The Golden Isles church of Christ

Weekly Bulletin

Volume 3, Number 11

March 16, 2003

Paying Taxes

by Mark J. Ward

One might find that it is interesting that God's Word actually requires us to pay our taxes. This would apply regardless of the country in which we might live. It would also apply with regard tostate, city, county, school and sales taxes, wherever and whenever applicable. Please read on.

In Romans 13, we find Paul, by inspiration, teaching us that we are to obey the civilgovernment's rule, including the payment of taxes. Please notice the King James Version of thischapter.

1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

In verses 6 and 7, the New King James reads, "For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor."

How many jokes have you heard about people cheating the IRS on their income taxes? Given the verses above, is it proper for a Christian to cheat on his/her income tax? What about trying to bring things into the country without paying proper "customs" tax? What about avoiding school or city taxes where they are required? Certainly we can see that we are to pay ALL taxes to whom taxes are due. The Christian is to provide things honest in the sight of all men. As deadlines (like April 15th) draw near, let's all do our part to properly pay our taxes. Thanks for reading. - mjw


by Nick Law

God reveals to man the dangers that our tongues can bring upon us. Through the writings of James, He warns us that our tongues can bring us into a state of condemnation and a sentence of punishment. Even though the tongue is a small member of our body is a powerful tool and must be used correctly to avoid condemnation and punishment of and eternal destiny of hell fire!

First let us go to a standard dictionary to get a definition of gossip. It means 1) a person that habitually reveals personal or sensational facts. 2) Rumor or report of an intimate nature 3) Idle, often malicious talk , especially about others.

If we go to check out counters at Wal-mart or the grocery store many time we see the "Tabloid" covers that appeal to the interest of those that want to hear reports of an intimate nature of the lives of others. This is the work of Satan and his children, satisfying the appetites of those that like to hear and reveal personal or sensational facts about others. Many times we can see how even those in Hollywood detest the people that write about them to make money. Often you will hear of lawsuits being brought against the "Tabloids" for slander. Slander is condemned by the Bible; whether they be false charges, or they be the truth circulated with an hostile purpose to destroy another. The children of Satan are those who are given to fault-finding with the demeanour and conduct of others, and spreading their innuendos and criticisms.

In the King James Version of the Bible the word TALEBEARER is used and the New International Version uses the word GOSSIP. (NIV) Proverbs 11:13 "A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret." (KJV) Ver. 13. "A talebearer revealeth secrets, ..." The Arabic version adds, in the congregation, openly and publicly; that goes about with tales from place to place, who is like a walking merchant or peddler, as the word signifies; who takes up his wares at one place, and exposes them to sale, and vends them at another; so a talebearer, he goes from house to house, and picks up tales at one place and carries them to another and tells them; and as by his going about he gets into the secrets of persons and families, or is intrusted with them, his character not being known, he reveals them to others, and so breaks the trust committed to him. The Targum and Syriac version render it "an accuser"; and the same name is given to the devil in the New Testament, and indeed such a man is no better; but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter; that is "faithful" to his friend, that trusts him with his secrets, of which there are but few; he "conceals the matter" he is entrusted with: "the things", as the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament); the secrets which are imparted to him; or "the word" that he has heard, and has been spoken to him in privacy, and in strict friendship: or he "covers the matter" or thing; he hides the infirmities of his friend and neighbour, and does not expose them as the talebearer does; see 1 Peter 4:8 "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins."

Other scriptures from the (NIV): Proverbs 16:28 "A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends."

Proverbs 18:8 "The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts." Proverbs 20:19 "A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much." Proverbs 26:20 "Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down." Proverbs 26:22 "The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts." 2 Cor. 12:20 "For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder."

Paul speaking of widows and instructs the younger ones to remarry to carry out a role that is positive in their lives and to avoid the pitfalls of sin. He teaches Timothy (KJV) 1 Timothy 5:13 "And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not." The word TATTLERS in this text is from a word (phluaros) which means 1) of persons utering or doing silly things, garrulous, babbling; 2) of things, foolish, trifling, vain. Many would attribute this problem to those that are women, yet John charges Diotrephes, 3 John verse 10 , "Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church." When we look up the word PRATING (phuluareo) it means to utter nonsense, talk idly, to bring forward idle accusations, make empty charges, to accuse one falsely with malicious words.

Preachers, elders, deacons and all Christians should avoid, as well as detest, this sinful action of gossip or talebearing. Lev. 19:16 "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD." If we discuss a person's sins with others, is it for the purpose of going to the person with the sin to get them corrected and to help restore there soul to a right relationship with God? Or, is it for the purpose of destroying them in the eyes of another?

Remember, we will give an account of everything that we do or say, whether it be good or bad! God is keeping a record and knows our heart!!

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