Due to the Supreme Court decision to uphold Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare), I thought I would post some scriptures that talk about what our response should be to the ruling and the upcoming “healthcare tax”.
The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor. So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Luke 20:19-25 ESV)
Jesus never once rallied us to fight against our government leaders regarding matters of taxation or payment. Let that settle in: during a time where tax collectors were thieves and could demand you to pay anything out of their greed, Jesus still says to obey the system. In my own opinion, if Caesar started a “walking tax”, Jesus would have commanded His followers to pay it, if no other reason then to obey other scriptures in the Bible.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (Romans 13:1-7 ESV)
Paul not only says to pay our taxes but also tells us that God puts everyone in office. Everyone. When we speak against governmental leaders, we speak against the people God put in office. Again let’s think about this. Paul tells them not to rebel or resist governmental leaders, the same leaders who would seek them out to kill them several years later. There is nothing a government can do that allows us to rebel or resist them except for the forcible command to worship someone else. Yet even in those cases, we aren’t allow to get violent, but to meekly worship God like Daniel did in Babylon.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4 ESV)
The Bible doesn’t say to pray for good taxation rights or for a good economy plan. It says to pray that we might live in peace and live in peace in a dignified way. Contentious activism isn’t what the Bible calls us to. It calls us to peaceful and dignified prayer.