The Government (Part 2) - Render Unto Caesar
Part of the series The Problem
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-02-01.
Government expects us to simply do what they say. Do they have that authority?
We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. Please understand that while it is our responsibility to tell the truth, we must never lose sight of the fact that our enemy is not made of flesh and blood and that we ultimately have the choice to conform and compromise or to stand on principle. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)
Bible Reference: Rom. 13:1-7
Last week, I showed that our world view of modern government can be traced back to when the children of Israel demanded of Samuel, a king like the other (non-believing) nations, which was essentially a rejection of God’s kingship. As a consequence, the rule of government has traditionally been away from God, something that seems to have been expedited of late!
Modern day government is seen as all powerful and in possession of all authority by most people, including the majority of professing Christians. "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s…” is very often recited as instruction to honour government in all things, but on closer inspection, the context of this passage of scripture is not related to all things, but specifically to the paying of taxes! What is often neglected when quoting this passage is the second part which reads “…and to God the things that are God’s”. Obviously, some things do belong to the government, but not everything, as some things clearly must belong to God. To give what is God’s to government is condemned by this passage. We would, therefore, be wise to understand what belongs to Caesar (the king or government) and what belongs to God or we may be in danger of violating God’s directives.
To further provide enlightenment respecting the place of government, a study of another passage of scripture, which is also often quoted as instructing us to accept all things from government as God ordained, is in order. In Romans Chapter 13 we are directed to obey civil government. However, we are given the specific qualifications required of a ruler to legitimize his authority. Rulers are to be ministers of God who reward good and punish evil. Obviously, what is good or evil is not left up to the discretion of the ruler or government but what is clearly delineated in scripture. Simply being in power does not automatically make a ruler a minister of God, but he who abides by what God has commanded or forbidden. Therefore when a ruler commands what God has forbidden or forbids what God has commanded, leadership qualifications as outlined in this passage are being violated and disqualifies the government’s directives. Can you think of any modern day examples of this?
In determining the legitimacy of government action, we can therefore use two main measures. Firstly, we ask whether what is being enforced truly belongs to “Caesar” or to God. Secondly, we can ask whether or not the government’s actions are in keeping with what God has declared as good or evil. Government (rule) has a legitimate place when it enforces laws (power) in areas ordained by God (authority) and only if it abides by what God has outlined as good or evil. Otherwise, it is encroaching in areas that are not ordained by God and/or blurring the lines between right and wrong.
How is this related to education? If God has established government and the parameters by which it can operate, what is government doing in the business of education when children clearly do not belong to government, but to God? If the government was a minister of God, would it offer Godless, anti-Christian, unbiblical programming that normalizes a secular, socialist agenda to God’s children? Or would it be encouraging parents to take the responsibility that they have been given to train and teach their children in keeping with the authority given by God and what He has demonstrated through His Word as right or wrong?
How have we arrived at this present situation? Likely a slow but deliberate taking over of “what is God’s” along with a gradual perversion of right and wrong. What is most discouraging is that those who knew better, allowed the ruler to do so, and as a consequence, the ruler’s false claims to authority have been validated, empowering him to force us to accept his version of right and wrong.