Church, State and National Development

862 views Published on 10th June 2016

People have for years attempted to separate Church from State. This is a very dangerous state of affairs. Not only studies and general conscience, but reason also attests to the fact that the two are inseparable. There are many reasons why people attempt to separate the two, including the fact that State is a political institution while Church is a religious one. This in itself, however, is an inadequate reasoning and does not take into consideration the fact that the two seek to, and, in fact, serve the same clientele: The people. These are not just people organized by one national identity, but also who espouse similar customs, culture and, to some extent, language. What politics do for them is affected and affects what religion does to them, and vice versa.

 

In this brief article, I would like to assert, in no uncertain terms, that any government on earth without God, is, and will end up being, a lawless entity. And to advance this thesis I propose the following points: (1) The Law of God is directly related to the Rule of Law; (2) God is every nation’s ultimate Ruler; and (3) Obedience to God’s Word is accomplished, partly, by obedience to the national law.

The Law of God is directly related to the Rule of Law

Law is founded in morality, the idea of rights and wrongs. There is hitherto, no nation and government on earth which has enacted laws it believes will ostracize, demean, or bring indignity upon its people. All nations begin from the premise that its laws will be good laws and will protect and defend the rights and freedoms of people. But these laws are also created in order to reward the good and punish the bad. This, then, is construed as the divine institutionalization of law. Despite the rise of positivism and realism, and to some extent, pragmatism, law still remains, to the largest extent, a natural adaption to the laws of God. Isn’t this the cardinal reason why nations adopt “codes” such as the Criminal Code, which is in all wise, based on the Decalogue (or the Ten Commandments)? In other words, nations do not reinvent, rather, with modification, simply codify what has already been the norm of nature. This is true in regards to the Codex Hammurabi as it is true of the Sharia Law. Most nations whose laws are based on Judeo-Christian traditions, most of which we dub civilized and democratic nations, have their laws rooted in the Bible. Thus, the preamble to the Magna Carta, prided as the first document to celebrate the Rule of Law, states, “That before God, for the health of our soul…to the honor of God, the exaltation of the holy Church, and the better ordering of our kingdom [State]…” (Magna Carta, June 15th, 1215). In this preamble Church and State are partners in the preservation of people’s freedoms and liberties. And thus, the Western world has been governed for centuries by Judeo-Christian principles leading to unprecedented order, prosperity and appreciation and respect for human rights. I surmise that diverting from this path by any dimension is detrimental to peace, order and prosperity for the nations.

God is every nation’s ultimate Ruler

Men may govern, but it is God who is the ultimate Ruler of the nations. And this is no paltry assertion. The Creationist Theorem indicates that, “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth,” (Bible, Genesis 1). And then man is granted dominion over the rest of God’s creation. Thus, from the beginning, man has been the custodian, not the proprietor, of God’s creation, including governing people. Presidents, Prime Ministers, queens and kings are simply God’s regents. They have no power and authority except that which has been granted to them by God through the law enacted by the people. Presidents must submit to the sovereignty of God. Any government on earth that fails to acknowledge this otherworldliness is in error and should remedy the defect with urgency.

Obedience to god’s word is accomplished, partly, through obedience to national law

Many have missed altogether the co-relationship between God’s Law (God’s Word) and the constitution and other national laws. National laws, as discussed, codify God’s moral laws, and in obeying these national laws, we are then obeying God’s Law. For example, if there was no law regulating behaviors such as revenge, hate or crimes and other offenses, human brutality will rise to the brim and nations will be of brutes rather than of sane and civilized souls. Thus, by enacting good and moral laws, governments act for God as His legal enforcers and regal wardens. Any government that enacts bad laws, or laws intended to discriminate or undermine human dignity and disregard divine authority is in defiance against divine order. Government rule should be of laws – of necessity divine law and then human laws, in that order – and not of capricious men’s whims and hidden agendas. It is, therefore, the duty of the people to elect good men and women who will enact good and just laws for the people on behalf of God. Obedience to those laws is obedience to God’s laws, and disobedience to those laws is defiance against God’s law. For the same reason, no-one should be subjected to the rule of demagogues, and defiance against bad and unjust laws is perfectly in order. (Charles Mwewa)

In conclusion

To recapitulate, we may, thus, state: Government without regard for God is a lawless government. Law is essential to ruler-ship because it is necessary to convict against undesirable behavior, to restrain mortal men against their ravenous appetites, and to create a path to obedience – so that good people are rewarded and bad people are punished.

Government is a divine institution placed on earth to carry out the will of God. In electing good men who will enact good laws, we satisfy God’s general will in taking good care of His earthly interests. State cannot, therefore, be separate from the Church, because the Rule of Law is imbued in the Law of God. Governments which have no regard for God, have the highest propensity to breeding dictatorships, corrupt and police states. The presidency is a sacred office – because it is God’s instrument to distribute His providence. God may not choose a president for the people, but once they elect one, he or she becomes God’s instrument. 

Therefore, both the electorate and the elected are responsible to God; the former in making that choice, and the latter in leading the people. A good president should lead the people as a proxy, because he or she will give account before God. Democracy then becomes a government of good people, by good people for the people, and a government whose democracy is such as this, will be prospered and blessed by God. USA and Zambia, this year, choose good men and women to lead by the law on behalf of God towards prosperity and national blessings!

Charles Mwewa is the author of Zambia: Struggles of My People; A Spy in Hell (novel); Residential Tenancies Law: Business and Practice Companion; The Seven Laws of Influence; and dozen other books.

Charles is president of Zambian-Canadian Foundation, legal professor, and Board Member for Black Action Defence Committee (Canada). Charles’ articles can also be accessed at his blog: www.mwewa.ca.


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