*BOTH CHURCH AND STATE ARE EQUALLY DIVINE INSTITUTIONS*
Under the sun in this world, God has ordained two complementary institutions of the Church for spiritual/religious ministration to congregational members, as well as the State for secular/civil ministration to cosmopolitan and community citizens. These two are of God being divinely instituted. They State is not “world system” and it is not only the Church which is godly system, as many may tend to think in contradiction to Scriptural Truth. The Scripture teaches that both Church and State belong to God but world systems are about sinful ways of men and Satan which sinful men may bring into the Church or into the State to contaminate any or both of these divine institutions. See
Though both the Church and State are subject to God, Who se Kingdom reigns in the affairs of humans and spirits, the CHURCH LED BY PASTORAL MINISTERS IS NOT THE SAME AS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, for the *Kingdom of Heaven is in godly life ruled by God through the Holy Spirit’s fullness* (Rom 14:17-19; Gal 5:22-23). Also the STATE (Kingdoms of the Nations 2Chron 20:6; Rev 11:12) LED BY POLITICAL OR PRINCELY MAGISTRATES IS NOT THE SAME AS THE KINGDOM OF THE DEVIL, for the *Worldly Kingdom of the Devil is in lawless life ruled by the devil through fleshly lust and wickedness* (Eph 2:1-3; Tit 3:1-3; 1John 2:15-16).
To the ancient Church Fathers and the 16th century Church Reformers, *the Church is God’s ordained agency to reveal and propagate the Kingdom of Heaven FOR the redemption of the world, while the State is God’s ordained agency to restrain and subjugate the kingdom of this world TILL the redemption of the world.* Christianity and the Gospel of the Kingdom are not merely about ministerial Regeneration/Revival of souls but also about comprehensive magisterial Reformation of societies. (For synopsis of discussions on “Church and State” during the 16th Century Reformation, see: Roland H. Bainton’s “Here I Stand – A life of Martin Luther”, Chapters XIII, XIV and XV – First published in 1950, now a classic in public domain and published by many publishers).
“God clearly indicates from the Scriptures, the propriety of the separation of ministerial/pastoral from magisterial/princely powers (2Chron 19:11) between the Church and the State:
- the Christian Church (ruled with the regenerating Word and spiritual grace for godly PURITY through justification, pardon, persuasion and ministration to deliver from INIQUITY, and for ecclesiastical communion, and mission Act 6:3-4), *where pardon is enjoined towards enemies and vengeance against evil is forbidden* so that none is condemned and all are enjoined to live in holiness and righteousness (Rom 12:14-21). Ecclesiastical authority is meant to be occupied by qualified Church members (believers only) to guarantee spiritual safety of members; and
- the pluralistic State (ruled with the restraining Sword and temporal law for orderly POLITY through justice and reprimand, policy promulgation and enforcement to discipline and defend against INEQUITY, and for territorial citizenship and dominion Rom 13:4-6; 1Pet 2:13-17), *where punishment, vengeance and wrath against evil and misdemeanor are ordained as the just duties* of respected and remunerated officials to ensure there is no offence whether criminal or tort and all are ordered to live peaceably in harmony (Rom 13:1-7; 1Tim 2:1-3). Civil authority is meant to be occupied by full citizens (believers and unbelievers alike) to guarantee social safety of citizens.”
*“Christians in civil authority should be acquainted with the ancient landmarks that distinguish these two divine ordinances (Act 20:28; Rom 13:1-2) and carry out appropriate duties righteously and strategically, but should neither usurp spiritual authority nor legislate over spiritualities.”*
This tabulation shows the divine institutions of Church and State and their divinely ordained purposes and patterns. They should not be confused with the Godly Kingdom of light and the Worldly Kingdom of darkness. Many mix these issues up, falsely thinking that the State is what they call “world system”! The State is not the “world system.” The “world system” is Sin which is abhorred by God, not The State which is instituted by God.
It is however pertinent to notice the difference and relationship between biblical pattern for leadership and participation in the Church and biblical pattern for leadership and participation in the State.
IN THE Christian CHURCH, the emphasis is on God’s redemption by His Word, justification and mercy granted through the Suffering Messiah; on humanity’s inner spirituality and hearts, conscience and sin dealt with by remission, persuasion and faith administered by ministerial leaders and pastors (Rom 12; 1Tim 3).
IN THE pluralistic STATE, the emphasis is on God’s restraint by the sword, justice and wrath guarded under the Sovereign Messiah; on humanity’s outer temporalities and goods, civility and crime dealt with by retribution, enforcement and fear administered by magisterial leaders and princes (Rom 13; 1Tim 2).
For good conscience toward God and good citizenship in the community, the Church should not be subversive against the State but rather wisely witness, serve and even willingly suffer to salt, light +ad leaven the State to bring peace and righteousness (Mat 5:9-16; 13:33; Eph 5:13-17) and appeal to the State for the benefit of its good services (Act 25:10). Nor should the State legislate over spiritualities or against the Church but rather seek conscience (Luke 3:10-20), cooperation and intercession (1Tim 2:1-4) from the Church as well as ensure temporal provision and protection for the Church (Act 18:12-17; 21:27-40; 22-26).
May God help His people understand His ordinances and purposes in every generation.
I. U, Ibeme