I know someone who believes it is scriptural not to pay taxes, is this right?
Thanks so much,
Salem, Oregon, USA
Greetings from the Philippines, Lola,
Thanks for the question. For the answer, let’s consult God’s Bible. First, let’s see how our LORDChrist reacted to this subject of paying taxes. Did Christ pay tax during His time, or not? The following scriptures are from the HOLMAN CHRISTIAN STANDARD BIBLE (HCSB) translation.
"When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the double-drachma tax approached Peter and said, "Doesn't your Teacher pay the double-drachma tax?" (Mat 17:24)
""Yes," he said. When he went into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, "What do you think, Simon? Who do earthly kings collect tariffs or taxes from? From their sons or from strangers?" (Mat 17:25)
"From strangers," he said. "Then the sons are free," Jesus told him. (Mat 17:26)
"But, so we won't offend them, go to the sea, cast in a fishhook, and catch the first fish that comes up. When you open its mouth you'll find a coin. Take it (the coin) and give it to them for Me and you." (Mat 17:27)
So, the above discussion between Christ and Peter shows that strictly speaking, God’s people are not really obligated to pay taxes because “the sons are free,” according to Christ (Mat 17:26).
But in the very next verse (Mat 17:27), Christ also said, “But, so we won't offend them,” so let’s pay taxes. Christ further said, “Take it (the money for tax payment) and give it to them for Me and you." So, the previous verses shew that Jesus Christ and His disciples paid taxes to the civil government.
In another instance, Christ was faced with this same issue of paying taxes or not. The religious leaders of Christ's day used this very issue of paying taxes to trap Him, and to find fault in Him to accuse Him. But they were silenced by Christ by His Kabbalistic wisdom.
"Tell us, therefore, what You think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" (Mat 22:17)