Posts Tagged ‘State and Church’

Why the State and Church must be separate

September 14, 2009

This therefore I decree, that if anyone shall be detected in concealing a book compiled by Arius, and shall not instantly bring it forward and burn it, the penalty for this offense shall be death; for immediately after conviction the criminal shall suffer capital punishment. May God preserve you!

Constantine

Socrates Church History From A.D.305-439.   trans. A. C. Zenos, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church   edd. P. Schaff and H. Wace, vol.II  W.E.Eerdmans, Michigan, 1997. Book I , Chapter 8.p.14.

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The Law’s limitation

September 4, 2009

A state government can shut down stores and theaters on Sunday, but it cannot compel worship. It can arrest and punish KKK murderers, but it cannot cure their hate, much less teach them love. It can ban adultery but not lust, theft but not covetousness, cheating but not pride. It can encourage virtue, but not holiness.

Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing about Grace? p.251

When God is not God

September 4, 2009

One former Japanese soldier said he had been reared to believe that the Japanese emperor was the natural holy ruler of the world. And that the Japanese was racially superior to the rest of the world and that it was the divine destiny of Japan to control Asia. And so, when a local Christian priest asked him, who is greater, God or the emperor of Japan, he had no doubt that the emperor was the correct answer.

The Japanese killed about 300,000 Chinese at Nanjing who were considered not as human beings but as ‘less than cats or dogs’.

cf. Iris Change, Rape of Nanking, p.219

Ideas have Consequences

August 30, 2009

Schools rule the world.

Martin Luther, Table Talk

Let me control the textbooks and I will control the state. The state will take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing. Your child belongs to us already….what are you?

Hitler

The philosophy of the classroom today will be the philosophy of government tomorrow.

Abraham Lincoln

The actions of men proceed from their opinions; and in the well governing of men’s opinions consists the well governing of their actions, in order to their peace and concord.

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, II, 18

Faith of Communism

August 28, 2009

Arise, you prisoners of starvation!
Arise, you wretched of the earth!
For justice thunders condemnation:
A better world’s in birth!
No more tradition’s chains shall bind us,
Arise you slaves, no more in thrall!
The earth shall rise on new foundations:
We have been nought, we shall be all!
‘Tis the final conflict,
Let each stand in his place.
The international soviet
Shall be the human race
‘Tis the final conflict,
Let each stand in his place.
The international working class
Shall be the human race

We want no condescending saviors
To rule us from their judgment hall,
We workers ask not for their favors
Let us consult for all:
To make the thief disgorge his booty
To free the spirit from its cell,
We must ourselves decide our duty,
We must decide, and do it well.
‘Tis the final conflict,
Let each stand in his place.
The international soviet
Shall be the human race
‘Tis the final conflict,
Let each stand in his place.
The international working class
Shall be the human race

The Internationale, American Version

Note the faith – “a better world’s in birth”  and “The earth shall rise on new foundations” (really? How do you know?)

In light of history (Pol Pot, Mao etc.) the idea that the only human race is the ‘international working class’ is truly disturbing. And it presupposes, indeed glorifies conflict in eschatological terms – tis the fianl conflict (as if the battle is something like the Christ and the anti-Christ – no wonder Marxism is described as a Christian heresy)

Heresy and Tolerance

August 26, 2009

Errors are refuted by argument, not by fire.

Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153

Nowhere in Scripture is the Church armed with the temporal sword to punish falsehood. Nor is she to hypocritically call on the power of the State to do her dirty work. Christ said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath’ (John 18.11) and nowhere afterwards is she told to remove it.

The Dangerous Faith in the ‘New Man’ of Communism

August 17, 2009

The ‘New man’ under Communism would be unlike any creature ever known. Trotsky thus depicted him in his Literature and Revolution:

He will want to master first the semi-conscious and then also the unconscious processes of his own organism: breathing, the circulation of the blood, digestion, reproduction, and, within the necessary limits, will subordinate them to the control of reason and will. Even purely physiological life will become collectively experimental. The human species, the sluggish Homo sapiens, will once again enter the state of radical reconstruction and will become in its own hands the object of the most most complex methods of artificial selection and psychophysical training…Man will make it his goal to master his own emotions, to elevate his instincts to the heights of consciousness, to make them transparent…to create a higher sociobiological type, a superman if you will…Man will become incomparably stronger, wiser, subtler. His body will become more harmonious, his movements more rhythmic, his voice more melodious. The forms of life will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, Goethe, Marx. And beyond this ridge, other peaks will emerge.

For such an ideal, was it not worth sacrificing the sorry specimins that populated the corrupt world? Seen form this perspective, existing humanity was debris, the refuse of a doomed world, and killing it off was a matter of no consequence.

