What The Bible Says About Taxes! #freelance #musician #tax #money

Hey everybody lets talk about money!

So I was reading 2 Corinthians 8, the part where Paul was talking about giving and how he said give in proportion to what you have: 2 Corinthians 8:10-15 NLT

 “[10] Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it. [11] Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have. [12] Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. [13] Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. [14] Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal. [15] As the Scriptures say, “Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough.””

Paul was talking about giving to the Christians in Jerusalem who were poor and being persecuted. He was being so reasonable, by saying in v 13-14 that they have a lot right now and others have very little, so they can afford to give more. However, they shouldn’t give more than they can afford. Makes sense right? So this got me thinking about taxes. I feel like this verse justifies people with more money having to pay more tax and people with less money having to pay less tax, that is what you call a progressive tax system, which is essentially what the government wants you to think that we have.

In actual fact, in the UK, the more you earn the more tax “loopholes” you are able to take advantage of. I think I speak for everyone when I say that the system is quite disgusting.

What does the Bible say about taxes?

In early times there was at one point a minimum age to qualify for tax and also only men paid the tax
(I’m not saying I want to return to only men paying taxes because that would mean that only men are working, even if women were working it wouldn’t be fair to make only men pay tax) Exodus 30:11-16 [NLT]:

“[11] Then the LORD said to Moses, [12] “Whenever you take a census of the people of Israel, each man who is counted must pay a ransom for himself to the LORD. Then no plague will strike the people as you count them. [13] Each person who is counted must give a small piece of silver as a sacred offering to the LORD. (This payment is half a shekel, based on the sanctuary shekel, which equals twenty gerahs.) [14] All who have reached their twentieth birthday must give this sacred offering to the LORD. [15] When this offering is given to the LORD to purify your lives, making you right with him, the rich must not give more than the specified amount, and the poor must not give less. [16] Receive this ransom money from the Israelites, and use it for the care of the Tabernacle. It will bring the Israelites to the LORD’s attention, and it will purify your lives.””

You paid taxes in proportion to your wealth 2 Kings 23:35 [[NLT]

“[35] In order to get the silver and gold demanded as tribute by Pharaoh Neco, Jehoiakim collected a tax from the people of Judah, requiring them to pay in proportion to their wealth.”

Taxes were used to restore and maintain the temple, In modern days we would call this reinvesting public money into public services 2 Chronicles 24:6-14 [NLT]:

“[6] So the king called for Jehoiada the high priest and asked him, “Why haven’t you demanded that the Levites go out and collect the Temple taxes from the towns of Judah and from Jerusalem? Moses, the servant of the LORD, levied this tax on the community of Israel in order to maintain the Tabernacle of the Covenant.” [7] Over the years the followers of wicked Athaliah had broken into the Temple of God, and they had used all the dedicated things from the Temple of the LORD to worship the images of Baal. [8] So now the king ordered a chest to be made and set outside the gate leading to the Temple of the LORD. [9] Then a proclamation was sent throughout Judah and Jerusalem, telling the people to bring to the LORD the tax that Moses, the servant of God, had required of the Israelites in the wilderness. [10] This pleased all the leaders and the people, and they gladly brought their money and filled the chest with it. [11] Whenever the chest became full, the Levites would carry it to the king’s officials. Then the court secretary and an officer of the high priest would come and empty the chest and take it back to the Temple again. This went on day after day, and a large amount of money was collected. [12] The king and Jehoiada gave the money to the construction supervisors, who hired masons and carpenters to restore the Temple of the LORD. They also hired metalworkers, who made articles of iron and bronze for the LORD’s Temple. [13] The men in charge of the renovation worked hard and made steady progress. They restored the Temple of God according to its original design and strengthened it. [14] When all the repairs were finished, they brought the remaining money to the king and Jehoiada. It was used to make various articles for the Temple of the LORD–articles for worship services and for burnt offerings, including ladles and other articles made of gold and silver. And the burnt offerings were sacrificed continually in the Temple of the LORD during the lifetime of Jehoiada the priest.”

The taxes provided for the things needed for public service, public celebrations and “…everything necessary for the work of the Temple of our God” Nehemiah 10:32-33 [NLT]

“[32] “In addition, we promise to obey the command to pay the annual Temple tax of one-eighth of an ounce of silver for the care of the Temple of our God. [33] This will provide for the Bread of the Presence; for the regular grain offerings and burnt offerings; for the offerings on the Sabbaths, the new moon celebrations, and the annual festivals; for the holy offerings; and for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel. It will provide for everything necessary for the work of the Temple of our God.”

Later, taxes were given according to a standardised measure, to a designated person, who was then obliged to do acts of public service Ezekiel 45:10-17 [NLT]

N.B. the princes were corrupt, they were given land/tribute to stop them stealing from & murdering the people

“[10] Use only honest weights and scales and honest measures, both dry and liquid. [11] The homer will be your standard unit for measuring volume. The ephah and the bath will each measure one-tenth of a homer. [12] The standard unit for weight will be the silver shekel. One shekel will consist of twenty gerahs, and sixty shekels will be equal to one mina. [13] “You must give this tax to the prince: one bushel of wheat or barley for every 60 you harvest, [14] one percent of your olive oil, [15] and one sheep or goat for every 200 in your flocks in Israel. These will be the grain offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings that will make atonement for the people who bring them, says the Sovereign LORD. [16] All the people of Israel must join in bringing these offerings to the prince. [17] The prince will be required to provide offerings that are given at the religious festivals, the new moon celebrations, the Sabbath days, and all other similar occasions. He will provide the sin offerings, burnt offerings, grain offerings, liquid offerings, and peace offerings to purify the people of Israel, making them right with the LORD.”

