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Caesar and Christ

It’s tax day in Rome. Caesar slouches back in his chair and says to his advisors, “I don’t have much patience with these Christians. They’re so absorbed with their “phantom king” I’m not sure we can keep them under our thumb. Yeh, most of them pay their taxes, but only because “he” tells them to. I think they’re going to be trouble for us until they finally realize he’s not coming back.”

The emperor pauses, looks into the eyes of his silent counselors and continues, “I’ll tell you what I think is going to happen. Someday there’s going to be another Caesar who is going to be clever enough to let them think they can have a voice in his administration. Once they get a taste of a real power– they’ll be hard to control– but at least he’ll have their attention. He’ll know that if he can just engage them in a struggle for control of his kingdom, their hearts will be his. They won’t even know it.

On this Tax Day of 2008, I’ve been remembering that our Lord told us to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God’s what is God’s (Matt 22:17-22). So with or without a smile we pay our taxes. The question I have is whether we have also given a new, more accessible Caesar– attention, and hearts that belong to God alone. Over the next couple of posts I’d like to think with you about the difference between prophetic and political influence.

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4 Responses to “Caesar and Christ”

  1. poohpity says:

    That sort of tickles me because as you read Kings and the prophets of the old testament we already went through all kinds of political and prophetic scenarios. We did not learn then and it seems to just get worse. Much to God’s shegrin He informed Moses that the people would ask for a king rather than to depend on God to be the leader. LOL Do you really think that now we would listen to someone who gives a prophectic word or say they are crazy?

  2. Mart De Haan says:

    poohpity, now ya got me smiling. Not that it would make a difference :-)… but I’m thinking of the political voice (coalitions of groups to get a majority of votes) as contrasted with social advocacy that uses appeal to reason and good will to influence social debate. Not thinking of prophetic in the sense of “prediction” but rather prophetic in the sense of “declaration.”

  3. poohpity says:

    I believe we would like to hear some truth without manipulation. Folks either in politics or social reform tell us what they want us to hear to manipulate people to side with them. I would much rather be told the whole truth and allowed to form my own decisions. With all the information available to everyone people still choose to put their heads in a hole. Just like times of old. Follow whatever SEEMS good. It is that way in the church as well, go figure. My comment before was because we put to much emphasis on what comes out of someones mouth rather than actions they display. Maybe I am misunderstanding.

  4. Mart De Haan says:

    Yeh, sometimes it seems like everything and everyone’s spinning, doesn’t it.

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