It Is Tax Season – Is It Always Wrong To Not Pay Taxes?

As a believer is it always wrong to not pay taxes? How should a Christian view paying taxes if the government is supporting wicked practices?

0:00 – Is it always wrong not to pay your taxes?
2:05 – What should a Christian think about the Boston Tea Party?
4:57 – Did the British treatment of Americans justify not paying taxes?
7:47 – What if the government collects taxes for something that is not its God-given duty?
14:26 – What is it that changes the world? Political protest or the Gospel?
17:06 – Personally I cannot see a place where I would not be justified in paying my taxes.
19:44 – What if the government imposed a 100% tax?
21:24 – Audience question: Can you think of a time when you would break the law?

[Note: This transcript has not been proofed for errors.] Is it always wrong to not pay your taxes? By this? I don’t mean the secretive and cunning practices of tax evasion, but explicit and public protest. Against a form of taxation. When Jesus was asked if it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, he responded that we ought to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s. Paul in Romans 13, also teaches Christians what to do with regard to taxes and explains that God has ordered government for a particular purpose and that in order for the government to fulfill that purpose, it must collect taxes. Romans 13:6-7, some would argue that if the government tries to collect taxes for something that is not its God given duty, namely rewarding the doer of good and punishing the evildoer, Christians have to object to it. I can see where that view comes from, but at the same time struggle to believe that the Roman emperors used the taxes that they collected only for those legitimate God given purposes. Is there, however, a case when Christians would want to not pay taxes? And what would that look like? I can think of tax money going for immoral practices such as government-funded abortion procedures, etc.. What about American history and the whole thing about taxation without representation or paying taxes to a tyrannical government?

Let me ask you something. This is an easy question to ask here. Our American Revolution. Do you remember we had a Boston Tea Party. We all know about that. What do we do with the Boston Tea Party to it? Through the tea out of the boat? There are some Americans dressed up like Indians, and they went out on the tea ships that had come over from. They probably came from India, but they were owned by the British and they throw a tea in the harbor. You can imagine if you lived in a colony and you were being taxed. And I’m sure those Americans liked the tea. They had English blood and Irish blood and Scottish blood and Welsh blood flowing through their veins, most of them. And so, you know, some of them came from Germany and wherever Austria. But the fact is that to have your taxes just indiscriminately raised and you have no representation in London. So basically, people that live around the United Kingdom, they at least have representatives in parliament. They’ve got a voice. But Americans had no voice. So they threw the tea in the harbor and they and they eventually I mean, they went to war. They didn’t want the British not only imposing taxes without representation, but the fact is that the redcoats could commandeer a house. They could come in and eat all your food, mistreat your family. And so imagine that. Imagine that the price of everything is just going up. Why? Because the king, the parliament, they see opportunity for bringing a lot of wealth out of the United States over to England, and they’re sending soldiers over there. And the soldiers basically have the right legally from the British court system established in the U.S. if their own soldiers can can just come and go and they can commandeer houses and food. And you wouldn’t like that if somebody did that to you. Now, is that a reason to not pay taxes? I have basically said in the United States that if I had lived during the time of the revolution, I would not now because it wasn’t there. And I don’t know all the factors. It’s difficult for me to say exactly what my attitude would have been if soldiers did something to a family member or something like that happen. But just from the standpoint of taxation without representation, there’s nothing stated about that in Scripture. There’s no place in Scripture that says that as I honor the emperor, the emperor has to make sure that I have a congressman or a representative in Washington or in London that doesn’t exist. And so just on that basis alone, I would not, if I was a pastor in 1776, I would not just on that basis, I would not have been able to condone and lead the church in that direction. I would not have been able to, with a clear conscience, take up arms and fight against the king who was the rightful ruler at that time. Now, once the Americans did it and there was an American government established, I would have submitted to it, but I would have submitted to your king because it would have been my king and I would have submitted to him because that that seems biblical. And did the taxes get increased? Yes. But who’s to say when the taxes are too high? Well, we say as the consumer, it’s we always are saying they’re too high. When when are the taxes not too high? When there are no taxes, that’s that. And if they get increase, don’t we complain when the energy gets increased and we complain? Somebody has got to answer for this. Right. But I would not have been able to do that. So the question is this. Actually, I, I feel it given two ways here, that it says that if government tries to collect taxes for something that is not its God given duty. Like it says in Romans 13, namely rewarding the doer of good and punishing the evildoer, if the government tries to collect taxes for something that’s not its God given duty. Do Christians have to object to it? I can see where that view comes from. Now, see, he’s actually asking two questions. Does a Christian