Archive for February 2014

A Christian Reflection on e-tolls

SANRAL-e-toll

A Christian reflection on E-tolls

by

Jose de Carvalho

 

I wanted to open by stating that as Christians I believe we must pay e-tolls, but that is not correct; what is correct is that it is our Christian duty to submit to the laws of the country as modelled by Christ our example; therefore we have to pay e-tolls.

I also find it interesting hence the primary reason for this post that the same Christians from the pew and pulpit alike that call for Christians to model their lives after Christ are calling Christians to civil disobedience. This is a quandary; did Jesus teach that his disciples should only obey the laws that are just and fair?

I don’t think this matter even requires exegeting scripture, the Bible could not be any clearer. Jesus (Mark 12:13-17), Paul (Romans 13:1-7) and Peter (1 Peter 2:13-17) all speak into this matter with one voice; unless secular authorities request that Christians are asked to contradict God’s law (Acts 5:29) we are bound by our sovereign Lord to obey. 

It is also our duty to appeal to government to obey the spirit to God’s laws. Therefore let our voice be heard as salt and light as Paul did, but we have to pay, what methodology used is entirely up to each person’s own conscious.

Use the pen not the sword; if you believe this government is oppressive to the poor and corrupt, thus not fulfilling as implied by Paul that ‘the one in authority … is God’s servant to do you good’ (Romans 13:1-7), then again you have the duty to overthrow the system and establish another in its place via the democratic order in place.

Paul wrote the instructions to obey the Government during of Nero’s reign (Aprox.A.D.54), albeit I must add, before the persecuting days of A.D. 64 – Justin Martyr, an early church leader (2nd c.) followed suit to Rome by writing these words to the Roman emperor Antonius Pius:  “Everywhere we [Christians], more readily than all men, endeavour to pay to those appointed by you the taxes both ordinary and extraordinary, as we have been taught [by Jesus]….hence to God alone we render worship, but in other things we gladly serve you, acknowledging you as kings and rulers of men, and praying that with your kingly power you be found to possess also sound judgment.”