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Paying All Our Debts 2012

Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius [a silver coin worth about £50]. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” Matthew 22: 17-19

 

Back in AD 33 (above) money had intrinsic value – its value was in the silver or gold that made the coin. In human hands that system resulted in coins becoming smaller and smaller as valuable bits were snipped off ......

 

We can’t do that with a Jersey £50 note because it’s merely a promise to pay and has no value in itself. It says that on its face – “The States of Jersey promise (sic) to pay the bearer Fifty Pounds on demand.”

 

Will the States of Jersey keep these promises? Well, yes – on the face of it.  The States of Jersey backs its £50 notes with other promissory notes that it owns – all issued by the United Kingdom government. These make promise to pay £s at a future date and the States should be able to get those pounds from the UK and pay us.

 

What about the United Kingdom government? Can it keep all of its promises? Totalling an unimaginable huge sum of money? Well, yes – on the face of it. But, as we all enter 2012 a major doubt has arisen because the UK government itself has, in effect, “snipped off” bits of every promissory note that it has signed.

 

It has done this by “quantitative easing”. The Bank of England, acting to support the UK as a nation, has bought large amounts of UK government promissory notes with money which is not recorded as UK Government debt. This has been accepted as showing on the face of it that folk (other than the B of E) are happy with UK promises to pay..... Strange, isn’t it?

 

Stranger still (can it get worse than that?), we all know that UK government promises to pay are (merely) promises to pay one or more pounds sterling. What the UK government does not promise is that the pound that will eventually be repaid will actually buy the same goods as the pound that was originally handed over. In fact the B of E is expected to achieve 2% inflation – and has managed to achieve much more than that during 2011.

 

Why do we remain confident? Is it because every £50 note carries the “likeness” of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as well as her “inscription” - EIIR. In Jesus’ day (AD 33 - see bold above) the “likeness” was of Caesar and the “inscription” was of Caesar.

 

The Caesars are long gone but the debt payment system remains. You and I in Jersey will settle our debts in 2012 under the system by using the system. This is not only a necessity. It is also right because Jesus confirmed that we must pay our debts – and taxes - under this system......

 

As soon as Jesus confirmed that folk then should pay their debts to Caesar using Caesar’s money he immediately added a further instruction about other debts – the “things that are God’s” – the things that are owed to God.

 

What on earth are these debts? Are they also due in 2012?

 

The clue is in the detail. The”things that are God’s” will be exactly the same as the “things that are Caesar’s” inasmuch as God’s “things” will bear the “likeness” of God and the “inscription” of God. Everything that carries that “likeness” and “inscription” must be rendered to Him. On the first page of the Bible these words are written: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1: 27. On the face of it I belong to God.

 

Jesus was strongly rejected in Jerusalem in AD 33. So were his words. Within days the authorities there had him firmly nailed to a criminal’s cross.

 

In Jersey, immediately after Christmas, Jersey folk wouldn’t do that, would they? They wouldn’t seek to bury the Son of God who came into this world to pay the price of their redemption? Would they?

 

Yes, they would. For one good reason. That debt, owed by me to God, is so big I can only repay it myself by giving my whole self to him. Better to ignore the debt, ignore the one who came to pay it on my behalf, and stay bankrupt. For ever.

 
 ‘When money speaks, the truth is silent.’  (Anon.)
 
 ‘You can blot out the sun if you hold a penny close enough to your eye.’ (Anon.)
 
Richard Syvret

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