Faced with what looks like a simple challenge about whether you pay taxes to the Roman Emperor or not, he famously shrugs it off, saying, ”˜Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give God what belongs to God.’
In other words: don’t just imitate me: think. What’s the exact point at which paying taxes to the Empire gets in the way of serving God? What’s the exact point at which involvement in the ”˜empire’ of capitalist economy compromises you fatally?
It may not be easy to answer this straight away, so don’t expect to become a hero of conscience overnight. And, just to rub it in, there are other places in the Bible where Jesus prods us to ask ourselves about our motives before we embark on grand gestures. Are we doing this for the sake of the real issue ”“ or for an audience?