Sunday, January 27, 2008

Church and state-

Even in the realm of politics, the Amti-Revolutionary movement confesses the eternal principles of God's Word.; state authority is bound by the ordinances of God only in the conscience of public officials and not directly so bound nor through the pronouncements of any church.
Anti-Revolutionary Party of The Netherlands, 3 April 1879, in The Practice of Political Spirituality, McKendree R Langley, Paedeia Pres 1984, p9

In a Christian state, the government, as the servant of God, is to glorify God's name by
(1) removing all administrative ans legislative hindrances to the full oxpression of the gospel in national life.
(2) refraining from any direct interference with the spiritual development of the nation, for that is beyond government's competence.
(3) treating equally all churches, religious organisations and citizens rgardless of their views on eternal matters; and
(4) recognising in the conscience a limit to state power in so far as conscience is presumed to be honorable.
Anti-Revolutionary Party of The Netherlands, 3 April 1879, in The Practice of Political Spirituality, McKendree R Langley, Paedeia Pres 1984, p28

Their office [civil government] is not only to have regard unto and watch for the welfare of the civil state, but also that they protect the sacred ministry, and thus may remove and prevent all idolatry and false worship, that the kingdom of antichrist may be thus destroyed and the kingdom of Christ promoted.
Belgic Confession, article 36. This has been changed or removed by most of the Dutch reformed churches in the 20th century.

Together we contend for the truth that politics, law, and culture must be secured by moral truth. With the Founders of the American experiment, we declare, "We hold these truths." With them, we hold that this constitutional order is composed not just of rules and procedures but is most essentially a moral experiment. With them, we hold that only a virtuous people can be free and just, and that virtue is secured by religion. To propose that securing civil virtue is the purpose of religion is blasphemous. To deny that securing civil virtue is a benefit of religion is blindness. -Charles Colson and others, Evangelicals & Catholics Together:The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium,1994

We strongly affirm the separation of church and state, and just as strongly protest the distortion of that principle to mean the separation of religion from public life. We are deeply concerned by the courts' narrowing of the protections provided by the "free exercise" provision of the First Amendment and by an obsession with "no establishment" that stifles the necessary role of religion in American life. As a consequence of such distortions, it is increasingly the case that wherever government goes religion must retreat, and government increasingly goes almost everywhere. -Charles Colson and others, Evangelicals & Catholics Together:The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium,1994

I am glad you recognize the religious nature of the State which is the established religion of today.... Many Christians seem to fear admitting that there is an established religion because they have been brainwashed by establishment media into thinking that the State is neutral. The State browbeats anyone who suggests that establishment of religion exists because of former separation of church and state issues.
The real issue is not between church and state. The real issue is that the state as a religious establishment has progressively disestablished Christianity as its law foundation, all the while professing neutrality, yet in fact establishing humanism as the religion of the state. While law courts have been dishonest regarding the religious nature of their function, the churches have been weak in reminding them. There can be no separation of religion and state. It is only a question of which religion will prevail. -

Don't you love how the words "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" have been interpreted to mean almost the exact opposite of what they once meant? [...] Do the "separation of church and state" extremists have any idea how utterly hateful and intolerance and paranoid and fearful they come across these days? Or how much they've done to make ordinary Americans despise their own government and see it as a thing separate from themselves, an intolerant enemy to be fought? I mean, do they have any idea at all? It's a sad thing, when "pluralism" comes to mean "intolerance." -- Dean Esmay,

History will also afford frequent opportunities of showing the necessity of a public religion. . . and the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern. B Franklin, Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania

History reveals the Church and the State as a pair of indispensable Molochs. They protect their worshiping subjects, only to enslave and destroy them. --Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) _Themes and Variations_ [1950], "Variations on a Philosopher"
(Proving Huxley understood the State but not the Church. GJW)

Well aware that the opinions and belief of men depend not on their own will, but follow involuntarily the evidence proposed to their minds; that Almighty God hath created the mind free, and manifested his supreme will that free it shall remain by making it altogether insusceptible of restraint; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do, but to extend it by its influence on reason alone; Jefferson, Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom. draft.Section I

All (the gospel) asks is unlimited freedom to develop in accordance with its own genius in the heart of our national life.We do not want the government to hand over unbelief hancuffed and chained as though for a spiritual execution. We prefer that the power of the gospel overcome that demon in free combat with comparable weapons. Only this we do not want: that the government arm unbelief to force us, half armed and handicapped by an assortment of laws, into an unequal struggle with so powerful an enemy. - Abraham Kuyper, Maranathan in Abraham Kuyper: A Centennial Reader, J Bratt p.224-5

A free church, a hol;y nation - Abraham Kuyper

It is not lawful for the hold in equal favor different kinds of religion....The equal toleration of all the same thing as atheism. Leo XIII: Immortale Dei, Nov.1,1885

Junker Henry means to be God and do as he pleases.-Martin Luther on Henry VIII, as the King marries Catherine Parr on 12 July 1543.

