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Sunday, September 16, 2012

We Don't Want a Theocracy!

God and Caesar
We need to affirm again and again that the Church in America is committed to religious freedom.

This is not a slippery slope to a state religion. We don’t want that!
 




Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership

Leadership: What Difference Will I Make?

We Don't Want a Theocracy!


By Evan Nehring

Many Christians and churches avoid politics like a bad headache and truly don’t understand much of what’s happening in the country.
 

Objection #1: Our Constitution calls for separation of church and state.

No, our constitution does not call for separation of church and state.
  • Our constitution disallows the establishment of a state religion. Big difference!
From a biblical angle, Jesus’ disciples asked him about taxes and Jesus famously answered: “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
 
God and Caesar
 
This has become a common way of organizing church-state relations.

1. The church should not govern "the things that are Caesar's"
  • This means that there should be no church control on the actions of civil government.
  • Believe it or not, liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, all agree on this today.
2. The civil government should not govern "the things that are God's"
This principle implies that every nation should allow freedom of religion, by which every person is free to follow whatever religion he or she chooses.
  • This is more than just freedom to worship in a church building behind closed doors.
  • This is freedom to live out our faith in the public square.
“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
  • There’s a tension there, and there will always be disputes, but that’s our guideline.
    • The Church and her ministers ought to speak out boldly and teach on the moral issues of our day.
    • And believers then get involved in the political decisions of leading this country.

Commitment to Religious Freedom

We need to affirm again and again that the Church in America is committed to religious freedom.
  • This is not a slippery slope to a state religion. We don’t want that!
There is a not-so-hidden fear that if Christians get too much power in government, they will try to force Christianity on everyone. This is a common argument made by groups such as:
  • Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and
  • the Freedom from Religion Foundation.
Some critics even suggest that right-wing Christians are trying to establish a theocracy in the United States by incremental means.
 
Michelle Goldberg Kingdom Coming
 
Michelle Goldberg writes, "The Christian nation is both the goal of the religious right and its fundamental ideology, the justification for its attempts to overthrow the doctrine of separation of church and state.... Right now... is high tide for theocratic fervor." [1]
 
She’s wrong. We don’t want a theocracy!
  • To counter this kind of false accusation, it is important for Christians involved in politics to affirm again and again their commitment to complete religious freedom in America.

Chuck Colson said, in God & Government:
… the church, while not the Kingdom of God, is to live out the values of the Kingdom of God in this world, resisting the ever-present temptation to usher in the Kingdom of God by political means.[2]
 
So we, as believers, remain committed to religious liberty for all —Jew, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist, or neo-pagan earth worshipper.
  • Every man, woman and child will have the freedom to choose Jesus or reject him.


[1] Michelle Goldberg, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism (New York: Norton, 2007) 27-28.
[2] Charles Colson. God and Government. 104.

Question

Can a nation blessed by God allow people to reject him?


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2 comments:

  1. Can a nation blessed by God allow people to reject Him?
    Well, I don't think there is a way to control what people accept or reject. Mind control hasn't come far enough...
    As a believer, it is against God's will to try and force people to accept Him. We are called to pray for those who haven't accepted, and continue to shed love and light on the situation, but never try to force someone into a relationship with God.
    Prayerfully commit yourselves in love to the conversion of unbelievers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Inthestead, I agree. A blessed nation allows people the freedom to choose God or reject him. Anger against God is a tribute to his patience. Thanks for checking in bro.

    ReplyDelete