“In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't.”
No one likes taxes. Some believe it is the governments way of steeling from you. I empathize with that. I have had some years where I wrote some pretty big checks to the government (at least they were big for me). I have also had at least one year where I got way more back from the government than I expected...redistribution of wealth is a real thing. But what does the Bible say about taxes? In short, it says you should pay them, but that isn't all it says.
When Israel was a fledgling nation without a king. It had leaders, Samuel was its leader for a while and the he appointed his sons, but they were corrupt and the people cried out for a king. When Samuel appealed to God his response was two fold. First God said the people were rejecting God as their king. We do the same thing when we ask government to do things outside of its lane. When we ask government to do what is in the domain of the family, when we ask government to provide for us, when we ask government to be our moral compass and so on. When we ask government to do what only God can do we err in the same way Israel erred.
God gave a second warning to Israel. A King would claim certain rights and included in those rights would be taking their daughter, sons, animals, crops, etc. for various purposes. Indeed, this is still true. Governments demand service from our sons and daughters in various ways. And our money is confiscated for the purpose of supporting government which claims to provide all kinds of services (some legitimate and some not) for the people. God gave Israel a king and all of God's warnings came true.
In other words, in may ways government provides certain services and infra structure to the people, but government can (and often is) a burden to the people. Quite often government becomes an overwhelming burden.
But there is more in the Bible about taxes.
When Jesus was challenged with the question of whether it was right to pay taxes or not it was a trick question. A denarius was a coin used to pay taxes and on it were two things. First, there was an inscription that read, "Tiberius Caesar, Son of the Divine Agustus." This was a problem for the Jews, there is only one God, Yahweh, it was not Caesar. If Jesus said to pay taxes, in their minds, He would be but committing a form of idolatry. Of course if he said no then he would be in trouble with Rome. The second thing on the coin was a depiction of Caesar. So he pointed this depiction out and said, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is His." Of course God is sovereign over all the universe, but when we pay our taxes we are rendering to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Our money is marked with all kinds of things that show it belongs, in some sense, to Caesar. Further, the apostle Paul points out that the government is an instrument of God and he exhorts us to not only be obedient to government, but specifically to pay our taxes.
Are there abuses and misuses? Of course! Are taxes too high? For some, for sure! Does the government use tax dollars for immoral things? Absolutely. So did Rome. You don't have to be happy about, but the Biblical thing to do is pay your taxes.
John Byrne is a pastor who has been spouting off his opinions his entire life (just ask his mom). This little blog is his venue for continuing in this tradition.