April 15th is traditionally the day income tax returns are due in the USA (the date is extended if the 15th falls on a weekend or holiday). But what about taxes? Should Christians pay them? Why do the descendants of Israel pay them?
Here is LCG’s latest commentary:
By Roger Meyer (guest columnist) | Saturday, April 14, 2012Most of us get a little anxious and complain about tax time each year. How much will our taxes be? How much must we “render unto Caesar”? Why do we have to pay taxes?
In America, one of the biggest tax bites on our income is the federal income tax, though state and local taxes also take a substantial bite. There are property and sales taxes. Every time we fill up the gas tank we are paying a tax. We pay so much in taxes that some have calculated a “tax freedom day,” as the day during the year when our nation has theoretically earned the income necessary to have paid our taxes for the year. This date usually occurs in April. One hundred years ago it would have been in January.
Why do we pay taxes? Most would answer it’s to pay for government services including national defense, roads and bridges, fire and police protection, etc. Of course, taxes are also used to pay for things with which we might not personally agree, such as wars and abortions, or on unnecessary things that many consider to be a complete waste of taxpayer dollars. Most recently, complaints and arguments were against bank and corporate bailouts.
Some even argue that we should not have to pay taxes, though the 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution has been in place since 1913. This amendment gave the congress the power to collect taxes on incomes. And Christians know that Jesus Christ, when asked if it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, said to “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21).
There is another reason we pay taxes. It goes back to a time, long ago in the Garden of Eden, when man rejected the Almighty God from ruling over him. This rejection was repeated many times. One significant rejection took place during the days of Samuel, the judge over the nation of Israel. Samuel was getting old, and he made his sons judges. His sons were dishonest, took bribes and perverted justice. So all the elders of Israel came to Samuel and demanded, “Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations” (1 Samuel 8:5). Samuel was displeased, so he prayed to the Lord. “And the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them’” (v. 7).
God went on to tell Samuel to forewarn them and show them the consequences. He warned that the king would take their sons to serve him in his army, and take their daughters for servants. He would take their fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his servants. He would take a tenth of their grain and their vintage, their donkeys and sheep and give it to his officers and servants. This obviously shows the king – the government – would tax them. In spite of this warning, the people refused the voice of Samuel and said, “No, but we will have a king over us” (v. 19). They opted for a corruptible human government.
History documents taxation occurring in ancient Egypt, as well as Persia, Greece and Rome. The famous Rosetta Stone mentions taxes on grain and wine. Mankind has suffered taxation throughout history as a consequence of his rejection of God’s government. But taxes are a lesser of the many evils we’ve suffered because of this rejection.
But the good news is that a restoration of the government of God on this earth is coming to restore peace and righteousness. Go online at tomorrowsworld.org, or write today for your free copy of The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?
It may be of interest to note that the paperwork and reporting burdens of complying with USA taxes is close to unbearable if one also owns a business in the USA, invests, etc. This burden is making it more difficult for US residents to run businesses, function internationally, or compete internationally–and the regulatory burdens are expected to increase. These costs and burdens hurt US competitiveness and thus have negative impacts on the economy of the USA. Yet important USA politicians seem determined to worsen the situation–and thus, this is yet another factor that ultimately will lead to the end of the USA dollars dominance as the world’s reserve currency. Despite the costs and burdens, faithful members of the Church of God pay their required taxes as Jesus indicates we should.
Notice also something from Biblical Archaeology:
How Ancient Taxes Were Collected Under King Manasseh
April 9, 2012…taxpayers may take some small comfort in the fact that taxes are by no means a modern invention…a recent archaeological discovery concerning ancient taxes in Jerusalem has added to scholars’ certainty about a tax system in ancient Israel, especially during the reign of Judah’s King Manasseh.…he thinks the bullae are evidence for a system of ancient taxes used by Hezekiah’s son and successor, King Manasseh, in the seventh century B.C.E. Barkay told BAR that under this system, “the urban administrative centers collected [ancient] taxes in kind [i.e., grain, oil, etc.] and then sent them on to the king in Jerusalem with the documentation attached and sealed by these bullae identifying where it had come from—in this case, Gibeon.” At least 19 cities are identified in the paleo-Hebrew inscriptions on the fiscal bullae, representing nine of the 12 districts of Judah listed in Joshua 15:20–63. Barkay suggests that this Biblical passage may even have been composed for purposes of administering and collecting ancient taxes during the reign of King Manasseh.
Tax records have gone back for some time. And various modern governments have started to follow the lead of the USA government to make their own tax reporting more complicated, burdensome, etc.
Yet, when Jesus comes and establishes His kingdom, humankind will accept His government and the current tax burdens will be replaced by a tithing based system.
Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about?
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near?
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2019 or 202x?
Tithing Questions and Some Answers Addresses some non-biblical arguments against tithing. Should people tithe?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first?
Will the Anglo-Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people?
Prophecy Obama: Prophecies of Barack Obama? Eight reasons why Barack Obama is apocalyptic and eight reasons why Barack Obama is not the Antichrist. This article includes many biblical and non-biblical prophecies, from around the world, that seem to discuss Barack Obama. Did Nostradamus predict Barack Obama dealing with the Antichrist? Might Barack Obama set the stage for the kings of the North and South as at least one Shiite prophecy suggests? This is the longest and most complete article on this page on Barack Obama prophecies. Read it and decide for yourself if President Obama seems to be fulfilling various prophecies.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States Some claim that Barack Obama is the prophesied “son of Kenya”, based up an early 20th century writing.
Barack Obama in Islamic Prophecy? There is actually a 17th century Shiite prophecy that some believe that Barack Obama will fulfill that will lead to a rising up of Islam.
Is Tony Blair Apocalyptic? The former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom converted to Catholicism shortly after leaving his office and has been active in European affairs. What role might he play?