Thursday, April 26, 2007
4. CHURCH AND STATE
Baptists have always been wary of alliances between churches and the state authorities. They've said governments shouldn't influence - or interfere with - the free choice people make about their allegience to Christ and the church. They have taken the idea a step further, too, and until recently, have generally refused government funding for their Christian ministries. (Today government grants may be accepted for educational and social welfare purposes, but not usually for worship and pastoral ministries.)
The notion of 'separation of church and state' can be misunderstood. Baptists have always said that what this idea suggests is that in a democratic society the Government should not endorse or privilege any particular religious group over others; it does not mean that religious groups should be barred from the arena of political debate.
More to come, especially from a review I've just done...