Skip to comments.HEY, NANCY BOYS: The Early Church Rebelled Against Oppressive Governments
Posted on 10/06/2013 5:56:07 AM PDT by Kaslin
The Christians of the first century were rebels with a cause. They werent the hair-spray-addicted, religious sponges of pop culture and oppressive governments looking to be ogled by an Oprah-addled crowd or breastfed by some big government tit . Oh, no, senorita. The primitive church was out to change the world.
After Jerusalem fell in AD 70, the church, birthed by the Holy Spirit during Romes heyday, exploded with growth in Asia Minor which happened to be Ground Zero for Caesar worship.
The punch-drunk citizens of Roman rule thought the various Caesars, their laws, and their government were God. They built temples to these men and minted coins with their mugs stamped on them. The poor dupes of Rome believed their leaders poop didnt stink and they could do no wrong. They even gave their human leaders godlike reverence, proclaiming Caesar as Savior and Healer, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Yep, to the serfs of Caesarland, their heads of state were just dreamy, and as they were divine everyone was expected to toe their line. Because of this blind faith in Caesar, the Roman government found it a piece of cake to tax the plebes to death, snatch their kids or their houses, and create crises that ginned up even more robust control of Romes citizens. Im talkin Caesar had them on a short leash because of their faith in the state.
The early church, however, made it clear amidst this crapola that their allegiance was to Christ and not the edicts of Caesar especially when Caesars dictates conflicted with the Word of God. Yep, it was the churchs disdain for Caesars unrighteous decrees (the decrees that required their obedience at the expense of their convictions) that got them killed.
Get it right, folks: It wasnt the churchs belief that Jesus is God, or their love of covered dish dinners, or their Christian rock music that got them the ax; it was their holy defiance to the demonic edicts that Caesar attempted to slap them with. Rome didnt give a rats backside whom or what they believed in just as long as that belief didnt rock the boat of the Roman state. And thats exactly what first-century Christianity did: It adhered to Gods laws versus Romes. The Church believed that Christ was Lord and therefore, respectfully of course, Caesar could kiss their fish sticker. Indeed, following the teachings of Jesus, the initial Ichthus crowd was cantankerous when it came to an oppressive state.
Im sure the church tried to be nice about their obstinacy toward Romes odious laws, but when push came to legislative shove and it became clear that punk Caesar was requiring them to walk his way versus Gods, the first-century church defied the state instead of denying their God.
Early Christians refused to do this. They were accused of being "atheists", because they didn't at least acknowledge the official Roman gods. The persecutions were more severe than what many anti-Christian apologists claim they were, but the intensity of the persecution varied from Emperor to Emperor, and with the various Governors of the provinces.
RINOs are out in the open and primary time is coming:
Waiting for some statist to trot out Romans 13:1-7..........and support it as proof that all governments must be obeyed.
Paul was talking about mobs of supposed Christians who were giving Christians a bad name by going around causing trouble as in flash mobs of partying like the punks of today, carousing around, abusing the system, disregarding normal sane reasonable laws, no self control, using the liberty in Christ for doing such things.
“Waiting for some statist to trot out Romans 13:1-7..........and support it as proof that all governments must be obeyed.”
To which the counter-argument is at Matthew 22:15-22. Hmm. Gospel or Epistle. I pick Gospel.
Render unto Caesar, y’all.
“Paul was talking about mobs of supposed Christians who were giving Christians a bad name...”
The Epistles have their place. I think rendering unto caesar is a much better practice.
I suspect his prison warden or the Council of Nicea, who were government employees (Church and State were one in those days) either intentionally misinterpreted Paul or inserted that out of whole cloth.
Paul was clear and direct on about everything else he wrote. If that passage was really about people acting like punks, Paul would have said “stop acting like punks”. That governments are ordained of God is a far cry from that!
All things work for His Purposes. God uses evil governments many times in the Bible to punish Israel, and to force Christians to trust Him and His Church.
This is just one dumb redneck’s suspicion/interpretation of that passage and the issues arising from it.
Pay your taxes is what that means. It’s a big jump from that to the Divine Right of Kings.
Thanks for posting this. In essence, this part of church history is what converted me years ago. I’ve never been a fan of the blue-eyed blonde, effeminate Christ that a lot of our popular mythology ascribes to our Lord. I still find it repellent.
The more you learn about Christ and early church history, the more you recognize what a bunch of tough cookies they were. These were the type of folks I could look up to.
“Pay your taxes is what that means. Its a big jump from that to the Divine Right of Kings.”
I take it differently. Part of the reason why it’s one of my favorite parts of the Gospel: it’s deliciously cryptic. Was Christ saying “pay your taxes” or something else? I take it as something else. In context, this came up us an attempt to trick Christ into making a treasonous statement. He turned it on it’s head and didn’t say obey caesar, but to render onto caesar. Or give the things that are of caesar right back to him. Be that his coinage...or other things. Those other things at the time including state sanctioned murder, abortion, gladiatorial games, and all manner of debauchery.
These tough cookies dominated the church and defined Christianity until the start of the Muslim invasion. Over a period of less than 100 years the ancient church was destroyed by Muslim invading forces. (See ancient history database)It has never regained its former power and influence. Even the Crusades were a blip historically and were extremely limited to forcing Muslim hoardes out of a few ancient Christian (and Jewish) cities. Of more than 500 major insurgencies by Muslims into Europe less than a dozen battles were fought to rid Christian sites of Muslim domination.
It is worth noting how quiet the ‘courageous’ Cardinal Dolan and the Catholic Bishops are when Catholic chaplains are being prevented by Obama from saying Masses this weekend on some military bases.
The Christians ignored the Roman gods but got into trouble because they refused to offer sacrifices to “god Caesar”.
The same as we today are condemned because we refuse to offer sacrifices to “god Obama”.
What do you think “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s” means?
Wasn’t this a big deal between the Pharisees and the Sadducees?
Obviously I wasn’t there to ask what the finer intent of that parable was, but I’ve always interpreted as having deeper meaning than a sort of offhanded “it’s caesars coin, so give it to him.”
I think the early history of the church bears out what were really seditious underpinnings. The romans were evil to be sure, but more interested in power and debauchery than some obscure religion. Why were the Christians singled out?
The romans knew the existential threat the Christians posed.
Never thought of it THAT way.
If more Democrats were like you.......our country wouldn’t be in this mess!
Thanks for the link and sorry to disappoint; I’m no longer a ‘rat.left in the 07-08 timeframe. Kept my FR handle, though.
At this point I’m a proud anti-partisan. I think moost if not all the parties suck and the founders were correct in their dislike for them as well.
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