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The Leadership Role of Christian Elders Towards Unity In Diversity

“Christians have dual citizenship rights and responsibilities: one is *spiritual and eternal in the Church as Priests of Christ’s Ecclesia – meant to witness the Gospel in the world*; and the other is *civic and temporal in the State as Kings of Christ’s Basileia – meant to bring the Kingdom order in the world* (Mat 22:21; 1Pet 2:9; Rev 5:10). Christians are called for patriotism in the State as well as pietism in the Church but when patriotism conflicts with pietism, pietism prevails even at the cost of shame and suffering (Act 4:19; 5:29).

Also as individuals, Christians are physical as well as spiritual (Mar 14:38) but when the physical is at variance with the spiritual, the spiritual supersedes, however inconvenient (Gal 5:16-26). In the same way, Christians are called for *PATRIOTISM in the State as well as PIETISM in the Church* but when patriotism conflicts with pietism, pietism prevails even at the cost of shame and suffering (Act 4:19; 5:29).”

NOTE that PACIFISM is a movement of specialised concern found amongst Christians and Hindus but pacifism is not the full and proper biblical teaching on Church and State. In the same vein, SEPARATISM from the State is also a special preference found amongst Christians but separatism from the State is not full and proper biblical teaching on Church and State.

“That is why civil authorities (especially the Christians amongst them) could be approached or appealed to by the Church for their “God ordained sword bearing for vengeance and wrath” duties against lawless criminals, transgressors and oppressors that would require fines, forfeiture, incarceration, corporal and capital punishments. This is why civil authorities have officers for legislative, judicial (tort and crime), security, enforcement, jail and military services to execute justice, vengeance and wrath as ordained by God (Rom 13). Though the Church needs adjudicatory structure for resolving internal tort conflicts, she does not need enforcement, jail and military officers, nor has she the responsibility for criminal justice, forfeiture, incarceration, corporal and capital punishments. It is therefore the divinely bounden duty of the Christian to fulfil their civic duties: to be peaceable and law abiding, to pray for and respect civil authorities as well as pay taxes to sustain the State (Rom 13:4-7; 1Tim 2:1-4; Tit 3:1-2; 2Pet 2:13-17).”

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