The Case for the Personification of Evil

Before making the case for the personification of evil, perhaps it would be best to define just what personification is:  http://www.dictionary.com has it:  the attribution of human nature or character to animals, inanimate objects, or abstract notions, especially as a rhetorical figure. | That is assigning personality traits and a name to something, in this case, evil.  i.e. Satan, Lucifer, father of lies, the serpent in the garden, Old Dragon, roaring lion, etc. so that it might be examined as another person with whom we may or may not want to associate ourselves.

Now that that is cleared up, these are questions that must be answered beyond a reasonable doubt to prove the existence of Satan as an individual spiritual being.  Unless it can be shown beyond a reasonable doubt that Satan is a person and not a personification, then our entire concept of the source of sin and death and evil in this world must be reexamined to get to the truth of its origin.

Beginning in Genesis 1:27-28:

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

God’s command to man must be defined if we are to understand his duty before God in the beginning.  Little has been done beyond the assumption that we know what being fruitful and multiplying means to God.  But do we?  (Strong’s #6509, ‘fruitful’ is  grow and #7235, ‘multiply’ is be in authority)

Next there has been some discussion of the term ‘replenish’.  (Strong’s #4390 consecrate) It has even been the basis of the idea that Satan destroyed the first creation and Adam was given the task of rebuilding it to its intended glory. But can that reasonably be?

Next is the command to ‘subdue it’. (Strong’s #3533 is conquer, subjugate which means to ‘overcome by force’)  Which (to me) utterly begs the question:

What was there in the creation God pronounced “very good” that required of Adam that he ‘overcome by force’  something in it?

The key to this answer lies in the last phrase of the verse, ‘over every living thing that moveth upon the earth’.  We assume that understanding this to mean everything outside of himself is the intent.  The problem with that assumption is that it utterly fulfills the old wisdom of what assuming anything ends up doing:  it makes an ass out of u and me!  (Ass-u-me)  How so?

Man is the only morally accountable being God revealed in the creation account.  That is what it means to be created in the image of God and bear His likeness. We are morally accountable because we were given the laws: thou shalt and thou shalt not referring to the way we are to conduct our interaction with God and with man.  God revealed no other creature that was given such law.  All other creatures listed in the creation account are subject only to the laws of nature.

The Word of God, His revelation to us, concerning that accountability is the very first thing He revealed and the very first thing we reject in our understanding of that revelation!  We reject it by assuming that subduing all the rest of the creation is what was meant when in point of fact the only thing that really mattered was that we bring ourselves into absolute submission to the will of God each and every time we are tempted to defy Him.

He created us to be at the top of the list of ‘every living thing that moveth upon the earth’!  Not absent from it!  Adam failed.  He failed willfully and willingly to obey God’s command never to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  What is that fruit?  It is the idea that Adam could decide for himself what was good and what was evil.  Could it have been an ‘apple’ that he took a bite of?  Sure!  But taking the bite proved the condition of his heart and as Jesus said in Mark 7:

18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;

19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.

21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

I know that this was given in answer to the objection to eating food sacrificed to idols.  But Jesus went beyond the physical to the spiritual truth of the matter.  That is what we are all called to do!  Eternal life is a spiritual truth!

How does this all apply to the ‘Personification of Evil’?

The answer to that does not begin with the Serpent in the Garden.  It begins with the creation of Eve!  I see the leap to conclusions and the name calling and the dismissal of everything up to this point that this fool has written!  Please, give me one more minute to make a point.

Genesis 2:

20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

We can imagine the physical activity here rather easily.  But what is the spiritual outcome?  Yes, there have been many commentaries that say Eve was taken out of the side of Adam indicating she was his equal, and all that is correct as far as it goes.  But let’s take it a step farther.

Eve was created.  But she was not created from the dust of the earth as was Adam.  She was created out of Adam.  She was a distillation of his nature and created to be his ‘help’, ‘meet’ for him.  (Strong’s #5858 for both!: aid, help)

It was Eve who saw that the fruit was good for food, pleasant to look upon, and good to make one wise.  She was deceived, Adam was not. (1st Tim. 2:14) Eve was in the transgression but it was Adam’s disobedience that brought the curse of sin upon all mankind.

Romans 5:13 states:

12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

(The parenthetical phrase begun in verse 13 continues through verse 17.)

