A short one for today.

As has been said previously on this blog, you can’t have a secular government because all law, all policy, all manner of enforcement, all principles of government are rooted in some worldview. If not Christianity, then another.

Yet as Americans we have imbibed the idea that there is a natural separation of church and state. This is a mishandling of an ancient Christian idea that the state and the church are two separate entities with distinct but overlapping spheres of authority. The “separation” is that the church does not control the state and the state does not control the church. A true total separation would be absurd and we could say that in an instant if we replace “church” with anything that religion gives us: morality, ethics, right and wrong, etc. Should we have a separation, say of state and “right and wrong”? Should we have a separation of state and “ethics”? Obviously not.

This raises the question, however, of what we mean when we say that the state is aligned with a religion or worldview. This has two answers, and one depends on the other.

First is what most people mean when they imagine a religious state. It actively works to bring people to the religion that it is founded upon. This could be, in the old Anglo sense, in building a civilization that makes it easy to become a Christian. Or, it could mean the predecessor and necessary condition for that sort of obedience: the state obeying God in it’s own internal ethical behavior. A state that is obedient in this latter sense is moral, ethical, consistent with Scripture, and will not overstep outside its natural sphere of authority. Before a state can go and actively support Christianity in the sense of making it easy to become a Christian, it must first be obedient in its own internal affairs, much like a father should have his household in order before he tries to order the church as an elder.

When I speak of making a Christian government in 2022, I’m not talking about the long-term project of building a government which makes it easy to be a Christian. I’m talking about the first essential step. I don’t think I’m alone in this. There are many people nervous of a theocratic state – as if that has a chance of happening. However, should they desire a state which is not going to merely impose religion on everyone, they need to embrace Christian government, because Christianity is the constraint that prevents compelled worship. Ironically, those most afraid of compelled obedience need to be demanding a government that honors Christ.