Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Lane Chapter 32

Dan Scherer

Religion and politics do mix!


            That’s what I read after all the dust settles from Calvin. “Christ spiritual Kingdom and the civil jurisdiction are things completely distinct” (Institutes P.1486). Providence is under God’s authority and given to all people as common grace. The institutions of church and state may be distinct but the church’s authority on morality should apply to our leaders in civil authority.  Civil government is a means ordained by God for maintaining order in our country, state, and neighborhood. Society would self-destruct without the power of the sword to control the communities of the world. Anarchy would run wild without this institution. This is why God has instructed His people to obey and pray for their civil leaders. Yet these same children are responsible to see that government exercises its proper role. Proper role is the key. Protection, order and common services no problem but other issues can get very messy. Calvin and the scriptures make it clear we are to obey and support. However the kings in this earthly kingdom often forget their proper role or see their personal role of power as a power to self-interest. Self-interest and ungodly kings bring a cycle of abuse. I’m all for keeping the state out of the church but let’s not keep the church out of the state. Christians know this is God’s order so we do our part as good citizens, teachers, parents, and pastors to keep a Godly order in the home and local community. Once the church is removed from the government it becomes part of this fallen world where all kinds of evil can and does grow. When civil magistrates start to require things God forbids, and forbids things God requires Christians must become disobedient to the magistrates and remain loyal to God. Too many modern day citizens use this separation of state and church phrase never understanding it originated to protect the church from the state not the state from the church. Governments like people serve a higher law then themselves and when they do not do so Christians should resist. God has ordained the rulers of government to serve His purpose. If those who are rulers have no morals then the society will be left to drift into the wrath of God. As I look at the leaders that are up for election it is very possible this country may be on a path of losing many of its blessings of the past. The government should not force faith on to the public but those in leadership must have high morals and faith if the kingdom is to be blessed. Belief in God, our triune God and obedience to him could be the most important attribute of any leading official. If the leaders of a kingdom do not honor God we can see the hand writing on the wall just like Belshazzar saw when he dishonored God in (Daniel 5.) My prayer is that this election cycle in America would be one that would bring Godly men and women into our leadership positions that truly know and honor Christ as Lord. As Christians we have an obligation to our faith to work in the public arena for Godly leaders. Pray for and vote for Godly candidates. The problem we have in this country with all the money spent on packaging a candidate is to determine which candidate has Christian morals. I wonder how we can make a more open and revealing process to let us know the real person running for office.


  1. I will join you in your prayer that in this election cycle for America there would be Godly invocation of the men and women elected into leadership positions, and that these men and women know and honor Christ as Lord, and that they are led by the Lord in the decisions and choices they are asked to make on behalf of our nation and our world, Amen.

  2. I agree, I think this election cycle does exhibit some big hints that morality has been side-lined. I don't even think it has all that much to do with political ideology. Why it has turned out the way it has (so far) would require many volumes (which will duly find their way into bookstores). Nevertheless, prayer seem to be called for. Thanks for addressing a touchy topic in such a thoughtful way.

    1. Claire, and Wil, looking forward to seeing you folks in August and praying together!!

  3. HI Dan - thank you for the post. I think you made an important point when you noted that candidates are "packaged" and it is difficult to determine which come to the office truly under God. Often a candidate will claim a Christian identity, when they have not participated in any Christian disciplines for years making it difficult to tell genuine authenticity of a candidate. I can't help but be reminded of the German Christian Church in Nazi Germany which was anything but Christian as it completely redefined Christian doctrine in the name of Nazism. It was the Confessing Church of Bonhoeffer and Barth that really held Christian substance.