Church and State or Church and God?

“The Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready”  Revelation 19:7  ESV


It’s always been about the groom – Jesus. Everything else is subservient to that. He died so that one day He could present His bride (the Church) to His Father in heaven.


Most are aware that ever since Jesus uttered the controversial words, “Render to Ceasar what belongs to Ceasar, and to God what belongs to God”, there has been tension involving the relationship between church and state. Official documents have been drawn up to either preserve one or the other (depending on how you look at it). Court justices have wrestled over this issue, and lines have been clearly drawn in the sand by those who are for or against separating Church and state. Some have even placed more importance on these documents than they have the Scriptures.


Whenever I hear the church and state arguments go back and forth, it feels like a ping pong tournament is going in inside my head with no clear winner. It gives me a headache. Yet there is something in me that says there is more to this controversy. I believe that there has always been an unspoken misdeed living beneath this whole “Ceasar and God” debate – something below the well-argued sides that glaze over the whole quarrel.


This question poses itself more to the Church than to the state. Is it possible to be more politically driven than God-driven?  Sometimes the two can become confused – even substituting “political driveness” for the divine will. Abraham Heschel states,

“We worry a great deal about the problem of church and state. Now what about church and God? Sometimes there seems to be a greater separation between the church and God than between the church and the state.” 


This is the question that rings with in my heart. How close is the Church to God?  And how much of its efforts have been focused on “doing”, and not “being”? I believe you need both. A believer should be involved in the world, and a believer must have an intimate relationship with his God. However sometimes we can tip the scales with imbalance in favor of one over the other. In this day where social justice has come to the forefront of the church, has it done so at the expense of the prayer meeting, or seeking God?

Unfortunately I agree with Heschel’s words that for the Church, the balance is in favor of “doing” over “being”. The Church has done countless wonderful things in the world, but what if it “gains the whole world” while losing its soul? What good is a bride who puts all her attention on her dress, her makeup, jewelry, and the moment of the wedding ceremony, but never focuses on the groom?