Pastor-teacher Don Hargrove
Faith Bible Church
Feb. 3, 2010
Justification (Rom 3:24; 4:5); Sanctification (2 Pet 1:4; 2 Cor 7:1), Maturation (Eph 4:11-16; 2 Cor 10:4-5).
The Church & State Relationship – Part 2
(Series: GOD’S COVENANTS – Part 36: ML: Natural Law, Gov/State)
(Messiah & A.C. #282)
A. Church and State.
1. Jesus Christ was the first person who really taught the doctrine of separation of church and state, Mt 22:21; Rom 13:1-7; 1 Pet 2:14-15.
2. The Future Church-State, Rev 17:1-18.
3. This separation means, among other things: each entity is to support its own domain; elect its own officers; that the state is not to be an arm of the church (Romanism, Early American Puritanism) or that the church is not to be an arm of the state (Anglican Church), or the State becomes the religion (I.e. atheism, communism, humanism, anti-Christian bigotry).
4. Every state is directly under and responsible to God, Rom 13:1-7.
5. All citizens of a state, including all Christians, are under the authority of the state, 1 Pet 2:14-15.
6. While the believer’s true citizenship is not of this world (Philip 3:20), the believer has responsibilities in the area of his ambassadorship to provide truth, stability, light and a positive example to the evil corrupt society in which he lives (Philip 2:15).
7. The Bible provides us with excellent guidelines regarding civil disobedience for believers who live in corrupt and evil societies, cf. Daniel, Paul.
a. Normally we should obey, respect, and do our best to please those in authority over us in civil government.
b. We should resist and disobey government only when that government commands us to do something the Word of God forbids, or forbids us to do something the Word of God commands – either directly or by clear implication.
c. Even when government and the Word of God conflict, we should not disobey government unless and until we have done everything possible to try to work out the conflict and effect a suitable accommodation of our religious beliefs. In a system of representative government like ours, we have a great responsibility to use the courts and the political process to try to get the law changed.
d. When it is necessary to disobey government, we should be willing to suffer the necessary civil or criminal punishment for our act. If the principle is not worth being punished for, it is not enough of a principle to justify disobedience.
e. Even while disobeying government, and even while being punished for our disobedience, we should at all times be respectful to the civil authorities. Even though they have misconstrued God’s will, they are still God’s ministers – whether they know it or not!
8. Due to lack of BD and the execution of the spiritual life, a great many professing Christians in our country are contributing in no small part, to the disintegration and destruction of our nation (by not applying the WOG to government) – the chicken’s are coming home to roost, Mt 5:13.
9. The rejection of Jesus Christ and Biblical Theology that built Western Civilization five hundred years ago is leading to the collapse of society and the proper function of government.
10. A people who cannot govern themselves will need government to control them.
B. History of the Church-State relationships.
1. In 33 A.D. Christ was the first to establish the doctrine of separation of church and state.
2. 33 A.D. – 380 A.D. No separation of church and state as Roman religious-state persecuted the church.
a. The corrupt reversionistic society of Jesus and Paul, Rm 1:18-32.
b. In the Greco-Roman world religious Statism had supreme power over society and the church; yet, the church retained a sense of separateness in that the church regulated her own worship, developed her own faith; chose her own officers, and exercised her own church government.
c. Failure of Church Fathers in Scripturalism resulted in lack of development of theology and the rotten fruit of devotionalism, legalism, anti-intellectualism, as well as false views of the role of government.
d. Failure to orient to Scripturalism led to early attempts of Christians to establish pre-eminence of one man over all the churches and thus establishing monepiscopal popish rule (one man rule) as opposed to autonomous churches, 1 Jn 2:18; 4:3; Mat 20:25-26.
e. The spirit of anti-christ was already actively working in the early churches, 1 Jn 2:18, 22; 2 Jn 7.
3. 380-1517 (4th-16th centuries) – ascendancy of the Roman State-Church - the Middle/Dark Ages.
a. The See of political change: 311 A.D. Emperor Galerius issued an edict granting toleration of the church; 313 A.D. Emperor Constantine granted total freedom to Christianity through the Edict of Milan; 324 A.D. Christianity had become the officially favored religion of the empire; 380 A.D. Emperor Theodosius issued an edict that made Christian the official and only religion allowed within the empire.
b. The transition from being the persecuted to being the exclusive religion of the state was a victory for Satan as he used the union of church and state as a golden opportunity to introduce paganism apostasy into the church.
c. With the merging of state and religion we have the influx and “Christianizing ” of Roman pagan worship of images, national heroes, the Queen of Heaven; festivals, blood sacrifices, priests, human works, traditions, and centralized power.
d. To keep the church apostate and the gospel hidden, Satan brought in Origen’s allegorical method of understanding Scripture to pervert and hide the gospel.
e. The allegorical method added to the confusion and misunderstanding of church and state by false views of the Kingdom.
f. Ascendancy of the Totalitarian Roman State-Church.
g. The Roman State-Church has a rich history of hatred for capitalism and a love for communistic collectivistic economic philosophy from the Dark Ages through today.
4. 16th Century, England State-Church: State gains ascendancy over the Church as per the State-Church of England.
5. 1517 – Protestantism, 1st step to separation of church and state.
6. 17th century: New England Puritanism – attempted return to theocracy.
7. 18th century: American Constitutionalism of late 18th-19th centuries – greatest separation of church and state the world has ever known.
8. 19th century: Increased rejection and apathy toward Jesus Christ and BD.
9. 20th century: rejection of BD and return to Pagan-Statism. Rm 1:18-32.
10. 21st century: the never ending world aspirations of the Roman Church-State.
11. The future world Roman Church-State, Rev 17.
C. Christians under God and Caesar.
1. Obedience to an evil state - Caesar Nero, Rom 13:1-7; 1 Pet 2:14-15.
2. Each believer is to be light and salt, Philip. 2:15; Mt 5:13.
3. Fulfill your ambassadorship, Eph 6:20; 2 Cor 5:20; Philemon 9; 1 Cor 4:9;
4. Pray for those who rule over us, 1 Tim 2:1-2.
5. Submit to governing authority, Rom 13:1-7;1 Pet 2:14-15.
a. To avoid punishment, Rom 13:3-4.
b. To avoid divine discipline, Rom 13:2
c. Because it is the right thing to do, Rom 13:5.
d. To provide a Christian testimony, 1 Pet 2:15.
6. Duty to disobey when to obey government is to disobey God, Acts 5:29.
7. Principles on revolution.
a. Revolution is found approximately 100x in the Bible and almost without exception they are used disapprovingly.
b. If civil disobedience is wrong, rebellion is even more wrong. For civil disobedience is an attack against one law or one policy –though it can undermine confidence in the entire legal system, while rebellion is an attack against the entire governmental system.
c. Rebellion usually does not work as it brings more disorder and bloodshed.
d. Nevertheless, there may be circumstances in which revolution is the only alternative when a government becomes so totally corrupt, so totally repressive, and so totally unjust as to destroy rather than promote the legitimate ends of government, revolution may then be justifiable either as a necessary good or as the lesser evil.
e. Revolution is only legitimate if there are concrete plans for a new government that will ensure a better government.
f. American “Revolutionary” War was not a revolution – it was a war for independence.