have to object to it? And is there a time to withhold paying, paying taxes? What I would say, based on what we know from Scripture, is that, yes, we can object to it, but then, yes, we still need to pay our taxes. So if I have a voice to object, then why would I not object? But but even they’re like, do I object to the fact that the the U.K. government, that I pay taxes to use this money to to pay for abortion? Do I object to that? I object to that. But what am I going to do, not pay my taxes? I mean, I think it’s right to bring up the Roman government. They used money on all sorts of wicked things as well. But you know what they also used it for? They used it for infrastructure. They used it for aqueducts. They used it for their road system. They used it for all sorts of things that are in the interest. They used it for their court system. They actually had laws. You know what? Most of these countries, even even Germany and Adolf Hitler’s day, I mean, they had laws against stealing. They had laws against murder. They had laws that basically made it it made life manageable. It kept order in the society. And so is there a place for me to not pay taxes because a portion of it might be used for a wicked purpose? Well, we don’t see that. I mean, when Jesus said, bring me the denarius. Well, I mean, whose picture was on there? Do you know whose picture was on there? Which Caesar do you imagine was Augustus? Yeah. Just. But. But, I mean, the fact is, if we look at the Caesar’s we and we look at the Roman Empire, we see what they did. Certainly. Certainly as soon as Jesus says render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. That automatically assumes what all the governments of the world are going to look like. And you know what? Jesus is introducing a time when there’s no there’s no theocracy. In other words, there’s no government system where God like like Old Testament, Israel. Where you’ve got God who’s ruling. But that’s not the kingdoms of this world are not of that nature. As soon as he identifies Caesar, we see the very kind of government he’s identifying. What kind? The worldly government, all it all the different kings and queens and presidents and prime ministers and and the tyrannical sorts and the dictators and all the pharaohs and what I mean, fill in the blank, all the different names that leaders have been given. And and that’s what he had in mind. That’s what he was saying, rendered to Caesar. He had he had exactly that kind of very unsaved people leading and in doing what they do. And there’s no indication how can we object to it? Yes, we can object to it. We can object to the fact that our money might be used. And if we have a platform for it, is there a place to make that objection public? Well, I guess everybody has to have a clear conscience themselves quite honestly. I do not think that I’m called to spend my life protesting. Why? I think it’s a waste of time. Why? Because we’re talking about where some money goes. Are they going to abort the children anyway? I would rather pray that God will do something to bring that to an end. Overturn Roe v Wade. And you know, effectively what they did in the United States is it basically outlawed abortion in many states? Not all of them, Not not the liberal states, but in the conservative states, it basically. And so I think praying if if you can vote somebody into office, that’s likely going to have that kind of agenda. But, you know, I just don’t find that the New Testament church was anywhere encouraged to become these political radicals. It is. It isn’t there. You know what we’re supposed to do, evangelize the world? The greatest thing I could do for for any kind of government or any kind of country is proclaim the gospel. And if God will use it to awaken that generation. You know what happens when revival comes in? Even two, three, % of the people get saved. I mean, you know what they’re saying? I think, if I’m not mistaken, I read somewhere where the Hebrides revival in the 1940s, 49, I believe only 2% of the people in the Hebrides Islands were saved. If I’m not mistaken, it closed down when only that percentage of people get saved. And there’s a movement of God like that. Their jails closed, their court systems basically shut down the dance halls, shut down. And what I hear is you can travel to the Hebrides Islands even now, and you still feel the results of that. My point here is this. What is it that changes the world? Is it. Is it political protest? What changes the world is the Gospel. What changes the world is is us imitating Christ and basically going and seeking to make disciples among these nations? It’s it’s not. There is simply nothing counter to these the animist and these reconstructionist guys and these post middle guys. Our primary objective is not to reinstate a theocracy among the nations. It just isn’t. It’s not. Jesus didn’t do it that Jesus had some interaction with government. Paul had interaction with government. John the Baptist had interaction with government. But if you look at them, what’s Paul doing? Paul’s Paul’s proclaiming he’s he’s proclaiming the gospel, he’s proclaiming righteousness. He’s proclaiming this coming judgment. He’s proclaiming he’s basically he’s he’s you know, what he did and ultimately was shipped off to Rome and John the Baptist. I mean, his interaction with Herod was not trying to get some kind of a some kind of new taxation system. He confronted Herod about his adultery and Jesus interaction with government. I mean, you hear how he talked to pilot. What was his basic point? Look, my kingdom’s not of this world or or my guys would fight. In other words, he didn’t come to set up this earthly kingdom here and to have some kind of reconstructionist idea about what government should look like. So my thing is, yes, I can object to something, but then it’s like, well, how much time would I want to give to it? Quite honestly, I don’t want to give any time to it. If somebody else determined they wanted to give some time to it. Okay, they got it. They have to