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God and Government

Powerful Essays
Integrating Faith and politics can be difficult. Arguments can be made for whether to have complete separation of faith and politics, or to fully integrate the two. A balanced middle-ground between separation and integration can be looked at also. Examples of each can be looked at in history. Complete separation of faith and politics has consequences (both positive and negative). Government that is separated from faith can be efficient, but very inhumane and controlling. Complete integration of faith and politics is influenced by God and the Bible, but it can be just as controlling as complete separation. Multiple disagreements in the Christian doctrine would also cause more challenges in the government. Having a middle ground where only some aspects of the government are influenced by religion can pose problems in certain areas. The middle ground could allow Christians to spread the Gospel (which is the goal of the church). When these three options are compared, one may see an option stand out as an obvious choice. The middle ground between separation and integration is where the church can both stay relevant in politics and participate in the great commission.

Complete separation of faith and politics can be reflected on through history. Early theologians of the church often had a very nonpolitical philosophy. The early church felt obligated to honor the government, but tended to stay away from all political affairs (Bandow 1988, 123). One of the first theologians who created this philosophy was Tertullian. Tertullian states that Christians should have very little contact with the State, refuse to serve in the army, or even participate in state schools. During Tertullian’s time, martyrdom was frequently done. ...

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...its own. It is also dangerous for the state to govern Christian doctrinal views. When politics and faith are only mixed in certain areas, a more fair and balanced approach to government can be formed. It gives religious free will to the people and the great commission is left up to the Church. The one negative consequence can be controlled by Christians participating in the political process. When all aspects of each option are weighed, it can be seen that partly mixing faith and politics is the best option.

Works Cited

Bandow Doug. Beyond Good Intentions. Illinois: Crossway Books, 1988.

Wuthnow Robert. Christianity and Civil Society. Pennsylvania: Trinity Press International, 1996

Hicks Laurel, Thompson George T., Lowman Michael R., Cochran George C.. American Government and Politics in the Christian Perspective. Florida: Beka Book Publications, 1984.
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