Then he(Jesus) said to them. “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (Bible NIV Matthew 22:21)
The theme here is what kind of attitude should be taken toward the country (government) as a person with one faith (applicable to all religions, not just Christians). The above words are one of the most famous words in the New Testament. It is believed to be the most appropriate representation of the relationship between politics and religion.
Romans 13: 7 says that those who have to pay taxes should pay taxes, and Jesus says, “Return Caesar’s things to Caesar.” The portrait of currency was a symbol of royal power. By paying taxes in the currency bearing this portrait of the Caesar (emperor), people recognize the authority of the country. But they later made a statement at the time of Jesus’ trial. “This man misled my people and forbade them from paying taxes to Caesar” (Luke 23: 2).
Some of Jesus’ 12 disciples were Zealots aiming to overthrow Rome, but Jesus was by no means anti-Roman like the Zealots.
Everyone should basically obey the authority that stands above them. As it is written in the Bible, Romans 13: 1. Everyone should obey the authority that stands above them. There is no authority that does not depend on God, and all existing authorities are established by God.
Romans 13: 4 says: Because he (the one who stands above) is God’s servant for you (the people) to benefit. The nation can be seen as God’s way to bring security to the people. The Bible teaches us to pay taxes and fulfill our national obligations. The people benefit from the government, such as safety and welfare. In order to continue to receive the benefits, we have to pay the price and pay the tax. The country is responsible for protecting the lives of the people in danger of the coronavirus. The people are obliged to pay taxes and support the country. Jesus was neither an avid member of the Roman Empire, nor a Herod member who flirted with Rome.
Jesus himself followed Pilate’s trial, accepted the decision, and crucified him. Jesus had a chance to escape the sentence because it was a fraudulent trial, but he himself crucified.
The church followed the words Jesus spoke, recognized the Roman emperor, and walked with care not to collide with the power of time. However, authority on earth is not always correct. In that sense, the people who have a good government are happy. There is no doubt that as a nation, we need to do our utmost to honor those who stand above us.
But when the government issued a command to intervene in the realm of God and in the realm of freedom, the church (Jesus’ disciples Peter) ” should obey God rather than obey man ” (Acts 5:29 ). )said.
It is called separation of church and state, but when religion and politics are combined, the church loses life and dies spiritually. This is a lesson we can learn from history. The early church (around the 1st to 3rd centuries AD) was full of life and dynamism. However, when the Roman Empire stopped persecuting Christianity and recognized Christianity as a national religion, the church gradually fell into disrepair.
It was the wartime church that could not “follow God rather than follow people” like the early church. The church did not obey God, but man (government), even though the country was clearly going in the wrong direction. The worst example is against the dictator Hitler. Hitler used Romans chapter 13 to demand the church to submit to the state. Many churches succumbed to Hitler, but some resisted. A representative person is Dietrich Bonheffer, a Lutheran minister. He was deeply rooted in Martin Luther’s theology. He was one of the leading theologians of the 20th century and had a very keen insight. In 1933, Hitler quickly discovered his demonic character as he took absolute power in the position of Archchancellor. Eventually, when the Nazi regime interfered with the church, it began a resistance movement. Bonhoeffer was thorough in obeying Christ. He was executed on April 9, 1945, shortly before the end of the war.
Japan has a history of forcing the church to worship the emperor during the World War II and cracking down on it if it did not obey it. Holiness churches were martyred because they resisted the nation.
If a nation or a nation’s leader deprives its people of freedom (including freedom of religion), we should have the courage to resist. I have to say that Hong Kong is in crisis now. In October 2019, Hong Kong pro-democracy Agnes Chow expressed her willingness to resist the Hong Kong government, citing the words, which is a speech by Haruki Murakami in 2009 in Jerusalem, Israel, saying, “When there is a high and hard wall and an egg that breaks when it hits. “I will always stand by the egg,” but she was sentenced to 10 months in prison the other day. It’s a really terrible decision. The Chinese Communist Party has no human rights or freedoms. Of course, there is no freedom of religion. Chinese churches are being monitored by the Communist Party, effectively depriving them of their freedom of religion. Tibetans who believe in Buddhism and Uighurs who believe in Islam have also been suppressed. If they resist it, they will be put in jail and killed.
In the 2020 US presidential election, major Japanese media only reported that Mr. Biden was elected, and that Mr. Trump did not admit defeat. Little has been reported about allegations of fraudulent voting by the Democratic Party. The major American liberal media, who should have identified themselves as guardians of democracy, are largely silent on this. As in Japan and the United States, there is a clear bias in media coverage (television and newspapers). I strongly feel that there is an intention to guide the people in one direction.
The current situation is that the United States is becoming a leftist. This is very dangerous. If America is no longer America, that is, if the Democratic Party continues to move in the direction it is heading, America and the world will move in the direction of totalitarianism. Is the world that George Orwell described in “1984” and the apocalyptic world that is written in the Bible about to become a reality? It’s very scary.
If we don’t think it has anything to do with Japan today, we’re too optimistic. It’s also true that some people try to get rid of it with conspiracy theory. Hitler began to rule Germany in the 1930s, when Rev. Martin Niemöller described it as follows.
First they attacked the Jews. But I wasn’t Jewish so I didn’t do anything. Then he attacked the socialists. But I wasn’t a socialist so I didn’t do anything. And he attacked Catholics. But I wasn’t a Catholic so I didn’t do anything. And one day the Nazis finally cracked down on the Protestant church. I took action as a minister, but then everything was too late.
Japan failed in World War II. This is a historical fact. Never forget it. At that time, the Japanese media reported lies to the public. Unfortunately, its essence has not changed. In Japan, we may not report lies, but by not reporting a part at all, and by thoroughly reporting only a part, we manipulate information to report the entire US presidential election. Is not … By doing so, the people can only take a biased view. Such trends are ongoing not only in the US presidential election, but also in the nuclear issue, the response to the coronavirus, the way Israel is reported, and in many important areas.
We should be patriotic as one of our people, love our country, and obey our authority. However, if the authority of the nation rebels against God, and if it wants to deprive the people of freedom of expression and freedom of religion, it should courageously resist the nation. Before it’s too late. Otherwise, we will end up making the same mistakes we made during World War II. Why can we say that such a thing never happens? I think the Japanese need to be aware that there is a possibility that the world will move toward totalitarianism and that people will be deprived of various freedoms at the world level.
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Posted by: canaan
I used to be a pastor in the metropolitan area for 10 years, but now I am a pastor at a local Christian church. I also run a travel agency and an agricultural cooperative. I myself have been empowered by various words, and I would like to convey hopeful words.
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