Thoughts on Kingdom, Church, and Grace from an American living in Hong Kong

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Church as the Conscience of the State? Bad Idea

A video making its way around the news circuit features the church of Pastor Dennis Terry hosting  GOP candidate Rick Santorum for a political "revival" meeting.

Its a little scary...

And its indicative of what happens when the Kingdom of Heaven and the American Republic get seen as one and the same.  Poor Pastor his eyes the bad guys are winning so he's backing the candidate who. to him, represents Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

If you watch the below video you see that he declares (and even puts it on Power Point) that, "The Church is the conscience of the State."

Now I've read the New Testament  and there are many things that the church is called to do...but I don't remember "the conscience of the state" being one of them.

In fact I'm pretty sure that instead of being "the conscience of the state", the church is supposed to be representing, and foreshadowing,  the Kingdom of God.  Its not supposed to be the morality police for a temporal nation-state but instead declaring that there is a new King on the throne and he is calling all people to come and and be citizens of His Kingdom.  A Kingdom centered on Christ and that emanates love and forgiveness.

But instead of operating as an Ambassador of God's Kingdom demonstrating that love and forgiveness  to a captive audience, Pastor Terry instead chooses the role of  "the angry American" who is watching  the privileged  position he inherited as a white, male, Christian slip away   He is flailing and grasping for what is "temporal" at the expense of representing the "eternal".

The Church as the Conscience of the State?  Definitely a "bad idea"!

There is a better way Pastor Terry...there is a better way!


Bob said...

You are so right. I like Santorum but I have been disappointed in some of his tactics, especially in trying to make himself the darling of the conservative wing of the GOP.

I really wish Chris Christy was running!

Steve H. said...


Yeah, there is too much anger and people start to associate that with God when they start mixing "church & Caesar"