Introduction: Faith, Freedom, and Service

We acknowledge that we are created to live in community, and as such are endowed with rights and responsibilities so that we may enter into a state of society with the purpose of perpetuating life and the flourishing requisite to it. By virtue of the divine sovereignty we live our lives as members of the religious community, while as citizens we conduct our affairs as subjects of the state (1 Pet. 2:13–14).

We wish to emphasize the overlapping obligations of our dual citizenship by drawing attention to the moral basis of our formation in family and community, and to the wider relationships that make for society and the government it creates. In their different ways, divine sovereignty and the sovereignty of the nation-state demand our allegiance without one being exclusive of the other.

On the contrary, the obligations of our membership in the religious community complement and expand the obligations of our role as citizens. Our dual citizenship recognizes the complementarity of our roles as believers and citizens in which freedom becomes the ground of connection between the two. It is the enjoinment of Scripture to honor our rulers and our fellow human beings without ceasing to serve and to fear God (1 Pet. 2:16–17).

In religion, freedom arises from the conscience of the believer, while in the nation-state, freedom springs from the will and consent of citizens. Religious freedom is inseparable from issues of citizenship and government. We are commanded to use our freedom to serve one another (Gal. 5:13).