This past week at the National Prayer Breakfast the President called on Scripture as impetus to promote increased taxes and expanded Socialism. I am typically thick skinned when it comes to political dogma but my ire is raised when politicians invoke their “Christianity” to promote theft. So first let’s examine the President’s quote and then the portion of Scripture he invoked.
President Obama said, “And I think to myself, if I’m willing to give something up as somebody who’s been extraordinarily blessed, and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that’s going to make economic sense. But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’ teaching that ‘for unto whom much is given, much shall be required,'”
First, the last time I checked taxes are not exacted of us based on our perceived or actual willingness to pay them. If you disagree, try going for any extended amount of time without paying them and you will be contacted by the IRS for your lack of said willingness. According to the President you are inherently less selfish or more generous because you are “willing” to pay what he defines as your “fair share”.
What is a “fair share” of your income according to God? The President neglected to mention this. Read 1 Samuel 8:1-15. This is the passage dealing with the “what ifs” of Israel moving from a representative form of government, (the judges) to an autocratic kingship so they could be like everyone else. By the way, when God gave Israel what they clamored for they lost their distinctiveness as a nation and ceased to be God’s “peculiar” people in the eyes of the world. So what did God tell them would happen if they rejected Him? They would return to bondage! Here is what God says bondage looks like. 1 Sam 8:15 “And he (the king) will take the TENTH (asar – tithe) of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. Vs 17, He will take a TENTH of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants (ebed – slave). Vs 18, and ye shall cry out (call for help) in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.”
There is a reason the Lord calls this bondage or slavery. The king demands more of us than God asks! The king is attempting to usurp the authority of God. Notice the word “tenth” is the word we use for “tithe”. If God asks us to give a tithe to Him with a “willing heart” (Ex 35:5) what does this say about the king or politician (ruler that thinks he is king) that demands of us far beyond ten percent? Some of you are saying but “what about giving to Caesar what is his”? God makes it clear what belongs to us as compared to what Caesar had right to require of us in 1 Sam 8. I am not advocating delinquency in paying taxes; I am advocating we hold our government accountable to the Romans 13 form of government which our founders supported. Rendering to their dues is based upon the God ordained role of government which was limited to bearing the sword in the defense of those that do good. The government is also intended to be the minister of God to execute wrath on those that do evil. In other words, Biblically, government is intended for the common defense of those that do that which is good. All enjoying its protection should render taxes accordingly.
I know, I am simple and advocate a simplistic form of government. Why? Because the Scripture teaches that in matters of the Family, the Father is to rule (stand before) the home and answers to God. In matters of the church, God rules his people through an ordained eldership (1 Tim 3:1) who answer to God. This leaves precious little for the government to involve itself with. Most of the nearly 16 Trillion in debt that we have acquired is based on the government interfering in areas of authority that were not given or ordained to it by God (See Healthcare – mandating payment for abortifacients, Socialized Education – indoctrinating your kids, College Subsidies – continued indoctrination of your kids, Housing Subsidies – Fannie and Freddie, food subsidies, welfare, unemployment insurance, care of the elderly via Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and I could go on and on).
If the family and church were fulfilling their respective, God-ordained responsibilities the above expenditures and the slavish taxation that accompanies them would not even exist.
The President is not advocating people in the spheres of the Family and Church be more generous in those spheres, he is calling for more taxation so he can continue to expand the role of government into the WRONG spheres of authority.
But what about “to whom much is given much is required”? This passage is found in Luke 12:48. The context of the passage is dealing with (ironically) the leaven of the Pharisees hypocrisy and their impending judgment (Vs 1-5), the judgment of the one that laid up treasures for himself and was not rich toward God (Vs 20-21), being ready when the Son of man returns (Vs 39-40) and lastly blessing or cursing of the servant that abused his “God ordained” authority (Vs 41-48).
This passage has nothing to do with paying taxes but it does have much to say about judgment on the servant of God that “beat the menservants and the maidens”. One could easily interpret this as the servant of God abusing his subjects or in today economy, treating them like slaves. I believe the President, albeit unwittingly, chose an appropriate passage to describe his “poor stewardship” of the role that God has put him in. He speaks of willingness to do “our fair share” but says this with the power of the sword.
Lastly, the President referred to himself as a Christian. By any definition, a Christian is one who has been given much by God. The President has a great responsibility being our leader. How much greater is His responsibility before God in claiming to carry out the role of President as a Christian? I do not pretend to judge the President’s heart but the fruit of his labor is on display for the entire world to see (Matthew 7:16-17). The irony is that God will judge the President by His very own words. Much indeed will be required of Him. We need to pray for mercy for both the President and our nation as we have truly gotten what we have asked for.