The Bible: for everyone, everything, everywhere

It is not only the church and the school which must be Christian. Every area of life and thought must obey God and His word. It’s a very serious mistake to think of the Bible as a church book. The Bible is more than a church book. It is a book for the totality of life, and as a result, this book is for every man in every area of life, and for every institution. It’s a Bible for church and state, for school and laboratory…

It’s a book for every area of life, and this book is seriously maligned and damaged if it’s treated as a book for the church only. It is to dishonor this book to limit its scope. It’s a book for the courtroom. It’s a book for the state. Every area of life is under God. It must hear His word and must obey Him. This does not mean the union of church and state. It means religion is basic to the state as it is to the church.

Quote source

Rushdoony, R.J. (n.d.). Postmillennialism and Education. Pocket College. Available http://www.pocketcollege.com/beta/index.php?title=Postmillennialism_and_Education_-_RR148K20. Last accessed 13th Aug 2017.

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No separation of God or Christianity from the state

Much of the misunderstanding in the area of “the separation of Church and State” hinges on the interpretation of the First Amendment. The religion clause of the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Traditionally, it has always been understood that this meant that in America there would be no State Church, like the one they had in [18th century] England. Historically, it has been understood that there is a separation of the function of the Church from the function of the State.

But that does not mean there is to be a separation of God or Christianity from the State…

Quote source

Kennedy, D.J. and Newcombe, J. (2001). What if Jesus Had Never Been Born? [ebook]. Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville. Location 1334

Relations between Christians and heads of state

Notwithstanding their [the 1st century Christians of Asia Minor’s] loyalty to the head of state combined with adherence to Christianity, the principle—one must obey God rather than man—was understood by them in concrete situations as meaning that the Church is superior to the state any time a claim dangerous to the fundamentals of the Church demands such a decisive delimitation of authority.

“God is greater than the emperor”, was the claim of the Church of the martyrs as she courageously faced the threat of death.

[Chruch Father] Ambrose [of Milan] said frankly, before an imperial tyranny even when it had become Christian, in a phrase that was never forgotten in subsequent centuries and which became a classic formula:

“The emperor is in the Church, not above her. A good emperor seeks to help the Church not to combat her. We say this with a humility equal to our determination, even when threatened with torture, execution, or exile. As servants of Christ we put aside all fear.”

Quote source

Rahner, H., translated by Davis, L.D. (1992) Church and State in Early Christianity [ebook]. Ignatius Press, San Francisco. Location 71 of 5067

No limits to God’s government—or the church’s witness

The prophets, God’s preachers of old, were commanded by the Lord to proclaim God’s law-word concerning all things and to correct and rebuke kings and governors. When our Lord promises His disciples that they shall be brought before governors and kings for His sake, and “for a testimony against them” (Matt. 10:18), He did not mean they were then to forswear the faith, wink at abortion and homosexuality, and be silent about the sins of the state!

There are no limits to the area of God’s government, law, and sovereign sway. There can then be no limits to the areas of the church’s witness, its preaching, and its commanded concern.

Quote source

Rushdoony, R.J. (1986). Christianity and the State. Ross House Books, Vallecito, p. 192

War between civil orders and Christ’s kingdom

Because the state sees itself as the overlord for all within the territory of the state, it grows increasingly intolerant of any divergent element, especially one which insists on a transcendental order. The true Christian must insist on the crown rights of Christ the King; he believes in God’s law; he recognizes the necessity of obeying and pleasing God, not man, and he moves in terms of his calling from God. He has what the modern state detests, a dual citizenship in the local state and in the Kingdom of God; in that dual citizenship, God’s kingdom has priority and must govern over the local realm.

There is thus a state of war between modern civil orders and Christ’s kingdom. Those who refuse to recognize that war will become the first victims of it.

Quote source

Rushdoony, R.J. (1986). Christianity and the State. Ross House Books, Vallecito, pp. 167-168

Christ trumps the state, and the church must follow

Early Christians were called “heretics” and “atheists” when they denied the gods of Rome, in particular the divinity of the emperor and the statism he embodied in his personality cult.

These Christians knew that Jesus Christ, not the state, was their Lord and that this faith required a different kind of relationship to the state than the state demanded.

Because Jesus Christ was their acknowledged Sovereign, they consciously denied such esteem to all other claimants. Today the church must take a similar stand before the modern state.

Quote source

Chalcedon Foundation, (n.d.) The “Atheism” of the Early Church. Available http://chalcedon.edu/store/item/the-atheism-of-the-early-church/. Last accessed 30th Aug 2015.

Church and state must be under God’s authority

The rationalist wants to establish authority rather than recognize it. To begin with a Biblical perspective means to recognize the radical impact of sin and its world and life view on man. For the faithful Christian, the mind and life of man must be governed by the Word of God. Both church and state must be under the authority of the Word of God, and also man, his reason, and every area of life and thought.

Quote source

  1. Rushdoony, R. J. (2013) Van Til and the Limits of Reason. (Ebook). Ross House Books, Vallecito. Location 947-51.