Rendering to Caesar on Election Day


Jesus said that some things that are mine belong to Caesar, but that all things that are mine belong to God (Mt. 22:21). On Election Day, Nov. 4, 2014, I render to the State of Illinois and to Washington D.C. what I owe them – says them. Every three weeks I write these two checks to pay all of my taxes, no more and no less than what I owe. As a pastor (who is self-employed and employed at the same time), I do what all self-employed people do – pay all taxes out of personal income. I wonder what the vote would look like today if every single American tax-payer had to pay all their taxes directly out of their checking account? Here is a partial list of where our tax dollars went in 2013:

$107,000 to study the sex life of the Japanese quail.
$1.2 million to study the breeding habits of the woodchuck.
$150,000 to study the Hatfield-McCoy feud.
$84,000 to find out why people fall in love.
$1 million to study why people don’t ride bikes to work.
$19 million to examine gas emissions from cow flatulence.
$144,000 to see if pigeons follow human economic laws.
$219,000 to teach college students how to watch television.
$2 million to construct an ancient Hawaiian canoe.
$20 million for a demonstration project to build wooden bridges.
$160,000 to study if you can hex an opponent by drawing an X on his chest.
$800,000 for a restroom on Mt. McKinley.
$100,000 to study how to avoid falling spacecraft.
$16,000 to study the operation of the komungo, a Korean stringed instrument.
$1 million to preserve a sewer in Trenton, NJ, as a historic monument.
$6,000 for a document on Worcestershire sauce.
$10,000 to study the effect of naval communications on a bull’s potency.
$100,000 to research soybean-based ink.
$1 million for a Seafood Consumer Center.
$57,000 spent by the Executive Branch for gold-embossed playing cards on Air Force Two.

And yet Jesus said to pay what I owe. Jesus knows that governments are corrupt – he’s not blind; he knows that Caesar would be foolish and that he would commit terrible atrocities with my money – like murdering babies in the womb. However, giving Caesar some slack, we are thankful for police protection, fireman, infrastructure, research, education, aid to the poor, the abused, the homeless, the sick and feeble among us – and many other good things. But we do not live in a perfect and just society – not yet. One day, all lovers of Christ will live under a perfect King, for the meek will inherit the earth (Mt. 5:5). Therefore, paying taxes and voting is my obedience and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ that he will see to it that in the end my labor is not in vain (1 Cor. 15:58).

Otherwise, voting and paying taxes would drive me crazy. I need a pizza!


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