Why?  Why did Adam sin?  Given the source of sin described by Jesus in Mark 7, how are we to understand God’s declaration of His creation as ‘very good’?  There are only two possibilities. One is that it was a moral certification.  If that was the case, then for Adam to sin against God, he would have to change his own nature from one of absolute moral submission, to one of utter moral rebellion.  Or two, it was a declaration of fitness for purpose.  As a declaration of fitness for purpose we have to trust God to reveal to us what that purpose is.  Did He?  Did God reveal what the purpose of His creation is?  Yes!  He did!

In the end, the bride of Christ will join Him in eternity.  The bride of Christ will exhibit one overwhelming character trait that cannot be denied.   We will be holy as He is holy.  Holy means separate. It means to set one’s self apart from something.  God reveals only one trait that He holds to the superlative, His holiness, and we are to be holy as He is holy.  So, what did he set Himself apart from in eternity?  Evil!  How does He define evil?  He defines evil as the ultimate worship of self.  He defines evil as pure selfishness.  The fruit of the Spirit, each of them, are manifestations of selflessness.

Adam sinned because he sought the throne for himself.  He did not care that if he said ‘No’ to Eve, God could and would forgive the transgression.  He cared only that he decide, and he would rather die than submit and obey.

The only way for man to be willingly and willfully holy, which is the purpose of God for his creation, is for man to see for himself, individually, first hand, leaving no room for doubt that to put self before everything else, is to reject the spiritual meaning of life.  That is the life that God blew into the nostrils of man.

Adam, the man of flesh, the elder, must be subdued by the younger Adam the man of Spirit, to live in holiness.  That is what Adam the elder, rejected and by doing so brought death to the younger.  It is the younger that must then be born again in each of us.  It is the younger that must learn and exercise holiness against the strength and wiles of the elder.  In doing so the purpose of God is served in this creation.  In doing so the ultimate plan of God will come to fruition. It is in trying to understand this that the question of ‘free will’ must be addressed and the truth of it accepted.

The revelation of evil as the serpent in the garden, Satan in the book of Job, the devil tempting Jesus,  all of its manifestations in this world, form the personification used in Scripture to allow us to externalize who we are in the flesh.  Who of us wants to admit that we absolutely would have been screaming, “Crucify Him!” with wholehearted enthusiasm had we been standing in the crowd when Pilate said he could find no fault in this man?  Which of us wants to believe as Paul did that ‘I am the chiefest of sinners’?

Personification is the only reasonable way to rightly understand the evil spirit of this world.  Evil must be subdued within and shunned without.  It must begin in our own hearts and minds.  It must be given no quarter in precisely the same way Jesus gave it no quarter.  He answered His temptation the same way we must:  It Is Written…!  Holiness puts God on His throne.

Every argument for the person-hood of Satan, demons, the devil, evil, et al. can be better answered,  and its presence in Scripture understood, by seeing the idea personified. Describing them as a persons is used by God to convey spiritual truth just as using the four types of ground in the parable of the sower conveys the spiritual truth of the four types of  reception the Word gets in the hearts of men.  We do it all the time in plays and stories to make concepts of good and evil easier for children to understand.

I close with these words of Jesus so that those of you with ears to hear may begin to understand: Matthew 13:10-13

10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Externalizing evil is always easier than facing its truth within us.  God knows that, Satan does too!

Also, you may, as you read the passages above in light of the Strong’s definitions I have inserted, come to the shocking conclusion that God’s revelation becomes much more revealing of His ultimate plan!

The question you must ask yourself at this point (if you really care) is:  Do I still believe beyond a reasonable doubt that Satan is a person?

The sequel to this is examining the truth of how regeneration must, of necessity and beyond a reasonable doubt,  precede faith!

May all who read this be blessed.

 

 

 

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Objections to Commentary w/Answers

I appreciate your response!  But you start off saying, “Your way believes that God can use evil tactics and deeds and hold humans accountable for them and not be blamed Himself.”  What evil tactics and deeds am I saying God uses?  He eradicated all mankind from earth save 8!  Because every intention of their heart was only evil continually!  Is that one of the evil tactics I am saying He uses?  Is that where you go when considering the power of the potter over the clay of the same lump to make one vessel to honor and another to dishonor?  That if God makes a vessel to dishonor it makes Him the ultimate Author of evil?  No.  That is why one must seek to understand His ultimate Purpose for us! SO,
Let me ask this:  What is the ultimate purpose God has in The Creation, given that man is indeed the acme of it? To me, our purpose is to be holy as He is holy, because we cannot live in His eternal kingdom unless we are. I am certainly not there yet and when Paul said in 1st Tim 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.   There are two parts of the saying, one Christ came to save sinners, and two, every sinner should consider himself chief among them.  That leaves no room for me to claim I am better than anyone else.  Off the subject!

