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Summary: What separation does mean is that all true religious faith is a matter of free choice, and so no state power can ever be rightly used to enforce faith or any religious conviction.

Until every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus

Christ is Lord, the abuse of power will be a major cause of human

suffering. When the country of Chad in Africa became independent

in 1960 the Christian missionaries were delighted that the first

President was a Baptist. Tambolboye was converted by Baptist

missionaries and taught in a Baptist school, and now he is a political

leader of the land. It was a dream come true, but the dream soon

became a nightmare. He established dictatorial powers and

imprisoned his army commander. He began a systematic persecution

of the Baptist. He began to force his people to restore the old pagan

rights of sacrifice to ancestral spirits. He revived the secret

ceremonies of flogging, facial scaring and drugs. The Baptist refused

to cooperate, and so their homes were ransacked and their lives

threatened. Christian children were taken away to concentration

camps. One pastor who refused to let his child go was shot.

Many of the Baptist missionaries were arrested and expelled.

All Baptist churches and schools were closed. Other Christians were

left alone, but the Baptists were persecuted. Why? Tambolboye as a

young man had been a Baptist, and as a young man he was

disciplined for some unchristian behavior. Now he was in a position

of great power, and he was using his power to get revenge. You

might say he was a devil in disguise. That could very well be, but it

could also be that he was indeed a Christian. He organized a state

church called The Evangelical Church of Chad. He was not only a

professing Christian, but he was also an evangelical.

He made two pastors the two top officials in his government, and

they began to force all Christians to conform to the state church.

Many died resisting. Pastors were tortured and had their fingers

broken and some were even buried alive. It was a horrible time, but

finally in 1975 an army officer fed up with the violence stormed the

presidential palace and killed the first Christian President of Chad.

You may think it borders on blasphemy to even call such a monster a

Christian, but let me remind you that Christians all through history

have believed and practiced just what he did. They have believed it

is right for Christians in political power to use force to coerce other

Christians into conformity with their convictions. It was even

considered right to kill them if they would not comply.

It is true that the first Christians were persecuted by the Jews,

and Paul was one of the worst. He would use his authority to arrest

and kill Christians, and he was committed to use force to drive

Christians off the face of the earth. It is true that the non-Christian

Romans were the next great persecutors of the church, and in the

first 3 centuries they wrote some of the bloodiest chapters of church

history. But the fact is, the majority of the persecution of Christians

in history has been done by other Christians, who had political

power, and who abused that power by using force to make other

Christians conform.

We don't have time to go through history to illustrate this, but if

you have even a general knowledge of Church history you will be

aware that the official Catholic position has always been this: When

the Catholic church is in control of political power in a state, that

power should be used to force the citizens to conform to Catholic

doctrine. It is not only right, it is an obligation of the state to kill

those who refuse to conform, but remain heretics. If you know

history, you know that they practice what they preach, and many

thousands of Christians died because other Christians said they had

no right to be different from the Christians in control of state power.

Surprisingly the Protestant Reformation did not change this, and

Luther and Calvin followed the Catholic conviction. When the

church had power to coerce others into conformity, it was to use that

power. The result is that when Protestants gained power in the state

they got even with the Catholics. Now it was their turn, and they

persecuted the Catholics. They imprisoned and killed them for not

conforming to the Protestants. Luther spurred on state troops to kill

thousands of Anabaptists for their brand of Christianity. Calvin

even had a fellow theologian, by the name of Servetus, burned at the

stake because of theological differences. The reformers believed that

the state should punish people for wrong religious beliefs, and

anything was wrong that was not their belief.

When we come to the history of England it was more of the same.

It seemed like every Christian who got into power felt it was his or

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