Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing.
¶ Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour. (Romans 13:1-7)
I am not a big fan of our secular rulers. There are very few that I believe to be men (or women) of integrity or honesty. I believe the Republican Party sucks and I believe the Democratic Party sucks a tiny bit more. Still, as a Christian my ideas must submit to the teachings of Scripture, which is the word of God.
I know from Scripture that the secular government is established by God. He has instituted it for our good. Of course it is, like all things run by men, often corrupt, but that fact does not change the reality of what
When Paul wrote those words, Nero was dictator/emperor over the
He also tells us that we are to pay taxes to governments, even corrupt tyrannical governments like
Christ deals with paying taxes twice in St. Matthew’s Gospel. First, in chapter 17 (21-24) and next in Matthew 22 we read ‘”Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, "Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? "Show Me the tax money." So they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, "Whose image and inscription is this?" They said to Him, "Caesar's." And He said to them, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."’ (17-21)
I believe the taxes I am made to pay to the
Jesus and I have different views on how wrongful taxes should be dealt with. My on view is wrong because it is at odds with what Christ, who is God, has said. Therefore, I have to bring my views into line with his views.
I can, and should work for a better, more just civil government, but in the mean time I must do as the Scriptures say. I need to pay my taxes and show honour to those in authority over me. If