Render Unto Caesar


January 5, 2009 by J. Madson

I am always disappointed how this phrase along with Paul’s injunction to let the powers that be reign supreme is used by many Christians to justify unchristian behavior. Among LDS we often use the 12th article of faith to justify our actions as referenced in this post.

Much of this scriptural abuse I believe comes from a very poor analytical approach to the scriptures. Paul’s injunction is very different if we read it in light of the previous chapter, in other words, if we read it in context. I often worry that scripture mastery as done in LDS Seminary does more harm than good as we learn to rip scriptures out of their context often leading to incomplete or worse incorrect readings. I also believe historical context matters.

So what does this have to do with Rendering Unto Caesar. I believe that context radically changes the reading and challenges the assumptions we bring into the text.

We generally read this scripture as an endorsement of political systems. That Jesus meant we should pay taxes, render military service, even support our government, etc. Again, this is a very poor reading when we take into account context. This matters because bad theology leads to bad morality. The Pharisees were seeking to trap Jesus and show that he was either a revolutionary guilty of treason or he was a Roman sympathizer or idolater. Either way they sought to diminish his position and authority. Historically we know that there were two types of currencies in Israel at this time. One bore the image of the Roman Emperor and the inscription, Caesar Son of God. The use of this money was considered blasphemous since it not only had a graven image but also proclaimed Caesar as divine and the Son of God. The other coinage used in Israel had no image. This is why of course there were money changers. Coins with graven images could not be used in the temple. It is also clear from historical records that faithful Jews would not have in their possession Roman coins. Within this context we can see that a contextual reading of this passage both historical and scriptural lends itself to another, I would argue, better reading. When Jesus asked them to produce the coin, he had already won the discussion. The fact that they carried idolatrous coins let everyone know where they stood and their allegiance. They were sell outs, pious frauds. Their allegiance was to the kingdom of Rome and not the kingdom of God. The scripture read in context does not mean we have a duty to support our government or we owe our government allegiance regardless of its actions but rather Jesus illustrating the Jewish leaders complicity with Rome and the powers that be. His response is to give the forbidden coin back. Whose image is on this coin? Caesars. Well then give it back to him.


2 thoughts on “Render Unto Caesar

  1. Well said, as members take scriptures out of context and also ignore blatant prophetic scriptures regarding the need for repentance by the “Gentiles” aka LDS Church aka “the Lord’s House” (D&C 124:48, D&C 112:24-26, D&C 64:38-40, and God’s warning to Joseph about his doing his own will and carnal desires or he would fall D&C 3:1-11. This scripture proves the “follies and abominations” that occur if we blindly follow any leader, especially when coupled with imperative early church history knowledge. For instance, the repentance of Joseph Smith from his “abominable” actions and teachings involving “abominable” polygamy (Jacob 2:23-30) and satanic Masonry (Moses 5:20) as irrefutably documented by award-winning LDS historian, D. Michael Quinn. And yes, Quinn was excommunicated for telling the truth about women (and Blacks) holding the priesthood during the early PURE years of Mormonism.

    It’s also true that any “arm of the flesh” “children of men” person on this earth can fall out of inspiration from God at any time “no matter their age or position” (Richard G. Scott) and need to repent! Absolute power corrupts absolutely. After all,Christ told Peter “get behind me Satan” due to Peter’s nonspiritual, materialist mind, hateful temper, and abuse of women. Peter was jealous of Mary and suppressed Mary Magdalene’s position as an apostle (“Beloved Apostle”) and wife of Christ as historically recorded in authenticated divinely-preserved Gospels for this day! The murderous, prideful Saul, later named Paul after his three day NDE with God also continued to follow tradition with his poor advise to suppress women.

