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.
*THE ERROR AND EVIL OF POLITICAL AVERSION!*
At various times among various Churches, we find occasions and circles that nurse the erroneous tendency and scruple to think that Christian spirituality demands that Christians should have aversion for political governance and matters of the State. This rampant error and scruple may spring from either deceit or despair, and from either folly or fear, but cannot be justifiable on any scriptural grounds whatsoever! Subjective scruples are not objective Scriptures. Scruples are mere temporary tendencies and trends that save no one, but the Scripture is the sure eternal Truth that saves.
It is grave error to fallaciously presume or imagine that God’s exclusive covenants with some people (like Israel and the Church) would exempt anyone from God’s universal mandates on all humanity (like responsibility for State order and family duty). No Scriptures ever indicate such exemptions!
EVERY CHRISTIAN IS SUPPOSED TO KNOW THAT POLITICS AND THE STATE ARE THEIR FATHER’S BUSINESS, but unfortunately many Christians tend to forget the plainly teaching of the Scripture that every State authority is instituted by God, therefore every political governance is divine ministry.
_“The authorities that exist have been INSTITUTED BY GOD.”_ (Rom 13:1)
_“For he is the MINISTER OF GOD to you for good”_ (Rom 13:4)
Although evil men who hasten to corrupt this divine institution with their crookedness and wickedness are guilty of sacrilege, yet good men who hasten to despise this divine business are even more guilty in their false spirituality or negligent pretensions _*“at such a time as this”*_ (Esth 4:14). The God Who instituted the Church since Christ came is the same God Who instituted the State since the beginning of the human race. How dare any Christian insult what God has instituted!
Since political governance and State authority are God’s institution and business, aversion for these is both scrupulous error of thought and evil against God and society. All who are truly spiritual in God should never rest till they find strategic ways to get involved in such matters
- prophetically for God,
- prayerfully to God and
- pragmatically for God.
In Israel, the first persons to confront evil governance were the most spiritual persons of their time:
- like Prophet Samuel who supported David against Saul,
- like Prophet Abijah who supported Jeroboam against Rehoboam, and
- like Prophet Elijah who supported Jehu against Ahab’s son Joram (Jehoram) and his mother Jezebel.
Outside Israel, those who waded into the State matters of their time were spiritual men:
- like Joseph and Moses in Egypt,
- like Daniel and friends in Babylon,
- like Esther and Mordecai in Persia.
The historical journey of the Church from inception has always recognized the divine institutions of Church and State. But since American and French Revolutions in the 18th century, from which political parties and universal suffrage democracy has emerged, modern Christians have grown ignorant of historical antecedents to become confused and divided, averse and even separatist on how to handle State matters in modern democracies.
Before then, like the prophets and priests in Israel had say in royal palaces and on State matters, and like John the Baptist and Christ spoke truth to Jewish religious authorities as well as Roman political authorities, the early Church also had always had a say in State matters for which they either prevailed or were persecuted. According to Nate Humphries on Pursuing Biblical Doctrine website (http://www.pursuingbiblicaldoctrine.com/2012/12/separation-of-church-and-state.html), four main types of Church and State relations have been applied by the Church in the first 1800 years of Church’s history:
- ERASTIANISM – the State controls the Church,
- THEOCRACY – the Church controls the State,
- CONSTANTINIANISM – the compromise in which the State favours the Church and the Church accommodates to the State in order to retain its favour [also called CAESAROPAPISM], and
- PARTNERSHIP – Church and State recognize and encourage each other’s distinct God-given responsibilities in a spirit of constructive collaboration without domination struggle by either side. (The Church conscientizes the country scripturally and the State governs the country constitutionally).
The fourth [instituted by American Founding Fathers and the current norm in Europe though it is now being abused against the Church] seems to accord best with Paul’s teaching in Romans 13 [and Christ’s teaching in Matt 22:17-21].”
It is time for the Church to return from whence she was hewn as the divinely instituted conscience of the State, and rise again to prophetically speak truth to power!
May God find His people faithful and fruitful,
I. U, Ibeme