Church And State 2
Many of the ideas I express in this study came from a message I heard preached by Adrian Rogers of the Love Worth Finding Ministry. I need to be abundantly clear about which church I am referring to in this study.
Matthew 16:18: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Acts 20:28: Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
That is the church that I will refer to. We might refer to it as the Church of Christ or the Church of God. Those are simply different names for the same body. Any person who is believes rightly about Jesus Christ is part of that church no matter what else he might be wrong about. Any local, regional, national or international church that believes rightly about Jesus Christ is part of that church.
There are many false churches. The local, regional, national or international church that is wrong about Jesus Christ is not part of His church no matter what it does or believes that may be correct. Any individual that is wrong about Jesus Christ is not part of His church no matter what that individual happens to be correct about.
God and His church are inseparable. If you believe in the separation of That church and the state, you believe in a false principle. You believe in a fairy tale. You are like the people who seek iron pyrite (fool*s gold).
Christ is the Leader of leaders, Governor of governors, President of presidents, Chancellor of chancellors, and Prime Minister of prime ministers.
1 Timothy 6:15: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
Revelation 17:14: These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
Revelation 19:16: And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
God installs the governments here on earth, He decides how long they will last, He controls them, He takes them out of power, He blesses some of them and He punishes others. When we vote in elections or otherwise influence government we are God*s agents. We ought to vote according to Biblical principles.
Daniel 2:21: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
Daniel 4:17: This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
Proverbs 21:1: The king*s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
God is in ultimate control of governments. Governments cannot get out from under Him. The fate of governments is always inextricably connected to God*s will. There is no separation of God from government. Since God and His church are permanently connected His church and all governments are permanently connected.
God has purposes for human government here on earth. Human governments either willingly accomplish His will or they unwillingly accomplish His will. Sometimes His will is to bless a nation and sometimes His will to curse a nation. Those things are dependent upon a nation*s relationship with Him and they are dependent upon the relationships with Him of individuals within the nations.
God speaks about many of His purposes for human governments in the Bible.
Proverbs 31:1: The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
A political leader should lead by example. He should never say do what I say and not what I do. His actions will speak louder than his words. That is true of all of us. People will follow his actions more than they will follow his words. King Lemuel is apparently Bathsheba*s pet name for her son Solomon. Solomon was noted for being a wise king over Israel. We can be sure that he led by example and by words, at least early in his kingship before he got away from God. The words in Proverbs 31:8-9 were his words to his subjects. They also reflected the way he ruled.
Proverbs 31:8-9: Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
Open thy mouth for the dumb means we are to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. One particular group that cannot speak for themselves are babies and particularly unborn babies. Those that are appointed to destruction certainly sound to me like unborn babies who are killed. I Kings Chapter 3 tells the story of how two women claimed to be the mother of a child. Solomon threatened to have the baby cut in half and part given to each mother. Solomon wisely determined which mother was truly the mother of the child when the real mother pleaded that the child should be spared. Solomon then gave the baby to its real mother. Solomon opened his mouth for the dumb and he judged righteously when he gave that baby to its rightful mother who would love it far better than the other woman who did not love it at all.
I believe it is the God*s purpose for government to open its mouth for the dumb and judge righteously. A government or a political leader should protect babies, born or unborn. Since new-born babies can cry while unborn babies cannot, the passage applies more specifically to the unborn.
I believe it is also God*s purpose for government to govern fairly those who have no voice in government. It should not govern according to the wishes of the vocal or the biased media. It should not govern according to the wishes of special interest groups. The passage establishes the principle that individuals or governments should plead the cause of the poor and needy. The rich and influential are able to plead their own cause and often do so excessively and wrongfully.
Psalms 94:20-21: Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law? They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.
Sometimes a human government passes laws for evil purposes. God permits that for a time but will reckon with every individual and every nation eventually.
Psalms 67:4: O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.
Isaiah 2:4: And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
There is often a loud outcry in our nation to spare guilty murders and all the while condemning the innocent (unborn babies).
Government leaders ought to know right from wrong and work for the right.
Isaiah 5:20: Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Governments and political leaders that do unrighteous things sometimes seem powerful and long-lasting. But God says they are doomed to desolation.
Jeremiah 22:1-5: Thus saith the LORD; Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word, And say, Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates: Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place. For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people. But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation.
Habakkuk 2:12: Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity!
We are free to vote for evil leaders, leaders who will lead in opposition to the will of God. But when we do that it will contribute to our own destruction.
Hosea 8:4: They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off.
As individuals we are not to be part of a destructive mob. Our government should not be part of the mob of governments that oppose God and His people.
Exodus 23:2: Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:
God will sometimes give a nation the government they unwisely want. After they have it they will find out it was wrong and it was not God*s best for them. It happened repeatedly for Israel.
1 Samuel 8:18-21: And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day. Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD.
People are happier when they have governments and political leaders that rule according to God*s righteous principles. There will be inevitable sadness caused by governments that have wicked leaders.
Proverbs 29:2: When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.
A Christian should always favor political leaders that are supportive of God*s people, Israel. The survival and degree of blessedness of the nations of the world is directly connected to their treatment of the nation of Israel. God often made this promise to the people of Israel:
Genesis 12:3: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Isaiah 40:21-24: Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble.
Psalms 47:7: For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.
Psalms 29:10-11: The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever. The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.
Psalms 33:10-12: The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
Isaiah 14:24, 26, 27: The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: . . . This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?
When our government goes awry we should do everything we can to correct it. We are to vote. We are to stand for righteous principles. We are to pray for our government. We are to remember that God is always on the highest throne.
1 Timothy 2:1-2: I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
Cory ten Boom said:
There is no panic in Heaven, just plans.
I will give a few of my thoughts here about a weaker authority than God or His Word, The Constitution of the United States. It does not establish or advocate the separation of church and state.
First Amendment to U.S. Constitution
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The amendment means simply that the government shall not establish a religion and it shall not prohibit freedom of religion. Most proponents of the separation of church and state base their misinterpretation of the Constitution upon a phrase in the writings of Thomas Jefferson a few years after the ratification of the Constitution. Jefferson used the phrase separation of church and state. I believe that the proponents of the separation of church and state substitute the phrase separation of church from state.
The framers of the Constitution knew that Christ was the head of His church. They also knew that He was the head of their government. They knew that most governments had prohibited Christianity and persecuted Christians. They intended that their government be of the people, by the people and for the people. They knew that people tend to stray from God. They wanted to prevent that straying from God to cause the government to become anti-God and anti-God*s church.
The amendment means that the government should have no authority over the church. Period. There is no permanent separation of God from government. Christ is the head of the church. Christ is also the head of the government. God is the head of Christ. He uses governments to guide people, to bless people, to protect people and sometimes to judge people.
Most people who favor the separation of church and state want to avoid righteous influence on government by the church*s God.