The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.--Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) _Strength to Love_ [1963]

We‚ve come a long way in America. After two centuries, it seems we finally do have a religious test for office. True religiosity is disqualifying. Well, not quite. Believers may serve but only if they check their belief at the office door. At a time when religion is a preference and piety a form of eccentricity suggesting fanaticism, Chesterton needs revision: tolerance is not just the virtue of people who do not believe in anything; tolerance extends only to people who don‚t believe in anything. Believe in something, and beware. You may not warrant presidential-level attack, but you‚ll make yourself suspect should you dare enter the naked public square.--Charles Krauthammer, 1999

There must be prayers in the Scottish Parliament so that the people who are there know that God is watching what they do.
Bashir Maan, President of Glasgow Central Mosque

Sir, as diverse times before, so now again I must tell you there are two kings and two kingdoms in Scotland; there is Christ Jesus and His Kingdom the Kirk, whose subject King James the Sixth is, and of whose Kingdom he is not a king, nor a head, nor a lord, but a member; and they whom Christ has called, and commanded to watch over His kirk and govern His spiritual kingdom, have sufficient power of Him and authority so to do, both together and severally, the which no Christian King nor prince should control and discharge, but fortify and assist, otherwise not faithful subjects, not members of Christ. - Andrew Melville to James the Sixth (First) in 1596

The goal fixed for us by the Christian revelation is nothing less than a Christian state as well as Christian individuals, Christian families and a Christian church.- John Murray, The Christian World Order, 1943 there good sense in working towards the establishment of a Christian world order when we know that , in the completeness of its conception, it is not attainable in what we generally call this life? We must be bold to say that the Christian revelation does not allow us to do anything less that to formulate and work towards a Christain world order in the life that we now live.
The civil magistrate derives his authority from God. Apart from divine institution and sanction, civil government has no right to exist..... Since civil government derives its authority from God, it is responsible to God and therefore obligated to conduct its affairs in accordance with God's will. The Word of God bears upon civil authority will all the stringency that belongs to God's Word.
Furthermore, the Word of God reveals that Christ is head over all things, that he has been given all authority in heaven and in earth. The civil magistrate is under obligation to acknowledge this headship and therefore to conduct his affairs, not only in subjection to the sovereignty of God, but also in subjection to the mediatorial sovreignty of Christ, and must therefore obey his will as it is revealed for the discharge of that authority which the civil magistrate exercises in subjection to Christ. To recede from this position or to abandon it either as a conception or as goal, ****is to reject in principle the sovreignty of God and of his Christ.***
...this overpowering sense of our weakness and inability is no reason for faintheartedness...the responsibility is ours. It is stupendously great. The insufficiency is ours: it is complete. But the power is God's. The grace is of God. The promise is his.let us in his strength go forth to claim every realm for him who must reignuntil all his enemies shall have been made his footstool.- John Murray vol 3p364

The problem, of course, is that neither [church nor state] is prepared to remain within its institutional boundaries. Government, if it is to be sustainable, engages beliefs and loyalties of an ultimate sort that can properly be called religious. As the impulse of the modern state is to define all public space as governmental space, so the consequence is a tendency toward "civil religion." Religion, on the other hand, if it represents a comprehensive belief system, speaks to the human condition in all its aspects, including the right ordering (the government) of public life....Thus each institution is, in the eyes of the other, constantly bursting its bounds. Therein is the foundation of the open-ended argument between church and state. Open-ended, that is, so long as a society professes to be democratic. -- Richard John Neuhaus, The Naked Public Square, 1984

We avow our sincere patriotism and our unquestioned loyalty to the nation that we love, but we claim for ourselves the right and the liberty to speak at any time contrary to those who may temporarily be in control of the government, if loyalty to Jesus Christ, as we apprehend it, demands such action.
The Reformed Church in the U.S., _Minutes of the General Synod_, 1926.

