Caesar Didn't Have Pollsters

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The Roman Empire knew nothing of high priced image consultants, or national public relations firms, or the New York Times editorial board. It was a bit easier to “render to Caesar” when the church knew more precisely what belonged to him-that which bore his image.

So how now can we “take every thought captive for Christ” when we’re not sure how much is the truth-and how much is the latest “spin” from Hollywood, Capitol Hill, or Wall Street? Our churches are unconsciously surrendering to the faddish trends of contemporary culture-and usually unwittingly. When we have forgotten how to think like Christians, we passively receive our daily spin. Thus, for many Christians, Peter Jennings functions as discipleship partner, as the national media shape their minds and opinions about the world in which they live. Who needs propaganda for the sexual revolution when we have Friends and Will and Grace? Who needs a temple of Mammon when we have a round-the-clock prosperity gospel on “Christian” television?

And yet, our plight is not so different from the first-century church. There are always apologists for the reigning idolatries of the day-be it Aphrodite the sex goddess in the first century or, well, Aphrodite the sex goddess in the twenty-first century. And the powers-that-be are still threatened by full-throated proclamation of the all-encompassing lordship of Christ. The early church, after all, was charged with “acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus” (Acts 17:7 ESV). Caesars have come and Caesars have gone, but the other King remains.

The Henry Institute web site will seek to see through the spin and offer a Kingdom perspective on issues of culture, politics, and theology. Log on every day for up-to-the-minute analysis of the events of the day. Equip yourself and your church to bring a different voice to the public square.

After all, you serve another King.

Only when we see how lost we are, we can find our way again. Only when we bury what’s dead can we experience life again. Only when we lose our religion can we be amazed by grace again.


About Russell Moore

Russell Moore is Editor in Chief of Christianity Today and is the author of the forthcoming book Losing Our Religion: An Altar Call for Evangelical America (Penguin Random House).