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Is It Possible to Separate Church and State?

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The Undivided Life

You’ve probably heard the phrase “the separation of church and state.” This phrase is often wielded politically (though it is in no political documents!) as a means to compartmentalize life.

Some jobs require you to keep your religion out of the workplace, separate faith from your science or psychological worldview. The claim is that one can live life with divided categories: work life, religious life, family life, etc.

Is it then possible to do so? Are we able and commanded biblically to keep our politics, morals, work, leisure, food, parenting, vacation, media intake, etc. separate? Is there any overlap? Does the Lordship of Christ apply to all of your life?

In contrast, Francis Schaeffer wrote this, “It is not only that true spirituality covers all of life, but it covers all parts of the spectrum of life equally. In this sense there is nothing concerning reality that is not spiritual.”

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All of Life Is Spiritual

In 1 Corinthians 10:31, ESV, the Apostle Paul writes, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

This emphatically and clearly means that you must do everything in your life in such a way to magnify and showcase the surpassing worth of God. All of your life is under the Lordship of Jesus Christ because Christ is Lord over all of your life.

All of us will give an account to God (Romans 14:12) — whether for the good or the bad (see 2 Corinthians 5:10). On the last day, John tells us that when the books are opened, everyone will give an account for their entire life (Revelation 20:12).

All of us are given temporal things for eternal reasons. This is the biblical reality that invades all of life and ought to influence all of your life.

If Jesus Christ is Lord of all then He is by definition Lord of your all. Christ rules and has dominion over every aspect of your life, whether as believer or unbeliever.

All of your life is before the face of God and is therefore spiritual. It is impossible to do anything neutral — we are either doing it in rebellion or in obedience to Jesus Christ. All of life matters and changes with this in mind.

Philippians 2:10-11 ESV Bible Verse from the Is It Possible to Separate Church and State Article on Liftable.com

The Lordship of Christ in Your Life

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No Matter What It Is, Jesus Is Better

As a believer, we will give an account for all of life. But, there is not judgment unto condemnation reserved for us. Why? Not because Christians are better, or smarter, or nicer, or do good works — but because the Lord Jesus Christ took on human flesh to suffer the judgment reserved for us and rose triumphantly on the third day as the Lord of all (see Philippians 2:5-11).

Your whole life then is to be consumed, influenced, and ran according to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Your existence is for God. Your entire life is to be influenced by the word of Christ. Now, you will be judged for how you handle and live life — not as condemnation, but as reward.

Your life is not compartmentalized — all of it is spiritual because your first and primary identity is with and in Jesus Christ.

Your relationship to Jesus Christ is the defining factor of all that you do. Therefore, your entire life is the Christian life. And now as a Christian, you can finally live free from the fear of death and live happily for the glory of God:

  • Money is given to you to show the world that money is not your master, Jesus Christ is.
  • Possessions are given to you to show the world that stuff is not your treasure, Jesus Christ is.
  • Family is given to you to show the world that family is not your identity, Jesus Christ is.
  • Life is given to you to show the world that you are not the center of your life, Jesus Christ is.

As the theologian Abraham Kuyper once wrote, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!'”

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Cale is the pastor of Union Baptist Church in Orrick, MO. He is married to his wife Kelly and they have two children (third on the way!). Cale will be graduating with a Masters degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary this Fall and Spring 2023.
Cale is the pastor of Union Baptist Church in Orrick, MO. He is married to his wife Kelly and they have two children (third on the way!). Cale will be graduating with a Masters degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary this Fall and Spring 2023.




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