Christ, the prophets, and apostles of our Lord, went to heaven with the note of traitors, seditious men, and such as turned the world upside down: claumnies of treason to Caesar were an ingredient in Christ's cup, and therefore the author is the more willing to drink of that cup that touched his lip, who is our glorious Forerunner: what, if conscience toward God, and credit with men, cannot both go to heaven with the saints, the author is satisfied with the former companion, and is willing to dismiss the other. Truth to Christ cannot be treason to Caesar, and for his choice he judgeth truth to have nearer relation to Christ Jesus, than the transcendent and boundless power of a mortal prince. --Samuel Rutherford , preface to Lex Rex

Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament, without note or comment, be read and taught as divine revelation in the college ?......Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?-- Justice Joseph Story, Vidal v. Girard's Executors 1844

Probably at the time of the adoption of the constitution, and of the amendment to it, now under consideration, the general, if not the universal, sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state, so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience, and the freedom of religious worship. An attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation. --Justice Joseph Story,_Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States_, 1833

The real object of the amendment was, not to countenance, much less to advance Mahometanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects, and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment, which should give to an hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national government. --Justice Joseph Story,_Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States_, 1833

The United States have adventured upon a great and noble experiment, which is believed to have been hazarded in the absence of all previous precedent&emdash;that of total separation of Church and State. No religious establishment by law exists among us. The conscience is left free from all restraint and each is permitted to worship his Maker after his own judgement. The offices of the Government are open alike to all. No tithes are levied to support an established Hierarchy, nor is the fallible judgement of man set up as the sure and infallible creed of faith. The Mahommedan, if he will to come among us would have the privilege guaranteed to him by the constitution to worship according to the Koran; and the East Indian might erect a shrine to Brahma if it so pleased him. Such is the spirit of toleration inculcated by our political Institutions.... The Hebrew persecuted and down trodden in other regions takes up his abode among us with none to make him afraid.... and the Aegis of the Government is over him to defend and protect him. Such is the great experiment which we have tried, and such are the happy fruits which have resulted from it; our system of free government would be imperfect without it. - John Tyler (1790 &endash; 1862)

The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the Word and sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heavene: yet he hath authority, and it is his duty, to take order, that unity and peace be. preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire; that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed; all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed; and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administrated, and observed. For the better effecting whereof, he hath power to call synods, to be present at them, and to provide that whatsoever is transacted in them be according to the mind of God -- Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) Chapter XXIII. Of the Civil Magistrate.III.

Small James (King of Scotland from one year old) twice disobeyed him (tutor George Buchanan, 60 years his senior) and then deliberately defied him to his face. Buchanan turned him up and laid on so heartily that Lady Mar came running, horrified by the howls to ask:"What dost though to the Lord's Annointed?'
"I have skelped(beaten) his airse, you may kiss it if you like!" he is said to have answered.
Elizabeth Whitley, The Two Kingdoms, Edinburgh, 1977.

Christ during His life upon earth was of all men the poorest, castingfrom Him all worldly authority. I deduce from these premises... that the Pope should surrender all temporal authority to the civil power and advise his clergy to do the same.
John Wycliffe in 1384 dismissing an order to appear before The Papal Court, in Chambers Dictionary of Quotations, 1996.

The struggles between church and state began just over fifty years after Constantine's move. One of Constantine's successors, the emperor Theodosius, while in a nasty dispute with the Thessalonians, a Greek tribe, invited the whole tribe to Milan -- and orchestrated a blood-curdling massacre of his guests: men, women, and children. The archbishop of Milan, a pious priest named Ambrose, was appalled and publicly refused to give the emperor Holy Communion. Theodosius protested, resorting to a biblical defense. He was guilty of homicide, he explained, but wasn't one of the Bible's heroic kings, David, guilty not just of homicide but of adultery as well? The archbishop was unyielding, thundering back, in Edward Gibbon's famous account, "You have imitated David in his crime, imitate then his repentance." To the utter amazement of all, for the next eight months the emperor, the most powerful man in the world, periodically dressed like a beggar (as David had in the biblical tale) and stood outside the cathedral at Milan to ask forgiveness of the archbishop. --Fareed Zakaria, _The Future of Freedom_

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