Lake Charles, LA
| Re: |
All the nations are the Lord's and we need to get out of the world's mindset that puts a separation between the sacred and the secular.
by KingJimmy Which is what Jesus was saying when he said, "Render to Caesar's the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." We can't divide the sacred from the secular, or separate the church from the state. To do so is a deadly theological trap.
This is hard for me to grasp, and to put into action. Can you explain how this plays out in a Christian's life? Through prayers only or?
| 2012/5/5 15:16||Profile|
| Re: Render unto Caesar|
The 'rendering' which the Lord presented had to do with paying taxes. The Lord's words were an answer to a 'seeking' to test His obedience and therefore His righteous conduct..
17 Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll- tax to Caesar, or not? 18 But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? 19 Show Me the coin used for the poll- tax. And they brought Him a denarius. 20 And He *said to them, Whose likeness and inscription is this? 21 They *said to Him, Caesars. Then He *said to them, Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesars; and to God the things that are Gods. 22 And hearing this, they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away. Matthew 22 17-22
What is at the back of the provocation or testing which Jesus suffered may have been simply a religious spirit of hypocrisy. A kind of reverse trap. A little like saying:
"we know you are a man of God because of the things you do, but the pharisees and all truly religious men despise the dominion of Caesar over Israel. So should we submit to Caesar?" "Should we meet his tax demands? Is it lawful?
It clearly was Caesar's law. So what is this 'other law?' The spirit of the question is hypocrisy, but the snare was in seeking to bring the Lord into rebellion. Hence the answer of the Lord, "show me who's head is on the coin," settled the issue.
There is another verse which seems to carry the same root of meaning. "If a man demands your coat, give him your shirt also." Who but a man in authority could demand your coat. If he does "give him your shirt also". In other words submit to all in authority.
For me this principle is the most difficult thing in the world. How easy it is to resist and thereby come into condemnation. Paul said "I hear of your good conduct, in that you rejoice in the taking of your homes". The sermon on the mount carries in parts a similar meaning.
None of this however has anything to do with being part of the state as far as these verses teach. Voting, or involving oneself in politics, encouraging others to do the same, may end up with that one, and ultimately those who follow the injunction, being found an accomplice in perceived unrighteousness, and with it a bearing of ill effects.
Here in the UK it is already a criminal offence to speak against homosexual relations, let alone perverse lawful union. Not a direct law, but "the preaching of hate". Where then for those who now live in the UK and love the Lord does wisdom lie. The separation between state and church is the body of Christ crucified for sin. In this world we cannot possibly resist or avoid the state. We can however lay hold of our part in Christ's death and thereby render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's without involvement in politics. The time is now at hand in the USA for a reaping of this same principle. These laws will be passed and when they are they will bring with them a hatred of christians hither too unseen in the USA.
In the end it will be an unavoidable reality of life that some in Christ at least, being equipped by God for that purpose, will have to preach the truth concerning a man's conduct and its consequences before God. This will mean "suffering for the sake of righteousness" and not suffering ill effects by involvement in politics. I truly believe with a growing sadness and concern that saints in the USA have already laid the foundations for this terrible effect. It is the Constitution of the United States of America.
| 2012/5/5 16:45|
| Re: |
None of this however has anything to do with being part of the state as far as these verses teach. Voting, or involving oneself in politics,
"Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's" is a more than just Jesus coming up with a clever way to tell people trying to trap him to pay their taxes. Indeed, this instruction was given to a people who were trying so hard to not involve themselves with the government of Rome, that they were considering measures as radical as not paying their taxes. After all, they just wanted to be a holy people of God, and wanted nothing to do with their Roman oppressors, who forced them to use money that paid worship to Caesar upon it.
Far from being a clever saying to get His would be persecutors off His back, Jesus was attempting to give them a new perspective. For their perspective was one that created one common to many of us in America. And it is quite a worldly perspective. It is a perspective that separates the sacred from the secular, and the church from the state. It creates a fragmented world. And such a perspective, when taken to its extremes, creates Amish communities in one hand, and Communist nations in the other.
| 2012/5/5 18:12||Profile|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
| Re: |
This is hard for me to grasp, and to put into action. Can you explain how this plays out in a Christian's life? Through prayers only or?
I believe this plays out in very practical ways, say for example in a town meeting, where the Christian can declare that our present problems just might be related to how our society has been insincere in regard to the question of God.
