What’s “Church And State”?

Substance

Church And State (CAS) is a Christian political education ministry. We are nondenominational, nonpartisan, and theologically orthodox/conservative.

CAS teaches Christians to have no blindly partisan loyalties, but to examine every issue and candidate through the lens of Scripture (both authority and wisdom), and to thresh out the comparisons and contrasts with other Bible-believing Christians in their church, always debating with grace and charity for those amongst us who disagree on non-essential points – an ecclesiastical reality since the Apostles.

Of course, we are expected to soberly arrive at an informed conclusion of what’s best for our city, nation and neighbours’ justice and peace, and to then campaign for the best policies at every election.

CAS seeks to support and supplement local churches in each city & region, understanding that Sunday services are busy enough without the enormous task of teaching civics as well as everything else the local shepherd is expected to do. We ask how we can serve the unique needs and contexts of local churches.

Many of Australia’s highest calibre Christian speakers generously share their time and expertise on this platform. Occasionally some may even disagree with others on validly debatable issues. All are trusted to sincerely and civilly put their case in a healthy way which promotes unity and grace, rather than cavalierly divide us. Some supportive, non-Christian speakers are sometimes also invited as topic experts.

Christian Right or Christian Left – the Church and State Summit provides a safe and respectful, bipartisan space for people who follow Jesus to informed by brilliant international and local guest speakers on the latest issues impacting our faith through culture and politics.

As a former Labor Minister in the Queensland State Government I am not always in full policy agreement with every participant. However through attending the annual Summit I am better informed and strengthened in articulating my Christian values in a post-modern Australia.

The Summit uniquely provides an open and balanced forum for rigorous discusson and relationship building on how to live as a disciple of Jesus in these new days.

Be informed, be involved, make a difference – join the Church And State Summit experience.

Margaret Keech

Former Minister for Tourism, Fair Trading & Women (Beattie); Child Safety and Women (Bligh), 2001-2012

Mission & Vision

The mission of Church And State Ministries is to help Christians first be better informed about the Biblical basis for political involvement, then the social/historical basis, and to then be better involved in providing the imprimatur for justice and wisdom in government.

Our vision is that Christians in every electorate would resolve to take the simple political steps within everyone’s ability to proactively influence culture & politics, motivated by obedience to Christ and love of neighbour.

For the record…

Some cynics attempt to sensationalise influential Christians with pejorative euphamisms designed to create more heat than light, such as “theocracy” and “dominionism”, “seven mountains” (care of our logo designed to simply illustrate a summit) or other inflammatory rhetoric. They nearly always fail to define their terms.

If those labels means we faithfully obey Christ’s universal commision to be counter-cultural (not conformed to this world), environment-changing, public salt and light; if those labels mean we take Him seriously when He told us to “make disciples of all nations… teaching them to obey everything” He commanded – then yes: we’re Christians trying to be obedient by positively engaging with the public square.

What such cynics imply is actually tyranical: that beliefs and positions informed by a Christian conscience have no valid place in public debate or policy discussions. God forbid such a society! This is all the more reason for Christians to refuse to be low-information observers.

“Now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in my father David’s place, even though I am only a young man and am inexperienced…Give your servant a discerning mind so he can make judicial decisions for your people and distinguish right from wrong. Otherwise no one is able to make judicial decisions for this great nation of yours.”

(1 Kings 3, NET)

“The Church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the Church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.

 

If the Church does not participate actively in the struggle for peace and … justice, it will forfeit the loyalty of millions and cause men everywhere to say that it has atrophied its will.

 

But if the Church will free itself from the shackles of a deadening status quo, and, recovering its great historic mission, will speak and act fearlessly and insistently in terms of justice and peace, it will enkindle the imagination of mankind and fire the souls of men, imbuing them with a glowing and ardent love for truth, justice, and peace.

 

Men far and near will know the Church as a great fellowship of love that provides light and bread for lonely travellers at midnight.”

“The Church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the Church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.”

– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Affiliation

We’re sometimes asked, “What church group is organising this event?” The answer is none.

Church And State is an grassroots-funded, unaffiliated “marketplace” ministry. Everyone involved belongs to different local churches. Christians of all flavours (denominations) and many political philosophies who simply agree that Jesus is Lord and the Bible is His Word come together to teach, preach and learn about the Kingdom of God in the public square.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ “

(Matthew 7, NKJV)

History

During the 2016 federal election, after many years of state and federal election campaign involvment in a major party, Dave Pellowe was working in a minor party to help get Christians elected.

Years of observing a prevalence of indifference to and wrong teaching about politics amongst evangelical Christians brought Dave to the call of God to help arm Christians to be better informed and better involved. Inspired by the parable of the Good Samaritan, Dave founded Church And State with Joseph Simard, and they formally began video broadcasts in January 2017.

The inaugural Australian Church And State Summit was held in February 2018 with the Hon John Anderson OAM (former deputy PM) as the keynote speaker, along with Martyn Iles in his first public speaking event as the new Managaing Director of ACL. Every year since then the large line up of speakers is always of the highest calibre, earning a reputation for being one of Australia’s most significant Christian political conferences. CAS has continued to grow with influential conferences in cities and regional centres from Perth to Auckland.

Founder

The founder of Church And State Ministries is Christian commentator & political educator, Dave Pellowe. Since 2017 he’s interviewed everyone from Pauline Hanson to Nigel Farage and academics to abortionists about a wide range of important public issues affecting the neighbours we’re called to love practically. Dave’s articles have been published in The Spectator Australia, Quadrant Online, Caldron Pool, The Canberra Declaration, Eternity News and others internationally. He also preaches in and/or hosts Church And State regional events partnering with groups of local churches around Australia, teaching faithful stewardship of our God-given political freedom in a way that promotes the unity and harmony of the Body and the Gospel of Christ.

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