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What came first the church or the government?

This answer is not limited to the U.S.A. and so it goes beyond the founding fathers of the United States. Lets take it way back in history. According to your personal knowledge, which do you believe came first the church or the government (of the masses)? Do you believe they are one in the same? WHY or WHY NOT?

Answer Question

Asked by sugahmamma at 11:47 AM on Nov. 30, 2010 in Religious Debate

Level 17 (3,243 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • In most of early history, the church was the government --and the government (or, warlord, monarch, whatever) was the head of the government. The people who made and upheld the laws were not separated by anything modern and imaginary like 'these beliefs in these clothes go in that building while these beliefs in these clothes go in this building.'

    To an observer from far away or far in the future, the difference between church and court will be inscrutable. Just as many prohibitions on behaviour, special clothes, rituals and routines in both...

    Answer by LindaClement at 11:50 AM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • pretty sure civilization formed first.

    Answer by Zoeyis at 11:51 AM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • From my Christian perspective, I'd say the government since "the church" is the body of Christ and there were governments established before Christ came. I cannot say for other religions that I am unfamiliar with. For some religions, their religious beliefs dictate the laws and direction of the government.

    Answer by kittieashy at 11:56 AM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • There have been governments for thousands and thousands of years---way before Christianity . Greek and Roman civilizations which existed thousands of years BC....and had governments....remember in your history classes?

    Answer by kerp1960 at 12:03 PM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • well obviously Christianity isnt older than government seeing as their is amble proof of civilizations before the CE. the Egyptians had their civilization already running smoothly before Joseph entered their land so the Jewish religion (which was laid out by Moses later in history) is not older than government. the Rig Veda was written way back in 1500 BCE (give or take a few hundred years) but there must have been a government of some type for their to have been an accepted written language so that ppl could have read the text. ive gotta say government seems to always predate religion/religious texts.

    however, you said the church which i took as could easily out date government b/c we cant know individuals personal beliefs from way back in time.

    Answer by okmanders at 12:07 PM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • Exactly, the church was the government in the earlier years. So technically the church came before the government we know today.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 12:09 PM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • As far as "civilization" goes, I would say government. But really, that far back Church and government were one in the same. However I believe God has always been here, before anything, before church or government..

    Answer by Conley639 at 12:09 PM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • yes i believe they are the same..the kingdom came first (which was the goverment) they were praised...people were not able to travel to the kingdom to praise the king so they formed their own small "churches" all around...there was only one king so they made up this imaginary "king" who everyone referred to as "god" and praised him in place of the king since the king could not be there. This is my bellief anyway.

    Answer by shay1130 at 12:13 PM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • "church" as in Christianity or "church' as in religion. If you are talking about the Christian church, then government came first. If you are speaking about religion, I'd say religion came first and incorporated government.

    Answer by Gal51 at 12:16 PM on Nov. 30, 2010

  • Which church? If you mean Christianity, obviously government, since there have been dozens of forms of civilization long before Abrahamic religions were invented. If you truly mean all organized religion and all organized government, they are intertwined. Mesopotamian tribes had god structures, and pleasing (or not angering) those gods were an integral part of the system or rule. The priesthood and leadership were either shared or co-duties, and that intermingling holds true throughout the majority of civilizations for thousands of years.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 12:18 PM on Nov. 30, 2010

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