- HE IS QUOTING SCRIPTURE AT ME! NOW WHAT DO I DO? — PART 1 introduced the topic.
- HE IS QUOTING SCRIPTURE AT ME! NOW WHAT DO I DO? — PART 2 examined this question: How do we know when those who claim authority over us as our governmental leaders have been appointed by God?
Here we will consider the following question:
What is the difference between the obedience we owe to the governing authorities and the obedience we owe to God?
Most Christians are familiar with this verse.
Matthew 22:21New King James Version (NKJV)
21 They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”
And He said to them, “Render[a]therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
How do we decide what things belong to Caesar and what things belong to God? Unless we are familiar with Bible, we cannot know. However, if we are familiar with the Bible, then Jesus’ question makes more sense.
Matthew 22:15-22 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Pharisees: Is It Lawful to Pay Taxes to Caesar?
15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. 16 And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not [a]regard the person of men. 17 Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
18 But Jesus [b]perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? 19 Show Me the tax money.”
So they brought Him a denarius.
20 And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?”
21 They said to Him, “Caesar’s.”
And He said to them, “Render[c]therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.
Why did Jesus ask whose image was on that denarius? Whose image is on you, me, and every other human being?
Genesis 1:27 New King James Version (NKJV)
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Because God’s image is upon us, we owe God our love with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength. Caesar? Him we owe a coin.
So why is this an issue? Some worship government. Instead of God, they would give their heart, their soul, their mind, and their strength to the state. They would give themselves to some Caesar who fancies himself as a god. Why would they prefer to worship a man instead of God? Consider this passage.
Hebrews 4:11-13 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Word Discovers Our Condition
11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
The Bible is a mirror. It shows us to ourselves as we are. That is frightening and humbling enough, but God knows us better than we know ourselves. Until we begin to understand just how much He loves us, that is terrifying. Until we see our Lord as a loving Father, we cannot endure believing in an infinitely powerful God.
With respect to God and government, how does our disobedience to God manifest itself? When we reject God, we reject the truth in favor of what we want. To get what we want, we worship government. That is, we support those leaders who make the grandest promises regardless of the truth, and we attack those who don’t support our leaders. How? Tammy Bruce puts it this way.
Yet, the organized nature of the attacks, combined with liberal political and legacy media rhetoric, makes clear this is not some sort of organic turn of events. Having come from the left, I can tell you everything liberals do is organized around the principle of personalizing, punishing and polarizing; it’s the only thing they know how to do and is a required skill when you can’t persuade people on the details of the issues and have no actual policy solutions. (from here)
Hence, from the perspective of many Liberal Democrats our president, Donald Trump, is illegitimate even though there is no evidence he has done anything illegal. He is just not their guy.
Consider Trump’s signature issue, immigration. Why do Liberal Democrats think it “immoral” for Trump to send illegal immigrants, especially the children, back to their home countries? Do Liberal Democrats actually care about these people? Perhaps some of them do, but most I suspect just want the votes of the illegals. Furthermore, I suspect many can’t stand the sight of government telling anyone they cannot have what they want.
What is ridiculous is when Liberal Democrats try to use the Bible against believers. Consider this passage.
Leviticus 19:33-34 New King James Version (NKJV)
33 ‘And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. 34 The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as [a]one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
Does that passage mean we are supposed to have open borders? Some think it does (see here (washingtonpost.com), here (mercurynews.com), and here (cheatsheet.com)). To correct these people, cites Old Testament scholar and Wheaton College Professor James Hoffmeier.
“What I learned in my study is that there are three relevant terms used in Hebrew [for the word ‘stranger’] (ger, zar, nekhar). [Some translators] render them all as [simply] ‘foreigner.’ That is misleading and incorrect.
“Zar and nekhar, indeed, refer to foreigners or visitors passing through a foreign land. [But], Ger refer[s] to foreign residents who live in another land with the permission of a host The law is clear that ger is not to be oppressed but they were also obligated to live in accordance with the laws just like the Israelites.” (from here (washingtontimes.com))
Nothing is easy. Understanding the Bible is not easy. Look around. It is just like the Bible says. We have been cursed (see Genesis 3:13-19). To accomplish anything worthwhile, we have to work for it. There are no magic fixes. So what are we to do for all those illegal immigrants coming from Central America? We need to send back home and help them to make their own countries productive. See Fixing Central America (washingtontimes.com) by . That may not be the easiest solution, but it is a wiser solution.