"In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes."
—Benjamin Franklin, 1789.
Must Christians really pay all taxes, including those some may
consider unreasonable or unjust?
Jesus advocated paying tax to the very government that would shortly execute
him. True Christians do not engage in tax evasion. They pay their taxes, letting
the authorities take full responsibility for how they use the money.
Matthew 22:17-21 "Tell us what you think? Is it lawful to
give taxes to Caesar, or not? And Jesus answered, Why do you test me you
hypocrites? Show me the money. So they brought him a penny. And he asked them,
What is this image and inscription? And they answered him, Caesar's. So he
said to them, Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the
things that are Gods."
Mark 12:14-17 "Master we know you are true and regard no
person, but teach of God in truth. Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar?
Must we give, or can we not give? But knowing their two facedness answered
them, Why do you tempt me? Bring me a penny. And he said to them, whose image
and inscription is this? And they answered him, Caesar's. So Jesus said to
them, render to Caesar what is Caesar's and what is Gods to God."
Romans 13:7"Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe
taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if
honor, then honor."
Jesus knew that his countrymen bitterly resented the taxes imposed by Rome.
Despite this, Jesus urged: "Pay back Caesar's things to Caesar, but God's
things to God." (Mark 12:17)
We are to submit to the laws of the land, as long as they do not
violate any of Gods own laws. As Jesus said, tribute is to be paid where tribute
is demanded, and the government does demand tribute in the form of taxes.
As Christians we are to be an example to others, not trouble makers.
Our being subject to a higher authority becomes part of our training
for the coming roles that we will hold.
It is far better to have an incompetent government than to have no
government at all.
Titus 3:1-2 "Put yourself in subjection to principalities
and higher powers, obeying magistrates, and be ready to show good works.
Speak no evil of any man. Do not be fighters, but meek, showing meekness to
1 Peter 2:13-17 "Yield yourselves to every ordinance of man
for our Lord's sake whether it be to the king as being supreme, or to
governors, or them that are sent by them to provide the punishment against
evildoers, or to praise them that do well. For so is the will of God, that by
doing good you may quiet the foolish men. If free, and not using your freedom
for a front for malice, but as the servants of God, Honor all men. Love the
brotherhood, Fear God and honor the king."
"Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society."
—Inscription on the Internal Revenue Service building, Washington, D.C.