The Church and the faults of society

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In our day the Christian Church is viewed as a sector of society and even as a group for pressuring society. This can be explained by the fact that the methods of operation used by the unbelieving world are being brought into the churches. The Apostles knew how to separate the spiritual from the earthly. The Apostolic Church was not a pressure group or a sector of society. This is apparent, for instance, from the Apostles' attitude toward slavery. Paul writes: "Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that" (1 Cor.7:21). According to the Bible the task of the Christian Church is not correcting the faults of society. The Church merely exhorts its members to act properly and expects this of them.

The above-mentioned exhortation of Paul to slaves provides much room for thought because the lines of demarcation between the spiritual and earthly spheres are jumbled in the minds of people today. The members of the early Church obeyed the civil authorities. Without pressuring the masters of slaves or urging the slaves to rebel against their masters, the Christian Church, as is generally known, was in time instrumental in abolishing slavery, even though the abolition of slavery was not a part of its program. One wonders just how great a blessing would ensue, if in Christendom today the spiritual and earthly matters were kept separate from each other.