Is it "theft" to keep high-value items that were abandoned in my home?

When Jesus said to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, that tells me that Jesus is perfectly okay with us owning personal and private property. He was also telling us that we should respect what belongs to others.

The taxes mentioned here have nothing to do with property owned by the Jewish people during Roman rule (Matt 22:15; Luke 12:17)

Two type of taxes were being enforced on the Jewish people: Poll-Tax and Tribute Money.

The Jewish people had to pay for privileges to the Roman Empire and in return brought peace and tranquility to the people under its sway. The emperor should be respected and obeyed whenever his will does not clash with the divine will. See Rom. 13:1–7. But when there is a clash the rule laid down in Acts 5:29 must be followed.

God must receive all the glory and honor

The tax represented “foreign domination and because it had to be paid with a coin that bore an image of the emperor” (Brooks, Mark , p. 192)

Also, look up poll-tax (Matthew 22:15)

Dowling observes, “They were paying for value received: law and order, military protection from marauders, good roads and harbors, freedom of travel, all the sturdy building for which Rome was famous.

Expenses of government, and especially of supporting an army to defend them from their enemies.

Tribute tax-The Jewish people had to tribute tax to the Roman Empire for support of their Temple

Administration, roads, defence against enemies and protection from criminals

The most significant part of life is that which belongs to God ; rendering to God what is God’s is accordingly the most important duty we have. We should be clear, too, that Jesus is not saying that we can divide life into separate compartments so that God has nothing to do with that section which belongs to Caesar. The obligation to God covers all of life; we must serve Caesar in a way that is honoring to God.
Morris, L. (1992). The Gospel according to Matthew (558). Grand Rapids, Mich.; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press.

This particular subject on “rendering to Cesar what is Cesar’s, rendering to GOD what is God’s” is very consistent with building treasures in heaven and not on Earth.

The main idea here is that Jesus knew he was being placed in a trap BUT our Lord Jesus Christ gave them the best answer!!!

Cooper, R. L. (2000). Vol. 2 : Mark . Holman New Testament Commentary; Holman Reference (202). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

The Pulpit Commentary: St. Mark Vol. II . 2004 (H. D. M. Spence-Jones, Ed.) (155). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Knowles, A. (2001). The Bible guide (1st Augsburg books ed.) (431). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg.

I am back! Happy memorial day!

Okay, now I have some time so I would like to continue to reply (give my rebuttal, lol) To some of the points you made earlier and even possibly expand on some of the points I already touched on. This should be a short read as I have already touched on most.

First off, I would like to say that I noticed you like to compare Our Church to The JWS. I am biased obviously, but I would like to say that The Catholic Church is not like the watchtower for a lot of reasons. First off, The Catholic Church actually has a legitimate claim to being The Church Jesus founded. Whether one believes The Church became apostate or at least was not truly invented until the 4th century, The JW organization was started as a Bible study group in 1870. They can in no way produce anything that can back up the claims that they are the true Church of history. It is no contest at all. Second, when a Catholic decides they want out… all they do is stop coming to Mass. The Church does not chase after them. All it says is “We will be here if you want to come back” I would challenge anyone who left Catholicism to give me a example of them being “Shamed” by The Church for leaving. Now, crazy family might do this but they are not “called out” in Mass like The JWS apparently do to people who leave, in their church services. I have a friend who is a ex-JW. He said that it was announced in a service that he was “Bad association” and to stay away from him. He was a pre-teen. A elder or someone did not like him because his daughter had a crush on him. My friend later left the JWS. Years later when his father was on his death bed, the final words he told my friend were “You betrayed Jehova, get out of here!” Now, I have been a protestant more of my life then I have been a Catholic and I can honestly say I have met many ex Catholics and you just do not hear stories like this when Catholics become protestant. Anecdotal evidence sure, but this is a friendly rebuttal lol. Third, It is Church guidelines that one never is obligated to do anything that would endanger ones health or life. The Fact that The JWS forbid blood transfusions, people obey, people have died does not mean The Catholic Church is just as dangerous in any way for their laity.

