“Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.”
Romans 13:6-7 NLT.
Jesus said in Matthew 22:21 "...Well, then,” He said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”” NLT. (Also Mark 12:17 and Luke 20:25). Jesus lived during the time of the Roman Empire. Caesar was the common title for the Emperor. Jesus taught that everyone should give what is required in tax as well as Tithe. Taxes enable government to function. Tithes enable the church to function. Just as we are expected to contribute to the work in God's church we are also expected to contribute to the work of government.
I know there are some who are thinking about how much the government overcharges us and misuses the funds. I understand that a lot of money, particularly in America, is wasted on "pork" spending. There is never enough revenue in taxes to pay off our national debt. Increasing taxes only leads to more spending and more debt. To add insult to injury, government officials often indulge in excessive expenditures for personal benefit. Corruption abounds throughout the world in government. This isn't anything new. Since the fall of man corruption has invaded the ranks of every facet of life. Government is no exception. Laying aside this reality for a moment, we must focus on the institution as a whole. God gave us ruling officials for our civility and stability. God wants us to honor Him by acknowledging the state authorities, abiding by the law, and contributing to the soundness of society by living as godly citizens. We cannot control those in authority over us but we can control what we do.
Now, let's talk for a brief moment about civil disobedience. This is acting in honor and compliance to Gods Word above the laws of men. When laws are enacted by government, we have an obligation before God to adhere to them unless they contradict Gods law. When anyone asks or tells us to do things that are contrary to Gods Word we are to stand for the truth even if it costs us prison time or, even, death. This is demonstrated clearly in the lives of Daniel and also his friends and fellow servants of God Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. In Daniel chapter three the three Hebrew men were thrown into a fiery furnace for refusing to bow in worship to the 90 foot tall statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had erected.
They honored God and God honored them. In Daniel 6 we read of Daniel who prayed regardless of the decree from king Darius that no prayer was to be offered to anyone but him. Daniels fellow governing officials set a trap for Daniel. They were jealous of his favor before the king. Daniel prayed to God like he always had, knowing the dire consequence of being thrown to the lions in their den. Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and Daniel honored God above man even when it was politically incorrect. God honored them in return.
Let me cite a couple of New Testament cases in point.
In Acts chapter 4, Peter and John were called before the Jewish religious council and threatened. They were told not to preach in Jesus name again (verse 17). They went right back preaching in Jesus name!
In Second Timothy 4 we read how Paul was ready to die after serving Jesus faithfully in the ministry. He preached to anyone that would listen. It is believed that he was beheaded under the Emperor Nero.
We should never bash our government with tongues of sin! We should never make jokes of the authorities over us! We should, however, do what is right in God's eyes when government tells us the opposite. Many today don't understand this. As believers in Jesus Christ, we must represent our Lord in the most holy fashion. This means maintaining a balanced perspective of the righteous purpose of government and discerning the wicked policies. Let's look to God above and beyond all else. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords! His is the righteous rule!!!!!!!
Rev. Curtis Norris