Thursday, November 05, 2015

Anderson: changing attitudes instead of circumstances

Thursday, November 5, 2015
    So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?”
    But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?”
    They said, “Caesar’s.”
    He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
    And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent.
    —Luke 20:21-26 (ESV)
    [Continued from yesterday] [Christ] was primarily concerned to change men as men rather than the political regime under which they lived; to transform their attitude rather than their circumstances; to treat the sickness of their hearts rather than the problems of their environment. But he laid down in a single pregnant sentence man’s duty both to God and to the State when he said: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s;” and it is certainly not his fault that the Christian church has been so slow, down the centuries, in applying to one after another of the world’s social evils the principle he emphasized so strongly, that we must love our neighbours as ourselves.
    ... J. N. D. Anderson (1908-1994), Christianity: the Witness of History, Tyndale Press, 1969, p. 51 (see the book)
    See also Luke 20:20-26; Matt. 22:16-22; Mark 12:13-17
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, eradicate all illusions about my own influence and power; let me be an instrument of Your grace to work Your will in the world, rather than my own.
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