First we have to look at the modern reasons why the church does not pay tax. As usual any research ends up in the American way of thinking; but the question of taxation and churches predates the American Constitution by centuries. Tax exemption for churches grew out of this history, not out of early American political theory. We can get back to that in a while.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
This is some of the reasoning:
If we tax churches, then we will need to tax all not-for-profit organizations.
Now that is bloody debatable! A picture says a thousand words…..
To tax churches, government would need to have the (currently unconstitutional) authority to audit and regulate churches.
So the church is the IDEAL place to run illegal activities, launder money for arms, drugs and maybe even Rhino horn. Forgive me but I am a pretty cynical chap.
There are too many modern arguments put forward for non-taxation of the church to list them all here. Let’s go back a few centuries.
In the Old Testament, priests were exempted from taxation by Pharaoh (Gen. 47:26) and by Persia’s King Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:24).
Oh, so two pagan leaders gave the priests a break. The habit of following pagan traditions in Christianity is a longer than I thought. Christmas is coming up and the memes shall be all over Facebook soon, putting Christ back into Christmas etc. God give me strength.
This can go round and round forever, the best way to solve this is to see what Jesus said.
(Matthew 22:15-22; Luke 20:19-26)
13 Later, they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to catch Jesus in His words. 14“Teacher,” they said, “we know that You are honest and are swayed by no one. Indeed, You are impartial and teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Now then, is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay them or not?”
15 But Jesus saw through their hypocrisy and said, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denariusb to inspect.” 16So they brought it, and He asked them, “Whose likeness is this? and whose inscription?”
“Caesar’s,” they answered.
17 Then Jesus told them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
And they marveled at Him.
America had better update the Dollar, a pic of Trump would do nicely.
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