Reformer John Calvin came to Geneva, Switzerland, in 1536. One of his first acts as a minister was to write a catechism and a confession of faith. However, not everyone in Geneva agreed with Calvin’s confession of faith. Since the church in Geneva and the government were intertwined, Calvin came into conflict with the secular forces on who can excommunicate people. Calvin wanted the church to have sole authority, and the government didn’t want to let go of their power to excommunicate. The council that ruled Geneva decreed that the Eucharist was to be given to anyone who presented themselves to receive it. Calvin simply refused to serve it at all, claiming that the people were not in the right mood and would desecrate the sacrament. Calvin would leave Geneva because of the conflict between him and the councils.
Today the very idea that the government would tell the church what to do and who is and is not allowed to take the Eucharist is horrifying to American Christians. We have a separation between Church and State and the right to freedom of religion.
That separation and right are being eroded away. Ironically, it is being undermined by those who wear the label, Christian. The Religious Right claims that the Constitution has no separation between Church and State. One of the favorite arguments of the Religious Right is that the actual words “Separation of Church and State.” Do not appear in the Constitution. They further claim the founding fathers wanted to establish a Christian nation.
The Supreme court has interpreted the first amendment to the Constitution, the no establishment clause, as meaning the State shall not interfere in religion. However, with the new decidedly Right-Wing Supreme Court, that could change. The Religious Right started a long-term plan to change the very character of the Federal Judiciary system back in the 1970s. Their strategy has finally come to fruition.
Under the doctrine of two kingdoms, the Religious Right has decided to use secular means to impose their version of Christianity. In the next few months, the Supreme Court will decide if discrimination against LGBTQ+ people can be codified by claiming the “Religious freedom” not to support those they label as sinners.
Two problems with that. Not all Christians believe that LGBTQ+ people are sinners. So, we have one religious group imposing their will on another. Second, “religious freedom” can be carried out to absurd lengths. Can I fire you if you aren’t a Southern Baptist? Can I fire you if you didn’t vote for “God’s appointed” Trump? America has tens of thousands of denominations, and each has its own unique set of beliefs and practices. How soon until I can exercise my “religious Freedom” and deny services or employment to Right Wing Christians who discriminate? I believe that discrimination is a sin, and I don’t want to become complicit in their sinful lifestyle of bigotry.
I don’t want the government involved in telling me how to practice my religion. I certainly don’t want a Religious Right government telling me how to be a Christian. When religion controls the government, people die. Remember the Crusades and the Salem witchcraft trials?
The Religious Right likes to claim two kingdoms. They claim they must use secular power to rule the secular world and that all the niceties of Christianity like “love one another,” are only appropriate for the Kingdom of God. Perhaps they forgot the part of the Bible where Jesus said you couldn’t serve two masters. When we became Christians, we swore our allegiance to the Kingdom of God. We turned our backs on the Kingdom of the world. Two kingdom theology is nothing more than a rationalization of “The ends justify the means.” It is nothing more than treason to the Kingdom we swore allegiance to. Fundagelicals want to rule in the secular Kingdom and have forgotten they swore to serve in God’s Kingdom.
Thanks for reading! Please take a moment and share this post. Don’t forget to like the post and subscribe if you haven’t already. You can watch my vlog at Rev’s Reels on YouTube. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Join me and a bunch of other former Fundagelicals at Open Door Ministries in Westminster at the Westminster Mall.