26, 1853, the church has been serving the people of this Mississippi River town located 42 miles downriver from Hannibal. This has been accomplished, Blunt said, by focusing on the armor of God.
“These are the tools that will carry this church and indeed the family of believers that forms this universal church into the next 150 years,” he said. “I just want to thank you for what this church has done to meet so many needs—physical, emotional and spiritual. I would ask God’s blessings on this building and more importantly this body of believers in the years ahead.”
The building where the church now meets was dedicated in 1891 at a cost of $14,500. The work that has taken place inside its walls, and the work that will continue to take place under Pastor Earl Wood, is just as important as anything Blunt is doing now as secretary of state or anything he may do in the future, Blunt said.
“I believe that Christian service and the use of our God-given gifts and talents is important, but it’s no more important than teaching our children, producing food and fiber for our fellow citizens, creating jobs and ministering to the family of believers like so many of you do here,” he said.
Blunt is a member of Second Baptist Church, Springfield.