Our society is happy to allow us to have our Sunday meeting and our conferences and such, but when it comes to secular matters, the church is no longer consulted or even considered a valid voice. The sacred and the secular have been separated and the church has capitulated.
We need to present the truth that if God is God then it is better to hope in His solution than to trust in the power of men that historically has ended in disaster. The world's problems are clearly beyond a secular solution and it's time to speak up. Let people scoff but let God's word be heard.
America doesn't have to go the way of European nations if the church will intercede and get her voice again.
should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isaiah 8:19-20)
| 2012/5/5 21:15||Profile|
| Re: |
I think that there have been some great points raised. I was discussing the issue of "gay marriage" with a Christian guy that I knew during college. He said, "If it doesn't bother me, why should I care?"
I explained that the state redefining the concept of "marriage" is just one goal of homosexual activists. They also want to outlaw what they would call "discrimination." They define this as speaking against homosexuality, refusing to hire a homosexual or refusing to extend certain benefits to the homosexual or his/her spouse.
While most states offer a "clear conscience" clause to churches, the same would not be extended to other organizations. If you are own your own plumbing business, what would happen if a transvestite wanted to work for you? If you didn't hire him -- because you present your business as "Christ-centered" -- you could be sued for discrimination. If a ministry runs a small non-profit Christian bookstore or coffee house, you could be sued for "discrimination" for refusing to hire a homosexual or for refusing to extend benefits to the "spouse" of some person who "came out of the closet" after already being employed there.
In other words, these things WILL affect all people living in this world. Some people -- particular those on the political Left -- constantly argue against any religious or spiritual influence in government. Yet most of those same individuals are either silent or encourage other views or morality to be pushed upon society.
Like it or not, we live in the earthly land where we dwell. While we maintain a citizenship in Heaven that takes preeminence over an earthly "natural" citizenship, we still live in this land until the time for which we pass to the realm of Eternity. Until the last few centuries, individuals did not have an opportunity to choose those who would govern or have any say in the laws of the land. Yet, even those who practice "physical and spiritual separatism" like the Pilgrims, Amish and others have a form of community government in which the people either form or consent to the laws/rules. That consent is demonstrated by remaining in the community to which the governance is accepted.
None of us are hermits in a spiritual or physical sense. We live in a nation on this fallen world. Most modern nations are governed by "consent" or the collective voice of the people. Voting in elections or in regard to "propositions" is merely an indication of that "voice." When Jimmy spoke of an inability to refrain from "participation" in a different thread, I think that this is what he might have meant. Silence is a form of participation in a society that is governed by "consent." It is literally "consenting" to the status quo by simply refusing to get "involved." Yet, involvement is not necessarily "political" (in the modern connotation of the term). It is simply sharing what you think in an official capacity.
In this instance, I agree with what Billy Graham said. I never thought that homosexual activists would become such a vocal movement that they would be able to impose their view of morality upon society and force society to not only recognize their depravity -- but to accept it legally. There are individuals who would love nothing more than to impose their sexuality on churches and treat believers as if they are the "radical" ones. This is why many of them also hope that those who disagree with them -- especially Christians -- refrain from sharing that voice in elections and when laws (such as propositions or amendments) are put up to an official vote.
| 2012/5/5 21:50||Profile|
| Re: |
Well said Ron. If we are to truly go into the nations and teach them to observe all that Christ has commanded, then that means we need to stand up and tell them what thus saith the Lord. And we should expect them to respond. And they should respond and govern in light of what is said.
| 2012/5/5 21:53||Profile|
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Exactly Chris. We are a society whose government consists of the consent of the people. And where we deliberately refuse to participate in voicing our perspective as Christians, our lack of participation is participation, even if by means of passivity and omission.
And even in countries that are totalitarian and communist, the church still has a responsibility to speak up, and declare God's will to the rulers of her land. I mean, look at the apostle Paul. When he was a prisoner on board of a prison ship, he spoke up on several occasions, and told the captain of the ship how he ought to direct his ship. And he did that as a prisoner!!! He didn't do it as somebody who even had the right to voice his opinion on that ship.
| 2012/5/5 22:05||Profile|
| Re: Who is the King? Who is Caesar?|
14 They *came and *said to Him, Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll- tax to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we pay or shall we not pay? But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at. 16 They brought one. And He *said to them, Whose likeness and inscription is this? And they said to Him, Caesars. 17 And Jesus said to them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and to God the things that are Gods. And they were amazed at Him. Mark 12 14-17.
