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Questions tagged [civil-government]

For questions about the government's authority, how Christians should interact with secular governments, the relationship between Church and state, and the relationship between Christianity and secular laws.

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12 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the theological background to the belief that taxation is theft?

Within American evangelicalism a debate has recently been reignited on economic policy, and I've been astonished at the number of people saying that some or all taxation should be considered to be ...
-1 votes
1 answer
60 views

Was Margaret McBride exonerated for the abortion? Or forgiven? Or what?

Not sure I understand what's going on here Excommunication of Margaret McBride. It says McBride was an administrator and member of the ethics committee at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, ...
1 vote
2 answers
223 views

Why was "lay investiture" condemned?

What was the Investiture Controversy and lay investiture, and why exactly was it condemned? Fr. Hardon, S.J., defines "lay investiture": The act by which a sovereign, in the Middle Ages, ...
2 votes
4 answers
166 views

Is money a consequence of Original Sin?

Kinsella, The Wife Desired p. 77 claims: It has been stated that money is the root of all evil. [1 Tim. 6:10: "the desire of money is the root of all evils"; cf. Summa Theologica I-II q. 84 ...
0 votes
1 answer
18 views

According to sedeprivationism, does a material pope have temporal authority?

According to sedeprivationism, does a material pope (papa materialiter) have temporal authority?
2 votes
2 answers
171 views

Is a Catholic who belongs to a political party that supports sins in its party platform excommunicated?

Is a Catholic who belongs to a political party that supports sins in its party platform excommunicated? Before Vatican II, a Catholic belonging to the Communist Party (or any other association ...
2 votes
1 answer
111 views

Did ancient Roman Christians celebrate any Roman national holidays?

Did ancient Roman Christians celebrate any Roman national holidays? Or were all their national holidays festivities which honored pagan gods?
0 votes
2 answers
87 views

For Evangelical/Fundamentalist Protestants, what is the motivation for supporting morality-based legislation?

Just to be clear, I'm only referring to activities that are victimless, or at least harm nobody except for those who willingly participate. If I understand Calvinist (TULIP) theology correctly, ...
2 votes
1 answer
98 views

Can priests be on capital punishment juries?

Can priests be on capital punishment juries, or is this interdicted as an irregularity by canon law?
3 votes
2 answers
101 views

Is a lawfully-constituted civil society divinely-instituted?

According to Catholic theologians, is every lawfully-constituted civil authority divinely-instituted like the Church (Mt. 16:18-19)? Pope Leo XIII, in his 1881 encyclical on the origin of civil power, ...
7 votes
1 answer
127 views

What was Samuel Rutherford's view on the role of pastors in wedding ceremonies?

Samuel Rutherford was an important 17th-century Presbyterian theologian who had significant influence in the drafting of the Westminster Standards, still widely used as a part of the constitutions of ...
2 votes
3 answers
250 views

Is moonlighting an offense against Ten Commandments?

Government employees of many countries are prohibited by the respective conduct rules, from taking up any employment of monetary gain, on the assumption that they are 24x7 for the Government. From the ...
8 votes
3 answers
3k views

Would a JW be disfellowshipped if they join a military (and are unrepentant about it)?

On my reading of a Anton Gill's 1989 book "The journey back from hell", he speaks briefly about JWs in the concentration camps. According to Gill, one of the issues the Nazis had with this group was ...
3 votes
2 answers
104 views

How can Romans 13 be reconciled with authorities who could act unjustly?

In Romans 13:3, the scriptures state that the authorities hold no terror for those who do right. Considering all the martyrs who have been persecuted for doing right, then how can this scripture be ...
3 votes
5 answers
724 views

Why do the Gospel accounts not specify what crimes the two men crucified next to Jesus were guilty of?

Matthew 27:38 and Mark 15:27 say “two robbers” were crucified with Jesus. Luke 23:32 says “two criminals” were crucified with Jesus. John 19:18 says only that “two others” were crucified with him. ...
2 votes
2 answers
101 views

Is there a way of working out approximately how much money Zacchaeus would have given away and given back as restitution?

Luke 19:1-10 relates Zacchaeus’s transformative encounter with Jesus, which had the chief tax collector almost instantly promising to give half of his possessions to the poor, and paying back four-...
4 votes
2 answers
200 views

Did Lactantius ever say why it was good for Christians to be ruled by a Christian emperor?

