When the Bible teaches that God engages the World for the sake of the world in two distinct ways, modern people tend to hear “Church and State” alone. Or, even worse, they hear the “separation of Church and State,” as if the Church needs to avoid having a voice in the public sphere of things in American culture. The Bible doesn’t teach such a nice, neat package. And, the founding Fathers of America weren’t afraid of too much “church” in society. They were afraid of too much power being amassed in an overarching government.
So, what’s the point? Well, when talking about “Church and State,” remember that the Bible sees this in a much bigger picture. Both the Church and the State are public entities under God’s authority and direction. But, the State, the public ordering of the world for the sake of civility and temporal justice and peace, that doesn’t just include politics and law-enforcement, that includes the vocations of Father and Mother, families….that includes the value and purpose of “work and enterprise.” That includes the various ways that people seek to serve those they love and care about with honest enterprise and committed friendship and love. When these things are ordered well, the Bible’s view on this is that “Believers strive for excellence in all they do to give God glory and to serve others in His Name.” A country that seeks to set that attitude “free,” is one that will find a way to put Church and State in proper tension and balance.
In fact, the Two-Kingdom view of life sees the wonderful value of a government working well within its boundaries, and the powerful potential of a culture that is free to hear the Gospel unrestrained. To that end, a Christian, Two-Kingdom citizen is “Set Free, to live freely for others in Christ.” They are ready to put their “Temporal liberties to work to proclaim and embody the eternal liberties of Christ.” Even the Apostle Paul put his Roman Citizenship to work for the sake of the Gospel in Acts 16.