Church and state

Almost every day we are confronted with the authorities: teachers in school and professors in College, bosses at work, police on the road, employees of various social services, etc. As citizens we have certain civic duties: participate in the election of the representatives of the government, pay fees and taxes, carry different responsibilities of the civil service, etc. this is not always in our lives good and fair bosses, not all can suit during the country’s rulers. Believing in Jesus Christ, man attains His Kingdom, the Kingdom of God (John 18:36). How the believer is to relate to earthly authorities, to the government? What the Bible says about that?

When God created our world, He planned the establishment of a state. The Lord himself was the Supreme ruler over the people. But the fall of man changed everything. People have lost the ability to communicate directly with his Creator. Sin began to spread with lightning speed. Already the children of Adam and eve began to kill each other. There is a need in the state, which could protect man from the destruction, to preserve society from decay and disappearance. According to the Bible, the main function of the state in restraining evil and violence, to maintain order. This writes the Apostle Paul: “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do good and you will have praise from it, for [the chief] is the Minister of God to thee for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain: he is God’s servant, an avenger for wrath to him that doeth evil” (Romans 13:3, 4).

God has not left man on this earth as some believe. He continues to take care of our earthly life. God decides and overthrows the kings of the earth. He controls the history of mankind, and leads her to the final event of earth’s history — the Second coming of Christ. That’s why the Apostle Paul writes: “there is No authority except from God; the existing authorities are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1).

The Bible teaches believers to obey state authorities, because if it is not, then there will be anarchy and chaos that will be bad for everyone, believers and non-believers. The government, which would be the rulers of it or headed, holding back evil on earth, so Christians need to show obedience to any earthly power, led by such rulers as Tiberius, Nero and Caligula, who ruled the world in the days of the early Church. The Apostle Peter in his Epistle says: “Servants, be obedient with all fear masters, not only to the good and gentle but also to the harsh. For this is pleasing to God, if anyone, thinking about God, endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if you endure when you are beaten for misconduct? But if, doing good and suffering, and suffering is pleasing to God. For ye are thereunto called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:18, 19). Peter puts the believer in The example of our Lord. The disciples of Jesus Christ could not understand why He is not calling people to overthrow the hated Roman power all. Because the Romans at that time for the Israeli people were invaders, enemies. But Jesus Christ even in the face of the death sentence of the Roman Governor Pilate shows meekness and obedience. Jesus Christ did not resist evil, does not respond to evil with evil. He came not to overthrow or establish any earthly power through revolution and rebellion. He came to establish another Kingdom — the Kingdom of God in the soul of everyone who believes in Him.

The Bible warns all believers about the inadmissibility of participation in the mutiny and rebellion against any earthly power, even if it is unfair and cruel: “Oppose the authorities established by God. And those who resist will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:2). “Beware, my son, the Lord and the king; don’t associate with rebels, because calamity shall come suddenly from them, and trouble from both of them who knoweth?” (Proverbs 24:21, 22). Why does God allow unjust and cruel rulers who oppressed and robbed his people? We can’t see in advance of His intentions, but We know that His purpose is to save man and lead the world to the Kingdom of goodness and justice. We just need to trust the Lord and his life, and the questions that we today cannot understand.

But if the believer is not to rebel against unjust state power, then what can the Christian to the life of his country changed for the better, so the Board came good rulers?

First of all, the Bible urges believers to pray for earthly rulers. The Apostle Paul writes: “I urge that prayers, petitions, supplications, thanksgivings for all men, for kings and all those in authority, that we hold a tranquil and quiet life” (1 Timothy 2:1, 2). In the Bible many examples of how the prayers of believers God affect earthly rulers. Further, the Bible encourages us to care about their country and their city: “take Care of the welfare of the city, in which I have carried you, and pray to the Lord for it: for in the peace its peace you will have peace” (Jeremiah 29:7). Concern for the welfare of the city may result, for example, in order around your house, the assistance of various social services. The Christian should not evade taxes, in service for the good of the country: “For this reason you also pay taxes, for they are God’s Ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. So, give to anyone for granted: to apply — apply; to whom dues — dues; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor” (Romans 13:6, 7). In the Bible there are many examples of how the Lord through his chosen servants (Joseph, Esther, Daniel, etc.) influenced the earthly rulers and helped them through His people.

However, the earthly power for the Christian has its limits. When Jesus Christ was asked about His relationship to earthly power, He replied: “Caesar what is Caesar and God what is God’s” (Matthew 22:21). In these words of the Savior contains basic principle of the relationship of the Christian to the secular power. The Christian must render obedience to and respect state authority, but above all a Christian needs to serve God. Priority for the believer is obedience to a Higher authority, obedience to the King of kings, i.e. Jesus Christ. Sometimes earthly power can force believers to violate God’s commandments. In this case, Christians are to obey secular authorities, even if it’s followed by persecution of her. However, believers must not to raise against the power of the insurgency, to participate in the revolution and coups. Jesus Christ could in a moment destroy those who were crucifying Him. However, It is to death was humble and suffered for our salvation.

Not easy in this mortal life to remain faithful to God and avoid compromise their faith and conscience. However, we must remember that the Lord is always there with Their children. The Apostle Paul writes: “can All things through Christ” (Philippians 4:13).

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