Taxes were sometimes a consequence of rejecting God 1 Samuel 8:5-22 [NLT]:

“[5] “Look,” they told him, “you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have.” [6] Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the LORD for guidance. [7] “Do everything they say to you,” the LORD replied, “for it is me they are rejecting, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer. [8] Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment. [9] Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about the way a king will reign over them.” [10] So Samuel passed on the LORD’s warning to the people who were asking him for a king. [11] “This is how a king will reign over you,” Samuel said. “The king will draft your sons and assign them to his chariots and his charioteers, making them run before his chariots. [12] Some will be generals and captains in his army, some will be forced to plow in his fields and harvest his crops, and some will make his weapons and chariot equipment. [13] The king will take your daughters from you and force them to cook and bake and make perfumes for him. [14] He will take away the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his own officials. [15] He will take a tenth of your grain and your grape harvest and distribute it among his officers and attendants. [16] He will take your male and female slaves and demand the finest of your cattle and donkeys for his own use. [17] He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and you will be his slaves. [18] When that day comes, you will beg for relief from this king you are demanding, but then the LORD will not help you.” [19] But the people refused to listen to Samuel’s warning. “Even so, we still want a king,” they said. [20] “We want to be like the nations around us. Our king will judge us and lead us into battle.” [21] So Samuel repeated to the LORD what the people had said, [22] and the LORD replied, “Do as they say, and give them a king.” Then Samuel agreed and sent the people home.”

Officials used taxes to line their own pockets (nothing has changed) Daniel 11:20 [NLT]

“[20] “His successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor. But after a very brief reign, he will die, though not from anger or in battle.””

Jesus hanged out with tax collectors! Matthew 9:9-13 [NLT]

“[9] As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. [10] Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. [11] But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” [12] When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do.” [13] Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.””

We don’t have a “Temple Tax” now as churches are funded by donations and peoples tithes, which is a tenth of your income. Matthew 17:24-27 [NLT]

“[24] On their arrival in Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax came to Peter and asked him, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the Temple tax?” [25] “Yes, he does,” Peter replied. Then he went into the house. But before he had a chance to speak, Jesus asked him, “What do you think, Peter? Do kings tax their own people or the people they have conquered?” [26] “They tax the people they have conquered,” Peter replied. “Well, then,” Jesus said, “the citizens are free! [27] However, we don’t want to offend them, so go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin. Take it and pay the tax for both of us.””

Jesus said we have to pay our taxes Matthew 22:15-22 [NLT]

“[15] Then the Pharisees met together to plot how to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. [16] They sent some of their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to meet with him. “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You teach the way of God truthfully. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. [17] Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” [18] But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” he said. “Why are you trying to trap me? [19] Here, show me the coin used for the tax.” When they handed him a Roman coin, [20] he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” [21] “Caesar’s,” they replied. “Well, then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” [22] His reply amazed them, and they went away.”

Tax collectors were always seen as corrupt in the bible, apparently they routinely overcharged people to line their own pockets… where have I heard that before? Luke 3:12-13 [NLT]

“[12] Even corrupt tax collectors came to be baptized and asked, “Teacher, what should we do?” [13] He replied, “Collect no more taxes than the government requires.””

Hear that? no more taxes than the government requires!! Stop burdening the people with extra or too much taxes to line your own pockets!!!

Luke 7:29 [NLT]

“[29] When they heard this, all the people–even the tax collectors–agreed that God’s way was right, for they had been baptized by John.”

Luke 15:1 [NLT]

“[1] Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach.”

However, some of them repented Luke 19:1-10 [NLT]

“[1] Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. [2] There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. [3] He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. [4] So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. [5] When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” [6] Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. [7] But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled. [8] Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” [9] Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. [10] For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.””

Let’s not feel too self righteous Luke 18:9-14 [NLT]

“[9] Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: [10] “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. [11] The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! [12] I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ [13] “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ [14] I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.””

Wow well that was a whistle stop tour of what the bible says about taxes, this is in no way an exhaustive list, there are more verses but the above examples cover the general consensus in the bible. I’m going to leave you with a few wise sayings from Ecclesiastes, the Teacher  who is assumed to be King Solomon, says basically just don’t worry about things, enjoy your work, eat, drink and be merry! (N.B. For those freelancers like me, Self Assessment Tax is due January 2018, make sure your books are up to date!) Ecclesiastes 5:7-20 [NLT]

“[7] Talk is cheap, like daydreams and other useless activities. Fear God instead. [8] Don’t be surprised if you see a poor person being oppressed by the powerful and if justice is being miscarried throughout the land. For every official is under orders from higher up, and matters of justice get lost in red tape and bureaucracy. [9] Even the king milks the land for his own profit! [10] Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! [11] The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what good is wealth–except perhaps to watch it slip through your fingers! [12] People who work hard sleep well, whether they eat little or much. But the rich seldom get a good night’s sleep. [13] There is another serious problem I have seen under the sun. Hoarding riches harms the saver. [14] Money is put into risky investments that turn sour, and everything is lost. In the end, there is nothing left to pass on to one’s children. [15] We all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day we were born. We can’t take our riches with us. [16] And this, too, is a very serious problem. People leave this world no better off than when they came. All their hard work is for nothing–like working for the wind. [17] Throughout their lives, they live under a cloud–frustrated, discouraged, and angry. [18] Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. [19] And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life–this is indeed a gift from God. [20] God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.”

Love,

Catherine Waithe-Arnold
BA (Hons), MMus, PhD Candidate
CEO Ride The Fader Productions
www.ridethefaderproductions.com

View Catherine Waithe-Arnold's profile on LinkedIn

Catherine Waithe-Arnold

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s