Should Christians pay their taxes? YES! Paying your taxes is VERY biblical! Any teacher who tells you otherwise is not teaching according to God's Word!
The Lord Jesus paid taxes. In Matthew 17:24-27, we read: And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
Joseph, the step-father of Jesus, obeyed the law and paid taxes:
Luke 2:4-5 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
Most of the Jews of Jesus' day paid taxes. The Early Christians paid taxes. We must obey the law of the land and pay taxes. The Bible clearly admonishes us to obey the law:
1Peter 2:12-17 Having your conversation [means your behavior] honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
Most Christians do pay their taxes and most are honest but there are a choice few professing christians who give great disservice to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Popular controversial creationist, Kent Hovind, "Dr. Dino", was recently convicted on 58 accounts of tax evasion. His wife was convicted of 44 accounts. What a shame!
According to the Pensecola News Journal: http://www.pensacolanewsjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article? AID=/20061103/NEWS01/611030338/1006
Kent Hovind, founder of Creation Science Evangelism and Dinosaur Adventure Land in Pensacola, was found guilty of 58 counts, including failure to pay $845,000 in employee-related taxes. He faces a maximum of 288 years in prison.
Jo Hovind was charged and convicted in 44 of the counts involving evading bank-reporting requirements. She faces up to 225 years in prison but was allowed to remain free pending the couple's sentencing on Jan. 9.
Kent Hovind briefly held onto her arm as the verdict was read. Neither reacted at first. But minutes later, she held her face in her hands.
"Nobody likes to pay taxes," Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Heldmyer said in her closing argument. "But we do because it's the law, and he is not above the law."
The jury also granted the prosecution's request for the Hovinds to forfeit $430,400. That amount equals the value of the checks signed and cashed by Jo Hovind in the 44 counts.
The same article also stated that Hovind's wife was purposely withdrawing certain amounts from their account, as not to be noticed by the IRS:
Any cash transaction at a bank more than $10,000 triggers a currency-transaction report forwarded to the IRS. She was found guilty of using several methods to take out just enough money to avoid triggering the report.
The Hovinds and their attorneys declined comment. Their supporters, who took up most of the six rows in Rodgers' courtroom, dwindled in number as the day went on.
According to another news article: http://www.pensacolanewsjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061102/NEWS01/611020330/1006
From 2000 to 2003, more than $1.1 million was taken from the Creation Science Evangelism accounts in the form of checks made out to "cash," most of which were signed by Jo Hovind.
Most of the checks were made out for $9,500. The Internal Revenue Service alleges that this was a way for the Hovinds to avoid a bank-filed currency transaction report, which is mandatory for cash transactions of $10,000 or more.
The banks filed the reports on days when Jo Hovind would make two trips to the bank -- one before and another after 2 p.m., which signals the end of the bank's business day. For example, on Dec. 20, 1999, she cashed a check from the Creation Science Evangelism account for $7,500 at 1:15 p.m. She returned at 2:50 p.m. to cash another check from the same account for $7,500.
On the day the IRS searched the Hovind home, Kent Hovind withdrew $70,000 from the Creation Science Evangelism account. Half in a check; the other in cash.
What bible are the Hovinds reading? Our KJV says to obey the law! The Lord Jesus taught us the basic principle of living in our world. His words astonished the Jewish leaders of His day and yet it is very simple for us to follow:
Matthew 22:17-22 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
Yet Mr. Hovind's defense was that his "work" was only for the Lord and therefore did not need to pay taxes to the IRS. Yet our Bible tells us to obey our government and the laws laid forth.
Much of what Dr. Hovind preached about dinosaurs is very interesting. There is quite a bit of truth in his assessment of dinosaurs living with man but unfortunately, the credibility of the messenger has been destroyed. He has been found to be a cheat and a liar in the eyes of the world. He is therefore considered an enemy of the Bible he preached from! Had he simply obeyed God's Holy Word and had paid his taxes, obeying the law, he could have continued preaching his message.
Prov 20:7 The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.
I haven't seen anyone comment much on this subject of Hovind. In fact, as of the writing of this article, his program is still being aired on the NRB Network. One would think that a convicted criminal would have been taken off the Christian network immediately, regardless of how "interesting" the show is. When a popular chef on the Food TV network was convicted of fraud regarding the operations in his restaurant, Food TV immediately pulled his show off their network. NRB should take responsibility and do the same with Hovind. But instead, his show has been airing for the past month of November, even though he was charged with fraud and he and his wife, Jo Hovind, were convicted in a court of law by a jury, on November 2, 2006. Meanwhile, folks week after week are still watching the show, visiting his website and buying merchandise from Hovind, not even knowing the truth concerning him and his wife and the charges that were brought against them.