You said, “Second, scripture no where says or teaches that we are free in the sense of being outside of God’s control, we live on the earth and are subject to all of its laws and sciences including death and have no control over those matters, but we are indeed free to make willing choices that have real effects. Sin is a choice and you are free to do so, including rejecting Jesus as Lord,. If we don’t have a choice, then we are basically fatalists and that our decisions and choices do not matter.” 
Is God’s control absolute?  Yes or No.  I do not claim God forces me to do evil.  Jeremiah 17:9 and Mark 7:18-21 speak very clearly of the condition of the unregenerate heart.  But throughout Scriptures It is made very clear that what man means for evil God can and does use to produce ultimate good.  We can’t outsmart God, we can’t outguess God, we can’t outmaneuver God.  Either He is in absolute control of man’s eternal destiny, or He has ceded control of that eternal destiny to a creature that has all the inate holiness of the serpent in the garden!  Since our relationship with Jesus is personal my eternal destiny is between me and Him.  It is not a corporate endeavor.  Unless of course you believe one must be a member of a church to be saved.  I do not, nor do I believe Scripture teaches that.

“Third, Why pray? God’s Word says to do so but if all is predetermined by God then what’s the use?
We are commanded to pray by a Sovereign God.  That should be enough of a reason.  But we are told in no uncertain terms that mostly we pray for the wrong stuff.  So what should we pray for? It isn’t as much what we should pray for as how we are to pray: in the spirit.  It is only then that we are in full accord with the will of God in what we are seeking.  It says those are groanings of the spirit that cannot be uttered.  That means they most likely do not have a vocal component.  I’m by no means an expert in prayer and I’m sure people are comforted by prayers offered up for them. Does God answer prayer that is contrary to His Will? No. Well, yes, but the answer is NO!

“Fourth, you quote Jeremiah 18:4-6 as a basis for the making of a man, the the true text is about the nation Israel. God sent him there to give him an object lesson for what was going to happen to them as a nation, not individuals.
I was not referring to Jer. 18:4-6 at all.  I was referring to Romans 9:20-22
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?  22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

Just Who fit those vessels of wrath for destruction?  When you worked construction, didn’t you use ‘expendables’?  Those were tools and bits and files and stuff that were good for their purposes, but were meant to be used up or destroyed so the ultimate plan could be completed.  Indeed the end result could not be achieved without them.  Do you believe God, in order to achieve His ultimate goal would not have need of anything like that?  It is not up to us to decide which is which.  Our job is to carry out the Great Commission.  In John chapter 6 it says hundreds turned away and followed Him no more.  But of all those He was given by the Father, He would lose none. So I did not give myself to Him until after the Father gave me to Him.  That decision was made before the foundation of the world!!
I think there is little doubt this passage is precisely about someone who questions the Sovereignty of God in His absolute right to use any part or piece of His creation according to the good pleasure of His will alone re:Judas and Pharaoh, re Jacob and Esau.  And it is no different for one to question the right of God in how He uses someone else.   i.e. It would not be fair of Him to decide if John Doe is saved or not without John Doe having a voice in it before He does either.  The problem with that line of thinking is it is refuted in the choice of Jacob over Esau: before they had done anything god or bad God chose re Romans 9:11.  If God can sovereignly choose in their cases, why can He not sovereignly choose in mine?  
My response to the call proves His choice. My choice does not force His response.
‘My response proves His choice. My choice does not force His response.’ also answers your fifth statement.  “It is the responsibility of man to repent and trust Jesus as Savior and Lord, God’s Word places the responsibility on the person in numerous places.  Ezekiel 18:23, 32, John 3:16 – 18, 2, Acts 16:31, Romans10:9-10, 13, 2 Thess. 2: 10 – 12, Rev. 22:17”
Regeneration precedes faith!
And it is only in faith one comes to Christ.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
By faith He IS Lord and Savior to us as we walk this sod!
The Book of Romans is our theological primer concerning the power of God over man and many other topics. It seeks to teach the proper use of reason in understanding God; an extremely lofty goal considering the depths to which its readership has fallen,

Again thanks for your response. Iron sharpens iron. 

