People are fond of telling others what to do with their money, but rarely want or appreciate the financial mandates of others. To the world money is power, perhaps the ultimate power. The authority of civil government to tax is legitimate, as Christ and Scripture declare. But private citizens lobbying and stating how the tax code should be adjusted has become a new pastime in American politics. It is simply a ploy to get power over another and use a very powerful force upon one’s enemies.
Liberal judges have tried to directly attack churches in recently years by making the claim and legal opinion that churches should not be exempt from normal taxation. They claim this is unconstitutional, which, thankfully, has not had a lot of support. But is has become much more of an issue.
Inherent is such ideas is the thought that government is not a mere servant, but a god-like entity, that has all power and control. So to change government to one’s own position is to have all the power. See the article in this issue which refers to an Oct. 11, 2019 “CNN candidate forum on gay rights, CNN’s Don Lemon asked Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke: ‘religious institutions like colleges, churches, charities. Should they lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage?’ O’Rourke answered ‘Yes,’ going on to say ‘There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone … that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us.’ ”
Christians who stand with Christ should expect persecution. But we can make the argument that government is not god, and should not interfere with how America has traditionally thought about and treated churches. A Christian can make a valid and legal and rational argument without referring to Scripture. If tax exemption should end in the future, it will not stop the Gospel, but will be a direct attack on many churches. This is one of the more vicious signs of how churches, especially Christian ones, are viewed currently.