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Thursday, November 6, 2014

An Imposing Threat

What does it mean to you to be a citizen of heaven and an heir of God's kingdom? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 1635).

In a famous passage Jesus says that one should render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's. This was a brilliant response to a trap. However, it is a difficult rule to put into practice if one's conscience dictates primary allegiance to the leadings of the Spirit. In other words, Caesar could theoretically ask that I commit adultery. My conscience would not allow this. Therefore I would simply not render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's but rather render unto God the things that are God's.

Conscience can offer a great loophole through which anarchy can pass. This must be avoided. That is, conscience must be informed by the Greatest Commandment and that which is likened unto it; namely, that we should love God and love our neighbor. The United States is not an arbitrary ruler. This is a democracy and is founded upon individual rights. It is an American tradition that conscience to the maximum extent possible be honored and respected. Therefore I have little anxiety about living in America. There is little chance that the government will at gunpoint force me to do something against my conscience. The coarsening of American culture concerns me primarily because it obfuscates the clarity of conscience as a principle of action. When profanity and falsehoods inflame a culture, the provisions for conscience are mocked. In my view the greatest threat to our nation is not external, but the relentless internal and pervasive propaganda glorifying idols of escapism.

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