Copyright © December 19, 2012
Click here to go to “Self-exam Questions: Conclusion to the Biblical Doctrine of Separation of Church and State” [To be added as time permits.]
Note. This is a modified version of Section III, Chapter 8 of God Betrayed: Separation of Church and State/The Biblical Principles and the American Application. The Biblical Doctrine of Separation of Church and State has links to the audio teaching of Jerald Finney on this and other subjects related to the doctrine of separation of church and state.
God’s principles separate church and state. The God-ordained purpose of both is to glorify God, but neither will do this if operated outside the jurisdictional boundaries set by God. The two are so distinct that the possibility of the two operating together, or the possibility of one assuming leadership over the other without the very nature of the church being distorted and corrupted is a nullity. The church is a heavenly institution to be operated by men who are walking in the Spirit. The state is an earthly institution usually run by fleshly men whose purpose and goals are earthly. Even should born-again believers be the rulers of civil government (a temporary possibility at best), a state-church or church-state society is doomed to failure because God does not desire such a union and has made the two so different that it is impossible for the church to continue to be pure while the two operate together.
Men, walking in the flesh and not in the Spirit, have gone to great lengths to distort Scripture to justify an unholy alliance of church and state. And it is only a church, not the state, that is responsible for an alliance between church and state. Christ instructed Christians:
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Mt. 5.13-16; see also, Lu. 11.33 and Mk. 4.20-21). “The seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches” (Re. 1.20).
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness. No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Mt. 6.19-24; see also Lu. 11.34-36).
“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (Jn. 3.17-21).
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Co. 4.6).
“Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness: and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial: or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Co. 6.14-18).
“…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1.5-7).
The Lord, who loved His wife and gave Himself for her, desires to be her only Head, her only Mate. But He has given the wife a choice. She can be a light to the world showing forth the purity of the heavenly marriage, or she can spend part of her time with another partner or lover, taking instructions, advice, and material help from him. She can put her light wholly or partially under a bushel where it is subdued. The result will be a partially or wholly worldly “church.” Fewer people will be drawn to the light, since the light is dimmed or completely hidden. The question is. “How much does a church love her Husband and her fellow man?” As Roger Williams said,
“A chaste wife will not only abhor to be restrained from her husband’s bed as adulterous and polluted, but also abhor (if not much more) to be constrained to the bed of a stranger. And what is abominable in corporal, is much more loathsome in spiritual whoredom and defilement” (Roger Williams and Edward Bean Underhill, The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution for Cause of Conscience Discussed and Mr. Cotton’s Letter Examined and Answered (London: Printed for the Society, by J. Haddon, Castle Street, Finsbury, 1848), p. 38).