Church and state: not opponents, but brethren

I Was struck recently with the import of four little words that I hadn't paid much attention to before. They are in the Bible's account of the time when Abram separated from Lot in order to preserve peace. Unselfishly Abram gives Lot the first choice: "And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren" (Gen. 13:8).

The four words "for we be brethren" show that the separation wasn't a pulling apart from one another or an estrangement or an isolation. The parting came about in order that their various interests would not overlap and cause friction. They parted because they were brethren not because there was animosity between them.

In next week's SENTINEL
December 18, 1995

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