What Does the Bible Say About Paying Your Fair Share of Taxes?

 

From an interview between Anderson Cooper and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on "60 Minutes," January of 2019.
Cooper: "This would require though raising taxes."

Ocasio-Cortez: "There's an element where, yeah, people are going to have to start paying their fair share in taxes."
Absolutely! Everyone should be paying their fair share of taxes. That's in the Bible.

In Exodus 30, the Lord instituted the head or poll tax. Each person numbered in a census, from twenty years old and up, shall give half a shekel. "The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel, when you give the Lord's offering to make atonement for your lives." (Exodus 30:15). And who paid this tax? The men, the head of the household.

In Deuteronomy 14, we find laws about tithing, giving a tenth of "all the yield of your seed that comes in from the field, year by year" (Deuteronomy 14:22). This rate was the same for everyone, whether they yielded much or little.

There was even a system of welfare in place, so the community provided for their poor, namely the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow. But the rate of exaction was still the same for everyone who gave. Those who wanted to contribute more could give more of their own will (Deuteronomy 15:7-10).

Jesus said to pay your taxes: "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's" (Mark 12:17). We read in Romans 13:7, "Pay taxes to whom taxes are owed." And if that amount is the same for everyone, then everyone is paying their fair share!
Cooper: "Do you have a specific on the tax rate?"
Ocasio-Cortez: "Sometimes you see tax rates as high as sixty or seventy percent. As you climb up this ladder, you should be contributing more."
That's not fair, when we understand the text.

New Years Resolutions from Great Theologians?



Are you looking for some good new years resolutions? Well consider these words from Jonathan Edwards:
#25 Resolved: to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.

#28 Resolved: to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly, and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

#67 Resolved: after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them.
Or how about this from Charles Spurgeon: "I wish, my brothers, and sisters, during this year you may live nearer to Christ than you have ever done before. Depend on it, it is when we think much of Christ that we think little of ourselves, little of our troubles, and little of the doubts and fears that surround us."

Or this from Thomas Manton: "Great resolutions are always vain, unless joined with the consideration of our own weakness. The people of God have promised much, but always it is with the concurrence of Christ. The apostle saith, Philippians 4:13, 'I can' or will 'do all things,' but it is through Christ."

And recognize that these resolutions aren't just good for the new year. They are life-long resolutions. Let us resolve to trust the Lord with all our heart, and in all our ways acknowledge Him (Proverbs 3:5-6). Proverbs 16:9 says, "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps," when we understand the text.

There Are Many Ways to God?



"There are millions of ways to be a human being, and many paths to what you call God." "Well I am a Christian who believes that there are certainly many more paths to God other than Christianity." ~Oprah Winfrey

You know what? She's right. There are millions of ways to God. There are as many ways to God as there are religions, philosophies, and other beliefs! And they all end in judgment.

In Matthew, Jesus said that "Before Him will be gathered all the nations." To those who are His sheep, who listened to the voice of the shepherd, He will say, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.' But to the goats, He will say, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and His angels' (Matthew 25:31-34, 41).

Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many might works in your name?' And I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness'" (Matthew 7:21-23).

In John 5, Jesus said, "For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son... Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in Him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life" (John 5:22-24).

Everyone gets to God. But the ones who will be saved from judgment will be those who believed in Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), when we understand the text.

Has the Church Replaced Israel?



Before Jesus ascended into heaven, His disciples asked, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said, "It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:6-8).

The disciples believed as most Jews did that the Messiah was going to make Israel great again, as it was under kings David and Solomon. But Jesus said that with the Holy Spirit, you will go into the world preaching the gospel, and this will be done for as long as the Father has determined.

In other words, Jesus was saying that the preaching of the gospel will  Israel. Whoever believes the gospel of Jesus Christ is true Israel. Now some will decry this as supersessionism: "The church has not replaced Israel!" they will say. Of course it hasn't. The church is the expansion of Israel.

Paul referred to true believers as the Israel of God (Galatians 6:15-16). Romans 2:28-29 says, "No one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, but a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision a matter of the heart." Romans 9:6 says, "For not all who are descended from Israel," meaning ethnic Israel, "belong to Israel," meaning spiritual Israel.

In Romans 11, we're given the picture of a cultivated olive tree: branches have been cut off, and Jews and Gentiles grafted into Christ together. Then verse 26 says, "And in this way all Israel will be saved," meaning true Israel, all who serve Christ as king, when we understand the text.
"I tell you many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be throne into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 8:11-12

"Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our Father.' For I tell you God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham." Luke 3:8

"They answered Him, 'Abraham is our father!' Jesus said to them, 'If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works that Abraham did..." John 8:39

"Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham... And if you are Christ's then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise." Galatians 3:7, 29

Lauren Daigle Doesn't Know If Homosexuality Is A Sin?



In a recent interview, Grammy and Dove Award winner Lauren Daigle was asked her opinion about homosexuality.
Domenick Nati: "Do you feel that homosexuality is a sin?"

Lauren Daigle: "You know, I can't honestly answer on that. I have too many people that I love, that they are homosexual. I don't know. I can't say one way or the other. I'm not God, so when people ask questions like that, that's what my go-to is. I just say read the Bible and find out for yourself. And when you find out, let me know, because I'm learning, too."
Okay, Lauren. Well in Matthew 19, Jesus said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?'"

Leviticus 20:13 says that if a man lies with a man as with a woman, they have committed an abomination. The Apostle Paul refers to this in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 when he says that men who practice homosexuality will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Revelation 22:15 says among those who are outside the kingdom are the dogs, a word used in Deuteronomy 23:18 to describe homosexual male prostitutes. Romans 1:26-27 says that those whose hearts are darkened exchange natural relations for those contrary to nature: women burn with passion for women, and men commit shameless acts with men.

If you care for your homosexual friends, the loving thing to do would be to tell them to repent and follow Jesus. Don't be flippant about behavior God has promised He will judge, when we understand the text.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes..." Romans 1:16

"Partiality in judging is not good. Whoever says to the wicked, 'You are in the right,' will be cursed by peoples, and abhorred by nations, but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them. Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips." Proverbs 24:23-26
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments... Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him... If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me." John 14:15, 21, 23-24