After viewing his one show in October, about dinosaurs, we even placed links to his website from our Dinosaur article, not knowing the truth concerning Hovind's tax evasion. Had we known, we would have never linked to his website.
Christians must be honest and give unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God, the things that are God's.
Romans 13:1-8 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
Just from the above verses, we can see that the Lord wants us to live honestly and without blame in the sight of the world. Titus 1:7 says, "For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;" Notice he must be "blameless". Any preacher who avoids the law and tries to "work around it" should be punished and deserves the full penalty of the law. Hovind could serve a maximum of 288 years in prison. He has reaped what he has sown. He has lost his Christian witness.
Heb 13:18 Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.
Dear Christians and Preachers, PAY YOUR TAXES! Be honest in all things. Obey the Word of God! And you will have the credibility behind your message which you preach. Fear the Lord! Honour His Word! Do diligence to insure that your books are accurate and that you are "blameless" in the sight of the Lord and in the sight of the world. We must all have a CLEAN conscience.
There are many ministries who rake in millions a year and are not financially accountable to their supporters. Preachers are not required by law to give financial accountability to their supporters. Churches must report to the IRS how much they pay employees, but those records are not public. The charity's tax returns are public record but not the preacher's salary. Beware of preachers and ministry workers who will not disclose their salaries to the members of their congregation. Beware of ministries where the "board of trustees" are comprised of the relatives of the minister and where all meetings regarding finances are done in secret-- avoiding to provide meaningful financial transparency.
Beware of preachers who say, "I just love to talk about money; I just love to talk about your money. Let me be very clear. I want your money. I deserve it. This church deserves it." (Source: http://www.myfortress.org/RodParsley.html)
Check to see if the ministries you support are accountable. A few websites are listed here to help you:
Above all, beware of any person who tells you "not to pay" your taxes! Such people teach contrary to the Word of God! If you follow their lead, you are in disobediance to the Word of God! We must have integrity for we bear the name of Christ Jesus, as His ambassadors!
Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
Further Information about Kent Hovind from Brother David Cloud's website:
KENT HOVIND ARRESTED ON TAX EVASION CHARGES (Friday Church News Notes, July 21, 2006, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295- 4143) - Kent Hovind, who operates a Creation Science evangelism ministry based in Pensacola, Florida, was arrested on July 13 on 58 federal charges pertaining to tax evasion. Hovind says he doesn't understand what he is being charged with and who is charging him (Evangelist Arrested on Federal Charges,Ã“ Pensacola News-Journal, July 14), but the matter is not that complicated; he is being charged by the United States government for not obeying the tax laws. Twelve of the charges relate to Hovind's alleged failure to "deduct, collect, truthfully account for and pay over to the IRS federal income tax and FICA tax from the total taxable wages of CSE employees which were due and owing to the United States of America." I have encountered many other Christians who think they are above the tax laws and have clever ways of justifying themselves, and I have no doubt that some are sincere, but the bottom line is found in the following four Scriptures: Mark 12:14-17, where we are taught to "render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's"; Matthew 17:24-27, where Jesus and the apostle paid even the unjust tax; Romans 13:1-7, where we are taught to be subject unto the higher powers and to pay tribute; and 1 Peter 2:13, where we are taught to submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake. The only godly reason for disobeying the state's law is if it clearly contradicts God's Word (Acts 5:29), but God's Word nowhere instructs the Christian not to pay taxes or not to submit to the state's ordinances in these matters. In April of this year county authorities locked up a building at Dinosaur Adventure Land because Hovind's ministry did not obtain a building permit and would not allow official safety inspections. Hovind claims all of this is religious persecution because no one has authority over his ministry but God, but it is not persecution and he is giving Bible-believing Christians in general and fundamental Baptists in particular a bad name. "Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation" (1 Pet. 2:12). "For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing" (1 Pet. 3:17). "My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both" (Prov. 24:21-22). Hovind also believes he has the right to go anywhere he is invited regardless of what error he thus associates with and what stamp of approval upon error he thus gives by his example. Calvary Contender for September 15, 1994 reported the following: "Dr. Kent Hovind's 1993-4 "Creation Science Evangelism' itinerary shows him speaking on many fundamentalist platforms, but it also has him speaking at over a half-dozen Southern Baptist churches, new evangelical organizations, a charismatic church, a Vineyard Christian Fellowship church, a Christian Coalition group, and a United Methodist Church. Fundamentalists may want to investigate this further before rescheduling Dr. Hovind." Not surprisingly, Hovind has called the Calvary Contender a "gossip rag," but speaking the truth in love and warning about error is not gossip. Those who are the objects of godly reproof often confuse it with persecution.