In this Global Totalitarian society; Caesar is becoming more powerful - and less escapable - by the day.
Given that most people are not heroes (and never will be), it is reasonable to assume first that Caesar can, and will, compel our obedience to his dictates; and second that many of these dictates will be evil in both motivation and effect.
What then should a (serious) Christian do, in this world where he stands alone against a vast monopoly of coercion - when, almost certainly, his church has sumitted enthusiastically to Caesar's yoke, and now lumbers towards hell?
The answer is that we must repent; but in repenting we must be clear about the spiritual nature of repentance. We must distinguish between our actions - which can be, and are, compelled; and our spiritual discernment - which always chooses.
We may be, we actually are, compelled to obey evil laws; but we can choose to know their evil, can choose to repent our obedience to them - even as we know this state of sinning will continue.
Most Christians leaders will, if pressed, advocate 'rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar's'; but they are, in truth, advocating rendering unto Caesar that which is God's - with the excuse that they have No Alternative but to comply.
What this actually means is that the (threatened) cost of non-compliance is too high for them to bear, or else they think the cost of disobedience is too high, and not worth paying.
In sum - they are not heroes of faith. But then again - who is? But few ever, and fewer than ever now. The question is how to live in accordance with God's creation when one is Not a hero of faith.
What Christian leaders should (but do not) acknowledge, is that they have-been and are-being compelled to sin; and that sin requires repentance (and, I would add, the public sin of public figures requires public repentance).
What they typically fail to acknowledge is that Caesar is - nowadays - on the side of Satan. That is something they (and we) should be clear about from the start. However it may have been in Roman times; here and now, Caesar is in the business of propaganda for, and enforcement of, inverted values. Caesar serves Satan, not God.
Take the example of church closures during the birdemic. Any serious Christian should know by now (and indeed long since) that the birdemic is a Big Lie; and that this Big Lie is being used as a fake rationale for blocking, closing, and (ultimately) destroying all Chrstian churches.
At this stage, anyone who cannot perceive this has de facto made a choice to join-with the Lie, and affiliate with the side of Satan and his agents.
But let us say that a Christian leader is also a serious Christian. Unless he is a rare hero, he cannot (and most importantly he will not) resist the evil government regulations enforced upon him. This means that he has been compelled to sin.
Very well, but this is not of itself a problem for the Christian: Jesus explicitly came to save sinners - those who sin. But this entails that the Pastor or Priest must acknowledge that by obeying Caesar - e.g by closing his church, ceasing to offer the sacraments, and ceasing his personal ministry - he is In Fact sinning.
Sin must be repented - that is uncontroversial. Yet at the same time, Caesar will (in practice) nearly always be obeyed - because very few are heroes of faith.
So this Christian pastor/ priest is in the position - common enough, indeed universal - and indeed a frequent complaint of the Apostle Paul - that he recognises sin, wants Not to sin, but continues to sin. Indeed, by collaborating with Caesar, he is actively enforcing sin.
That is, the priest/ pastor knows his church should be allowed to remain fully open and fully operative, and should prioritise the spirit above (actually fake) health issues; but in practice he obeys Caesar's rules - and closes the church and ceases to fulfil his pastoral duties.
He knows sin, repents sin, continues to sin...
Yet surely this is just the human condition? And this is exactly what Jesus takes-account of. Jesus recognises that perfection is impossible, that we will sin, that we will continue to sin; but if we recognise our sin and continue to love and follow* Jesus - then salvation will be ours.
In this world of 2020, we need to be much clearer about the fact that we will all, in many ways, be compelled to obey Caesar, and by this obedience we will be compelled to sin. We should not even pretend that we 'will do better in future' and will strive to 'cease sinning' because this is not true.
We will not do better, nor will we strive to do better; instead we will carry on sinning just as we do now. However, we acknowledge and repent this.
What then? Well first we must repent. And a public sin - such as closing a church - ought publicly to be repented; the sin needs to be named, acknowledged, specified - else the flock are being taught a false doctrine; are being taught that sin is good.
And this needs to be done with full recognition that the recognised sin will continue to be done. There should be no false consolation that 'in future' we are going to become heroes of faith. We aren't.
For instance. The priest or pastor stands up to address the congregation and informs them that he is closing the church next week; ceasing to offer Holy Communion, baptism and funeral rites; and he will not visit is flock**.
Or, he says that - for the church to remain open; congregants must stand far apart and avoid each other, cover their faces, and refrain from human contact of all kinds.
(We will all treat each other as the Pharisees treated lepers, and ourselves behave as lepers were required to: in future we will regard each other primarily as disease vectors; only secondarily as human persons with human needs.)
Then the priest/ pastor must state clearly that these are evil changes, which he knows as evil and rejects; that he repents his continuing and future compliance with these evil policies - and he asks God's forgiveness for these sins.
(He may go on to clarify that these measures are intended to drive men apart and to destroy the churches. He may advise his flock how best to cope alone, and essentially abandoned by the churches.)
But in the end the priest or pastor must be clear that he personally is sinning by his compliance with regulations, yet that he intends to continue compliance; and must repent this sinning.
This kind of repentance ought to be almost a routine matter for all serious Christians, because this kind of sinning is routine. (Maybe that 'routine' is the trouble?) But modern secular leftist pseudo-ethics has ensured that any explicit failure to live by one's explicit belief will almost certainly be termed 'hypocrisy' (when it is, in reality, almost the opposite).
Such behaviour may also be called cowardice, and in a sense that is a just accusation; but confessed and repented cowardice is alright. Probably nearly everybody is 'a coward', to a significant degree; especially when alone and confronted by the overwhelming powers of the Global Caesar of 2020.
(Like all sins, cowardice is only lethal to salvation when denied. A confessed coward, one who fully acknowledges that cowardice is indeed a sin, is acceptable to God.)
A priest or pastor who closes his church in obedience to Caesar's latest diktat, and for fear of the consequences of disobedience, needs to make all of this clear; needs (in some public way - whether at the pulpit, in the parish magazine, or face to face with individuals) to make clear that he is sinning; that he repents his sin, but nonetheless will continue to obey Caesar.
And we are all in exactly the same situation - to a greater or lesser extent. We all do obey unjust and evil-motivated regulations; therefore we all need to repent our continued wrong-doing, and acknowledge that we will continue to do wrong.
(Just because an evil is universal and a matter of routine, does not prevent it being a sin. We all choose to comply with a routine - we have all chosen to sin.)
When we are compelled to live by lies, we must confess these lies. We must Not propagandise for these lies, must not excuse the lies, must not pretend that the lies are motivated by love of God.
Why is it so difficult to say this? So difficult to say that we have bent the knee to Caesar, and we will in fact continue to do so; but that we know we do wrong, and we do repent and affirm our affiliation to God, and to the Good?
Only thus can we render to God what is God's.
*Note: 'Following' Jesus does not mean being like him - because that would be impossible, it would entail never sinning; and we do sin and cannot stop sinning. Following Jesus means something much more literal - as described in the Good Shepherd parable, and reinforced throughout the Fourth Gospel. Following Jesus is to love and trust the Good Shepherd to lead us through the portal of death to the joy of resurrected life eternal. We must follow where he leads.
**Note added later: In general, the repentance should occur wherever and whenever the information about closures etc. is provided: whether 'live' in a service, or whether on church noticeboards, web pages, social media etc. An announcement of compliance with Caesar's evil rules is therefore accompanied by a statement that these are evil, and a statement of repentance for complying. The specific reasons for complying are not really significant, in a public forum at any rate.