esquizofrenico wrote: ↑
Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:23 pm
The problem with whether or not Christians should or should not obey earthly power comes from the fact that the only piece of information the Gospels give us about the subject is completely useless. "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God" is almost a moral tautology, that is "Or A or not A". The interpretation all Christians have given to that phrase is that Christians need to follow political power figures as long as they don't interfere with God's commandments. The problem is where each person decides that stops earth's authority and starts God's.
The topic of idolatry in Christianity is a fascinating topic that has given us liters upon liters of mayhem spilled blood, apart from giving us one of my favourite words: "iconoclast" (oh, how I wish it would still be used as an insult). The main argument of defenders of icons is that Christian do not worship them, but use them to get reminded of the thing it represents. It's similar to a soldier kissing a photo of his wife: it is not that he loves the piece of paper, but he loves the woman that that piece of paper represents to which the paper has a certain resemblance (although lacking most of her attributes).
A Gospel passage typically used by defenders of icons is the moment at which the Israelites in the dessert were bitten by snakes as a punishment from Yahweh. When they asked Moses for a cure, God told Moses to build an bronze snake and hang it from a stick in the centre of the camp, and that those that looked at the snake would be healed. Later in the Old Testament it is said that the snake was melted because some Israelites were worshipping it as a god. The argument of iconophiles is then that it is not engraved images that is prohibited, as Moses himself built the bronze snake, but the worshipping. God can use symbols to confer graces, but the attitude of the person should be to just look at them as a medium, just as the snake.
John 6 ; 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Luke 11:52 Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.
Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
As a Gnostic Christian, I use those quotes.
The church of course never will as they empower people while they want powerless sheeple.
Spirituality and Gods and all non-physical issues belong to our spiritual side while our physical needs are taken care of by our political side. That is how I divide things and think the sages do the same.
Give to Caesar/government whatever deals with matter, taxes, roads, your life in times of war etc. The state is to own your body.
The spiritual side only get's involved when the state asks something that is repugnant to the spirit and then it should cause the matter to not do as the state bids. I E., like the S.S. should have told Hitler where to go and Christians should have told their hierarchy where to go when asked to murder as a part of the inquisitions.
The church was going directly against what Jesus taught about spirituality and the state as the church did the states dirty work.