Church and state

Truism: the history of church-state relations is long and troubled. A variety of readings and some recent teaching on the subject, along with my current preaching series in Samuel, have led me to ask this question: if the priests in the Old Testament represent the church, and the kings the state, isn’t it significant that from the beginning the priests are subject to Yahweh’s prophet (the “great prophet” Moses) and that from the inception of the monarchy the kings, too, are subject to God’s prophets (notably Samuel)? Not that the prophets could coerce priests or kings, but they could (and did!) regularly call them to repentance in the strongest possible terms. And doesn’t that say something about how church-state relations should be configured? It is not that the church should rule the state, or the state the church, but rather that both should be subject to the Word of God in the mouth of His holy prophets.

Category: Of Cabbages and Kings Comment »

Comments are closed.

Back to top