Separation of Church and State: Not a Bad Idea Essay

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Liberty University Church History Research Paper Separation of Church and State: Not a Bad Idea Submitted to Dr. Jerry Sutton CHHI 525 – B06 Liberty baptist Theological seminary By Jon Pickens Lynchburg, Virginia Sunday Oct. 12th, 2012 Thesis Statement The historical context before and during the reformation has demonstrated that an exclusively authorized religion by the state results in unnecessary bloodshed, affirms the wisdom of the Anabaptist’s leaning toward separation of church and state, and shows that Christianity is best served with a freedom for differing religious beliefs in a society. Table of Content Introduction ……………………………………………………………............… 3 The Beginning of Church and State Relations…...………………………………. 3 The Church’s Abuse of Power Pre-Reformation……………………………….…4 Church and State Relations During the Reformation……………………………...5 Religious Freedom Post-Reformation………………………………..…………..10 Christianity and the Separation of Church and State……………………………..12 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………..…... 13 Bibliography………………………………………………………………..…….15 Introduction Since the time of Constantine, the church has enjoyed the favor of the state. These two separate institutions had evolved to become so intertwined that they were hardly separable. The Roman Catholic Church possessed much political authority and many might claim that the Roman Empire was a church-run state. In the early years of the Reformation, little changed in this union of church and state functionally, leading to much unnecessary bloodshed. However, there were some radical groups, such as the Anabaptist, who saw these two institutions as separate both theologically and functionally. History has clearly shown this idea to possess much wisdom. This paper will ultimately show that Christianity is best severed with a freedom for differing religious

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