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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441


SMIT, J.. Boundaries for church and state regarding the regulation of the ministry of the Word: Seen from two church polity traditions. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2009, vol.43, n.3, pp.473-496. ISSN 2305-0853.

This article focuses on the boundaries for church and state with regard to the regulation of the ministry of the Word - seen from two independent church polity traditions. Until now the South African courts have not given an indication of how these boundaries should be understood or how these apply within the South African context. The purpose of this article is not to make a judicial comparison. The purpose is to show that two independent church polity traditions, namely the German and the reformed, developed general principles for the boundaries of church and state with regard to the regulation of a minister's position in law. In both traditions church polity is regarded sui generis, and recognises the church's right to regulate a minister of religion's position independently from the state. In conclusion it is found that the boundaries between church and state for the ministry of the Word are primarily determined by the principle that church and state should not in any way influence or interfere with one another's separate mandates or duties. The ministry of the Word is the responsibility of the church and not the state. Therefore the state does not have the competency to regulate the ministry of the Word.

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