For Paul, Christianity was no longer a political movement

Patmos, Skala
Patmos, Skala

as it was for the Christians in Palestine, but simply a religion that applied to individuals and their personal lifestyle.

The core difference between Jewish and Gentile Christians was not related to any Jewish cultural rules. It concerned the recognition of the state government. Paul makes this clear in Romans 13:1: Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities.

For James, John and Peter the Messianic message was eminently political and Romans 13:1 was not acceptable. This approach cost them their lives. For Paul and the Gentile Christians, Romans 13:1 was the prerequisite for the civic existence of their Christian communities.

Paul did not consider Jesus to be a political Messiah; the idea that Paul (like the Palestinians) aspired to succeed to Jesus as a political Messiah is absurd.

Paul saw Jesus as a religious Messiah, and the kingdom of God as an ideal or future factor. The anticipated transformation of the political world is solely God’s business and cannot be influenced by Christians taking political action.

Leave a Reply