Home / General / Church and the State

Church and the State

An important issue about institutional Christianity is the fact that it is important for the church to be separated from the state. When the church is united to the government it stops having the authority to make moral statements. Inevitably when the church is seen to be supporting a particular government it will sooner or later pay a price. When governments fall, so does the “court”. This is very much in the tradition of the fathers of the Church.

 

St John Chrysostom for example was persecuted by the state for daring to criticize the moral life of the head of state. Inevitably, the church becomes called on to pray for absurdities. So many countries pray for God to support them in an armed conflict. They presume their own moral righteousness and ask for the power to destroy. The tragedy here is they actually believe their own press releases.

What is often forgotten is the fact that the other side is probably doing the same thing. There is no justification for violence. When a child gets into a fight we understand it as being childish behaviour, or call it bullying. When an adult does it, we call it bullying.

When a state does it we call it nationalism or patriotism. This simply is not being a mature Christian. Invoking God in any sort of warfare, sport rivalry etc, is not what Christian spirituality is about.

by Rev. Olexander Kenez

This post is also available in: Ukrainian

About Taras Semenyuk

Taras Semenyuk is the prime Webmaster for our website and is a seminarian based in Rome Italy. Taras is studying mass media and the church in Rome and has excellent contacts with media around the world. He is also a contributor of our Patriarchal website in Ukraine.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.