The “Ides” was referred to by the ancient Romans as the middle of any month, and it happens to be the 15th in the month of March. This is the date when Julius Caesar was assassinated, March 15, 44 B.C. Caesar was a great war general and is known for conquering Gaul (France), and establishing a foothold in Great Britain. Roman generals, according to Roman law, could not enter Rome, or come near Rome, with their respective armies in tact. Given their popularity with their legions, who would stop them from becoming a dictator and taking over Rome? The Roman Republic was formerly governed by two consuls for a long time. They provided a check and balance upon one another, not allowing one to become dominant. Julius Caesar, however, was the harbinger to a new paradigm shift. Caesar brings to mind that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” [Just ask Richard Nixon]. The beautiful example of what a great general should do after returning home with his troops was displayed in the movie Gladiator. The fictitious General Maximus, after experiencing great victories in Germania, eschewed adulation and getting involved in Roman politics. He did not even desire to be considered for the role of an emperor. On the other hand, Julius Caesar both desired it and he coveted it, becoming the first Roman Emperor, and his name of Caesar became the title for succeeding emperors. His name of Caesar was incredibly modified a bit to the name of Czar [also spelled Tsar], for the title of the later Russian Emperors! Caesar desired power and downplayed Rome’s senate. Because of this, some members of the senate conspired to kill him, and kill them they did! This led to an entire generation of civil wars in Rome, with the Romans fighting one another. This was the result of one man who sought more power than he deserved. Caesar’s ambitions also resulted in many corrupt emperors such as Nero, Caligula, Commodus and Diocletian. Adding even more to this corruption is the fact that Roman emperors were often considered to be gods by the populace and by themselves! Does this remind you of anything going on in our nation? How about our president who has appointed Czars to fill many positions. If he appoints Czars, then what does that make him? How about the pomp and adulation he received upon entering office in 2008? Titles that referred only to Deity such as Savior, were given to him. He has trampled upon our constitution through his health care plan, and circumvented congress on countless occasions. In the case of our president, breaking our accepted governmental polity and a report with congress has become the norm. Countless people refer to him as a dictator, and rightfully so. The Roman Republic respected the sin fallen nature of mankind through two consuls who checked one another. The United States of America was likewise founded with three branches in our government that all checked one another. When Rome left their checks and balances they went from a Republic (consuls) to an Empire (emperors). If our president(s) attempt to go beyond their intended responsibilities, what do you think will happen? Civil war? Anarchy? Will we simply become a socialistic/communistic nation with a dictator? Will the executive and judicial branches become more powerful while the legislative branch becomes more of a rubber stamp? I believe we have already started on this trail. Let us pray for the even distribution of authority in our three branches of government, and that the check and balance system remains in force, with no single branch attempting to usurp more authority than is rightfully theirs. This was the intent of our founding fathers who were very wise and learned from the mistakes of other nations.
Blessings, Pastor Steve