Why Is Statecraft Problematic?

2 02 2007

Ok, so I thought the answer to this question was obvious but as ever I am being asked to clarify my opinions, here goes:

It is easy to see why the Church of England, whose leader is appointed by the Prime Minister, whose Bishops sit in the House of Lords, and who recognise the Queen as the head of the Church might see legislation which curtails Christian freedom to be an issue! Nor is it difficult to see that for years there has been a kind of truce between the Church and the State, whether you are a member of a dissenting church or the recognised state church you have enjoyed the benefits of Christian freedoms resulting from that truce.

I have in the past welcomed greater separation between the church and the government, because I believe there are particular beliefs which result in Christians living in a different way to secular people, but to welcome legislation which could curtail my freedom to live as Christ has called me to live is not something I am obliged to do.

I am interested in church history and some of the earliest debates Christians had surrounded the extent to which it was appropriate for Christians to seek martyrdom. Orthodox opinion was that to seek persecution and martyrdom ruled you out from being considered a martyr for your faith. I am not being melodramatic to use this as an example, I do not think we are in danger of imminent persecution, but the principle is clear Christians are to seek to live peaceably alongside the government and they are not to invite conflict between the government and the Church nor are they to seek to use the power of the State.

I hope that is clear, as always my opinions are in the process of formation and reformation, so I welcome your thoughts.

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One response

9 02 2007
Stray Taoist

Matthew 22:21 perhaps?

These days the martyrdom Christians should exhibit is not the same as those first century ones. (Leaving aside the fact that the State grew out of the institutions of the Church, which in turn grew out of a political need to control the direction the faith community was going, and to exercise control over those they saw as dissenters.)

There is persecution these days, but it would be persecution of *everyone* by this intrusive and odious administration, bent on having their control on every aspect of our lives, regimenting and imposing their one-size-fits all misguided policies.

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