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Too many Christians are secularists when it comes to government authority. This is likely to be a hotly debated assertion recently brought to the fore in the David French vs. Sohrab Ahmari debate. And now even the Catholic bishops of Washington state are submitting the lives and souls of the faithful in their care to the governor by awaiting his determination as to when and how to once again offer public Masses and the holy sacraments, rather than exercising the freedom President Trump has reasserted by stating religious services are essential during this crisis. Clearly, this is not what Jesus meant when he said, “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s…”
So, what should we Christians be submitting to government authority? Paul Krause at CRISIS Magazine says, not much. Throughout salvation history, peoples, and nations have gotten into trouble whenever they’ve chosen secular authority over God. This is powerfully foretold in 1 Samuel 8:10-18, when the Hebrews are clamoring for a king:
10 Samuel delivered the message of the LORD in full to those who were asking him for a king.
11 He told them: “The governance of the king who will rule you will be as follows: He will take your sons and assign them to his chariots and horses, and they will run before his chariot.
12 He will appoint from among them his commanders of thousands and of hundreds. He will make them do his plowing and harvesting and produce his weapons of war and chariotry.
13 He will use your daughters as perfumers, cooks, and bakers.
14 He will take your best fields, vineyards, and olive groves, and give them to his servants.
15 He will tithe your crops and grape harvests to give to his officials and his servants.
16 He will take your male and female slaves, as well as your best oxen and donkeys, and use them to do his work.
17 He will also tithe your flocks. As for you, you will become his slaves.
18 On that day you will cry out because of the king whom you have chosen, but the LORD will not answer you on that day.”
Sounds a bit like the administrative state, doesn’t it?
Krause cites Old Testament example after example of the Hebrew’s failures to submit entirely to God and, instead, “render unto Caesar.” He writes,
God repeatedly warns the Israelites not to become like the other nations, and yet that is what they do. And when the Israelites elect their king in place of God, God tells the prophet Nathan that “they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” This is the ultimate want of the secularists, to strip down God and utterly reject Him and replace Him with their own conception of the divine on earth. Secularists seek a return to Sodom or Egypt, and they have the audacity—with all the credibility of their doctorates and well-praised books—to claim that the return to slavery is entailed by Scripture itself. — Was Jesus a Secularist?
Jesus never says what to render, the implication being everything should be rendered unto God, the source of all Goodness. The state only has legitimacy when it, too, submits to God’s authority.
And to the bishops: #FeedMySheepPublished in