Tribute to Caesar
15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted together how they might trap Him in what He said. 16 And they *sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any. 17 Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll- tax to Caesar, or not? 18 But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? 19 Show Me the coin used for the poll- tax. And they brought Him a denarius. 20 And He *said to them, Whose likeness and inscription is this? 21 They *said to Him, Caesars. Then He *said to them, Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesars; and to God the things that are Gods. 22 And hearing this, they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away. Matthew 22 15-22.
1 Then the whole body of them got up and brought Him before Pilate. 2 And they began to accuse Him, saying, We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King. 3 So Pilate asked Him, saying, Are You the King of the Jews? And He answered him and said, It is as you say. 4 Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, I find no guilt in this man. 5 But they kept on insisting, saying, He stirs up the people, teaching all over Judea, starting from Galilee even as far as this place.
6 When Pilate heard it, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. 7 And when he learned that He belonged to Herods jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who himself also was in Jerusalem at that time.
Jesus before Herod
8 Now Herod was very glad when he saw Jesus; for he had wanted to see Him for a long time, because he had been hearing about Him and was hoping to see some sign performed by Him. 9 And he questioned Him at some length; but He answered him nothing. 10 And the chief priests and the scribes were standing there, accusing Him vehemently. 11 And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate. 12 Now Herod and Pilate became friends with one another that very day; for before they had been enemies with each other. Luke 23 1-12
13 Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. 15 No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him. 16 Therefore I will punish Him and release Him. 17 [ Now he was obliged to release to them at the feast one prisoner.]
18 But they cried out all together, saying, Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas! 19 (He was one who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection made in the city, and for murder.) 20 Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, 21 but they kept on calling out, saying, Crucify, crucify Him! 22 And he said to them the third time, Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; therefore I will punish Him and release Him. 23 But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified. And their voices began to prevail. 24 And Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted. 25 And he released the man they were asking for who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, but he delivered Jesus to their will. Luke 23 13-25
| 2012/5/6 4:29|
| Re: thats a good one.|
POST ADD LATER: please forgive me, my words were rash, and i meant NO ill will towards ANYONE...i did not wipe my whole post, but as i sit and listen to a word from Michael Brown, he's saying something better, so i'll post that above. END POST NOTE ADD------
in all this handwringing about homosexual marriage and "culture wars" and sharia law coming to a mall near you, how does the Constitution fit into all this?
two guys getting "married", is that God's Best? absolutely not....but this is not a theocracy. i know some dominionists want a theocracy, but would to God, those who say Jesus is Lord, clean up their own marriages.
i thought the Constitution provides guarantees of freedom to EVERY American, and freedom is messy.
You could say, the homosexual lobby would file suit if a pastor gets up in the pulpit and denounces "gay" marriage...i say good. let them file suit....have at it! They get to march in "gay pride parades", we have the right to call sin, SIN, and if there are "hate" laws enacted preventing pastors from speaking Biblically, do it anyway....go to jail! That would be an honor, dont you think?
(NOTE- i WIPED major sections of my post, because they were NOT written in the Love of Jesus, please forgive me, i'll try harder and salted with MORE GRACE.)
| 2012/5/6 8:40|
| Re: |
A brother(who I otherwise agree with on many things) who will remain nameless because this is about playing the ball and not the man said:
"I believe their comes a time when God's people need to vote for biblical principles when they are being destroyed right before our eyes."
What then? The biblical principles of helping the poor, the immigrants on our own soil, seeking peace with all men (instead of unjust wars), and not making unbelievers pretend to be Christians have surely been attacked by the Christian right, tea party, and religious conservatives in general. Perhaps it is time to start voting democrat so that my voice can be counted for righteousness in this generation?
..but ..but pastor said (actually he only implied because his precious 501c status would be at stake if he actually said) it is only righteous to vote against abortion and homosexuality. It's funny how we pick and choose our so-called righteous causes. It's always those other peoples sins we care about, not our own. I want to also add how much inter-faith idolatry the causes of abortion and homosexuality have led to. Believers striking hands with the catholics and mormon churches- all for a righteous cause of course (defending biblical principals in the US). Will we wait until judgment day to find out that we have lost our purpose, message, and way church?
in Christ -Jim
| 2012/5/6 9:00|