Free Essay Example. Church and State Concept

Published: 2023-10-11
Free Essay Example. Church and State Concept
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Politics Christianity Church Roman Empire
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1917 words
16 min read

The concept of church and state has it that the roles, leadership, and rules of the religious and political powers, including the government, are different. However, both need the loyalty of those who are participating. Before the start of Christianity, there was no difference or distinction between religious rules and that of the political bodies. The people living in those countries used to worship gods that belonged to the state they living in. In this case, religion, and Christianity was part of that state. The ritual itself, therefore, had its gods that the people worshipped, which marked their faith.

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Following the worship of the gods of different states led to the discovery of the Christian faith. The Jewish people discovered the rules of Israel that where written on the manuscripts. The reveal of Israel's written laws by the Jewish people leads to the advent of Jesus from the two concepts named secularization and spirituality. Secularization refers to the act of separation from religious and spiritual rules that is detaching from the orders those bounds someone to a particular spiritual belief of a state. In this case, Christian started to stand and develop by its written values and rules of Israel. The separation was based on the written "rules give to Ceasar whats for Ceasar and god what it Gods" (Mark 12:17). The phrase above, therefore, formed the basis of Christianity, and its teaching sat the ancient times. It gave the clear distinction between the religion and state powers, although it was not an order of separation.

The apostles living in the Roman empire who were pagans, during the first century, thought the people the virtues of respecting and obeying their rulers and leaders. They taught that they should abide by and respect their leaders so as long the what they are doing does not go against the laws that are higher than the political rulers, thus mentioning the religion. The apostle's teachings brought about the distinction between the supreme powers of the state and persuasion, clearly showing that religion is a higher authority than the rule. In this time, the founders of the church were already the empire's religion. During this time of the empire, the religion's emphasis on the importance of supreme powers was more potent than the political authorities. The emperors insisted on the church becoming more independent and given the skills to question the ruling of the state ruler.

At this time of the development of the church, the Roman empire was declining drastically in the West; the civil authority was taken over by the educated and learned class who therefore remained the churchmen. Therefore the church was the only institution in the western empire. Thus it became the sole authority of both spiritual and state leadership. In the 800 AD, the realms in the West got restored, taking over the direction of western Europe over centuries led by secular rulers. In the 10th C, there was a manipulation of the church leadership, leading to the decline of the clerical zeal. Piety, therefore, brought extreme actions from the hierarchy of upcoming church leaders, in this case, popes, including Gregory VII.

The was the very dramatic struggle for power and survival between the emperors and the kings with the church Popes as seen on centuries after 10th C. during this century, the powers of the Pope had increased a great deal. It had a lot of influence on the empires and the church leadership. The Pope had supreme dominance over the kings and emperor. The rise of scholar age in the 12C by Aristotle's work, St Thomas Aquinas supported the existence of civil power by declaring that the state is a perfect society, and that included the church too, which an ideal culture for the popes. The struggle of the secular society and the religion was hyped in the 14th C leading to the rise of nationalism, and thus lawyers became so prominent. Due to the continued pressure and discoveries from the scholars, the reign of the popes experienced numerous setbacks. The controversies behind the church and state leadership seen the removal of popes because of the great influence of the French state. The great Schism attendant tried to fight for the return of the popes to the leadership of the empire, but it failed because of the forces behind it. As a result, the church influence and prominence failed in most parts of Europe. The act of the empires in Europe to reform leadership, their main focus was to counter-attack the powers of the church. The result of these attacks, therefore, overpowered the rule of the church, which could neither attack nor oppose the strong rulers, who were already ruling the church and the state at the same time. In this time, most churches are therefore referred to as the arms of the country ("Church and state," n.d.).

Few people believed that it could be possible to unify the church and the diverse religious beliefs that were no linked to the civil powers. They checked on the standards of the religion as the primary and essential support system to the federal law. The assumptions of different beliefs and the ability to withstand their opinions started to evolve and thus not taken as they can deviate from the concept of state and church ("Church and state," n.d.).

The idea of the secular government in the constitution of the USA contemplates the impacts of both French and the interests of establishing the churches to protect the differences and similarities of both powers. In this regard, the Christians concluded that's the church, and state separation is the foundation of the Ruler's beliefs. The migration of the Roman Catholics from Rome to the USA further confirmed the idea of the secular government by the legislature of the state because they feared how the funds of the government would be allocated to support the education system ("Church and state," n.d.). During this henceforth, there were numerous discussions by the Christians advocated for censorship and the reversal of the court order to prohibit the prayers in school.

