So what does it mean, in the present, to say – like the early Christians – ‘Jesus is Lord and Caesar is not’?
Certainly, we don’t have a dictatorial leader exploiting the helpless and demanding infinitely more than we can give.
…Or do we?
Perhaps this ‘Caesar’ is not the physical, in-the-flesh dictator we picture him to be 2000 years ago. Perhaps our ‘Caesar’ is more abstract. Ethereal, but all-encompassing. Seeping into our lives with every action, inaction, and reaction.
Does not capitalism fill Caesar’s role, and as a more immediate presence? It infects our decisions almost literally by the minute.
“What will I buy? How will I pay rent? Where will I work?”
In the meantime, the underprivileged, the outcast, the helpless are left to rot in the wake of our (infinite) consumption.
But if Jesus is Lord and [capitalism] is not, then this system we participate in should be resisted, subverted, overthrown.
The gospel is not prosperity and wealth or being financially blessed. The gospel is radical equality under the resurrected Christ. And if we do not live as such post-resurrection, then we follow the false god of capitalism. We chant, with the rest of the privileged, “Capitalism is Lord and Jesus is not.”