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4.15.2005    |    Pay them willingly?
Taxes, that is. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Romans 13 was likely a redaction, inserted to please the Roman authorities and get the heat off of the nascent Church. Here in the secular world, we pay taxes willingly in the United States, for the most part because we fear the repercussions if we do not.

All that being said, I also claim that Romans 13 is every bit as much part of the inerrent word of God as the rest of the Book. Redaction or not, and in it we have God, through His scribe, instructing us in the matter of the authorities and their tax levies:
Romans 13: 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
One can only hope that our authorities are worthy of honor. When they are not, as is often the case, it's also our Christian duty to replace them. The good news, pun intended, is that here in America we can do that without the sword.

Bottom line (couldn't resist): pay your taxes, and understand that your true reward comes not in the here and now, but with God's judgment in the end.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.