Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Are Christians Supposed To Pay Taxes?
Kato Mivule | April 5, 2010

For the past year or so, the USA has witnessed a very intense debate on Health Care Coverage for her citizens. There has been fierce opposition to Health Care Coverage by the Republican Party, the Tea Bag Movement, and some Evangelical Christians.

The fear has been that there is a conspiracy of a “Government Takeover” of the USA and the rise of a “Nazi” like Government, that some Christians have even referred to the current US president as the anti-Christ, with an agenda to strip America of her liberties and increase taxes. Most Presidents in the US are referred to as the Anti-Christ by some Christians who get aggrieved that the President is not doing enough to “help Israel”, repeal Abortion Rights, and do away with the Homosexual Agenda.

However, one of the most interesting arguments by some Christians who choose to air their views with the Tea Bag Movement, was that they should cease being taxed by States and Federal Government. I found that very interesting and looked at a few scriptures in the New Testament about how Jesus Christ and His Disciples handled the issue Taxation.

It is important to know that the Jews and Christians then were under Roman Occupation and surprisingly the Jews had to pay the Temple Tax managed by the Pharisees, the religious leaders then and then also they had to pay Tax to Caesar.

It is another thing for a Christian to voice concern for Over Taxation, especially when it affects the poor and those most vulnerable in society, and yes, I encourage Christians to voice concern but with civility when it comes to the issue of Over Taxation. It is important that we as Christians do not misrepresent the Testimony of Jesus Christ by partnering with those who advocate for violence and other forms of incivility. However, it is another thing for a Christian to claim that Citizens should not be taxed at all. Disturbing and amazing is that some Christians in the West will oppose any form of Taxation not because it is burdensome or affects the poor and weak in society but rather in support of Multinational Corporate Oligarchs.

Some Christians in unison with the Tea Bag Movement in the West are calling for curtailing of Governments that they claim are becoming large and also the end of Taxation. Such notions might be politically motivating for a “Christian Politician” but certainly are anarchist and unbiblical.

The New Testament does not at any time call for Cessation of Government or the Abolition of Taxes, rather it calls for Christians not to engage in Rebellion against Secular Governments and to pay Taxes. This might sound astounding to some Christians but let us take a look at how Jesus Christ and His Disciples dealt with the issue of Taxation.

I have read commentaries and works by some Theologians concerning 'Christians Paying Taxes' but I find that some of the works I have read are basically spinning and twisting scriptures to fit a certain political perspective, normally one that has to do with avoiding taxes at all costs. I therefore find the following Scriptures from the New Testament self explanatory and precise...

Jesus Christ pays the Temple Tax...
Mat 17:24-27 KJV And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? (25) He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? (26) Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (27) Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.

Jesus Christ and Paying Taxes to Caesar...
Mat 22:15-22 KJV Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. (16) And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. (17) Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? (18) But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? (19) Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. (20) And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? (21) They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. (22) When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

John The Baptist and Taxes...Anti Oppressive Taxation...
Luk 3:12-13 KJV Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? (13) And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.

The Jews lived under an occupation by the Romans and paid taxes to Rome with great resentment for Tax Collectors. Naturally, they wanted to be released from such burden and thus had an interest in knowing what Jesus Christ thought about such an issue, even though they hoped to trap Him and accuse Jesus of inciting rebellion against Rome...

I believe that Taxes should be fair, not oppressive, and there should be consideration for those who find themselves in a position that they cannot pay; but the notion of doing away with paying taxes to a Secular Government totally contradicts scriptures in the New Testament. My argument in this article is not about how much Taxes each should pay but rather if the notion of not paying taxes at all is Biblical according to New Testament Teachings...

Tax Refund...? Zacchaeus engaged in Oppressive Taxation...
Luk 19:1-9 KJV And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. (2) And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. (3) And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. (4) And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. (5) And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. (6) And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. (7) And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. (8) And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. (9) And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.

My opinion is that if Governments over tax or engage in Oppressive Taxation of any form, then they have the moral and ethical obligation to refund the taxes...that is just my opinion...

Paul the Apostle tells Christians to Pay their Tribute to Govt – Pay Taxes...
Rom 13:5-8 KJV Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. (6) For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. (7) Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. (8) Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

Interestingly, some years ago, there was a “Get Out Of Debt” movement among Evangelical Christians in the USA that preached personal financial responsibility and quoted the above verse that “owe no man anything” and how it was “important” to pay off all one's Debt, and then get out of debt. Yet Amazingly, some of the same Christians will not quote the same verse concerning paying Taxes to Govt. This is hypocrisy, on one hand they supported paying back Loans and clearing Debt when clearly it benefited Big Corporations and Banks yet when it comes to paying Taxes, the same Christians claim that Taxes should be abolished...

At the same time many Christians Churches and organizations enjoy the Tax Exempt Status and 501 C3 Tax Registrations that help them get Tax breaks for Charity work, and therefore the issue of Taxation become very political.

From the simple study of the scriptures above, the idea that Christians should not pay taxes is ludicrous, unbiblical, and at worst anarchist. Some Theologians might try all they can to spin and twist the scriptures to create an excuse for Christians not to pay Taxes but the above scriptures are clear that Christians should pay Taxes. It is another thing to voice against Oppressive Taxation but very unbiblical as a Christian to call for cessation of Governments and abolition of Taxation.

Kato Mivule

1 Comments:

Blogger Maranatha said...

I fully agree with your explanations and views as they are based and correctly interpreted from the Word of God

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 6:27:00 PM GMT-4  

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