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True Authority - Toby Sumpter

Video from Christ Church

True Authority - Toby Sumpter

‘My Kingdom Is Not of This World’ The Lordship of Christ and the Limits of Government

"The thesis of this essay is that Jesus Christ, the absolutely supreme Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of the universe, intends to accomplish his saving purposes in the world without reliance on the powers of civil government to teach, defend, or spread the Christian religion as such. Followers of Christ should not use the sword of civil government to enact, enforce, or spread any idea or behavior as explicitly Christian — as part of the Christian religion as such.

It is critical to understand what I mean by the phrases “explicitly Christian” and “the Christian religion as such.” The state may indeed teach, defend, and spread ideas and behaviors that Christians support — and support for explicitly Christian reasons (and that non-Christians may support for different reasons). But that is not the same as the state’s taking on the role of advocacy for the Christian faith as such. It’s the latter, not the former, that the New Testament opposes.

The civil government may rightly pass laws that make the spread of the Christian faith (and other faiths) easier (for example, laws protecting free speech and free assembly). That is not what the New Testament opposes. The New Testament opposes Christians looking to the state to teach, defend, or spread ideas or behaviors as explicitly Christian. The sword is not to be the agent of the Christian religion as such — that is, as a religion..." from the article:

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