The church has taken on many roles throughout its mixed and complicated history, with various centers in many locations. The early church faced persecution from local governments and the
Roman Empire. In time the church became intertwined with the Roman Empire and began dominating local governments ending the systematic persecution of Christians. With the decay of the Roman Empire the church began to function as the behind the scenes leader of nations and political figures. With this power came corruption and the church went through reformation to remove corruption from within. After the reformation the church began to lose political influence it once had with the Holy Roman Empire.
With the rise of democracy we saw a rise in Christian influence, as individual believers began dictating government policy. These Christians took strong stands on many moral and social issues from pacifism, alcohol, and public health; to war, prison reform, and education.
What is the role of the church today?
Our church exists in a culture which continues to grow more opposed to differing views and opinions. So instead of taking a strong stand on one side or the other, we have the opportunity to be the voice of tolerance and peace; a safe place to bring peoples of different opinions together and recognize the humanity within others of differing viewpoints. As church, our mission is to bring everyone under the loving protection of God in Christ Jesus, regardless of political ideology.
With this in mind, we must strive to open friendly and meaningful conversations with others regardless of politics, not to change minds but to open hearts to the love God has for all people. It is not an easy path that God has called us to walk but with His help and grace we can make the journey together.
God loves you and so do I.