Consequences of Confusing the Two Kingdoms or Denying our Dual Citizenship
When these two kingdoms are confused or conflated, we see the rise of the "social gospel" of Protestant liberalism, American civil religion of the Christian right and the liberal left, as well as the rise of Constantianism (Christendom). The church must never take up the sword and Caesar must never enter the pulpit.
When the Christian's dual citizenship is denied (or ignored), we see the rise of asceticism, pietism, radical pacifism and Anabaptism.
Therefore, a Christian is free to work with non-Christians in the civil kingdom to promote the common good and preserve a just society. But the kingdom of Christ is tied to word and sacrament and the church (and its officers and members) must speak to the pressing moral issues of the day in terms of law and gospel, not in terms of the political activism found in the civil kingdom. Yes, the church must address moral issues as they are found and framed in Scripture (through the preaching and catechetical function of the church), but the church is not to engage in partisan politics, nor endorse any political party or candidate.
i) So what does he mean by “the church”? Does his definition include Christ as the head of the church? But that can’t be, since Christ is king of both “kingdoms.”
ii) Does he mean church officers and church members? If so, suppose we plug that definition into his strictures:
Church officers and/or members must no “engage in partisan politics, nor endorse any political party of candidate.”
Really? A Christian layman must never engage in partisan politics, endorse any political party or candidate? Is he serious? Christians are not entitled to work through the democratic process?
A Christian layman must never take up the sword? Christians are not entitled to run for public office? Or serve in the military?
Is that what he means? If that’s not what he means, then what in the world does he mean?
And to the degree that he qualifies his dichotomy, then don’t the two kingdoms overlap in ways that render the dichotomy unsustainable, both in principle and in practice?