Separation of Church & State
I recently wrote an article for our denominations magazine. It was an article exploring the separation of church and state. Because it seems (in America) that those who scream most loudly for a separation are also calling the gov’t to ban abortion, gay marriage, etc. I’m wondering where the emerging church is going to enter the political conversation, if at all?
My article explored the distinction between God’s holiness and God’s righteousness. It also made use of the three offices of Israel: prophet, priest and king. The basic conclusion of the article was to leave it to the gov’t to ensure justice/equality and leave it to the church to form "moral" beings. It seems to me that a focus on justice allows Christians to have a voice in the political dialogue without being overtly religious. "Letters to the Editor" quickly labeled me a communist which led me to believe that I didn’t explain myself very well. But I am a firm believer in capitalism and democracy, even if I think (in America) it has led to severe injustices.
In particular, I wonder about the emerging church’s view of Romans 13:1-7. Can we still label the governing authorities as "God’s servant" as Paul did? If so, what does that mean? How does the state, then, relate to the church?