Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Church & Statism

R.C. Sproul, one of my favorite modern theologians, has an excellent article in his latest version of Tabletalk Magazine about why Christians should be opposed to the ever growing size and supremacy of government. It's long been clear that this nation has moved beyond mere "separation of church and state", into a complete separation of government from God. Most today would probably argue that this is as it should be, but it certainly is not what was intended by the founding fathers.
"...initially both the church and the state were seen as entities ordained by God and subject to His governance. In that sense, the state was considered to be an entity that was “under God.” What has happened in the past few decades is the obfuscation of this original distinction between church and state, so that today the language we hear of separation of church and state, when carefully exegeted, communicates the idea of the separation of the state from God. In this sense, it’s not merely that the state declares independence from the church, it also declares independence from God and presumes itself to rule with autonomy.

The whole idea of a nation under God has been challenged again and again, and we have seen the exponential growth of government in our land, particularly the federal government, so that the government now virtually engulfs all of life...Where we have seen the largest measure of the loss of liberty is with respect to the function of the church. Though the church is still somewhat tolerated in America (in a way it was not tolerated in Mao’s Red China and under Stalin), it is tolerated only when it remains outside of the public square. In other words, the church has been relegated to a status not unlike that given to the native Americans, where the tribes were allowed to continue to exist as long as they functioned safely on a reservation, outside of any significant influence on the government. So although the church has not been banished completely by the statism that has emerged in America, it has been effectively banished from the public square.

Throughout the history of the Christian church, Christianity has always stood over against all forms of statism. Statism is the natural and ultimate enemy to Christianity because it involves a usurpation of the reign of God."
Nanny-Statism has become the norm in America, and liberals would have it become all-encompassing. Let the government take care of your every need. Who needs freedom anyway? It's time we put a stop to this nonsense, and start taking care of ourselves and our neighbors. If Christians will stand up and do a better job of taking care of each other and those in need, we wouldn't have any reason to let the government do it (or try to do it...badly). God is our provider - not government.

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