501C3 · Church · Tax Exempt

Taxes & Churches – Avoid Offence – 2

taxes-150x150Where did the right for churches to avoid paying taxes come from? I mean, did this right to avoid paying taxes come out of Bible teaching?

Is this “right” that churches exercise grounded in the Bible?

Consider the first topic of discussion.

1. Christians are to avoid offence

Consider the following passage.

Romans 13:7

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.


In Romans 13:7 Paul told believers to pay their taxes, and since churches were in private homes, it seems obvious that if there was a property tax in those days, Paul was telling them to pay it.  If the ruling city officials request assistance from the general population to improve the living conditions of the community, does it not seem to be a sacrifice that would be well pleasing, in order to be a blessing on the community?

Fighting this proposal in the public arena was a no win situation for the church in my opinion.  The early church spoke to God about seeming injustices (see Acts 4:23, 12:5, etc.) and not to the general population.  (I guess the early church didn’t understand the power of public relations to turn the heart of a king/mayor!)

What think ye?  Is there something I am missing? 

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5 thoughts on “Taxes & Churches – Avoid Offence – 2

  1. Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Austria and Iceland collect taxes and pay state recognized churches. Each country has widely different rules. Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu and even secular organizations benefit in at least one of the above countries.


  2. Italy, Lateran Treaty.
    I think it is a benefit of the separation doctrine that makes for the modern exemption in USA.
    I’m not expert on this topic, well, most any topic either.


  3. The Roman Emperors taxed the Church even as so far as to impose a fee whenever a Pope was elected (if we want to go back far enough).

    It is fair to say that depending on how the Emperor felt about the Church it either was impoverished or enriched by the Emperor.


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