@TheIRD disagrees with the Apostle Paul

The Bible also says that we should give willingly, not “reluctantly or under compulsion” 2 Corinthians 9:7.  Taxes are by their very definition compulsory. You fulfill a moral duty through personal responsibility and care—not faceless government programs.

via Morality, Charity, and a Lesson from Estonia « Juicy Ecumenism.

Of course, that is their argument. Paul is talking here about Christian gifts. When Paul talks about Government, he says

Therefore, it is necessary to be subject not only because of the wrath but also because of conscience. This is why you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Pay to all their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, toll to whom toll is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due. (Rom 13:5-7 NAB)

Umm…. So maybe the IRD really doesn’t read all the Scripture, or maybe they just don’t like the Apostle Paul.

Post By Joel Watts (10,115 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity


32 thoughts on “@TheIRD disagrees with the Apostle Paul

  1. @Joel: Yes, in 2 Cor. 9:7, the Apostle Paul is discussing Christian gifts. But these gifts of Christian charity include more than just tithes and offerings given to the church, do they not? Any time you give of your money or time to help someone less fortunate than you, that is an act of charity. Government social programs funded by tax dollars, therefore, are coerced acts of charity. While we do have a moral obligation to pay taxes to whom they are due, as you pointed out, those programs do not fulfill our moral duty to help those around us of our own free will.

    • No, they do not, however, they are still taxes and we have a duty to pay them.

      Further, how many evangelicals support government rules to protect tradition marriage? But, they don’t want government rules to protect Matthew 25.

      • We certainly do have an obligation to pay them. But the point of the post was that many leaders such as Rev. Wallis, and even President Obama, have said that government programs are a legitimate way to fulfill our Christian duties to the poor, and that simply isn’t the case.

          • Should a government force everyone to pay into a system so that healthcare is available for everyone? This sounds like a noble idea. Everyone having access to healthcare is a good thing. But, is a government ‘forcing’ everyone to pay the right method? Yes, we are to care for the poor, orphans, and the elderly (James 1:27). But, biblically speaking, is this the responsibility of the government, or of the body of Christ? Should the government, through taxation, coerce people into helping the poor? Or, should people have the freedom to help the poor, or not help the poor, based on their own convictions and abilities? This seems to be the primary difference, I believe.

          • “So, you are okay with legalized drugs, child abuse, child marriages and the like?”
            No..legalizing drugs I’m still on the fence about. I’m not an anarchist, or the more modern term “volunteerist”. And abortion is murder.

          • So, in other words, you are against legislating morality that somehow affects you wallet?

            You can be convinced of what you want, but you have already proved that you are a bit subjective.

          • No. I only have ONE ruler. Jesus Christ. I personally don’t care who is in charge. Human governments are inherently evil unless they follow Christ’s tenets, but since a theocracy run by man is not what I want, I believe in LIBERTY to allow me to follow Christ as the Lord leads me.

  2. When taxes are really high, people won’t be as willing to give to the needy, since they figure “let the gov’t handle it”. The ONLY people who freely give to missionaries or other ministries in Germany are Evangelicals. Besides, tithing is an Old testament command. Tithing was commanded to the Jews to give to the priests because the priests weren’t given any personal property of their own.
    The tithe is no longer for Christians today. However, we should give as the Lord leads.

  3. Ant –

    Honestly, the whole “forced” to care for the poor argument is getting rather tired. All it is is a nicer way to demonstrate selfishness, greed, and allegiance to materialism. In other words, it’s code for “Sure we should take care of the poor, but I’ll do it on my terms, when it’s convenient for me”. Using the phrase “forced” or “forced theft” when talking about taxes for social issues is often heard in Ayn Rand’s economic idiocy.

    The truth is, in countries with high levels of economic inequality, the psycho-social, physical, mental, and financial health of the society suffers. The higher the inequality, the worse off society is.

    Now, I don’t want to assign opinions to you, Ant, but I do wonder if you feel the same way about being “forced” by the government to show favoritism towards the rich and powerful by allowing them to accumulate (see: redistribute) wealth upwards?

    Scripture, the OT Prophets AND James, do have a bit to say about that, too.

    • One of the things which I believe is in Romans 13, Christians, is the hope that the Government would use the sword for the good. What is not good about feeding the poor and making sure someone can life even if they do not have the money to do so?

      • Oh, c’mon, you know if we feed the poor, we’re being forced to subsidize people who are lazy, have no interest in working, and are a total drain on society!

        /sarcasm off

        In all seriousness, society (in general) and the ruling classes are oft charged with taking care of the vulnerable in society all throughout scripture. To be inhospitable to each other was to be inhospitable to God and therefore sinful… to the point of incurring God’s wrath.

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