Church-State Relations

“Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth”

Revelation 1:5

Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.”

Psalm 72:11

“Blessed is the nation whose God is YHWH”

Psalm 33:12



There are Four Main Views of Church-State relations in Church history


The Biblical and Westminster Standards (1646) view:

(1) The Establishment Principle – Church and State are distinct, have separate jurisdictions, are co-ordinate (on an equal level), and are both governed by the Word of God.  The State is to uphold both tables of the Ten Commandments, and is to profess, protect, promote and civilly establish the True Religion (circa sacra, not in sacra).  This was the universal view of the Reformation and puritan eras.


UnBiblical Views:

(2) Voluntaryism – Church and State are entirely separate with no relation to each other.  The State is not accountable to God’s Word; any and all churches and religions are civilly tolerated by the State, which views them as voluntary societies.  This is the current view of America.

(3) Erastianism – The State is over the Church.  This is the view of the Anglican Church of England and is historically associated with the 1600′s notion of the divine right of kings.

(4) Ecclesiocracy – The Church is over the State.  This is the view of Roman Catholicism.




“For the nation and kingdom that will not serve Thee shall perish… Thou [the Church] shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings”

Isa. 60:12,16




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