Church and State/Church or State?

Chuch and StateSoong-Chan Rah’s blog on the Sojourner’s website today had good thoughts about the way the church should interact with the government.  He had biblical backups for two extremes: retreating from government and operating as a counter-cultural colony, and being active in government, trying to advance God’s Kingdom in the established power.

He kind of left it at that, saying different action was required at different times, and also different people were required to act differently dependent on their political leanings.

His last thought is great, and I wish he would have elaborated more.

“Maybe the main role of God’s people is to be subject to government by bringing God’s perspective to bear on even the most secular of institutions.”

Soong-Chan Rah

If that is truly the role of the church, then the political leanings we start with should not matter.  It isn’t about our perspective, but about bringing God’s perspective to light.  I think that looks like both extremes he suggested.  Somehow we have to figure out how to be separate from the culture yet be active in trying to influence our leaders in such a way as to advance God’s Kingdom.  And we have to find a balance in between, where we are not relying on our governments to advance God’s Kingdom, yet we are not ruling them out as an avenue for that.

For God is the King of all the earth;
sing praises with a psalm!

God reigns over the nations;
God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather
as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
he is highly exalted!

Psalm 47:7-9

Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases.

Psalm 115:3-4

We need to have faith in that and believe that in all that we do.


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