17 October 2007

Church and State

I have decided to jot down some notes pertaining to each of these institutions, in accordance with the vision of these given by the Word of God as best I see it. While I admit that my vision may change or fade over time, I wish to set down my thoughts honestly so that, at the very least, I may see the development of the ideas over the years. But my higher hope is that through writing them, I may share both visions and call men and women around me to something higher, greater, and truer than we yet may have seen.

It amazes me how American culture has today grasped this ideal of “the separation between Church and State,” and I cannot help but wonder if the cause of this desperate plaint is that we have failed our fathers in understanding either Thing. The State now is so much larger and undefined than it once was, while the Church is so much weaker and unspiritual, leaving us little choice but to wish them separate. In reality, however, they now may be impossibly merged—-yes, now more than ever, though most do not realise it, for is it not true that the State has sequestered certain functions which, until the latest generations, had been the sole duty of a charitable Church? I think here of welfare aspects, chiefly: money and assistance to the poor, weak, weary, injured, addicted and unfortunate. At one time these duties belonged to the Church, as a matter of grace extended through faith, but now they have been apprehended by an obtrusive State. Were they rightly taken? The next few pages will argue this out, using both Scriptures and the American foundational decrees (including the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights).

This is no small undertaking, if I am to do it well. But I am thankful for the encouragement of my girl Brooklyn, who has almost since we net urged me toward writing down my thoughts of the Church. Add to this the influence of the life of William Wilberforce, which God has used much in my life this year, and it seems good to me in this season of my life to adjoin these speculations upon the role of Government, or the State. May God be pleased to enlighten me toward both these institutions.

But I will start with the utmost thanks and praise that both of these institutions are, and ever have been, under God. Truly, though neither Church nor State is walking presently in accordance with His purer designs, still naught has happened which was outside His sway or permission. And for this I am very grateful! I pray He would guide me, and guide us, as we raise our thoughts toward a better Day and better Future than the present state of things would offer us. I suspect we shall find these as we hearken unto His Words. Thus I again entreat Him to move me by His counsel, that these words would fall along the lines of Truth.

Sola Gloria Deo.