    These are just some of the examples of how “This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David and Solomon his son. BEHOLD, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines (free agency to sin and to justify it), which thing was ABOMINABLE before me, saith the Lord. Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth OUT of the land of Jerusalem…that I might raise up…a righteous branch. Wherefore, my brethren, hear me,…For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife and concubines he shall have none…(like the men of old OR like Joseph Smith and top Mason Brigham Young advocated to justify their whoremongering). Further research reveals how we have erred in our belief and practice in polygamy and Masonry which comes from Satan: Moses 5:29, worship of “Kings”/Presidents, suppression of women, etc.

    We have ignored scriptures or misunderstood them and allowed abominations into the restored Gospel (separate entity from LDS Inc.) which constitutes some of the “follies and abominations” as stated in D&C 124:48, which necessitates the prophesied cleansing of the LDS Church. Research further reveals the removal of scriptures in D&C 101, which required the sanctity of marriage between ONE man and ONE woman and replaced this with D&C 132, which justifies polygamy and wrongly states it is of God. Brigham Young brought forth this change in the 1880s and called Joseph Smith a fallen prophet for REPENTING from Masonry and polygamy, etc. Brigham’s Masonic Beehive lapel pin and Kimball’s building of a Masonic lodge are clear indications of why the Nauvoo Temple (burned to the ground) brought forth the Masonic rituals, modified but still retained today. Previously we had to slit our throats, cut out our intestines and hearts as a blood oath of how we would “suffer our life to be taken” if we told the SECRETS of the Masonic Temples. This practiced, altered in 1990, violates Christ’s clear teachings to “never swear an oath…as it comes of evil…and will condemn you”.

    No one is saved in ignorance, and we have great obligation due to our higher responsibility to God, who blessed us with the restored Gospel and baptism. The scriptures tell us that anyone can fall and that we are the Gentiles as warned throughout the Book of Mormon (altered in 1837, changing the identity of God, Alma 11:23-40, Ether 3:14, Mosiah 15:1-5 aka the removal of the “plain and precious truths” as foretold in 1 Nephi 13, which describes the three Great Christian movements, which all became “abominable”: early Christian Church, Catholic Church, Mormon Church). See irrefutable scriptural, historical, spiritual witnesses of this fact of misunderstood scriptures/folly beliefs/abominable practices in the book, The Great and Most Abominable: The Prophetic Cleansing of the Mormon Church in America, the Promised Land.

    We see that Jerusalem lost their blessings, inheritance, and status given to them by God as the “chosen people”, due to their worship of Baal, the “Queenly Mother” (Queen Bee with Utah as the Beehive State?) and their sacrifice of infants as documented three times in the book of Jeremiah! The saints can also lose their inheritance, if we fail to repent and continue in our current misunderstanding of the scriptures and blind obedience to priesthood leaders, which Joseph Smith warned us is “spiritual slavery in the extreme”! (Millennial Star, Issue 14)

  2. Sorry about the typo, Moses 5:29 is the reference used above, not Moses 5:20.

    “And Satan said unto Cain: “Swear unto me by thy throat, and if thou tell it thou shalt die…” Then it goes on to say how Cain gave himself a new name of Master Mahon and thus, we see the beginning of Masonry aka the Secret Combinations inspired by Lucifer!!!! Our temples all contain Masonic rituals, since only pure baptism with priesthood restored for male and female! comes of God. The Kirkland temple did not contain any of the Masonic rituals, satanic blood oaths of the Nauvoo temple, which brought the church under condemnation as stated in D&C 124:48.

    Christ taught us to never swear an oath EVER as it comes of EVIL!

    Any teaching that violates the teachings of Christ, who showed us the “straight and narrow” path to become children (pure not perfect) unto Him, is not of God! It’s that simple and yes, Baptism needed to be restored along with the Gospel. This should have included only 12 apostles without a King/President/Prophet as a sole leader. Christ gave us the example of the apostles (which did include Mary Magdalene, etc. contrary to perverted history) and the Book of Mormon warns us against worshiping Kings aka so-called Prophets (D&C 64), as given specifically in the “type and shadow” warning of the wicked King Noah with his 12 high priests. He was the “President” of the Church and serves as a warning for this latter-day.

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