Lactantius was a Christian who had been a part of the Roman government (which was hostile to Christians) prior to his conversion. Sometime between 303 and 311 he wrote a systematic theology, in which ...
4 votes
1 answer
148 views

Persecution in Christianity

I had a strange exchange with a user on this forum. They took a view I doubt Thomas Aquinas would have agreed with. They felt that anything that interfered with saying the Mass was persecution. Let ...
2 votes
2 answers
106 views

What, historically, was the stance of the Catholic Church about the duty to obey non-Christian governments?

My understanding of history is that: During the times of the early Roman Empire the stance of the persecuted Christians was that they recognize the authority of the State and the Emperor and obey ...
1 vote
3 answers
97 views

Which of the Ten Commandments becomes a subject of aberration if a Christian evades Income Tax?

In many countries like India, Return of Income Tax due to the Government from the citizens are filed online on the dedicated Tax Portal . Each citizen is required to disclose the income he earned in ...
0 votes
3 answers
104 views

According to Catholicism, is it a gravely sinful act to give shelter to a criminal wanted by the State?

Imagine this situation: Mr A who is a close friend of Mr B enters into a heated argument with Mr C who is their common friend, in a remote area. Mr C provokes A to such an extent that the latter ...
4 votes
0 answers
55 views

What are the impacts on churches and Christian practice (if any) because of Indonesia's updated criminal code?

The Australian Associated Press reports: Decades in the making, the new criminal code is expected to be passed on December 15, Indonesia's deputy justice minister Edward Omar Sharif Hiariej told ...
-6 votes
1 answer
114 views

Why are Evangelical Christians pushing to outlaw abortions without clear Biblical guidance on abortion? [duplicate]

Laws, especially when made for moral reasons, should have unambiguous support in God's Word. But God's Word is far from unambiguous on this issue. The clearest passages addressing abortion (although ...
1 vote
1 answer
178 views

Has any monk or nun ever left a monastery to be married to a king or queen?

Has any monk or nun in Church history ever left a monastery to be married to a king or queen? St. Margaret of Hungary, according to Short Lives of the Dominican Saints p. 16, almost did: Her parents ...
7 votes
3 answers
382 views

How does the trial of Jesus compare to the judicial standards of the epoch and of the modern times?

I wonder whether Jesus was given enough opportunities to defend himself, whether his trial was fair and whether the investigation was thorough. I want to know how it compares with typical criminal, ...
0 votes
2 answers
672 views

Verse that says that he who cannot govern himself cannot govern others?

Where in Holy Scriptures does it say that he who cannot govern himself cannot govern others?
2 votes
2 answers
336 views

What is the biblical justification for a monarchy?

Is there any biblical justification for a monarchy in either the New or Old Testament of the bible (ie a system of government with a monarch at the head) and if so where in the bible do we see this?
12 votes
4 answers
4k views

What is the Biblical basis for civil disobedience, by not wearing a mask in the midst of COVID-19, despite health department rules?

In many places in the United States there are health department rules that require those attending worship inside a church to wear a mask. Yet, there are many churches that refuse to be in compliance ...
2 votes
0 answers
35 views

What was the Cathars' / Albigensians' political philosophy?

What was the Cathars' or Albigensians' political philosophy? Was it the same as the Manicheans'? Who were these movements' prominent political philosopher-theologians? All these dualists thought that ...
4 votes
1 answer
221 views

Annulment: How do Catholic courts evaluate evidence admission? (Fruit of the poisonous tree)

Example: Say I'm married and I snoop into my spouse's personal belongings and discover some kind of evidence that, if it would be admissible, would prove beyond reasonable doubt (or balance of ...
5 votes
1 answer
154 views

What does Jehovah's Witnesses canon say about the United States, if anything?

Inspired by this other question on the LDS denomination. What I am curious on is if the Jehovah's Witnesses holy writings (whatever they consider "canon") say anything about the United ...
10 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why do Latter-day Saints believe that the US Constitution is divinely inspired and what does that mean?

Recent events have brought more attention to some Latter-day Saints who have referred to the US Constitution as "divinely inspired." When did this belief originate? What scriptures do they ...
0 votes
2 answers
135 views

What's the biblical basis for protesting government mandates that threaten basic democratic rights?