The church and the Roman Empire

In the years of the reign of Roman empires, the first Christians wanted to have a political order following the belief of having the kingdom of God. Christians believed that they would see the kingdom of God when they live according to the expectation of God, which is evident by the miracles of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ performed miracles in the places he visited, thus strengthening the faith of Christians in God ("Church and State," n.d.). Therefore the political order in the state was insignificant to the Romans because Jesus said, "My kingship is not of this world" (John 18:36). Instead, the notion of the existence of an eternal kingdom, which was based on peace, put Christians in a panic because their state they live in had demands which conflicted with their Christian faith.

The similarities and the difference were developed due to the notion of rejecting the cult of the emperor and that of some of the state offices, especially. The Christians rejected their ruling because the state entrusted them, the judges, with the powers of deciding between life and death. Although the decision of the country was based on the opposition from the Christians based on the program that causes change or revolution, the political leaders accused the church of expansions of weakening the empire ("Church and state," n.d.). The emperors accorded Christians because they said that they were avoiding the many aspects of living a life in public, which include military service.

The Roman Empire had a government that was ruled by the kings. The government was formed by King Augustus to simulate the modern political states. The overpowered states, therefore, are administered through the kings or Roman rulers supported by the main admin of the empire. Augustus was the foremost leader of the Roma Empire. He controlled all the powers governing the empire's ruling and leadership, forcing most of the kings to be relieved of their duties due to the pressure put on them. Under the direction of Augustus, there was a restoration of peace in the empire because the kings were to be accountable for the misuse of power. During this time Joseph and Mary, the parents of Jesus, were allowed to move to Bethlehem, where they gave birth to Jesus.

The Christians in Roman empires were always longing for the everlasting kingdom of God. Despite their faith in God, the Christians were aware and acknowledged the existence of pagans who also were a state by itself led by their orders. The Christians believed in having a ruling body that they thought it was from God ("Church and state," n.d.), and that they should comply with the governing bodies in their state. The idea is shown clearly in the book of Thessalonians, written by Paul of the existence of an antichrist who will pose himself as Jesus Christ, though performing things which are according to teachings of Jesus. Paul argues that's the state of Roman prevents the world from being destroyed by the antichrist. At the same time, the imperial city of Rome was identified as the Whore of Babylon, as stated in the book of Revelation 17:3-7. Paul was manifesting for the development of one supreme rule under the rules of Jesus Christ. He advocated that if the church was riled independently as from the Roman Empire ("Church and state," n.d.), the Christians were likely to lead a life of faith. It clearly shows that the same authorities could not rule the church and state.

The church and the Eastern Empire

The eastern was also referred to as the Byzantine Empire. When Rome took over the Mediterranean basin, it brought peace, law, and order, and also prosperity to the diverse cultures in the area. The Roman Ruler in this century was called Constantine, who granted himself some rights of the leadership of the church. ("Church and state," n.d.) The reasons were only about the activities that happened outside the church leadership but affected its operations. The Ruler was responsible for directing and leading the members of the empire to draft important doctrines of Christianity and to make their decisions official.

The Ruler of the Byzantine Empire called "priest and emperor." He was the head of the church. The Ruler had the powers over the ecclesiastical affairs of the church, even though the priest did not ordain him ("Byzantine church, history of," n.d.). The people of the Byzantine Empire believed that the authorities and roles of their Ruler came from God and celebrated by giving him a crown and anointment.

Rome rulers wanted to dominate the basin and make the people to only worship one Ruler. In this case, they should worship Jesus Christ, the single prince of peace, because they would get united as one in Christ. The idea, therefore, made the church as the tool for spreading the rule of the Roman Empire on the unexplored regions. The struggle for control over the Mediterranean led to the conflict of interest between the emperor and the Pope. The also referred to as religious differences ("Byzantine church, history of," n.d.), therefore, led to the differences in politics. The Mediterranean state, therefore, detached from the rule of Byzantium to become independent, thus making it church free to govern itself. The idea of the church being separate became rampant and dominant all around Europe for many years that followed. ("Byzantine church, history of," n.d.)

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