An Unholy Alliance: Church and State
What has the church historically taught through its opened doors at the expense of neglecting the Kingdom? When Constantine opened the doors of the church by making it the official religion of the Roman Empire, all kinds of doctrine, practices, festivals and structures came in the church. Unfortunately, they have been in the church for so long, people would rather abandon the truth of the gospel than their lifelong traditions. Christ spoke about the power of tradition and He declared that traditions could nullify the Word of God (Matthew 15:8). But if the Roman Empire opened the doors, then the American Church put a door stopper in it to ensure that it would never close. When we look at the practices and philosophies that have been allowed in the church versus what the Bible teaches, it is simply mind blowing. I would like to take a little time to look at some of the things that entered the church while the doors were opened by the Roman Empire, the Church of England, and the American Colonists. The things that were allowed to enter the church were the things that forced Christ out of the church. There was a hostile take over that will leave thousands facing a Great Disappointment.
It may appear that I am being very hard, and even unfair, to the church but the church has been under observation by men of God throughout church history. St. Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Niebuhr and others have analyzed the church and found it lacking and attempted to reform it. Augustine, in his work entitled The City of God, divides the church into two categories — the visible and invisible. The church has been a turbulent institution since it was under the influence of the Roman Empire. Prior to its marriage to Rome, the church was an institution that focused upon spreading the message of Christ and the Kingdom of God. Has there been any good that has come out of the church since the Roman wedding? Of course! The church has and is still producing people that love God, but the majority of the churches, especially in America, are not producing disciples for Christ; they are creating financial support for debt servicing and lavish living. Don’t misunderstand me — there are people getting saved in the church and undergoing personal transformation, even the Roman Catholic Church, however it is due to neither the vision nor the context of the church; it is due to the level of aggression of the individual.
Still, the church has provided many of us a platform for salvation and service, many of us would not have a relationship with Christ today had it not been for our exposure to and experience with the church. The problem is that the church that led us to Christ has lost its focus and appeal, and the spirit of the age has taken hold of it and has led it into captivity. The church, as I see it, has been exiled into Roman captivity. Martin Luther, during his reformation, saw the church being exiled into what he called Babylonian captivity, which was where Israel was robbed of its culture, worship, language, and focus. In the same fashion, Roman captivity produced an environment for Christians to practice their religion as vassals of the Roman Empire. Roman dominion created a classist level of clergy that learned to partner with the government in order to earn favors; this group was similar to the Sanhedrin in Jewish society (Pharisees and Sadducees). Today, the Christian church is endeavoring to be politically correct in a corrupt society and trying not to disrupt the governmental favors of tax benefits and faith-based initiatives. The church has become something it was not designed to be through dispensational development or evolutionary changes in culture and society. The Christian Church has become dislocated and disconnected from its foundation.