Richard Pipes, Communism, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2002, p.68

Faith in a False Messiah

August 17, 2009

Speaking of the terror unleashed by Stalin including his ‘Show Trials’ Montefiore explains who was to suffer: ‘Those without blind faith (in Stalin) were to die.’

In Moscow, 200,000 people, bedazzled by propaganda, massed in Red Square, despite temperatures of -27°C (at the time of the treason trial of Grigory Pyatakov and Karl Radek in January 1937), bearing banners that read, ‘The court’s verdict is (i.e. the ‘Show Trials’) is the people’s verdict. Krushchev addressed them denouncing the ‘Judas-Trotsky’, a line that strongly implied that Stalin was the metaphorical Jesus. (We know from Yury Zhdanov that he jokingly compared himself to Jesus)

“By lifting their hands against comrade Stalin they lifted them against all the best that humanity possesses. For Stalin is hope; he is expectation; he is the beacon that guides all progressive mankind. Stalin is our banner! Stalin is our will! Stalin is our victory!” The country was swept by the ‘eotional effervescence of hatred, fear and blood-lust.

Simon Sebag montefiore, Stalin, 2003, p.187

Heresy and Intolerance

May 28, 2009

The only way to argue with a blasphemer is by running your sword through his bowels, as far as it will go.

St. Louis IX, King of France

I entirely detest heretics, and as Magistrate do promise assiduously to perform my duty in investigating them. Heresy is a kind of treason, and if a heretic persisteth in his false belief, he may be handed over to be burned.

St. Thomas More

If heretics be altogether uprooted by death, this is not contrary to Our Lord’s command.

St. Thomas Aquinas

Error will never be suppressed unless the criminal elements of depravity be consumed in flames.

Pope Clement XII

That it is against the will of the Spirit to burn heretics at the stake is condemned as false.

Pope Leo X

Even if my own father were a heretic, I would gather the wood to burn him at the stake.

Pope Paul IV

With regard to heretics, two arguments must be observed: one concerning themselves, the other from the aspect of the Church. On their own side, there is the sin whereby they deserve to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death. For it is a much more serious matter to corrupt the faith which gives life to the soul than to counterfeit that which supports temporal life. Wherefore, if counterfeiters and other evil-doers are immediately condemned to death by the secular authorities, there is much more reason for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, not only to be excommunicated but even put to death. On the part of the Church, however, there is mercy, which looks to the conversion of the wanderer; wherefore, she condemns not at once, but “after the first and second warning”, as the Apostle directs (Titus 3:10). After that, if he is still stubborn, the Church, no longer hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others by excommunicating him and separating him from the Church; and, furthermore, she delivers him over to the secular tribunal, thereby to be exterminated from the world by death.”

St. Thomas Aquinas

NB 1. No scriptural warrant is offered for these intolerant sentiments. Aquinas knew nothing of Paul’s actual sentiments who said (after a second warning) of a divisive person, ‘Have nothing to do with him’ (not, ‘burn him’).

2. How many of these many were heretics themselves? They assume that their obedience to Rome is obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ! Little did they know that many were semi or full-blown Pelagians and thus heretics themselves.

Church and State

May 28, 2009

The Church and the State are essentially distinct. They both receive their task from God, but that task is different in each. The task of the church is to lead men to God; the task of the state is to secure the earthly development of a people in conformity with its peculiar character. There are certain bounds, traced by the particular spirit of each nation, within which the state should confine itself; while the church, whose limits are co-extensive with the human race, has a universal character, which raises it above all national differences. These two distinctive features should be maintained. A state which aims at universality loses itself; a church whose mind and aim are sectarian falls away. Nevertheless, the church and the state, the two poles of social life, while they are in many respects opposed to each other, are far from excluding each other absolutely. The church has need of that justice, order, and liberty, which the state is bound to maintain, but the state has especial need of the church. If Jesus can do without kings to establish His kingdom, kings cannot do without Jesus, if they would have their kingdoms prosper. Justice, which is the fundamental principle of the state, is continually fettered in its progress by the internal power of sin, and as force can do nothing against this power, the state requires the gospel in order to overcome it. That country will always be the most prosperous where the church is the most evangelical. These two communities having thus need one of the other, we must be prepared, whenever a great religious manifestation takes place in the world, to witness the appearance on the scene not only of the little ones, but of the great ones also, of the state. We must not then be surprised to meet with Henry VIII, but let us endeavor to appreciate accurately the part he played.
The Reformation In England, By J. H. Merle D’Aubigné
(Originally published in 1866)
Reprint by Banner of Truth Trust
1962, 1st ed. p.243