August 25, 2009

Caesar is Lord

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 10:10 am by Editorial Team

We are drinking from a fountain of heresy.  We’ve bowed down to the rule of our society, and we’ve exchanged our trust in God for that of a harlot.

The Roman Empire was one of the strongest, most stable empires in history.  To the people of this time, Caesar was God — he offered protection, safety, and ultimatele security.  Few peoples could muster the strength to break down the Roman Empire.  Pax Romana meant 200 years of relative prosperity and stability.    For the people of this time, being a Roman citizen meant salvation — it was one of the most coveted prizes, because of the protections it afforded.  Salvation was found in Caesar, and he was worshiped for it.

In a world where Caesar was worshiped as Lord, a group of upstart radicals denied the lordship of Caesar in a proclamation against the Empire.  They claimed that Jesus was Lord, not Caesar.  It was no wonder that the Empire became so antagonistic towards these people.  They represented a direct threat to the Empire — and these people were persecuted, beaten, and killed.

One is apt to believe that this is not the case today in America.  But we have become bedfellows with democracy, with the American way of life.  We preach the gospel of the constitution — of the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.  Ultimately, the idol is security — the same security experienced under Pax Romana: the freedom to travel safely, to pursue wealth, and to do whatever we please.

For all of us, we find comfort in the American Empire in many different ways.  While we may not revere the President as Lord, we revere our political value system and the things it can achieve for us.

Some of us find security in ensuring that everyone around us is forced into our way of thinking about morality.  Some of us find security in a central government that protects basic rights and ensures a certain level of safety and security for all its people, especially the least of these.  Some of us find security in a limited government that makes few intrusions into our lives, allowing us to do whatever we please.  Some of us find security in promoting unfettered free markets that allow those with the means to achieve whatever they please.

And the echo of the early Christian martyrs rings in our ears: Jesus is Lord.

The free market is Lord.  Jesus is Lord.
Healthcare is Lord. Jesus is Lord.
A shared morality is Lord. Jesus is Lord.
A government safety net is Lord. Jesus is Lord.
My retirement savings is Lord. Jesus is Lord.
Wealth and material possession is Lord. Jesus is Lord.
Freedom and lack of government intrusion in my life is Lord. Jesus is Lord.
Strong protection of my rights and needs is Lord. Jesus is Lord.
My job and my income is Lord. Jesus is Lord.
Low taxes is Lord. Jesus is Lord.

When the empire beckons us to come worship at its feet, be it government, free market, or anything other power, the call reverberates in our hearts: the completeness of our existence is wrapped up in Christ and nothing else. He reigns over all. Jesus is Lord.


1 Comment »

  1. Rhonda said,

    Lots of interesting reading here… I look forward to coming back and spending more time with your writings. God has blessed you with a tremendous gift for expressing yourself and with a servant’s eyes and heart for those around you, especially those in need.

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