Showing posts with the label Caesar

Transitory Power

Despite human pretensions, history demonstrates the impermanence of political power and governments. Rome endured for a thousand years, but its empire fell all the same. Like life itself, political power is fleeting, and it often collapses quickly and unexpectedly when its allotted time expires. Only the reign and realm of God will last forever.

The Neronian Dilemma

The Bible claims that God gives political power to whomever He pleases, “ even to the basest of men .” He “removes kings and installs kings,” including rulers of whom we may disapprove. Disciples of Jesus who assume certain politicians should hold power presume on God’s patience and prerogative, and this is especially problematic in democratic societies.

True Power

Mao Zedong famously declared that “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” This accurately represents the modus operandi of the State since the dawn of human civilization. In this life, men and women can be led in one of two ways – by persuasion or force. Invariably, the State chooses the latter.

Whomever HE Pleases!

According to Daniel, the God of Israel changes times and seasons, removes kings, and sets up kings .  Too often, church leaders exhort us to work diligently for the election of politicians of whom they approve, claiming it is God’s will. And they warn of the dire consequences that will befall the church if we fail to immerse ourselves in partisan politics.

Who is the Light of the World?

Contrary to the claims of politicians and some church leaders, Jesus is the “light of the world,” not any nation or political ideology .  Politicians invoke “god” to validate their agendas and status, and the most popular religion is employed to do so. Just as today’s officeholders pay lip service to “Judeo-Christian values,” so the emperors of Rome appealed to their traditional gods for divine approval. Patriotism and religious faith become synonymous, and lack of nationalistic fervor becomes heresy.

Some Politicians Get a Pass

Why do church leaders excuse lying, adultery, and other serious sins when committed by their political friends and allies?   Early in my Christian walk, I was taught to strive for holiness in every area of life. Sin must not be tolerated in thought, word, or deed. “ Do not evil that good may come !”  As a disciple of Jesus, I was to live “separate” from the fallen world, not physically, but spiritually and morally. His follower must not be “ unequally yoked ” with sinners.

To Whom Homage?

Satan tempted Jesus with political power over “ all the kingdoms of the world .” But the man from Nazareth refused the offer. Instead of might and grandeur, he submitted to the way of the ‘ Suffering Servant .’ But the most startling detail is that he did not dispute the Devil’s claim to have jurisdiction over the political systems of the world.

Only SOME Nations?

Is the Good News of the Kingdom of God a message of hope for only SOME nations, or for all?   Often in church history, the gospel has been perverted into  good news  for some nations, but  bad news  for others. This occurs when representatives of the church of the same Jesus who gave his life for the world associate his name and message with certain nations, races, cultures, and ideologies.

Empires Rise and Fall

Imperial hubris is the legacy of the Tower of Babel, humanity’s first but certainly not the last attempt to establish the World Empire . The Tower of Babel incident is echoed in  Daniel  when the ruler of  “ Shinar ” gathers all nations to worship his great image  in the “ Plain of Dura .” His empire was not a new entity, but the latest incarnation of Satan’s plan to control humanity, one that has been underway since human civilization began.


‘Christendom’ is the attempt to invoke God and Jesus to validate national and political institutions, agendas, and ideologies . In popular usage, the English term refers to “that part of the world in which Christianity prevails,” either because most citizens of a nation claim to be Christian or because a specific church is recognized as the official religion of the nation. Thus, the nation becomes identified as “Christian.”

Governing Authorities

Writing to the churches of Rome, Paul presents principles for Christian conduct in relation to the State. Believers must “ subordinate themselves to governing powers, for there is no authority except by God .” His statement was written when Nero ruled the Roman Empire, the same man who became the first emperor to persecute the church.