“You have one Master and that is the Christ”, said Jesus. Jesus showed that the Master becomes the slave of all.
It seems hard to believe that “rights” were never really a part of religious or political conversation like we have today for most of human history. Paul talks about rights. Paul talks about limiting his rights so as not to offend the weak. Paul talks about not forcing his rights to certain things even though he has the right too. Paul talks about his freedom allowing him to be free to serve.
Luther says that“A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, and subject to all.”
In the political philosophy that developed because of Christianity that statement cannot stand. There can be one “lord” and all must be subject to him. Thomas Hobbes called him “Leviathan” (Job 41), and saw him a sovereign as completely in control. He envisioned an all powerful King who declared what was right or wrong and people would listen because they are afraid of having a solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short life.
As time went on the concept of Leviathan became any state or assembly, elected or not. A political power in this system does not really believe in religion but it uses religion to help control of the populace that is encouraged to be religious as long as the religion is private. Keep it personal and you are fine with Leviathan. Leviathan will also establish a “state church” which will mirror the politics of the sovereign or the ruling class. Notice how many churches have taken to the talk about rights. Churches here in the United States have become part of a state church without even knowing it. They have turned from mercy to justice and from grace to rights and have become tools of the state without even realizing and will get very angry when it is pointed out. Even the so called prophetic voice of the church is used as a tool by Leviathan because the tension between rights and duties, faith and politics is used as a tool to keep and maintain power. Populations are kept in a constant state of concern and even fear by the appearance of efforts of some to take their “rights” away, or to give those rights to someone else.
Issues with the church that confesses truly that Christ is Lord have to arise by definition. If a church is “confessional” there are some interesting things that happen. We will see what later.