Should a Christian pay taxes if he disagrees with how the government will use the money? In 1983, a pastor in Indianapolis, Indiana, led his congregation to reject their not-for-profit corporate status and tax-deductible gifts to begin “operating under God rather than government.” A terrible price was paid by the congregation for that decision when the church facilities and 22 acres of land were seized after a 93-day siege and raid by 100 federal marshals on February 13, 2001. The land was later sold to the Christel House Foundation of Indianapolis. They bulldozed the church facilities and established a charter school in the same school buildings where as many as 700 had enrolled.

The pastor of this church thought he was operating under God by refusing to follow his government. That’s not what the Bible teaches. It says true obedience to God involves submitting to government as long as it does not cause us to disobey Him. God created government, which means even if we disagree with our government’s policies, we are to pay our taxes. Jesus and His disciples paid taxes, as did the Christians in the Early Church. If they could submit to the authority of the corrupt governments in their day, then we can follow our government today. God always blesses obedience.

You might be thinking, My tax dollars are going to support abortion and government overspending. Why should I pay? Do it because the Bible commands you to obey. Do it because you want to be blessed of God. Do it because it’s right.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder