Religion and Government – their impact on our salvation. I wrote this about two and a half years ago. It’s amazing how much things have changed in that short time. It look at different forms of government, with different combinations of intertwining between government and religion.
But now, here in the U.S., it’s getting really hard to tell which one we are anymore. Less and less a democracy – and more and more a weird kind of theocracy / dictatorship combination. It’s scary. Not just for what its doing to our country, but also to our salvation. Especially those who are pushing and supporting the strange and unBiblical alliances being set up here.
So, I’m republishing this as it was originally. It’ll give a starting point for what’s to come. If you’d like to follow along, just subscribe using the the email subscription button towards the top right.
Religion and government. Sounds like religion and politics. Religion and politics are said to be unfit for polite company. And yet, they’re all over the place. To make things even worse – it’s more like religious politics and government politics – and the two can be very much intertwined.
Religion and government. They’re both supposed to “be there for us”. One is supposed to save us. The other is supposed to protect us. However, when they get together, the question becomes save and protect us from what?
In a country with an “official” religion, some people “join” it because they have to. Maybe some join to gain benefits from the country – like tax breaks. Worse yet, the stated beliefs of the religion itself can be modified by the government. Failure to either join or modify beliefs could result in persecution, or even death, and so, people join to obtain the benefit of a continued life.
Even in a country with an unofficial religion, there may be benefits that go to people who claim to be part of it – like reduced taxes.
Having said that, the biggest issue may be the combination of people involved in both the government and the religions. That’s because it invites a scenario where government can force modification in what should have been doctrine about God – or religious leaders can bring great influence to bear in the government – or both can happen.
Forms of Government
Let’s look at some forms of government and see where they lead us. The definitions are from dictionary.com.
- government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
- a state having such a form of government: The United States and Canada are democracies.
- a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.
- political or social equality; democratic spirit.
- the common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power.
With all due respect to the definition above, the United States is not a democracy – it’s a republic. In any case, the end result is very much like the republic.
- a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.
- any body of persons viewed as a commonwealth.
- a state in which the head of government is not a monarch or other hereditary head of state.
Whether it be a democracy or a republic, a country with either form of government is going to have winners and losers when it comes to both religious and governmental politics. The majority can, and often does, try to force its will on the minority. But then, here in the U.S.. the minority has ways to prevent the majority from winning. IE – things just change every time the majority changes or nothing happens at all.
- a form of government in which God or a deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler, the God’s or deity’s laws being interpreted by the ecclesiastical authorities.
- a system of government by priests claiming a divine commission.
- a commonwealth or state under such a form or system of government.
In a theocracy – the government could be either the majority or the minority. The thing is, short of a popular revolution, the government will have it’s was in both political and and religious politics.
- a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.
- a state or organization so ruled.
- the persons or class so ruling.
By definition, in an oligarchy, the minority rules and gets to set all the rules – political and religious.
- a country, government, or the form of government in which absolute power is exercised by a dictator.
- absolute, imperious, or overbearing power or control.
- the office or position held by a dictator.
The dictator is the extreme case – where one person, as long as he has the correct support, gets to set all the rules.
There are, of course, other forms of government. But this is enough to give an idea of where things could go radically wrong with either the form of government or the beliefs of any given religion.
What happens when religion and governmental politics mix
For one thing, here’s an excerpt from something I wrote a while back. It was part of a series on The Lord’s Prayer.
Hallowed – is it destined to go down the same path? Will there be a day when it’s politically incorrect to consider God any higher than our political institutions? Think that’s ridiculous? While the word hallowed itself isn’t under attack – the concept certainly is! One of the candidates for President – Hillary Clinton – has already said “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed”. This was to support what she called “reproductive health care and safe childbirth.” – but was actually referring to a woman’s right to have an abortion. Yes – the concept – if not the word – is definitely under attack already.
The article was called Hallowed be thy name. It talks about how, here in the U.S., words that used to have a religious connotation are getting watered down to the point where they have little or nothing to do with religion at all. In he process, religion has little or nothing to do with life anymore either.
There are also cases where religious freedoms have been restricted by legislation. This one shows where the government tries to get people to voluntarily give up / modify their beliefs.
Pretty much any “Islamic country”
Islam is traditionally a theocracy. I don’t intend to address the question of whether or not any given country’s implementation of Islam is correct, according to the Qur’an. However, it’s safe to say from world events – they don’t all do it the same way. In fact – they fight with each other and destroy each others religious symbols. Clearly, there’s a problem.
In China, there’s an ongoing contradiction between a country that is officially atheist, and yet also supports / allows some “religions”. Again, there are clear issues here concerning the official position of atheism and the government position on religion. One of the things we’ll be covering in much more detail is the official Chinese version of Christianity. It’s called the Three Self Patriotic Movement. It has incredible restrictions placed on it – and has major key portions of true Christian beliefs removed from it.
Finally, after all that, you may be wondering, since this site is all about salvation . What makes this topic of the government relevant? Well, it’s because when beliefs about any religion change, some of them may be critical. While it be via legislation or voluntarily – that change may have a dramatic impact on our salvation. It could go all the way to removing any hope of salvation. That’s what makes it not only relevant – but incredibly important.