Rockford Springs Community Church
5815 14-Mile Rd. • 696-3656
At Rockford Springs Community Church we have an adult Sunday school class that meets after our morning worship. What I have grown to really appreciate as their pastor and leader of the class is everyone’s willingness to struggle with real life questions. We try to take on topics that are relevant to our lives even though sometimes they are difficult issues. Our goal is not to just share our own opinions but to determine what God’s Word, found in the Old and New Testament, says about a given topic.
Please join us as we seek to share with the Cedar Springs community our humble study on the topic: “The Separation of the Church and the State.”
We have concluded that the scriptures teach the following…
God is the author of three institutions: the government, the church, and the family; and uses them, among many other things, to maintain safety for individuals and communities so they can thrive, to promote good order, and provide justice. God delights to bring us good laws so that we will be blessed.
We found that these three institutions bring blessing to each other, and to the society they were intended for, when there is collaboration and not alienation.
God, in His good providence, communicates His way for His creation to function through His Word. His Word, when obeyed, brings order, joy, and liberty to a society. But when ignored a society heads towards chaos. We have seen in history where societies moved away from the teaching of God’s Word and stepped into this kind of chaos. To restore order societies have turned to human authorities to decide what was right and wrong but in so doing ended up only limiting or even forfeiting freedom. We thought of Hitler, or even the current leadership in North Korea as examples. Think of other dictatorships, socialist control, or communistic dominance. So, the primary function of the church, in its relationship to government and society, is to communicate God’s Word so that God’s created world knows good law and is blessed, and liberty is promoted. Other governments that have sought to remove the voice of God have less liberty, not more.
Another truth we discovered is that the voice of the church must not be separated from government since all creation is damaged by sin and hence needs the authoritative voice of God to bring about morality. Who will decide morality if not God? The only other answer is Humanity. But Humanity is not able to since it is morally broken in the core of its nature. We need God’s true standard like a carpenter needs a true ruler.
The United States of America has a history where the voice and work of the Christian church has brought blessing. But we saw in our study that at times this was not true. Where this was not the case we admit that the problem was not God and His Word, but rather the failure and sin of Christians to faithfully communicate and live out God’s Word. For this we are sorry.
And finally we believe that everyone must be subject to the government, pay taxes, hold its representatives in honor and respect, obey them in all things that are not in conflict with God’s Word, and pray for them that the Lord may be willing to lead them in all their governing. Hence instead of separation there must be support for the government from the church.
Therefore, we believe that the government would be blessed to hear and obey God’s Word to bring the greatest blessing and liberty to her people. And we believe that the voice of God through His church should influence the conscience of our government.
We hope that our attempt at dealing with this question is of some help to our community as we wrestle with such an important issue.
May the Lord bless our Cedar Springs government, and the United States of America.