Quote# 138222I. INTRODUCTION
The Bible clearly teaches that today, there is to be an institutional
separation of Church and State. To think otherwise is to believe in a theocratic or sacerdotal form of Government. What the Bible does not teach — and what the secularist would like to say the U.S. Constitution supports — is an influential
separation of Church and State. Clearly however such thinking is not supported in the Constitution or the Scriptures.
“Render unto Caesar”
represents one of the biblical passages that supports the idea of institutional separation. Let us examine this more closely from a historical perspective.
As primitive Christianity began as recorded in the book of Acts the separation of the Church from the State of Rome clearly existed. It was not until the fourth century A.D., when Constantine co-opted Christianity as the State religion (in his attempt to unify the vast and diverse Roman Empire), that the clearly, previously existing, separation between the two institutions disappeared. Tragically, this lack of separation occurs even during the Post-Reformation period! Luther, Zwingli and Calvin practiced a sacerdotal societal structure, versus a composite
one per the clear teaching of the NT (cf., Matthew 20:20-22; Romans 13:1-8; 1Peter 2:13-14). In that much of the reformer’s emphasis on doctrinal correction of heresy related to soteriology (the doctrine of Salvation) no surgical exercise was performed relative to the aberrant earlier wedding of Church and State.
Important to this study is the thought that in the NT era — save the first three centuries of it — a theocratic, sacerdotal system has existed in most countries of the world. Historically, it is not until the American experiment in government, in which our founding fathers in reaction to sacerdotal England (wherein the Church of England and the State of England still remain one in the same), sought a pragmatic solution to separate themselves from a forced religious belief system incumbent on one being born in England.
If biblically speaking, the Church and State are to be separate institutions, does that suggest, as the secularist would postulate, a total disenfranchisement of the Church from the State — i.e. an influential
separation as well? Is that the extrapolation Christ would desire from the aforementioned text of Matthew 22:21? No!
As we will see from this study, the Institution of the State is quite dependent on the existence of a strong and healthy Institution of the Church (which it does not control) to build men and women in righteousness
for service in government.
WITHOUT A STRONG CHURCH THAT MAKES DISCIPLES, THE STATE SOON GOES WAYWARD DUE TO THE SINFULNESS OF ITS LEADERS.
Since this is such a vital need and concern of the State itself, and the State’s leadership, what more so and specifically does the book of Proverbs state about the absolute need for righteous
governmental leaders? Let us turn our attention in pursuit of the answer to that question.
II. UNDERSTANDING THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
Every statesman needs to take a lesson from Proverbs 14:34. Here in this important Proverb is a nationalistic, (versus personal) bestowal of truth. Here is a sound political maxim:
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
in the lives of individuals — both in a country’s citizens and leaders — is the superior virtue over all others. It is a nation’s
number one national resource! The writer of Proverbs is stating that it is the one ingredient that assures the exaltation
of a nation.
It is not the international trade or the gross domestic product, nor is it the presence of natural resources that is most fundamental to the exaltation
of a nation.
Rather, it is the righteousness
of a nation’s
individuals that is the greatest resource — and the greatest commodity that a nation needs to manufacture!
The same principles which build individuals in righteousness
(as expounded by the Word of God) are the same principles, wherein multiplied by and through individuals, that build a nation
. It is when a nation
is impregnated with highly principled individuals that it gains well-being.
Given this cut-to-the-chase analysis of our greatest need, the question then quickly becomes one of how righteousness
is formed in the lives of individuals. Having said that, therein exists, in terms of serving the Institution of the State, the absolutely critical preeminent duty of the Church in an institutionally separated society: to convert the soul and disciple — Christianize — the leaders of the State and its citizenry.
Conversion is even preeminent to education; without a moral foundation, knowledge makes arrogant
(ICorinthians 8:1) and is of little value in terms of nation
building. Therefore in our composite country, the State is highly dependent on an Institution it does not control: The Church in regard to its own health and sustainability. Conversely, for the Church to spend her energy in the Capital Community attempting to affect policy with little manifest concern for the souls of the State’s leaders is to practice, biblically speaking, a misinformed and misguided sort of involvement: it is to attempt to do what others — strong in Christ Public Servants — can do much better! It is to be less than efficient. It is to misunderstand the primacy of her God-ordained role in a composite society.
The Church can best influence the State by building and sending righteous
Public Servants to serve in government. Keep in mind the State is not in the business of manufacturing righteous
individuals. Rather, God has designed it to punish unrighteous individuals (cf. Romans 13:4; 1Peter 2:13-14). [...] States Proverbs 11:10-11 in this regard:
When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting. By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down.
As you can see, Proverbs has much to say about the necessity of righteous
governmental leaders! Scripture shouts about this matter! The Church must be in the business of manufacturing them via evangelism and discipleship at all levels of their career paths.
Ralph Drollinger, Capitol Ministries 7 Comments
[6/20/2018 5:25:28 AM]
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Submitted By: Skyknight