Tag Archives: Gospel of Matthew

The Church, should we pay taxes?

31 Oct

Let’s talk about something that’s very controversial. In our modern times, the fear of economic failure is at the top of every politically minded individual’s list. These individuals make up many of the religious organizations through-out our country. The question I and many others are asking is, should the churches and religious organizations pay their share of taxes? As we know most religious organizations and churches are for the most part tax except. The question is, should they be paying taxes and should we be reconsidering not only the constitutional aspects of the question but also what the word of God says about it?
In Mark 12:17 (NIV) we read this. “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” The statement comes from a discussion between Jesus and the Pharisees and is also found in Matthew 22. Jesus was asked whether or not everyone should pay their share of taxes to Caesar or not. Jesus responded by asking whose portrait and inscription was found on the coin held by the Pharisees. The y responded that it was Caesars portrait and inscription and thus Jesus made the above statement in Mark. Could we compare the same question to money today? Whose inscription is carved into every coin? What symbols are found on every bill? What would Jesus say about this topic?
Obviously this topic is one that can come with much resistance and with much negative feedback, but should we as Christians rethink things just a little? As we know tax exemption was not always around. It wasn’t until around 1954 that the idea was introduced by Senator Lyndon B. Johnson. This introduction was labeled 501c3 exception status. The problem with such tax exemption is it also detailed certain requirements of any organization approved for the exemption. One such requirement was that no 501c3 approved organization would be involved in any political candidate’s campaign or approval or disapprove of any candidate uses the religious platform. The requirement goes on from there.
A question we as the church body should ask ourselves, is have we as Christians, traded our voice for the benefit of more money for our churches? Have we traded the authority of God for the benefits of more comfort and for less religious resistance? Have a majority of our churches done wrong by applying and excepting this tax free status? I think it’s a question that at least deserves a moment’s thought don’t you? May we ask ourselves if the church’s voice has grown much more silent in the last 60 years or so?
Obviously the added revenue from all the religious organizations and churches would improve the financial status of our great country if applied correctly, but could it possibly hurt in other ways, that is a question to also ask ourselves. Currently much of the burden that should lie of the backbone of the church currently resides on the backbone of our federal government. Things such as feeding the hungry and housing the homeless are responsibilities that should be the focus point of all churches and not simply to what color carpet we should install this year in our sanctuary. Would the church as a whole be ready to stand up and act as the big brother of the helpless and the hurting in a manner much higher than we see today? To become an active voice again, the church will most definitely have to be ready to do so.

This question on taxes is not a small group thought, but is found throughout the country in growing numbers. I am a most definitely a Christian and my personal opinion is that we should reconsider our tax exemptions. I say this as a man that feels the Church’s voice has been suppressed by actions such as this and in order to regain the respect and authority the church once had, it will have to also use its resources to help the very country in which grants its religious freedom.
Some would say we as Christians should stay out of all politics all together. I ask this question however. If there are no Godly people or no godly representation found in the elected people, than how can we as Christians expect anything but evil things in return? If we want God back in our country, than we must have Godly people willing to be a voice for his church and that voice must be carried to the doors of the white house.

 

This is an article from the HUB PAGES,

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Can you sleep through the storm?

30 Oct

Years ago a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along
the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops. As the farmer interviewed
applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals.

Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer. “Are you a good farmhand?” the farmer asked him. “Well, I can sleep when the
wind blows,” answered the little man. Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him. The little man worked well around
the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man’s work.

Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand‘s
sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, “Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!” The little man rolled over
in bed and said firmly, “No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows.”

Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he
discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were
barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down. Nothing could blow away.

The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew.
When you’re prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically, you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life? The hired
hand in the story was able to sleep because he had secured the farm against the storm. We, as believers in Christ, secure ourselves against the storms
of life by grounding ourselves in the Word of God. We don’t need to understand, we just need to hold His hand to have peace in the midst of the
storms. I hope you sleep well!

Matthew 8:34-27 23 Then He got into the boat and His disciples followed Him. 24 Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke Him, saying, “Lord, save us, we’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “You of little faith! Why are you so afraid?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him!”