Give to Caesar what is Caesars

Our readings this weekend have been used by many people throughout the centuries to excuse bad behavior by rulers, presidents, and governments. During the days of the slave trade, white ministers would use the fact that the government approved of slavery as proof that God approved of it as well. After all, God appointed our leaders, and we are to follow them no matter what they do.

Today, those same leaders approve of genocide and human rights violations in the Middle East and Russia. And so many Christians are ok with the senseless killing of innocent men, women, and children because the wars are “God’s will” or are being committed by “God’s chosen people”. The reality is that God routinely condemns Israel and other nations for committing crimes against humanity and warns them to stop of face God’s wrath. Just like the prophets of old, the modern-day prophets are being attacked and abused for speaking the word of God to the people.

I want to be perfectly clear; I believe that Israel and Palestine should both be allowed their own nations and should both have the right to self-determination. I do not support Christian Zionism which is built on the backs of those who believe we need to force Jews and Palestine’s to live together for Armageddon to come and bring back the second coming of Jesus faster. I also do not support the killing of innocent people in a war that looks more like a genocide of anyone not aligned with the Israeli government.

Our scriptures this weekend does not support this either. Instead, they call for us to keep state and religion separate. It calls on us to give God the higher amount of respect and obedience. It calls on us to do as the prophets of old did. We are to call out injustice, abuse, genocide, and to demand action by those in authority to protect all people.

By doing so we are not being political, we are being Christ-like.

Won’t you join me in standing for the Gospel message?

Pax et Bonum!

Bishop Greer