Stanley Hauerwas, theologian and professor, wrote, “Civil religion is the attempt to empower religion, not for the good of religion, but for the creation of the citizen.”
I think Civil Religion is one of the major enemies of true religion and spirituality. Anytime there is the mixture and commingling of politics (especially Nationalism) and the Gospel of the Kingdom… there will be conflict. The first conflict is hopefully in the heart of the believer who sees and knows this deadly mixture and the next conflict is to try and gain political clout by using ‘God’ and/or the church to find entry.
This usually ends like it did when the Jewish leaders asked Pontius Pilate, a Roman politician, what to do about the crucifixion of Jesus. Civil authority cannot dictate spiritual authority. The mixture is deadly.
“My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” Jesus