V1N14 State v. Church compared to Husband v. Wife -- Reciprocal Learning from the Ideal Relationship
- Remnant Saints Inter-Continental Congress
Volume 1 Number 14
March 1, 2002 6:00 pm MST
To: Full RSICC Membership and Friends
State v. Church compared to Husband v. Wife -- Reciprocal Learning from the
We can draw a great deal of wisdom regarding the proper role of government
and its relationship to the church if we compare it to the relationship
between a husband and a wife. The husband is the protector. The wife is
the nurturer. They have separate roles, but the ideal is for them to work
harmoniously together for the benefit of the entire family. The children
could be considered analogous to lay citizens.
In some (too many) relationships, the man is controlling, acting as a
tyrant. In others, the woman is. In some cases, the husband and wife are
well balanced and their relationship thrives and the children are happy.
What are the key ingredients for the ideal man-wife-child relationship, and
what lessons can be applied to the ideal church-state-citizen relationship?
In some (most) nations and in some (most) times of history, the government
acts as tyrant. In others (more rare, but it still happens), the church
serves as the overlording tyrant of society. The ideal would be for there
to be a balance, with a symbiotic relationship, and with a happy citizenry.
What is it that the woman does, that helps keep the husband-would-be-tyrant
from becoming such? Some of it is the choice of the husband, some of it is
the choice of the woman. But there are principles of the ideal
relationship. What lessons can we draw from this regarding the proper
relationship between church and state?
When the children are young, the parents play a different role for them than
when they grow older and begin to learn independence, to go out on their
own. The citizens of some nations are not as "grown up" in their
understanding of responsibility, and hence need more of a guiding hand from
the paternalistic state or the maternalistic church. Even though each
nation and each church contains a wide gamut of immature to mature
individuals within it, there does seem to be a general level of
characteristics or personality that marks the body as a whole as distinct
from another body elsewhere. The Muslim countries and religion are very
different from the Western world, and both of these are very different from
the Eastern countries and religions. Some nations are more prepared for
The ideal is for the parents (husband and wife) to help the children
(citizens) grow up into responsible adults. The ultimate society needs no
head (church-state), for all citizens are both responsible and virtuous.
That doesn't mean there would be no church-state in the ultimate society;
only that its role would be very different. In this case, the relationship
between the church-state and the citizens would resemble more of that of
parents with their matured children. They are more friends and colleagues
than parent-child. In my opinion, we as a society not too far away from
achieving that ideal. We are well along in our development. We have
outgrown the stage of childhood in which the parents are required to exert a
great deal of control because we don't know any better.
Nevertheless, while society as a whole will soon be ready for a more
advanced level of church-state-citizen relationship than they now
experience, they are not ready for a fully matured level. Nevertheless,
there could be pockets of communities on the brink of such a level. These,
I would posit, will be heaven on earth, as the ideal balance is struck. But
even the less advanced level will be a large improvement on where the world
is at today. There is a transformation coming to the planet.
As I compose this write-up and contemplate the many comparisons, I realize
that this question and its answers could be the subject of a book or of a
doctoral thesis, if not many.
It would be fun to develop this idea together.
We shouldn't make this the focus of RSICC, but it certainly can make for an
interesting side conversation that we bring up from time to time.
Sterling D. Allan