Defining Infinite!

That which is without limits—infinite!  Literally Not Finite!

In practical application, for instance in trying to describe the nature of the Creator God, it is vital that we understand who we are!  We are the creature with the finite mind who was created by the Creator to accomplish that for which the Creation was created in the first place!

A proper understanding of God must be reasonable to us even if hard to comprehend!  So I have this opportunity to posit a view on the “Infinite”:

The Creator God that we worship, Who is the Father of Jesus Christ, Who Created all that is in this realm, while totally able to affect this realm as He sees fit, exists outside of it.  He knows the end of it from the beginning of it because He truly comprehends its entirety, beginning to end, top to bottom, front to back, and has total access to it anywhere and any-when He chooses.  To us His being and power truly are infinite, without limits, because from our point of view they are.  BUT:

Our God exists in ETERNITY!  Where He lives we have no clue concerning its structure except that Christ has assured us that He has gone ahead to prepare a place for us so that where He is we may be also!!

On this celebration of The Resurrection , I would like to say that His Word is good enough for me!  When we join Him in the air and begin to comprehend the Purpose of God and see the place for which we were created to have fellowship with Him!!!!  THAT will be when we begin to understand the infinite, maybe!

God bless ALL who believe in the One Who defeated death and the grave, paid the debt to justice for us that we could never pay, and loved us more than we can comprehend.  To Him be the Glory now and forever, Amen.

The 500 Year Old Question!

 

Arminianism vs Calvinism…

  Cut to the chase!

Calvinists say Its God’s choice and I can live with it.

Arminians say Its my choice and I can’t live without it.

Either God IS all-Powerful or He is not.  If my choice over-rules His it is obvious He is not!

Where does Scripture say we have free will?  Indeed it says we are captives to sin until the Lord sets us free and those whom He sets free are free indeed!

Up To WHO?

In honor of Nickel Boy Graphics I offer a Consider This:

The final decision concerning the dispensation of one’s eternal life is a fearful thing to contemplate.  The idea that if I can do something that enables me to obtain entrance into eternal peace and the company of Jesus Christ brings with it the obvious opposite: that I can also do something that condemns me to eternal separation from same.

The idea that I can do nothing to help myself become eligible to live in eternal peace with Jesus Christ; that my eternal dispensation was predetermined and set before I was ever conceived in my mother’s womb is even more fearsome to contemplate.

One religion tells me one thing and another something else.  Who can I believe?

Consider just what the ultimate plan of an Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Omnipotent God, the Creator of all things, the Great Lawgiver and Definer of Good and Evil, is!  Just what has God revealed to us that  His plan is for what He has created and the occupants of it?  In His eyes nothing happens by chance or takes Him by surprise.

John 4:24 says, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”   To live with Him in Heaven we must be willingly and willfully holy as He is holy.  Living in holiness must surely then be the sincerest form of worship.

Who art thou, O man, that repliest against God, saying Why hast Thou made me thus?  Can the creature who has no understanding of the plan and purpose of the Creator justly judge or even intelligently question the outworking of that plan?

!st Tim 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Our eternal destiny is in the hands of a God Who is merciful and just.  I pray for His Mercy and fear His Justice for I know how undeserving I am of anything else.  The Grace of God is the extension of His unmerited favor to us. While we were yet sinners Christ DIED for us.

The evil of this world is not carried into Heaven and our view of it or its purpose here is not eternal in scope.  When sitting in judgment of God wouldn’t we do well to take our lack of an eternal perspective and perfect understanding into account!   Surely if anyone deserves the benefit of the doubt for doing the right thing for the right reason, it is God!

God bless any and all who make the effort to understand the Mind of God!

The Importunate Widow? About Discipleship?

The Importunate Widow? About Discipleship?

Just how personal is the discipleship relationship?  Who is the true teacher?  Is the church the arbiter of the interpretation of the Word of God or is it between a man and his enlightenment by the Holy Spirit?  Who is the final arbiter of Truth?

The Book of James speaks to discipleship in this way:

1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

The Parable of the Importunate Widow(Luke 18) speaks of it this way:

18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

18:2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

18:3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

18:4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;

18:5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

18:6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.

18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Paul speaks to Timothy(2nd Tim 2) these thoughts:

2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

2:17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.

