There is nothing inherent in Christianity itself which calls for a close relationship with the state. Primitive Christianity “demanded the complete separation of church and state,” asserting that each must be recognized as having its own distinct and independent mission to perform. For the first three hundred years of Christian history the church existed entirely apart from the state, and indeed had not even a legal status. Then came a time during which the church became little more than a branch of the state, and in this period it lost practically all independence of development, and was largely diverted from its proper work to serve political ends. It was as a result of this danger that the church developed, during the next period in its history, the doctrine of its independence of state control, and in the great investiture struggle, maintained it with success, against Roman emperors and German kings. Then the church having secured its independence of state control, and having perfected its organization to a high degree, and having grown strong and aggressive, it went a long step further and asserted the right of the church to control the state. But it needs no argument to prove that both the control of the church by the state and the control of the state by the church are equally foreign to the teaching of Christianity as such.