I am going to need some of yall’s help with this. part of my relationship with God is that, from time to time, He sets me off on a new line of inquiry. These tend to be broad, far ranging and time intensive. I am not usually able to focus on them exclusively, but the impetus comes in waves, each time reaching a little higher into my awareness and education of my spirit. I have not had one of these puzzles come my way in many months, but I became aware of one today that has been on slow simmer for about a year and is coming to a head in my mind. I believe God is calling me to focus some specific effort in deeply digging into the history, pedagogy and opposing viewpoints on this issue.
To that end, the first step would seem to be to define the question. This is not entirely clear to me, though I believe it is an off-shoot of my earlier research into the theory of Just War. I keep coming back to the Scripture “…render unto Caesar…”. I am left struggling to define who/what is Caesar in my life and how do I render his due unto him without withholding my much greater due to “…render unto God…”. Along with this, intertwined in a way I am as yet somewhat unsure of, is the question, “what is a Christian’s proper role in governance?” I have some strongly held beliefs here, but they are not solidly founded, other than in my own conscience. I need to sink the roots into history and the Church to understand how to convey my beliefs effectively. I am also keeping my mind open enough to accept the real possibility that what I dig up may be contra to the beliefs I now hold and that may well be an inner struggle of largish proportions.
Here is where you can help. I would greatly appreciate suggestions for modern and historical authors who have discussed the relationship of the Church and the State. From the varied traditions, Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox and wide ranging in political beliefs. Specifically, I am looking for good history on the early churches decision to become a recognized religion under the Romans. When, why and how did the early home churches become “official”. I believe, but am not sure, that the next phase of this question will be to look at the faith of America’s founders and see how their faith informed their rebellion and how their views pair up with the views of the early Church.
I’m sure more will come of this. I tend to chew and digest these topics very slowly. I can use all the grist for the mill you guys can provide. I will revisit this from time to time as necessary to update you. The same friend who provided Fukuoka’s book also gave me “The Humanure Handbook” and “Yellow Gold”, so I will be reading those this week and continuing to develop my business model for our future homestead. Lots going on in my head these days, just have to get down to it!