Christianity and the state

Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age, but also in the age to come” (Ephesians 1:21).

Scripture clearly teaches that God’s present judgment is a reality for nations which defy Jesus Christ:

“Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment, Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 2:10-12).

Christians are to pray for those in authority and for the state to provide freedom for the gospel to be preached and for men to live “quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:1-3). A ruler in authority is “God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:4).

Christ’s kingdom can never be identified with any particular nation or political party. While it is not the role of a state to coerce individual citizens to adhere to particular beliefs, the state can never be neutral as regards values. Christians are to work for the state to adopt Christian values and to implement godly laws.

There are different views among Christian people regarding the establishment of religion. However, as a matter of fact the Coronation Oath is an explicit denial of the secularity of the United Kingdom; and the establishment of the Protestant Reformed Christian religion in general, and of the Church of England and the Church of Scotland in particular, still defines the UK as constitutionally a Christian country. These constitutional arrangements will remain in force until there is intentional constitutional change to the contrary.

In promoting the Christian faith The Christian Institute seeks to affirm the universal Lordship of Christ and to challenge secular humanism, theological liberalism, universalism and other ideologies.

The Institute affirms:

1. Salvation solely through the atoning work of Jesus Christ (John 14:6); and

2. That biblical Christianity maintains the true basis for tolerance, democracy and human dignity; and

3. Its commitment to freedom for, not freedom from religion. No state can be neutral in terms of morality or religion. When a state has a majority who claim allegiance to one religion, it may not enforce that one religious belief. There will, however, inevitably be a privileging of that religion at certain public ceremonies such as thanksgivings, funerals of public figures, and rituals and prayers at the beginning of Parliaments. Also it will be privileged in education, while ensuring opt-outs for those of other faiths and none. There must be freedom for minority faiths and philosophies except where these plainly transgress the moral law. To fail to privilege one religion would be for the State positively to endorse either a secular humanistic philosophy (which results in atheism), or a “multifaith philosophy” (which is opposed by faithful people in all religions). Currently Christianity is privileged in the United Kingdom where the majority claim a Christian allegiance (cf. the Coronation Oath and the National Census 2001 in which 72% of all people in England and Wales stated their religion as Christian). The Christian Institute sees this as entirely appropriate and is committed to the ideals behind the current Coronation Oath whatever future form of constitution the UK may have.

© 2008 The Christian Institute