Regarding Cal Thomas' column (Editorial Pages, May 21), "It's Time for TV Ministries to Render Unto Caesar."
Thomas advocates an Internal Revenue Service investigation of all ministries that use television to raise large amounts of money and then continues: "To those who would cry that such an investigation is a violation of church-state separation, let them show the biblical precedent for a tax exemption."
Thomas is confusing the issue, as well as revealing his own rather obscured view of history. Church-state separation is a product of modern governments and certainly not based on a biblical precedent. The establishment of ancient Israel's kingship and the accompanying separation of the priesthood from governmental functions occurred very late in that nation's history. This was certainly not a precedent-setting event from the secular point of view. Nor can the relationship between the Roman government and the Christian church during the first century of the Common Era be compared to the relationship between modern democratic governments and the present day church.
There is no more a biblical precedent for church-state separation than there is for tax exemption--and most persons familiar with the Scriptures of the Bible would not argue there is.