Concordia Theological Monthly

Publication Date


Document Type



church and state, rome, worship, cult, roman empire, christianity, government

Submission Type

Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


The church always confronts the state. Sometimes the relationship is casual, as in the United States, where, generally speaking, the church is allowed to carry on its work with little interference. Often, however, the relationship is one of antagonism, as in the Soviet Union, where the state insists that it has no concern at all about religion but where the Communist party, closely tied to the State, is in continuous struggle to convince the people to forsake their piety. Sometimes the relationship is one of domination. Either the church dominates the state, as was theoretically true during the Middle Ages in the West, or the church is controlled by the State, as in the Byzantine Empire during the same period. The early church confronted a State that was at times neutral but more often hostile.


History of Christianity

Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)

Jeremiah 29:4-7; Revelation 1:9; 1 Peter 3:15; 1 Peter 4:15-16;

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Submission Audience

Laity; Ministers; Scholars