Assuming a peaceful and respectful approach to voicing opposition to proposed government mandates or legislation that would make various segments of society (including Christianity) subject to ...
2 votes
2 answers
195 views

Is it obligatory for a Catholic to obey all government regulations even if they contradict religious norms?

What happens when the law contradicts the word of God, his commandments, his moral norms, catechism, etc. What prevails? Is it legitimate to disobey the laws of the land to protect Christian values ...
0 votes
1 answer
299 views

God made them male and female - is this truth now redundant? [closed]

Does the church have another opportunity to simply follow the world into a whole new level of absurdity, or is there any reason to draw a line in the sand on this matter of self-identification? One ...
5 votes
1 answer
106 views

How has opinion on the death penalty among American Catholics shifted since 1974?

In 1974, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), "by a substantial majority, voted to declare its opposition to capital punishment" (source). In 1980, it reaffirmed this stance in ...
1 vote
3 answers
93 views

Meaning of confession and doctrine in this context?

What is the difference between the meaning of ‘confession’ and ‘doctrine’ in this context, and what their ‘unity’ is supposed to mean. I know based on my searches that ‘confession’ might mean ...
0 votes
0 answers
38 views

Why do churches merge?

Our local mobile church leadership has proposed a merger with another local church. Reasons cited were a) pandemic meant they couldn't meet at the public school they had been using for 8 years so we ...
4 votes
2 answers
164 views

Does Romans 13:1-2 contradict the actions of civil disobedience taken by the apostles?

Romans 13:1-2 (ESV): Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists ...
1 vote
2 answers
110 views

Does the State have the right to correct the Church in theological matters?

Did any Catholic theologians think the State ever has the right to correct the Church in theological matters? For example, when Pope John XXII (r. 1316-1334) denied the then-material (i.e., not-yet-...
12 votes
3 answers
430 views

Why did the Western and Eastern churches react to their respective states so differently?

In Church History in Plain Language, Bruce Shelley points out a key distinction between Western and Eastern Christianity: how each has related to the State through history. Ambrose had hit upon the ...
3 votes
1 answer
110 views

Can Catholics participate in a regime or administration that lies to protect its people?

An article in Slate describe "Noble Lies" as: When experts or agencies deliver information to the public that they consider possibly or definitively false to further a larger, often well-...
13 votes
7 answers
6k views

Is there any biblical support for the Church to allow governments to close churches and prevent public worship?

There is a basic Bible principle for Christians to obey the laws of the authorities that govern them: Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which ...
7 votes
3 answers
301 views

Do Christians foresee contradicting Government requirements in prolonged 'lockdown' conditions?

I received an email today from someone who has, thus far, complied with Government advice, concerned that prolonged lockdown conditions or 'semi-lockdown' conditions (which pose significant ...
1 vote
1 answer
150 views

Has there been any denominational, official, public push-back against governments declaring in-person worship 'non-essential'?

Christians share certain beliefs that can be at odds with secular governments. In particular, Christians believe that salvation of souls is much more important than bodily health, as souls can exist ...
2 votes
2 answers
311 views

Why is it not that a state divorce is actually an argument AGAINST a church annulment petition rather than a necessary condition for such petition?

Note: This question may be wrong. I think the right question is in the following link: How do Filipino Catholics get a church annulment when their state marriage is valid, considering the Philippines ...
12 votes
4 answers
78k views

Why do Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to pledge allegiance or salute the flag?

I have heard that Jehovah's Witnesses are forbidden to recite the Pledge of Allegiance (to the United States flag) or even to salute it. What is the basis for this prohibition? I'm wondering what ...
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Did the midwives in Exodus 1 sin by disobeying and lying to Pharaoh? (Catholic/Protestant overview)

In Exodus 1:15–16, the king of Egypt orders the Hebrew midwives to kill the sons born to Hebrew women. However, they do not obey: But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt ...
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Marriage invalid. Would a church annulment require a state annulment or state divorce?

This question may be wrong. I think the right question is in the following link: How do Filipino Catholics get a church annulment when their state marriage is valid, considering the Philippines doesn&#...
2 votes
2 answers
751 views

According to Lutherans, what is the Kingdom of God?

In a conversation with a United States veteran, I was intrigued when his response to Luke 4:5, 6 was that the United States is not included among the "kingdoms of the inhabited earth" because the USA ...