Living Free in the Spirit of Christ

Free The Church

The IRS Loves a Cheerful Giver

Published on: Apr 14, 2008

Each man should give what the IRS has decided for them to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for the IRS loves a cheerful giver. (2 Opinions 9:7 NIV – New Institutional Version)

This morning I heard a famous radio preacher talking about our paying taxes joyously because we have learned to be in submission to the higher authority of God, therefore we can be in submission to the power of the state. When I hear such preaching it causes me to grieve in my spirit.

Whenever preachers speak of obeying the law, they always use the same two examples: speed limits and taxes. The promotion of paying taxes, and according to them, not cheat on their taxes, which seems to mean not to find any deductions at all, has the ulterior motive of justifying tithing. This morning’s speaker has been speaking of tithing for the last two weeks, so when he referred to submitting to God, then the state, he meant tithes and taxes.

Tithing is an obvious doctrine and sacred cow because it is their bread and butter to pay for their building and salaries. Sometimes I think the businesses called churches would do better if they dispensed with salaries altogether and had all their staff on commission. At least they would be honestly admitting that they were businesses, and those who got new people to come into their business and tithe would be rewarded for it, and those who did not would be canned.

But taxes is a more sinister ulterior motive. Yes, they claim to be in God’s stead by accepting the tithes, but why hold up taxes as equally virtuous? Because they are, in truth, in the State’s stead, since they have their 501C3 tax exempt status, which makes every business church a tax exempt corporation. As a corporation they are thus agents of the state, and serve the state as a consequence. Consider, for example, the prohibition by the State in endorsing political candidates. That is only possible because these corporations called “churches” have their 501c3 exemptions. If these congregations were serious about serving God only, they would ditch that tax exemption, because all tax paying individuals and groups have the First Amendment right to free speech. That right was forfeited when the tax exempt status was accepted.

Let’s be honest and call a spade a spade. No one pays their taxes cheerfully. We all pay taxes because we fear an IRS audit. We pay taxes “voluntarily” as the IRS claims, but like Islam, if we don’t choose the Koran, we will die. Only with the IRS they will seize all your assets and throw you away in jail without a trial as had happened to Ezra Pound and many other patriots. Corporate churches cannot throw you in jail for not tithing, of course, but they can lay a tremendous amount of guilt upon the congregation.

In the last business church that my wife and I participated, the pastor had a guest speaker who bluntly said that “anyone who did not tithe would go to hell!” I confronted that speaker and categorically rebuked him for such a lie. The pastor later apologized for his friend’s statement from the pulpit, then later came to me privately and forbid me from speaking directly again to any of his guests in his pulpit. My response was that Jesus told us to go to our brothers if we have ought, not to our pastors. He had no argument, but we left his business after that.

So tax day is here. Pay your taxes, but not because you are honoring God in doing so. In truth, it dishonors God to lie to yourself and others. Pay it because you may go to jail.

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