Tag Archives: Jesus

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!”

If I’m not healed of a sickness, does that mean my faith is weak, or I’m a bad Christian?

22 Oct

I recently had someone “Command my Lupus to be gone in the name of Jesus.” Well obviously it hasn’t gone anywhere, but the big surprise came when he said it wasn’t gone because of a lack of faith. My first instinct was to believe this false teaching and feel like a failure, but then I got a dose of reality and remembered that sometimes our afflictions are for a reason. In my case, “I consider it all jpy” so that I may minister to others with the disease.

Many Christians have firmly believed that God would heal a loved one only to become discouraged because they remain sick. or pass away. . They prayed in faith. Some believed that they had confirmation from other believers or from other miracles. So they were genuinely surprised, even dumbfounded, when the loved one died. What they had believed with such certainty turned out not to be true. Their faith could not heal the person — only God could heal, and he chose not to, despite their prayers, their faith, God’s love and God’s promises.

When such disappointments happen, a new trial sets in. If faith in the healing turned out to be a mistake, what about faith in Christ? Was it also a mistake? That is one of the dangers of the “word of faith” teaching — it links faith in our Savior to faith in specific predictions.

Did Jesus promise to heal every disease? He did not heal Epaphroditus, as least not as fast as they wanted him to (Phil. 2:27). Even in his earthly ministry, Jesus did not heal everyone (John 5:3-9).

Didn’t Jesus die for us, forgiving our sins? Doesn’t that mean that we have no reason to suffer? Some say so, but we should test this line of reasoning with another fact: Jesus died for us. Does this mean that we should never die? We already have eternal life (John 5:24; 11:26). But the fact is, every Christian dies. There is something wrong with the line of reasoning. We do not yet experience everything Jesus accomplished for us.

There will come a time when we will be raised imperishable. There will come a time when we never experience pain. There will come a time when we receive the full benefits of Jesus’ redemption. But that time is not yet. Now, we share in Jesus’ sufferings (1 Pet. 2:20-21).

Jesus promised persecution, not freedom from pain and sorrow. When Paul was beaten, stoned, and imprisoned, he felt pain. Paul had great faith, but also many sufferings (2 Cor. 1:5; Phil. 3:10; 4:12). Although Jesus atoned for all sin, Christians still suffer despite their faith — and sometimes because of their faith.

We suffer from persecution, and we suffer the incidental pains of living in a world in which sin is still common. Sin hurts innocent people, and sometimes we are the innocent people who are hurt. Sometimes it results in early death, sometimes in slow and pain-filled death. We may suffer physical damage from a burning, a beating, a car accident or asbestos fibers. Our health may suffer from exposure to cold, from smoke in a house fire or chemicals in our food. We may suffer from wild animals, large or small, or even microorganisms. God has not guaranteed to protect all his people from all possible problems.

Is it always God’s will to heal people who have faith in Christ? The biblical evidence is that he sometimes does, and sometimes does not. Stephen was killed, James was killed. Eventually all the first Christians died of something. Yet, how many times did God save them out of danger before they eventually died? Perhaps many times.

Have you ever wondered about preachers who claim to heal all infirmities, yet they themselves wear eyeglasses? There is no reason why biblical promises would apply to one kind of ailment but not the other. The scriptures sometimes cited in support of a universal promise of healing do not make any exceptions for eyesight, age, accidents or anything else. But both Scripture and experience tell us that these verses were not intended as universal guarantees.

Yes, some have been healed, sometimes dramatically. These are examples of special favor, grace and mercy. We should not take these examples of exceptional grace and create universal promises out of them.

And we especially should not imply that people who aren’t healed do not have faith. Sometimes their faith is demonstrated through their suffering — they remain cheerfully confident that God will do what is best for them. Whether they live or whether they die, whether they have prosperity or poverty, they trust in God. There is nothing wrong with their faith. What is wrong is a teaching that implies that they are somehow not doing enough.

Just a thought for today,

Pastor Mike

A Sunday Morning Prayer

21 Oct

O Lord, our Heavenly Father, at the beginning of another week we come to You for help and light.

Grant, we ask You, that we make this a sacred day of rest to Your service. May we consecrate this day to find all peace and strength in You.

Make our hearts beat with devotion so that we may serve You in spirit and in truth. May we live this day laying a good foundation for our coming work.

Be with us in the worship services of Your day so that your saints may join in heart and soul. Be with us so that we may receive the blessing promised to all who sincerely pray to You and faithfully hear Your Word.

This we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.