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Should Churches Be Taxed

Should churches be taxed?

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 ---Rodj on 7/19/09
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Strongaxe--Sure, I've run into some Christians that make me almost not want to admit I am one.
---Donna66 on 8/9/09


mima:

While it is true that it is impossible for someone to be "more than lost", there are many who might be genuinely interested in hearing the gospel, but are driven away by hypocrisy and other evils coming directly from within the Church itself.

This was the case with the Pharisees 2000 years ago, and Paul said:
Romans 2:24
"For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written."

Do you want to risk standing before God and justify why some other person is in hell because you were a stumbling block to them? I certainly do not!
---StrongAxe on 8/7/09


On examining this statement," it's much more likely to drive them away (Romans 2, esp. v.24)."
---StrongAxe on 8/6/09

May I suggest that it is impossible for someone to be MORE lost than lost!!!!
---mima on 8/7/09


Donna66:

I certainly don't believe all Christians are cheap. I know a lot of very generous people. It's just that some ARE cheap (and use their faith to justify it), and just a few can project bad images for all of us.

Many years ago, I saw one episode of Sally Jesse Raphael, I can't remember the topic, but there were several guests - two were an evangelical pastor and her husband. When her turn came to speak, she spewed out venom, screaming "you're all going to hell!" and such. I was so embarrassed, and almost ashamed to be called a Christian and thus associated with this woman. There is no way that such a display would in any way bring people to Christ - it's much more likely to drive them away (Romans 2, esp. v.24).
---StrongAxe on 8/6/09


When I questioned whether Christians are generous, I was speaking in general terms. Being generous is an attitude. People are generally givers or takers. Christians should be givers.
---Rod on 8/6/09




Rod:

When I've been able, I've tried to be generous. God has been abundently generous with us - so we should be generous with others.

For those who think this is wasteful, think of it as being part of the advertising budget for the Kingdom - by showing ourselves to be cheap miserly penny-pinchers, we can often do much more damage to the kingdom than a dozen preachers involved in scandals.

It is a terrible indictment if, by our own lifestyles, we make people say "If that's what being a Christian is like, I want no part of it!"

Remember Luke 16:9
"And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations."
---StrongAxe on 8/5/09


Strongaxe-- I was just admiring the simple and clear logic of your answer to Darlene about the paying tenent and the "guest". That was brilliant.

But I read further and saw that you bought the old stereotype that all Christians are
"cheap". I was disappointed. Surely you know that there are many Christians who are quite generous!
---Donna66 on 8/5/09


Well said, BruceB.
Concerning tips, I've often thought that a preacher ought to suggest that the next time a believer goes out to eat, they ought to leave a very large tip, one that a person will not forget. Maybe give the money one would have given the "church." What a message! Christians ARE generous. Or are they?
---Rod on 8/5/09


StrongAxe,

Amen, Brother! I couldn't agree more.

I wouldn't be surprised, as well, to see them first in line for some clunker-cash. Gotta wonder, though, how they think those vouchers are gettin' covered... without some increase in "Caesar renderings"?
---BruceB on 8/4/09


larry:

Thanks!


BruceB:

Yes. Unfortunately, many Christians thin every penny not spent directly on ministries is wasted, despite the fact that their school buses run on roads paid with taxes.

I have heard of Christians who eat at restaurants but leave no tip, calling it bad stewardship. To this, I would note two things:
1) If you REALLY want to save money, spend $2 on sandwiches, not $20 on a restaurant, and
2) Tipping is CUSTOMARY. Servers RELY on tips. They are paid below minimum wage because the government expects them to recieve tips. Christians who don't tip deprive such workers of income, show they're cheap ingrates, and bring the whole body of Christ into public ridicule.
---StrongAxe on 8/4/09




