Rendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is His

By the Rev. Ken McClure

I begin with a confession. I sat down to write my entry last week, and as it was Labour Day I was expounding on the sacredness of taking a break when the hypocrisy of my actions confronted me. I stopped and figured it would be far better to demonstrate my point than to labour at making it.

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For this week, I think it may be a good idea to contextualize why these posts have been so rooted in politics generally, and in American politics most consistently.  I believe Christianity to be an inherently political faith. The entire Gospel of Jesus Christ constructs and demonstrates a counter-cultural society called the Kingdom of Heaven. It examines the world around it and it comments on it by presenting a sanctified alternative to the injustices and imbalances it sees.

Each of us who inhabit the Kingdom is called to see and speak wherever we go in an effort to be a part of the Kingdom breaking forth for all. While I try to avoid getting too political from the pulpit, my epistolary pen tends to lean that way. That's why these posts tend to be political.

As for the American pre-occupation, I do confess a life-long love and fascination with American history and politics, but it's more than that. As a student of history, I can comfortably say that the United States is the closest thing to Rome the world has seen since Rome.

Thus to understand our world and our time, we need to understand our neighbors to the south, for as they go, so goeth the world. As a student of scripture, I recognize that the society the Kingdom of Heaven is juxtaposed to is Rome, from the Gospels through to the book of Revelation. Let those with ears hear.

This leads me to what I'd like you all to consider from this, for this week: a week where a far-right party gained increasing electoral support in Sweden (of all places); a week when our premier has been taken to court by the government of our provincial capital for unilaterally slashing that government in half; a week where it has been confirmed that the President of the United States is unfit and surrounded by people who at times are able to directly countermand his orders.

Jesus told us to render to Caesar that which is Caesar's and to God, God's. However, the nature of our system, and the systems in the countries I've referenced. make each and every one of us Caesar.

Our officials are not our rulers, we are theirs. Thus we should be rendering unto each other (and by extension ourselves) the due diligence to ensure that our servants are effectively carrying out our business in a way that doesn't shame us. The greatest advancements in our society have come about because people of faith actively carried that faith with them when engaging in the activities of the arena.

I'm convinced that the only way the societal advancements of the future will come about is if we continue in that long tradition.