The Lord has appointed two kingdoms to govern the affairs of men.
What Are the Two Kingdoms? What Do They Do?
The church administers the sacraments and the Word of God to direct our Father’s children in godliness, while the state bears the sword against injustice and makes laws for the good of all people, regenerate and unregenerate alike (Rom. 13:1-7). Each authority must do its delegated tasks and not try to usurp the authority of the other. The church does not bear the sword, and the state does not administer church discipline.
How Should the Church Interact With and Think of the State?
Nevertheless, on account of the covenant of creation, it is right for the church to expect the state to honor life and bear the sword justly, and it is the responsibility of the church to be a prophetic witness against the state when it fails in these duties.
In this day and age, there is a great temptation for the church in the United States to think that its mission is coextensive with the platform of one or more of the political parties in this country. Yet while we must never be guilty of this error, it does not follow that the church is to be silent on current policies that violate God’s natural law. The state must ever be reminded that it is under the authority of God and the laws He has established in nature.
Question for Reflection
- How do you think of and apply the separation of church and state?
Table Talk Magazine, Creation Ordinances, February 28, 2011 (headings mine)