||2018-02-12 17:05:19, 조회 : 320, 추천 : 89
What is the Relationship between Church and State
Last week we began our discussion about the relationship between church and state. We learned that the role of the government was given by God. Therefore, it is their responsibility to care for their citizens and protect those from evil. In addition, we learned that the principle of the government is "force." Thus, they should compel people to do things and not to do things. Yet, many government officials today believe that they cannot compel people to do things and not to do things. Sproul argues this by saying that the role of the government then reduces from "force" to simply "suggesting." Today, we will look at what is civil obedience and how this plays a part in the relationship between church and state.
We often do not like anyone telling us what we "ought to do" and what we "ought not to do." Obeying an authority can be hard and we become very annoyed and lack respect for that authority. Our first response is usually "Don't tell me what to do. I can do what I want to do." Naturally, we "want people to empower and entitle us." Thus, when we receive orders we are quick to disobey them. However, the way a Christian views the world is quite different from the way a pagan views the world.
The term that is used to describe how one views the world is "worldview." The difference between a pagan's worldview and Christian worldview, is their understanding towards authority. As a Christian, you should embrace the "submission to authority." This is because we understand that God placed the authority over us, thus, disobeying the authority given to us is like disobeying God Himself. On the other hand, the pagan's worldview do not submit to the authority because they do not regard the authority given to us from God.
The Bible also tell us about the origin and function of the government under God. In Romans 13:1-2 it states, " Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment." This shows us that there is an obligation for a Christian to be a "model of civil obedience." We submit ourselves to the authorities given to us here on earth because of God. In 1 Peter 2:13, Peter states, "1 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority."
The concept of authority can be seen as "hierarchical" in the bible. Ultimately, God is at the top of the hierarchy. God gives Jesus Christ the authority on heaven and earth. It states in Matthews 28:18, "Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." Thus, all of the rulers, kings or earthly lords on this earth have someone to be accountable to. Thus, as his people we are asked to be witnesses. In Acts 1:8 it states, "And you will be witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." How are we to be his witness? Christ stated, "In my absence you are to bear witness to the transcendent, supernatural truth of my ascension." Therefore, we must first be loyal to our King Jesus Christ. Then we must give submission to the earthly authorities.
Nowadays, many people openly dislike the president and criticize their authority. However, Sproul reminds us that "the One who cast the deciding ballot in his election was almighty God." This should change the way we look towards the president. This does not mean God authorizes everything the president does; but God has placed him in the seat of authority. Thus when we are "engaging in unlawful civil disobedience without just cause" we are acting as a "archenemy of the Christian faith." After all, in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, it tells us that, "Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction." This is why sin itself can also be seen as a political matter. Every time we sin, we are revolting against God Himself.
When we are resisting authority, it tells us that this will "incur judgment." This is why when David saw opportunities to kill Saul, he did not because he knew that Saul was still God's anointed king. Therefore, although we do not need to obey authorities as "godly authorities" we still have to view them as someone being appointed by God. When we are obeying authority, we are bearing witness.
1) Why do you think we do not like someone telling us what we "ought to or ought not to do?"
2) What is worldview? How does a Christian and pagan worldview differ?
3) Should be subject ourselves to governing authorities? Why or why not?
4) How should we view our authorities? How do you think you should handle your own dislike of authorities?