And He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” – Luke 20:25
Seeking to catch Jesus in a statement that would give the Roman authorities a reason to arrest Him, Jewish leaders asked the Savior if it was lawful for an obedient child of God (a Jew, in particular) to pay taxes. Jesus deftly replied that in the matter of taxes it was possible to be obedient to both God and government.
Having worked as an accountant, I understand some of the U.S. tax code and have even prepared a few returns. When I counsel people in this area, I always tell them to pay the IRS everything they owe them, and not a single penny more!
What puzzles me is that I have often met Christ-followers who would never consider evading their taxes, but have no problem holding back on funding God’s purposes. In the first case, the punishment may be more tangible, but in the second, the consequences may be more damaging. Tax evasion is a crime against the State, but “generosity-evasion” is a crime against our Provider.
The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets. – Will Rogers
Dr. David Pope is President and Founder of POPE Initiatives, a non-profit organization committed to providing executive-level management and support services for major global mission efforts.
View all posts by Dr. David Pope