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Are Taxes a Part of God's Ordinances?

     As a child, I remember hearing adults offer differing opinions on the topic of taxes. Some believed it was certainly the sign of good citizenship and were glad that we could live in such a socially and culturally advanced democracy that could provide such great services to our communities, as schools, bridges, roads, street lights, trash pick up, highway maintenance, libraries and parks to name a few.

     As I grew older, others believed that the taxes were too steep and took too much of a percentage of working people's wages. They would express concerns that the government wasn’t being responsible with tax money and demanded too much. Tax Day, April 15, became a dreaded day and the IRS nearly a word no one wanted to speak. At very best, they would speak in favor of a flat tax that would be similar to the tithe of 10% that we as Christian give to the church as a Biblical responsibility.

     Wherever you stand on the issue, I believe this passage of scripture will bring some valuable points to light.

     Romans 13:1-7 “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. (v.2) Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. (v.3) For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. (v. 4) For he is God’s minister to ou for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, and avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. (v. 5) Therefore you must be subject not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. (v.6) For because of this you also pay taxes for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. (v. 7) Render therefore to all their due taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.” (NKJV).

     Both Paul and Jesus direct Christians to pay taxes to the Roman government, which was certainly not pure or righteous in all its actions. As with all commands of God, we should try to obey this one joyfully, not grudgingly. Whenever we tend to become discouraged with the imperfections of our government, or the burden of taxation that it imposes upon us, we would do well to remember that the alternative, anarchy, is far worse (see Judges. 17-21).


Copyright © 2008-2015 Debbie Reynolds Harper

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