So far, we know that the two-headed snake theory of the political system of the Christian world, their separation of politics and religion is to perform the separation of spirit and material, religion and politics based on the same belief and the same God. They take charge of their affairs in different fields and can not mix with each other. They should be treated differently because they were two things of different nature. In the hundreds of years of medieval European history, the Church and the secular government were entangled and fought endlessly, and both wanted to expand their jurisdiction. The two sides argued and did not give in about the jurisdiction based on the Bible. Finally, some affairs the Church and priests couldn’t involve were defined according to the Bible, so there was a clear division of their jurisdiction. The main contents are as follows.
1. Bible clearly stipulates that churches and priests are spiritual and specialize in matters of the spiritual field. Therefore, they shall not have weapons or be in charge of the army. Therefore, protecting churches and priests from paganism is the most important function of the secular king and the purpose of secular government in medieval Christian society.
2. The Church is also not involved in the police, an institution for protecting personal and property security because it involves force and violence. Therefore, the police are also entirely under the jurisdiction of the secular king.
3. Bible clearly stipulates that priests shall not kill, so the death penalty and some felonies must be tried by the civil court of the secular king.
4. Because the Bible does not encourage the pursuit of material wealth and material pleasure, economic affairs such as developing trade and establishing towns are generally under the jurisdiction of secular kings. Similarly, general financial cases must also be tried by civil courts. ①
Except for the above acts explicitly prohibited in the Bible, the Christian Church covered almost all other functions of society. It included pastoral care such as baptism, wedding, confession, and burial, charities such as orphanages, nursing homes, poor care centers, important departments such as education and hospitals, and some misdemeanor courts, including road and bridge maintenance. The role of secular Kings was to protect the Church, protect every Christian’s personal and property safety, and manage economic affairs. They were in charge of the army, police, prisons, tax officials, civil courts, etc. In the Christian society, no matter how compared with the secular government, the Church is transcendent, moral, selfless, and spiritual. If the Church bore the social responsibility, it would get more guarantees and better quality. Therefore, Except for the functions clearly stipulated in the Bible, the Church should assume social responsibility as much as possible.
From the historical experience, the Church must not have an army, which is the bottom line and must not be touched. Because faith involves the issue of eternal life and eternity, neither party will yield an inch. If the Church has an army, it will inevitably bring killing and blood. However, the premise is the secular king must protect the Church from harm. When the secular king cannot ensure this, Christians can only be lambs to be slaughtered. Millions of Christians in Armenia were slaughtered by pagans like a lamb because they could not get the protection of any secular king. At that time, millions of Christians could not organize an army to save themselves because the Church was not allowed to have an army in the Bible. The power of this commandment that remained in the subconscious was mighty, and people naturally acted according to it, so God could only cry alone in heaven. The separation of Church and State is unique to Christianity; the non-Christian world, such as Islamic countries, does not have the concept of separation of Church and State. Their State is the Church, and the Church is the State. It is easy to form an army belonging to the Church itself. Therefore, if Christianity does not dominate this country or the State cannot protect Christians, Christians can only face the fate of being slaughtered arbitrarily by paganism. The Bible clearly says, “Caesar’s belongs to Caesar, and God’s belongs to God.” the Church cannot have an army; it is the Bible’s instruction, which is Christians’ greatness and sadness. Although there had been martial popes in history, there had been the Papal States, and the Church had its own army, these actions have never been respected. On the contrary, they were considered to be a serious violation of the teachings of the Bible and seriously weakened the spiritual authority of the Pope. All secular kings united against the Pope. The period when the Pope had an army was also the period when the papal authority was the weakest.
