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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Can You Render Too Much To Caesar?

Have you ever complained to someone about paying high taxes only to have them respond to you from Matthew 22:21 “Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s”?  Do you feel like you have been told, “Now be a good little Christian and run along and play”?

Gary DeMar, in his article “Using The Power Of Civil Government To Steal,” provides an interesting argument on the misuse of this quote.  Here are a few excerpts from the article:

“There are several problems this person’s use of Matthew 22:21 to deal with modern-day taxing policy in the United States. First, because governments compel people to pay taxes because they have the power to do so does not mean that what they are doing is legitimate. It’s still stealing even if we as citizens (which most of the Jews living under Caesar were not) are obligated to pay. If someone strikes me, and I’m to turn the other cheek, the person who struck me is still wrong in what he did. In fact, Jesus calls him an “evil person” (Matt. 5:39). . . .

“Second, as citizens of the United States, we do not live under Caesar! This may come as a shock to Christians, but it’s true. In principle we are to render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar only when we define our ‘Caesar.’ We live under the Constitution of the United States at the federal level in which we have multiple freedoms, including the right, according the First Amendment, ‘to petition the government for a redress of grievances. . . .’

“Third, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution informs us that ‘the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people. . . .’

“Fourth, the Constitution is a contract that elected officials are bound by oath to follow as the ‘supreme Law of the Land’ (Art. VI, clause 2). The Constitution does not give elected officials carte blanche authority to enact laws because the people want them to create programs that will needed to be funded by taking money from some citizens so other citizens can benefit. . . .”

Continue reading here. . . .

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