Friday, May 14, 2010

One Mind or Two?

In today’s changing political and economic climate, Christians are continually be challenged to examine what they truly believe. Our eroding foundation of biblical morality is beginning to resemble a culture clash not all that different from what was occurring in Jesus’ day between the Romans and the Jews.

The Romans were a pagan culture. They worshipped many gods and did not operate under the laws of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as the Jewish people did.

Today we see much of the same. How many gods are worshipped in America today? What do we devote ourselves to? Money? Sex? Power? Ourselves? What values are dominating our culture? It would appear that secular values are increasingly dictating that “fairness,” “equality,” and “tolerance” should reign supreme over any singular set of “religious” values.

Luke 20:19-26

“Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be honest. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor.”

“So the spies questioned him: "Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.”

In this day, the Romans were occupying Israel and placing very burdensome taxes on the Jewish people. How similar is this to what happens today as Americans are being forced into paying higher and higher taxes to an administration of government that supports values that fly in the face of the Christian values that founded this nation? Are we as Christians beginning to feel a sense of “duplicity” or double-mindedness over such issues? Could it be that God is drawing a “line in the sand? Where do we stand? What should we do? God’s people faced the same sort of dilemma in Jesus’ day and asked him what to do…

“Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"

He saw through their duplicity and said to them, "Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?"

"Caesar's," they replied. He said to them,

"Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

Jesus is differentiating between levels of authority-earthly authority that has been placed over them vs. the authority of God. Remember Jesus is always concerned about our hearts. We must fulfill our obligation to obey the authority over us to preserve our witness in the world, but we must be diligent to preserve our ultimate “allegiance” to the one whose image we bear. We are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.

What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26

The lines ARE being drawn. Where will we stand? How will it look for us to submit to government authority and yet preserve our soul? We need to think it through...


1 comment:

Edie said...

Very thought provoking Stacy. We are entering into very difficult times where our faith may be challenged like never before.