The State and Christianity

I was reading “How Should We Then Live?” by Francis Schaeffer, and his commentary got the gears in my head whirring. His words are prophetic.

I admit, until reading chapter 1 of his book, I was somewhat puzzled as to why Christians were persecuted in the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire was easily the most religiously tolerant civilization to exist up to that time; you were free to worship whatever god(s) you wished. Why then the contempt for Christians in particular?

The answers are rather straightforward. Christians were hated because they rejected syncretism and were political rebels that rejected the divinity of the Emperor. Religious tolerance extended only so far as long as you worshiped Caesar as a god as well.

But Christians refused this. They claim that all other gods are false, and that their belief system is a scale by which to weigh the actions of State power. To totalitarians, this is unacceptable. Those that worship power want the State to be the focus of thought and daily life. It makes little difference what kind of government exists which is run by people with such poisonous ambitions – national socialist, fascist, communist, theocratic, oligarchic, plutocratic.

This explains much as to why the Chinese Communists so detest Christianity. Under communism and fascism, no organizations are supposed to exist outside of direct state control. It further explains why the Democratic Party is so maligned against Christianity these days: It is the party of the State. Its members have faith in the power of the State. To them, the State is… quite literally… God Almighty Himself.

I see much in common with this analysis was to why Rome fell apart, with how America is also falling apart. And how the American people seem to be just giving up on everything good and right in this world.


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