Acts 18:14-17 (KJV)
And when Paul was now about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, If it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you:
But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters.
And he drave them from the judgment seat.
Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things.
Gallio demonstrated both a strength and a weakness in his handling of this conflict.
He was absolutely correct that his authority did not extend into things that had to do with the Word of God and a believer’s understanding and practice of it. Some much evil has been committed because of this very thing. Government has no business in church business.
On the other hand, Gallio had every reason to intervene in the beating of Sosthenes. No religious entity has authority to punish an individual or to coerce them in spiritual matters. Faith is a matter of the heart and the spirit. Religion has authority to persuade through ideas – the preaching of truth as they understand it. It has no authority over the body.
Government ought not judge over doctrine and practice but must judge over the rights and protections of individuals.
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Acts 18:14-17 No Business In Church Business
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