The Phil Files

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The Lord’s Take?

with 6 comments

In my Heartlight.org article today, rather than give my opinion on the subject of paying taxes and handling money, I share some insights from Scripture. However, there are still some questions I’d love some input from others on:

Does doing taxes make you nervous or give you heartburn?

Are there things the government spends money on that make uncomfortable supporting through taxes?

Would you support through financial gifts a “widows” and “paupers” and “missionaries” fund in your church if it was fully tax deductible — i.e., it was removed from your gross income before taxes?

What’s your take on all this tax stuff or are you afraid to even post one?

Written by phil

April 14th, 2008 at 8:44 am

6 Responses to 'The Lord’s Take?'

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  1. Phil, elaborate a little more for me on your thoughts (?) on our churches meeting these needs through individual income withdrawals? I’m happy you’re inviting discussions about money in general, because we are seeing serious disconnect between what Believers “hear” from the pulpit on money and what’s being practiced. I have had some pretty intense discussions about money in the past year with friends, family, and convictions run the gamut on just “who” we consider the neediest among us (i.e. widows, single mothers, paupers, missionaries) and how woefully uninformed we really are to see needs right at our “own gate!”
    When our pastors take a passage to teach in the pulpit regarding money, giving, materialism, contentment…my question now is, “just WHO is he directing his teaching to??” The ones sitting before him already doing battle with living within their means and wanting to give generously; or to the ones who like what he’s saying, yet walk away pretty unaffected by Scripture’s teaching? The onus is largely on the less wealthy hearing these messages!
    Lin

    Lin

    14 Apr 08 at 9:24 am

  2. Lin,

    A couple of quick responses.

    1. Church meeting needs:
    I was confronted years ago by a man who talked about pre-social security what the church did with widows and the poor. They took a paupers collection in addition to their regular offering and deposited it in the bank and used it when needed to help those in their own church. I was just wanting us to do some thinking outside the box on ways we might be able to help. Our church has boxes all over our building that folks can drop pocket change into to help others in the church family in need — the amount of money we get and give through this is pretty amazing, although we’re a church of about 1600.

    2. In most churches, somewhere between 40-50% of family units give nothing. Very few tithe of those who do give. So when your preacher talks about this, he is talking to folks on the pew with you. Even though the use of money is one of the most talked about subjects in the Bible, Martin Luther was correct many years ago when he said, “Often the last part of a man to get baptized is his pocketbook.” That’s not an exact quote, but close!

    3. Finally, the amazing reality that IRS stats in the U.S. show is that the those middle income or lower give a greater percentage of their income to charity than those who are upper middle income and rich. This is despite the fact that the poorer get far fewer tax advantages because of itemization.

    phil

    14 Apr 08 at 10:06 am

  3. I love April 15th … it’s my birthday!

    Carolyn

    14 Apr 08 at 9:24 pm

  4. I don\’t fully understand tax laws or the many loop holes that are available. But I would like your input on why pastors are allowed tax exemptions other than the average citizen or congregant. Are leaders of other charities also tax exempt?

    Sue

    15 Apr 08 at 6:11 am

  5. Tax time gives me mental problems. I put it off as long as possible – obviously, I owe. :-) Here’s my take on tax time…
    http://ihavetobelieve.wordpress.com/2008/04/14/legalized-procrastination/

    laura

    15 Apr 08 at 2:00 pm

  6. Thank you Phil for this discussion. It pulls together our Lord\’s views and those of his followers on how we should view our material blessings (and we are all very blessed in America!) You have provided useful information to us for years and I just want to say \"Thank You\" Phil and Heartlight. May God continue to bless you and give you peace and joy.

    Marilyn

    16 Apr 08 at 9:10 am

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