part 2
There is no such thing as “Handing over your free will” in our Church. The Church encourages one to not submit “Blind faith” and that it is okay to question things The Church teaches. I know that is what I teach my students and that is what I was taught by our Deacon when I was first coming into The Church. Ask others here if we are allowed to question Church Teaching. The thing is, everything The Church teaches is very reasonable, it just plain makes sense. At least from my studies, and keep in mind, I use to be protestant, I was not raised Catholic at all. I find, that although you consider your “independence” as “Thinking for yourself” imagine if a kid did not have the supervision of a adult to get through pre teen years? Yeah, perhaps in a way you are more free. You answer to no one, except God. Pretty much you are your own pope. Why not apply the same reasoning to the fact that you are going to a college instead of studying everything on your own? Are you less free because you grant your professors certain “obedience” in your life? Are you giving up your “free will” because you agree for them to teach you? Is your independence gone? Are you no longer free to "think for yourself?

Remember what I said about The teenager telling the wise old man “I know better then you!” That is what “Independents” represent to me. Cant see it any other way. Do I think you are going to hell for it? No. I think not many people truly know what They are rejecting in The Catholic Church enough to be held responsible for rejecting it. Jesus is merciful. Just because there are many examples of organized religion going bad, it does not follow that “I am spiritual not religious” or “I am independent” is better or even less dangerous. I have a example of how rejecting “organized religion” can be dangerous too.

part 3
I have a relative who also “Thinks for herself” she also “talks to God personally” she does not need to “Adhere to any church teachings” basically, how you talk, you remind me of her. I was going through a intense period in my life. I was regularly getting periods of “sleep paralysis” I do not know if you have ever been through sleep paralysis but it can be terrifying. You kind of wake up from sleep but it feels surreal and you cannot move. You can start to hallucinate and sometimes intense terror overcomes you. You can feel like something is choking you or sitting on top of you. Since my relative is so “spiritual” I asked her what was going on. She did not hesitate to tell me “Demons are attacking you. It is demonic” I spent the next 3 or 4 years of my life believing this. Although, in her defense, lots of people think this natural event is demonic. Even some Catholics on this site. Everytime these paralysis episodes happened to me, I thought that they were demonic. Then one day, there was a documentary on TV about sleep paralysis… WOW! IT IS NORMAL! NOT PRETERNATURAL OR SUPERNATURAL! So from that point on, when the episodes happened, the fear was gone. My relatives attitude of “I think for myself, all I need is my Bible and God talks to me personally, I do not need a church” had failed me big time. That is not even including how she thought “The earth is only 4000 years old according to The Bible” and many other false teachings that being “independent” led her to believe.

Two years ago when one of my students told me about her sleep paralysis episodes, she was convinced that they were demonic too. The relief on her face when I was able to tell her that I use to go through the same thing and that, NO, it is not demonic. I guess the fact that she is into “Organzed religion” as opposed to “independence” saved her from years of grief and fear.

Edit: Since we can only post 3 replies at a time, I wrote the rest of my reply on a private message to you and sent it.

This makes sense. One of the most charitable things about the Catholic Church is that, if you decide to leave, they aren’t going to harass you or try to forcefully stop you, or go after you at home or go after your family, as many cults do – and you can always return by simply going to Mass and Confession. They respect free will, unlike many cults that subvert the free will if their members.

And the Church wants you to take care of yourself and avoid doing unsafe or unhealthy things like trying to drive to Mass in a blinding snowstorm (I unwisely did that once, and almost got side-swiped by a semi!). The Church understands when conditions are too dangerous to be out and about, and you can’t attend Mass for that reason. There’s no retaliation for that, and no recriminations. Try THAT with some of these cults!

Unlike many cults, you aren’t required to turn over your whole life’s savings to the leader and be under his or her thumb from then on. Sure, you should support the Church financially when you can, but you aren’t expected to enslave yourself to it.

I’m a cradle Catholic, and I’ve found the Church to be the most reasonable and sensible of all existing denominations, especially since Vatican II.

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