Category Archives: Church and State

Churchianity v Christianity

A British theologian challenges the teaching in the church that evangelism, when wrongly understood as simply adding souls to the ecclesiastical structures and congregations, is an adequate representation of the mission of God in Jesus Christ.

So far, in his series on ‘Churchianity’, Dr Joseph Boot has argued that Christians need to develop a cultural theology grounded in the Bible and has addressed two common faults among evangelicals’ approaches to culture. In this third installment, he challenges well-meaning but errant thinking on the relationship between religion and politics and culture.

Read the whole article here:

http://www.christianconcern.com/our-issues/church-and-state/churchianity-or-christianity-part-3-an-example-of-churchianity

Who is Your President?

United States presidential candidates in 2016

The United States presidential candidates in 2016

One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor, states Proverbs 29:23.

With political passions engulfing the globe one must ask if believers should stay away from politics? The answer is negative. Simply our “politics” is different. It is of the Kingdom of God, and not of the kingdoms of this world. When Christ declared to Pilate in John 18 that His kingdom is not of this world He did not mean that He is an escapist. Neither did He want that for His disciples. He  meant that the way He and His followers engage in this world defies its principles of corruption and rebellion. Just the opposite, Jesus’s own mission and the one He gave to the church is one of full engagement with the Gospel with all peoples and worldly powers (Matt 28:16-18)

We also need to remember that regardless of our well-devised political systems, and our preferences of one or the other, it is God who places rulers in place, and he removes them, per His own will. The principle of God’s ultimate sovereignty is well described in Daniel, chapter 4.

The Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes. (Daniel 4:25b).

The whole chapter speaks of the sovereignty of God. It overrides the so-called “sovereignty of the people” and of the sovereignty of a “nation.” Democratic elections are not the ultimate source of kingly appointments. See verse 17.

The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.’

The United States presidential elections of 2016 are a perfect example of these truths. Donald Trump, a man laughed at and vehemently opposed by both the political and media establishments, won the elections. His victory should be a sign to all, especially to Christians, that God’s will is ultimate and He is no respecter of man. The eternal plans of God will override all human plans for life and society.

His dominion is an eternal dominion;
his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
All the peoples of the earth
are regarded as nothing.
He does as he pleases
with the powers of heaven
and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand
or say to him: “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:33-35)

Those who were laughing in arrogance at Donald Trump’s efforts to campaign for the presidency are not laughing anymore. They are crying (WARNING: Inappropriate language used by one of the featured political activists at the end of the video clip. Another one’s implied but soundless.).

Today’s planners of a future without God should learn from king Nebuchadnezzar:

Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble. (Daniel 4:7)

Freedom of Speech vs. Free Speech

Holy BibleOne may have the freedom to express oneself and that is a political and legal right in many democratic nations; however, it is the Creator of speech Who eventually has the final say on the matter. Freedom of speech is often wrongly seen as expression free from any moral limitations.

Jesus taught that “the evil man takes out from the evil treasure of his heart evil things; as the good man takes out from the good treasure of his heart good things.” This is true about our speech. Lies and slander about people or about who God is, have effect on our lives, regardless if we believe in that or not.

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

— Matthew 12:34-37 KJV.

Theological lying and slander against the true God maybe protected legally by the rules of freedom of expression. But freedom of speech is different from free speech. The former usually guarantees one to be able to say whatever they want no matter how wise, stupid, ridiculous or offensive; it is generally designed as a legal right to criticize tyrants and prevent evil ruler and bureaucrats from shutting down those who speak the truth. Yet in a self-centered society this good legal guarantee of expression can be, and has become, a defense of most reprehensible and useless forms of expression. (We will not give any examples here to not promote this kind of expression,  but such are readily available on the net.)

Free speech, on the other hand, is one that is morally and ethically justifiable, and leads to the truth and to the ultimate freedom in Jesus Christ. Hence lying and slandering God, although maybe be protected by “freedom of expression,” but it is not free speech – it is deceptive and destructive. There is no freedom without truth and Jesus clearly taught that freedom is to study and obey His teachings (John 8:32). As the world continues to slip into darkness and chaos, Jesus has called us to be light and salt, and call to repentance all who seek the Truth. This the speech that the world needs to hear. 

Faith That Works: Worshiping God or Caesar?

manif-9 septI grew up in communist Bulgaria when public false worship of the national false god was mandatory. One of the major roles of the government, and why not the main purpose, was to ensure obedience to the ideology of the ruling cult – the communist party.

The  photograph o the left has recorded a so called “manifestation” of the people in Bulgaria under communism. All schools, universities, factories, and all workers had to show up for these parades and shout worshipful slogans to the communist party, the state and its leaders. The socialist utopia was at its highest frenzy.
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Freedom of religion and conscience in the Bible – Daniel 6

The Scriptures are filled with witness of how the believers’ faith collides with the deception of ungodly leaders in government and society. One such example we find in Daniel 6.

The excellence in Daniel’s work for the king becomes a source of envy for his “co-workers” in ruling the regions of the empire. They realize that they will not be able to catch him in a work-related blunder so they decide that his faith will be the reason for his fall. The anti-religious freedom lobbyists go to the king and ask him to pass a law that will mandate that for 30 days no one will pray to any other god but him, the king. “Not a bad idea,” the ruler thought.
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The new village road

In 2010 I was hired as a legal consultant to represent a mayor of a small viallge in Southern Bulgaria. He was an evangelical Christian whose greatest issue was to have a road built for the people of his viallge. The village was in the mountains separated by 30 km (about 18 miles) from the rest of the world by a dirt road which went through private property; the owner of the property did not allow the villagers to use the path going through his piece of land.
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Religious Hatred and the Role of the State [in Bulgaria]

By Viktor Kostov

Published initially in Dnevnik, a daily Bulgarian newspaper, on April 25, 2011, after a violent attack on Jehova’s Witnesses building and assembly indoors in the Bulgarian city of Burgas
Link to video UNAVAILABLE
http://youtu.be/TH6adGKoSOA )

The attack on a religious minority in Burgas is not accidental. Violence against people who had gathered peacefully, without weapons, indoors, on their private property by hooligans whose supreme achievement is to mentally distinguish the colors of their favorite team and that of the opponent and to consider whether the match result is a loss or win.

When under the guise of its power the state violates its own laws the result is violence and division in society.

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