March 10

Jesus Radicals

A resource for Christianity and anarchism.
    “Render unto Caesar…” in no way divides the exercise of authority into two realms….They were said in response to another matter: the payment of taxes, and the coin. The mark on the coin is that of Caesar; it is the mark of his property. Therefore give Caesar this money; it is his. It is not a question of legitimizing taxes! It means that Caesar, having created money, is its master. That’s all. – Jacques Ellul    

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Posted March 10, 2011 by calenfretts in category "Facebook link


  1. By Tom Fretts on

    I’m not sure exactly what you’re trying to say with this quote, whether you’re agreeing or not, but Christ in this quote obviously IS discussing two realms,
    that of God and that of Caesar, which is actually a subset of God’s realm. The question was “is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar?”. Regardless of what type of tax it is, Christ’s response is that if Caesar has decreed such, then it must be paid. I really don’t see how that verse can be thought to say anything other than that. Romans 13:1-7 also reinforces this idea. The larger question is in the second part of that quote, “render unto God that which belongs to God.” Had the Pharisees really been interested in what Christ was saying, rather than just trying to force Him into a contradiction of some sort, the next logical question they would have asked Him would have been “Well, then what belongs to God”, to which Christ might have answered, “Whose image is on you?” If man is made in the image of God, then render unto God that which is His – YOU!

  2. By frettsy on

    The question he asked in return was “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
    “Caesar’s,” they replied.
    Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

    He does not say that whatever Caesar decrees to be paid should be done. He does not say that if Caesar claims your house, that it is moral. He says that the coins are obviously Caesar’s anyways, they have his image on them! He is talking about the money!

    I knew Romans 13 was going to get brought up (it always does in this context), which is why I’m writing a followup post directly about that. but to summarize: it says “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities”, but this does not imply that there MUST ALWAYS be governing authorities, simply that when there are, we should be subordinate; and that, only when they are MORAL! Colossians 3:22 says “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.” does this mean that God honors or condones slavery, or is He rather addressing the reality that, because men are of sinful nature, slavery exists?

    as for the last part, that’s why my status was a corollary: “the kingdom of God is within you”. God’s kingdom is within us all; why be subordinate to any higher power on earth when we as a people have evolved past the evils of such a slavery? if God’s kingdom is within ME, then why should I be subject to any other man?

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