make that decision. And I think one of the things that we want to we want to kind of way out is what is the likelihood that my involvement is actually going to matter? Because I want to use my my life wisely. And last thing I want to do is spin my wheels, trying to bring about some political reform or taxation reform. When my one puny voice is just, I would rather pray that God would bring revival upon this country. God would have mercy upon the people God would save. Why? Because that seems very consistent with Scripture. But I and I personally cannot see a place where I would feel justified in not paying my taxes and not I’m not going to cheat on my taxes. When God saved when I was lost, I, I was I did a number of things that I didn’t even know how. I don’t even remember that I, I so mindfully just rebelled against the IRS. The Internal Revenue Service. I, I just think after I got saved, I became I just recognized I was shoddy with regards to my tax returns and so I went to the IRS and I basically said, here’s my situation. I told them I got saved. I know his convictions about these things and I just think I probably owed taxes. And so anyway, I ended up paying back taxes. But I just think whether it’s I mean, I’m a resident of the U.K. and I believe I ought to pay my taxes here. And I’m a citizen of the United States and I believe ought to pay my taxes there. And I don’t like it. I don’t like how much they take. But you know what? If God tells me to pay it, I can look at it just like giving money to missionaries. It’s what God wants me to do with it. And I can look at it and think he’s pleased that I’m doing this. See, I think that comes down to the real question. Is there a time when you’re paying taxes and you think God’s not pleased? Because that would be the time when you would say, therefore, I’m not going to pay him, but I can’t think of a situation where that would be the case unless somebody that wasn’t legitimately the government was trying to force me to think that they had some authority, that they don’t really have. And that might be a case. But when the government’s authentic and it’s it’s the government of the U.K. or the United States, I’m going to pay my taxes. And I can’t think of any situation where I wouldn’t just simply because Jesus said render to Caesar what’s Caesar’s. And Caesar has the right to to tell us what the tax is going to be. Now, what about if they called for everything? I mean, what if they basically taxed me to the point that I can’t feed? I’m just going to hope that God would not allow it to come to that. And I would hope that if we actually got to that place, there’s going to be anarchy, because I’m not going to be the only one hurting if if their taxing us with everything else. That’s basically where eventually the people are going to rise up and resist that. But kind of like what happened is, you see, the thing is the Christian didn’t really have to be behind the revolution. They could have submitted to the king, but inside they submitted to the king and paid their taxes. But inside they were really hoping Washington would not Cornwallis back out in the ocean. I mean, you can you can hope that. Why? Because life would be better and our dollar would go farther and we’d be able to feed our family better. And yeah, I mean, I can submit to a government but hope that the government will change but not be involved in making it change. Any thoughts on taxes? I will say this year your country, I’m doing my taxes right now in your country. I mean, when you look at everything they take out, it’s all got social attach to it. An offshoot of the question. And we might not have time to really go into any depth. But I guess I was just kind of curious if you had anything to say with regards to the time in which you would break the law of a nation. A time when I would break the law and break the law. Well, we’re going to break the law when they tell us to do something that God forbids or they tell us not to do something God tells us to do, and so am I going to break the law. I broke the law. And I mean, I’ll say it when they said we needed a lock down, we didn’t. We met, we got Steve. Steven Holland did give us his building and he was happy to have us there. And we were happy to go there and pay and help them financially and and you know, Steven is of the same mindset is me that no, we’re told not to forsake the assembling together of ourselves. And the government said, stop assembling yourselves and don’t sing. And Scripture says to sing. And so we’re going to sing. We’re going to take the Lord’s Supper and we’re going to meet together. And so it’s there. If God tell that, that’s when I’m going to break the law, when God tells me to do something and the government tells me I can’t do it, that’s when I’m going to and that’s that’s what those early disciples said. I mean, we you you guys judge. I mean, we obey, man. We’re going to obey God. And so that’s the that’s the issue. When my obeying the government is obeying God, well, then I want to obey government. When my obeying government is disobeying God, that’s when it becomes the issue. So really. But do we have to sort that out? Yeah, we have to sort that out. I mean, everybody has to sort that out on what that means. They wanted to quarantine me. See, I was traveling enough and every time I’d come back they were quarantining me for two weeks. And I finally said, Nope, I’m not doing that anymore. Why? Because God called me to pastor this flock here, not to sit in quarantine for two weeks every time I travel well. And finally I just said, okay, Ruby, there is a way to actually obey and be able to travel. And that’s just simply to go ahead and get vaccinated. Now, you know, somebody can question whether I should have or not. If I had it to do again, I wouldn’t have done it. But it did ease my traveling restrictions and it eased all the different kinds of tests that you had to take and everything. And but anyways, we all everybody has to sort that out. Everybody has to flesh through those things.