In Christian society in the middle ages, due to the monopoly of Christianity, there was a division of power between the Church and the secular monarchy; they each held spiritual and material swords. Because both sides believed their power came from God, they unified to promote the Christian faith and had the same ideas on the compulsion of religion. The suppression of atheists and heresy is also tacit. The medieval Church had its own church court. Because the Church itself had no executive agencies such as the army and the police, only the secular king could execute the judgment of the church court and impose material, physical and spiritual punishment on all kinds of violations of church law. The secular king also used the spiritual sword held by the Church to strengthen his authority. For example, he reinforces his authority through the coronation and anointing ceremony of the Pope or bishop. He was naturally happy to help the church court execute the judgment. The two sides are interdependent and interdependent; they are independent and inseparable. At the same time, both sides support and promote each other. When one party decays and degenerates or commits misconduct, the other party has the right to accuse and correct. The Church used its spiritual power to condemn and criticize the improper behavior of the secular monarchy and asked them to correct it. Similarly, the secular king also used his own advantages in controlling the violent institutions such as the army, police, and prison to exert influence on the improper behavior of the Church. They competed fiercely for the jurisdiction, and both wanted to limit the other side to the minimum. The secular king would never let the Church touch the vital violent institutions such as the army, the police, and the prison, while the Church also limited the secular Kingship to those important but limited areas and assumed a large number of the rest of social responsibilities, such as education, charity Hospital, etc. Therefore, the two snakes monster was a very appropriate metaphor. While biting and fighting each other, the two snakes had to support and promote each other because they belonged to the same body, for the same faith, for the same God, and for the same goal – the stability and harmony of Christian society. The two sides entangled each other and moved forward together, but they went more smoothly and steadily than in any other society. This was the great role of Christianity’s real and original separation of politics and religion. This separation of politics and religion makes the Christian world avoid the autocratic corruption of secular regimes and the backward ignorance of the unity of politics and religion and push forward human civilization step by step until today.
As we discussed above, the Puritans inherited the genuine and original separation of Church and State in the process of building God’s city on the hill and even made them a more integral whole. Although the Church and the civil government had their own clear jurisdiction, pastors and other holy orders must not hold civil positions. However, it does not mean that the Church could not interfere in civil affairs. Because if you want to become a shareholder and free person in the colony, you must become a member of the Church and a saint by obtaining the Church’s approval. The Church controls the certification of electing civil officials and becoming civil officials. At the same time, the Church also did a lot of coordination and lubrication work for the prosperity and stability of the civil government. Therefore, the colonial government could tide over the difficulties again and again. As we mentioned in the previous chapter, during the formation of the veto power of the Massachusetts colonial Senate, the pastors did a lot of detailed work on the town representatives so that they finally agreed that the Senate had the veto power. In the autonomy of Sudbury Town, church members and pastors had also done a lot of work on the town residents, hoping that they could obey and implement the tax plan of the state government as much as possible in order to maintain the authority of the state government and the stability of the colony. Finally, the town residents listened to their opinions.
Moreover, in many events we did not discuss, the Church also played an important role in the colony’s stability. They acted concerted efforts with government, shoulder to shoulder, of one mind, which made brotherly love the lubricant for various forces in the political arena. As a result, various forces could make each other halfway and compromises, reached a consensus, and finally built the mountain city successfully. Moreover, I can definitely say that there wouldn’t be Massachusetts which could frighten the British later without their lubrication and coordination .and later Lincoln, due to the loss of the lubrication and coordination role of the Church, the contradiction between the north and the South intensified. Finally, the dispute could only be settled by war. The Church made great contributions to the sustainable development of the colony, while the civil government also played a critical role in the unity and stability of the Church. Due to the particularity of Congregationalism, the congregational Church did not recognize any superior organization. If there were no command role of the civil government, the Church would be scattered and collapse at the first encounter. At the critical moment when Hutchinson’s fideism made the colonial Church fall apart, Winthrop, as governor, intervened in church affairs as chief executive of God and expelled Mrs. Hutchinson and other fideism heresies that the colonial Church could continue to exist. Therefore, in the eyes of Puritans, the relationship between the Church and the State is in complete harmony, and it is impossible to separate the relationship. Williams opposes this close political and religious relationship and wants to separate the two completely. This is the thing Winthrop must determine, “which can be tolerated,but which can not be tolerated”.
Note: ① burns “Cambridge History of medieval political thought”, Xinzhi Sanlian bookstore, trans,Cheng Zhimin p346-426, Cong Riyun “between God and Caesar”, zuoan Culture Co., Ltd., p193-282
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