“Render undo Cesar what is Cesar’s and to God what is God’s” means we don’t get to abandon our commitments to our rulers but it acknowledges that we are committed to something more. If our commitments are in conflict the question is, why would I settle my commitments to a lesser power at the expense of the greater?
We can give our taxes to the government for a social safety net, that is a good. But our participation with the church to give to the poor directly, with our own words, our own money… Well, who is the power we are committed to? Our actions show who we think is greater, so Lord help me choose wisely!
This is the political drama of our day. Who will we serve when they conflict? God or Government? There’s still a measure of convenience in the sense that, in most cases, we can fulfill our commitments to both, and where that is the case we should strengthen our commitments (as in the case of doing philanthropic work through and by the Church). But, we also live in a day of disruption where old orders and powers fail dramatically and unexpectedly and this means our commitments are as important as they have ever been if not more. Who will you turn to when disruption happens? Who will we commit to when disruption happens and our commitments conflict?
Abortion, guns, the poor, marriage, violence, your friends. There is politics in all of these parts of our lives. The politics of Jesus, however, is disruptive to the disruptions of life. No one is safe from his rule and judgment. He accepts no less than first commitments. Be disturbed and challenged. May the Spirit give you strength in the day of adversity. Jesus help me!
Democrats are not the answer. Republicans wont save you. But Jesus demands to be a part of the answer and your salvation.
Remember the question not asked of Jesus: “what is God’s?”
May you live in peace. Be blessed.