The Christian state church emerged from the religion of pagan Rome. A declining western empire gave the church political power, but provoked conflict between church and state. In the Scottish post-Reformation Stewart monarchy, the king claimed to control the church by divine right.
Covenanters exchanged state control for a theocracy built on the idea that Scotland, like Israel, had a God-given destiny. As the purest kirk in Christendom, nation and kirk were the political and religious faces of one body. Like pre-Christian Israel, Scotland was one of the only two nations ever covenanted to the Lord. This idea owed more to political pressure than theological insight. Today, a mindset survives which still refuses to separate kirk from nation and thereby undermines the missionary calling. The urgent need is to recognize that God made a covenant with Israel alone, and to think in terms of a second Israel was to misunderstand the development of church history.
Today's Kirk must see herself not as the representative of the Christian faith of the Scottish people . . . to bring the ordinances of religion to the people in every parish of Scotland, but as the representative of Christ with an apostolic mandate for evangelism.