XVII. Religious Liberty

God alone is Lord of what is right and wrong. Man’s sense of what is right and wrong is free from the rules and commandments of men. These rules and commandments may be different from His Word. They may not be found in His Word. Church and state should be separate. The state owes protection to every church. The state owes complete freedom to every church in seeking spiritual matters. In giving this freedom, no religious group or denomination should be given any special treatment by the state.

 

The national government was planned by God. It is the duty of Christians to give faithful obedience in all things that are not against the known will of God. The church should not expect the national government to do its work. The gospel of Christ considers only spiritual methods to reach its purposes. The state has no right to require punishment for religious beliefs of any kind. The state has no right to require taxes for the support of any form of religion. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal. This suggests the right of free communication with God by all men. This also suggests the right to start and spread religious opinions without trouble from the government.

Genesis 1:27; 2:7; Matthew 6:6-7,24; 16:26; 22:21; John 8:36; Acts 4:19-20; Romans 6:1-2; 13:1-7; Galatians 5:1,13; Philippians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; James 4:12; 1 Peter 2:12-17; 3:11-17; 4:12-19.

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