Friday, September 02, 2005

Link: Rendering unto Caesar

Rendering unto Caesar

Ole Anthony runs a Christian satirical magazine called The Door. Trouble with satire sometimes is you don't know what the satirist actually believes. Thankfully, his eloquent editorials answer that question.

With an election looming, and Christians in politics all over the place, this article is very timely.

I don't have a problem with Christians going for office - after all, Daniel and Joseph occupied very high positions of authority, and the book of Acts mentions an important member of Herod's household as being part of the Antioch eldership. But it's interesting that, in Daniel and Joseph's case, they were forced into the position; they didn't seek it.

Also a few thoughts on the verse at the heart of Ole's editorial: "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

I think a lot of people get this verse upside down and around the wrong way, thinking that Caesar (or the government, or the world) has some bits, and God has the remainder. Look at what Jesus said:

"Show me the coin used for paying the tax ... Whose portrait is this? Whose inscription?"

"Caesar's," they replied.

Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's.

(Matthew 22:19-21)

Let's turn the question around. A bit like Jeopardy!

What are we talking about if "God" is the answer and "Whose portrait is this? Whose inscription?" is the question?

Answer: The Earth is the Lord's and everything in it!

Sure, Caesar's got his head on the coin. But it's not a matter of two equal halves, sacred and secular, it's more a case of concentric circles - God's delegated authority to man (leaders who often ignore Him) and God's sovereign authority over space and time.

Does that help me with the upcoming election? Kind of. As with last time, I'm voting United Future - a secular party with a lot of Christians in it, and values that Christians can ally with.

Having shown my card, I'll now go and eat some pizza. Mmm!

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