This post series is based on Holy Subversion: Allegiance to Christ in an Age of Rivals by Trevin Wax. I’m covering the seven modern-day “Caesars” that Wax identifies as allegiance thieves. Read Part 1 and Part 2 to get your bearings and learn about the first three Caesars, then come on back for discussion on the next two. A final post will cover the last two, so don’t go off too far . . .
The Caesar of Leisure
Just like other gifts of success and wealth, leisure can also be misused and misunderstood. Into this Caesar, Wax lumps together entertainment, busyness, games, sports, and vacations. It is not wrong to enjoy a good movie or go to the beach—Wax merely points out that the Lord should be Lord over how we relax: “We have been delivered from the desire for constant entertainment and the never-ending pursuit of our own pleasure.”1
Wax suggests that we subvert the Caesar of Leisure “by planning moments of contemplative solitude. The constant barrage of noise and entertainment today can effectively drown out the voice of God to us, so that even when we open the Scriptures, we are too distracted to hear what God has to say.”2
A few other suggestions: put the building of your faith first, be intentional with media usage (no channel surfing, research film plots before viewing, etc.), and focus leisure on building relationships.
The Caesar of Sex
“Perhaps our society’s never-ending quest for the Caesar of Sex is actually an attempt to quench our thirst for transcendence with something or someone other than God.”3 The way our society plays with sex is bothersome not because I’m prudish but because sex is so powerful, so beautiful. And that power is harnessed for blessing and good only within the bonds of marriage. As Wax explains, “Marriage has cosmic implications because it is a picture of God’s covenant love for us in Christ.”4
Other ways Wax suggests that we subvert sex: putting off sexual self-gratification of all sorts (for the good of others, the good of the Body), protect the marriage covenant with proper boundaries with the opposite sex, practice chastity in mind and body, and remaining faithful to our spouses.
Reflection and Application
What caught my attention with these two Caesars is that the Lord is Lord of all, including my entertainment choices and my sexuality. I cannot detach from the Lord so that I may amuse myself with banality on TV or take in a film with explicit content or back out of my marriage covenant.
I am concerned about these two allegiance robbers, not because God doesn’t want me to relax or have sex, but precisely because He made me to enjoy both fully. When my life is lived in allegiance to Jesus, I will be: (1) wholly fulfilled as I live out my calling to build His Kingdom and His name, and (2) wholly fulfilled in honoring my marriage covenant because that reflects how God honors His covenant with me.
1. Trevin Wax, Holy Subversion: Allegiance to Christ in an Age of Rivals (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2010), 93.
2. Ibid., 97. | 3. Ibid., 106. | 4. Ibid., 113.