But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. II Cor. 9:6,7
Tis the season when cheerful givers come out of the woodwork all over this great land. Joy fills every heart as people step up to help one another and especially the unfortunate. Don’t you wish it could be like this all year long? Oh wait, tax season doesn’t give you those warm fuzzy feelings of joy and happiness? Don’t you like helping your neighbor? Isn’t that what taxes are all about?
Actually no; that is not what taxes are all about. Taxes are all about controlling the people. Taxes are all about motivating behavior. It is often stated by the financial wizards, “never make your financial decisions based on tax policy.” Those who heed that advice generally go on to become very wealthy. The problem is that most people are not motivated enough to take the risks necessary to buck the system. They simply go on paying their taxes “grudgingly.”
That is not the point being addressed today. Much of the tax money collected goes to help the needy, well at least in theory. (Don’t forget that the federal government is trillions of dollars in debt). Aren’t you a cheerful giver for all of those people who will benefit from those tax monies?
Those who are not cheerful givers of their tax monies have several reasons why. One is that they do see a benefit for those on the receiving end of their “contribution.” Another is that they do not like the program that is benefiting from their “contribution” as is the case for those who oppose abortion yet are paying for abortions with their tax dollars or those who are opposed to war yet are paying for seemingly endless wars with their tax dollars. It is not for this paper to argue whether these are legitimate functions for a Biblically based government. The point here is to say that tax contributions are not made by cheerful givers, and they are not giving cheerfully mostly for good reason.
Those who try to equate paying taxes with the Biblical command to help your neighbor, or feed the poor, etc. are missing several points. First, God never gave authority to the state to force charity by the power of the sword. That point has been made perfectly clear in the pages of the Akron Religion and Politics Examiner. Secondly, the cheerful giver mentioned in II Corinthians is to give “ as he purposeth in his heart” not as some one else decides he should give. Thirdly, There is no cheerfulness for the giver since taxes are often used for purposes that violate his conscience.
Don’t be deceived by those who wish to control your life for their own purposes. You are not required to be a cheerful giver at tax season. On the other hand you are required to be a cheerful giver, but of that most of you do not need to be told. Americans are still the most giving people on God’s green earth. You will continue to give cheerfully to those causes and people whom you deem worthy. It won’t make the controlling class happy that you avoid paying taxes, but you are right in your efforts to avoid paying as much as possible. Taxes are not the Biblical fulfillment for charity. Your private, voluntary, cheerful giving is the fulfillment of the Biblical principle of charity.
By clicking here you will be taken to the Akron Politics and Religion home page where you will find the subscribe button at the top of the page. Click the subscribe button to be alerted each time new content is published. A portion of all proceeds from this page will go to fund scholarships for alternative education.