Sunday, May 21, 2023

“We have no king but Caesar.”

When the enemies of Jesus insisted that because He claimed to be King, He was an enemy of Caesar, they actually went a step further and proudly insisted that “We have no king but Caesar.”  It remains a shocking assertion for the Jew -- always out of step with the gods of the day and with a history of being set apart for a kingdom greater than the world.  It would be a shocking assertion for Christians.  Oh, wait, that is exactly what some Christians already insist.  

By eschewing the claims of Scripture and its facts and casting their sympathies with the higher critics of Scripture, that is exactly what the modernists have done.  But they have gone well past the authorship or historicity of Scripture and rejected God's creative order to affirm a modern, progressive, and liberal view of sex, gender, marriage, and family that has its source in culture.  Further, by rejecting the definition of the Gospel given by Christ (Christ crucified and risen for the forgiveness of sins as the testimony of the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings), they have substituted any and every cause of the moment to be the Gospel (especially diversity, equity, and inclusiveness).

“We have no king but Caesar.”  So what is really being said is that God is not the King of modernity but its servant.  His Truth does not endure forever but must be adjusted for the times.  His Word is not forever the same but speaks differently to our age than it did to another.  The end result is that modern liberal Christian is rejecting Christ as King and substituting the cause and cause celebre' as that which rules the church and the only legitimate loyalty binding upon the Christian.  How ironic!  Really, in this way our current generation of Christians is no different than the past.  We take what we like or want and elect Jesus to sanction it all or make it happen.  

Here on earth Christians admit to having many kings or political rulers but only one Lord.  It is not that a king is bad -- they can be and a quick survey of how many of Israel and Judah's kings were eminently forgettable is a good and faithful warning against making too much out of kings.  Even good kings, however, are captive to a specific time and moment in history.  Remember how Churchill was deemed a great wartime prime minister only to be thrust into retirement by a party that had decided he was not up to the non-wartime tasks ahead.  To call Jesus King, however, is to acknowledge that he wears the crown and sits on His father David's throne not for a moment but for all eternity.  Because of that, He is not like Caesar or any Caesars.  We do not judge Him but He judges us.  It seems that this is a fact and truth that is perennially forgotten.  The Church calls us to a different allegiance.  We honor kings and laws except wen they conflict with God's Word and then the only KING that matters is Jesus.

Progressive Christians have decided that Jesus is not worth having as King and that the only king that matters is one whose doctrine evolves, whose truth changes, and who is content to give us a faint echo of our own words and desires and call it good.  Why else would we have departed so far and so quickly from the things of God to put words in His mouth?  If you can make your king say and do what you want, you have a great puppet but a lousy king and an even worse God.  For expedience they were willing to forget that fact long ago but we ought not to do likewise today. 

No comments: