Good Stewardship

Date: 3/22/2009

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But master, it's just one coin!

The Pharisees decided to put Jesus on the spot in front of the crowd. They asked him a question bound to get him into trouble one way or the other.

“Is it lawful to pay taxes to the Emperor or not?”

Jesus takes charge of the conversation and puts the Pharisees on the spot. He answers a question with a question.

“Whose head is on that coin that you have in your pocket, the coin that you are using to pay for the temporal necessities of life?”


Next Jesus says something that makes them think.

“Then give to Caesar what is Caesar, but give to God what is God’s.” (Matthew 22:15-21)

Jesus says we can’t have it both ways—if we benefit from secular society, we need to support the infrastructure of society. This can take the form of taxes, military service, jury duty, and informed, conscientious voting.

But there are also times when political rulers overstep their authority. Sometimes, they demand to be worshiped, like Caesar did. Other times they attack human dignity, violating natural law which demands that innocent human life be respected and that liberty be protected. These are times when Christians have a duty boldly to insist that while Caesar is owed his due, we won’t stand by and silently watch him step on God’s toes. (Exerpt from Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio's article, Render Unto Caesar)

Be sure to check out the book Render Unto Caesar by Archbishop Chaput. It is about the proper relationship between faith and politics. And here is a good article by the Archbishop explaining why he wrote the book.