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26-Aug-2020 11:33

And give to God what belongs to God.’ We are told that his enemies went away baffled, because, in modern colloquial terms, there was no answer to that.Many people have understood Jesus in this passage as making a distinction between two spheres: one sphere relating to Caesar and the matters of this world, and the other sphere relating to God and matters of God’s world, with the conclusion that we should recognise and respect what belongs to each sphere.As Tanner and Samantha began to question the modern LDS Church, they briefly entertained the teachings of Denver Snuffer (Tanner was actually re-baptised according to Snuffer’s teachings).Earlier this year, both Tanner and Samantha left the LDS Church, and recently co-founded the new post-Mormon millennial blog called Zelph On The Others again have regarded God’s sphere, or the Church’s rule, as absolute, leading to a theocracy which leaves no scope for autonomy or independence, as in ancient Israel or in Calvin’s Geneva.The Second Vatican Council tried to strike the balance between the sacred and the secular when it observed that ‘in their proper spheres, the political community and the Church are mutually independent and self-governing.

Tanner was raised as an orthodox Mormon in Flagstaff, Arizona. Samantha co-founded the web site Millennial Mormons.We are to respect the secular, or civil, sphere of society in its own right (render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar), but we must also bear in mind our duty to obey God in the religious, or sacred, sphere.In the course of history the relationship between these two spheres has been very differently understood and has on occasion created serious tension.The gospel setting (Mk -17) shows Jesus’ opponents trying to manoeuvre him into a corner by asking him the controversial question of whether the Jews were allowed, by their law, to pay taxes to the Roman power that occupied their country: their aim was to trap him.If Jesus replied that they should pay the Roman tax, he would be accused of betraying his people and collaborating with their enemy.

Tanner was raised as an orthodox Mormon in Flagstaff, Arizona. Samantha co-founded the web site Millennial Mormons.We are to respect the secular, or civil, sphere of society in its own right (render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar), but we must also bear in mind our duty to obey God in the religious, or sacred, sphere.In the course of history the relationship between these two spheres has been very differently understood and has on occasion created serious tension.The gospel setting (Mk -17) shows Jesus’ opponents trying to manoeuvre him into a corner by asking him the controversial question of whether the Jews were allowed, by their law, to pay taxes to the Roman power that occupied their country: their aim was to trap him.If Jesus replied that they should pay the Roman tax, he would be accused of betraying his people and collaborating with their enemy.As Vatican II observed, ‘even in secular affairs there is no human activity which can be withdrawn from God’s dominion’ (The Church, 36); and the psalmist tells us that ‘the earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it’ (Ps 24:1-2). Then he added his own reflection, ‘and give God whatever belongs to God.’ I suggest it is a mistake to think that in his reply Jesus is dividing life into two spheres, the secular and the sacred, as so many people have supposed.