Nov18th

Are Christians To Honor Ungodly Directives?

by 

Many pastors and Christians are apolitical, even to the point of refusing to address specific moral issues such as homosexuality, abortion, war, extremist Islam and any number of other issues. Why has this happened? We have been duped into believing that once the government addresses a moral issue, it is no longer a matter of Biblical truth, but one of political correctness – and the church should refrain from politics due to the separation of church and state. This has effectively diminished the voice of God, therefore the primary voices being heard are those of man’s opinion and theory rather than Biblical truth. “There is a way that looks right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 16:25)

The separation of church and state has been taken so literally by some elements of the church that the government has become the accepted interpreter of what is truth and what is not. Throughout history, those nations who have allowed and accepted the interpretation of truth by their governments have suffered dire consequences.

Some say the only political responsibility of the church is “to pray for our leaders and submit to them.” However, our submission to the leaders of our nation should never take precedence over our submission to the King of all kings. It was that kind of submission that led to the demise and bondage of Israel to foreign governments who did not know God on more than one occasion.

For those who would say early Christianity shied away from taking a political stand only need do a study of the Church in Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11). In the days of the Domitian, emperor worship was mandatory. Once every year, the people who lived in the Roman empire were required to go to a temple where emperor worship was observed, burn a pinch of incense on the alter to Caesar, and say the words “Caesar is Lord.” After fulfilling their duty, the people were given a certificate that confirmed their loyalty to Caesar and more importantly to Rome.

This ritual was not intended so much to test one’s religious devotion to Caesar, but to test their political loyalty to Rome. Once the sacrifice of incense was made and the certificate was received, people were then free to worship any god or goddess they chose for the next year. It was possible to be politically correct and continue to attend Christian worship and profess to be Christian.

However there was a price to pay for anyone who refused to burn a pinch of incense and publicly say, “Caesar is Lord.” They were denied a certificate of loyalty, which meant they could not be employed by anyone who was loyal to Rome. If they did not make the pledge, they already knew what was ahead of them. Try to imagine what it would be like to live with no job, no home, no way of buying or selling anything, and no help of any kind from friends and family, let alone receive assistance from the government which has charged you with treason.

Also, they could not buy from or sell anything to anyone who was a loyal citizen of Rome. If they violated these mandates, they could be hunted down to face charges of treason.

All the Christians in Smyrna had to do was go to the Temple of Tiberius once a year, burn some incense and say “Caesar is Lord,” get their certificate, then go on their way and worship as they pleased. However, this was something no loyal follower of Christ could do. The Christians in Smyrna could call no man Lord because that was the name given exclusively to Jesus Christ, their Lord and Savior.

Blessings on the journey,
Mitch

 


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