As Presbyterians we have a very careful understanding of the relationship between the church and the civil magistrate. If you’d like to probe this in any depth just read our public theology, the Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 23. We recognize that both spheres are legitimate and are ordained by God (Romans 13:1-7). Christ is Lord over the State and over the Church. But they are separate spheres. We do not want the civil government interfering in church matters, nor do we want to see the church take her focus off the “ordinary means of grace” (Word, prayer, and sacraments) to focus on politics & policy. But, whenever the civil magistrate recognizes the Church’s God-commanded activities and even asks for our assistance, we should be happy to co-operate.
Our state’s Governor – Nikki Haley – sent a communication on Tuesday to all churches in the state of South Carolina, asking us to gather our congregations at Noon on Tuesday, November 22, for the purpose of prayer. The Elders of WRPC have considered this request and are happy to comply.
The Governor specifically stated that she is deeply concerned for two issues:
- Potential civil unrest in the state in light of the two high profile criminal trials underway in Charleston (the shooting of the Emmanuel AME Nine & the shooting of Walter Scott).
- The ongoing suffering & displacement of many of our fellow citizens by Hurricane Matthew.
So, next Tuesday, we will gather in the WRPC Choir Room to pray for these concerns. Please join us.