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Heresy of the Day #9: Statism

by | Sep 7, 2021

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Heresy: Statism

Statism is the belief that the state is the highest authority over and above any other religion, ideology, or philosophy.

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Statism is essentially state-sponsored secularism whereby the governmental system may, in some cases, tolerate other religions such as Christianity, but will not allow other religions to influence the policies or practices of the government in any way. This form of government often places restrictions on worship, religious proselytism, and public practice often driving many other religions–especially Christianity–underground.

Statism has been primarily popular in Communist nations throughout history, including Russia/Soviet Union, China, North Korea, and Cuba. However, statism is growing rapidly in Western nations including the United States and several nations in Europe.

Examples of Statism:

Some examples of statism in practice–both in modern times and throughout history–include but are certainly not limited to:

  • In Rome, Caesar worshipped as God
  • The Roman Catholic Church is somewhat a continuation of this, papal worship, papal headship of state
  • China, Biblical Christianity illegal and driven underground
  • Russia/Soviet Union, atheism/secularism taught in schools
  • United States/Canada/UK/Australia, Evolution taught in schools
  • United States, Restrictions on worship during COVID-19 including shutdowns, restrictions on singing, and mask mandates
  • United States, vaccine mandates w/o regard for religious objection

Key Tenets of Statism:

  • State-sponsored secularism
  • Forced Restrictions on other religions
  • Forced violation of conscience for the “common good”

Modern-day secular proponents of statism:

  • Bill Maher
  • Joe Biden/Kamala Harris/Nancy Pelosi/Most Democrat Politicians
  • Michael Moore
  • Richard Dawkins
  • Christopher Hitchens
  • Sam Harris
  • Rachel Maddow

Modern-day religious proponents of statism:

  • Ed Stetzer
  • Russell Moore
  • Mark Dever
  • Thabiti Anyabwile
  • Most contributors to The Gospel Coalition
  • All contributors and staff (ironically) at the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
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