Correct understanding of the Word of God is only found when the whole context of Holy Scripture is taken into account on any given topic. Peter and John(Acts 4) had this to say when the religious authority would have chastened them:

4:18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.

4:19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.

4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

4:21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.

There is no greater teacher than the Holy Spirit.  That is His job!  But He will allow you to err in your belief whenever you decide you know enough or have it completely figured out or are willing to believe what men say over what He is leading you toward.

So how much do you really want to know God?  How much do you really want to face your sin nature?  Picking up your cross is looking at yourself and seeing your iniquity in the light of God’s revelation to you then doing what is right in His eyes.

Paul encouraged people to follow his lead but only  in so far as he followed Christ(1st Cor):

10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

10:32 Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

10:33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

11:2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

Will you pick up your cross and follow Him, or will you walk away sad?  Or will you deceive yourself and quench the Spirit at the same time?

 

 

 

Render Unto Caesar?

 

Today we will look at a very familiar passage and see if we are missing something!  That passage is in the Book of Matthew Chapter 22 Verses 15-22.

15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.

16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.

17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?

19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.

20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

May God Bless the reading of His Holy and Inerrant Word.

When we think of  ‘render unto Caesar’  the first thing we usually think of is paying taxes because that is what they were talking about.  They asked Jesus if it was lawful for the Jews to pay tribute to Caesar. And He said RENDER UNTO CAESAR!  Well we don’t live under Roman rule today.  So we ignore the rest of the passage!  Let us begin at the beginning and see what is going on here and see if there is a much more relevant meaning to this in our day and age!

The Pharisees had been embarrassed by Jesus a number of times before and they had just been told a parable of the wedding where everyone made an excuse to not show up .  So the King sent his servants out into the highways and byways to bring in everyone they could find.  The King then saw one who was not dressed for the wedding and asked him why!  The man was speechless so the King told the servants to cast him into outer darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.  The Pharisees knew that the invited guests who made excuses not to show up represented them in the parable.  They were not happy.  They had been slighted again!  So they took council among themselves on how they could trip up this upstart from Galilee.  They Got together with some Herodians.  Herodians were not fond of Jesus either because they really wanted nothing to interfere with the dynastic line of Herod the Great whom they considered to be the rightful King of the Jews!  He knew what they were up to.  So when they asked if it was lawful to pay tribute to Caesar, He called them out on it.  They were tempters and hypocrites!  They addressed Him as MASTER, we KNOW you are TRUE, and teach the way of God IN TRUTH, and that You don’t especially care about ANY man,  because You pay no attention to what KIND of men they ARE at ALL! Their Words, however,  while trying to sound as if they honestly wanted to hear His wisdom on the issue didn’t fool Him in the least.

They showed Him the coin and the image on it and He uttered those famous words—Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s!  And they were astounded and walked off shaking their heads.  There was no argument.

But for US the story does not end there.  In our Culture, just WHO IS CAESAR?  You won’t like the answer because it puts the responsibility for every bad thing our government has ever done SQUARELY upon the shoulders of WE THE PEOPLE for one very simple reason.  We Claimed it for OURSELVES!  That’s right!  Our government is OF the people, BY the people and FOR the people!  WE are CAESAR!  So when Jesus said render unto Caesar… He wasn’t just talking about the change in our pockets!  We can’t point at somebody else and say they are to blame!  The body politic produces the aggregate  will of the GOVERNED in the USA.  If we don’t want men in the women’s restrooms,  we need to make so much noise about it and arrest those who violate, that their “discomfort in the men’s room “ will be nothing compared to their discomfort in the legal system. They DO have OPTIONS!

We need to re-establish decency and protect the innocence of our children.  Indecency is the idea that our local schools must give sex education in all the prurient excesses of sexual conduct so our children can decide for themselves who and what they are!  It is CRIMINAL and should be pushed back against hard enough that it goes back into the darkest of corners where it belongs!

We need to re-establish decency in what we choose to allow into our consciousness.  There are too many things that cannot be unseen  or unheard. WE THE PEOPLE are Caesar and we have a responsibility to the rest of mankind and to GOD ALMIGHTY for what we allow to be done in OUR NAME!

None of this requires us to be violent!  It requires that we put on the WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD and when we have done so, to STAND against all that assails us in the evil day.

SPEAK RIGHTEOUSNESS AGAINST EVIL.  Silence is Consent!