Strongaxe you're right but it's several different arms of the Government. Taxes to the Federal Government and Sales Taxes to the State Government. Of course there's what used to be called sin tax,Federal Government putting tax on cigarettes and liquor. A long time ago there was a Luxury Tax put on things like luggage and things pertaining to recreation. Then there is the City Taxes,and County Taxes on Property,Personal Property,Road Taxes,and for us College Taxes. Oh lets not forget the heavy Gasoline Tax. Wow no wonder people run out of money,the Governments wind up with a bigger cut than they deseve. Then Obama is wamting to slam a new Tax on higher earning people to pay for others Medical Insurances,including the 12 million Illegal Aliens.
---Darlene_1 on 8/4/09


I say go ahead and tax the Church. A number of her pastors have failed to speak out against societal sins (Abortion and gay "marriage") on account of the fear of losing the beloved tax-exempt status. Selling their souls for the sake of saving pennies. It's not worth it, Church!
---Gordon on 8/4/09


StrongAxe, those words should be on a plaque somewhere.
As I have said before there are plenty of tongue-talking foot stomping christians who voted for Obama, and there are others who recoil at the suggestion.
When Jimmy Carter was elected after being a Sunday School teacher and declaring his Christianity many evangelicals rejected him proving that most of the vitriol is really about politics and has nothing to do with Jesus.
Be friends of all who are friends of Christ.
---larry on 8/4/09


Why not pay taxes?

Mt 22:17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.
20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
21 They say unto him, Caesars. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesars, and unto God the things that are Gods.


(That way, they can also be involved in politics, etc... without government imposed 501(c)(3) restrictions. But... I suppose, that tax exemption is much more desirable than politics.)
---BruceB on 8/4/09


Darlene_1:

The government ALREADY double-dips in most cases. You pay income tax on the money as you earn it, and sales tax as you spend it.

Non-profits can avoid this by filing as 501(c). This lets them get out of paying taxes, but this benefit comes with a few strings - one is that the organization is not permitted to influence government.

(If you have a paying tenant living with you, he has the right to complain if things aren't working properly. But if out of the kindness of your heart, you let a stranger sleep in your house for free, he has no right to complain that the mattress is too hard.)

Churches can be free to participate in the political process, or they can be tax-exempt. They cannot be both.
---StrongAxe on 8/4/09


No the money Churches get has already had Taxes paid on it. Thats almost like Government double dipping. Since Churches are nonprofit and don't make anything off the money given to them,no profit,they shouldn't have to pay Taxes. Thats one view,now another is Government just plain needs to keep their greedy little hands off of God's property. Talk about mixing Church and State,that would be the epitome of mixing them. Churches have no say in running Government they shouldn't have to pay for what's forbidden to them. Paying Taxes by Churches would be Taxation without representation.
---Darlene_1 on 8/3/09


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If churches are to be taxed, you will certainly see the huge deductions they give to charity.

Who knows they would probably get huge tax refunds as well.
---Lee1538 on 8/1/09


Besides, you complain a lot about how the church allocates money, and all the divorced women in your singles group who hate men (biblically, divorced women are not "single" unless their former husband is dead).
---ralph7477 on 7/28/09
You have a point there. I am going to a second church the meets on Saturdays that allocates more money to the homeless shelter as one of their dedicated ministries. They also have a lot of never married women in their mid-late 30's who do not hate men. LOL

My point was though that my old church would rather have a Christian democrat in office than a pagan, and they do NOT "endorse" the democratic platform.
---obewan on 7/30/09


Besides, you complain a lot about how the church allocates money, and all the divorced women in your singles group who hate men (biblically, divorced women are not "single" unless their former husband is dead).
---ralph7477 on 7/28/09
You have a point there. I am going to a second church the meets on Saturdays that allocates more money to the homeless shelter as one of their dedicated ministries. They also have a lot of never married women in their mid-late 30's who do not hate men. LOL

My point was though that my old church would rather have a Christian democrat in office than a pagan, and they do NOT "endorse" the democratic platform.
---obewan on 7/30/09


I cannot post weblinks in this blog.

---obewan on 7/28/09

You don't have too, simply post the court case.

If, indeed, this church lost its tax exempt status, there is probably much more to the story.

Perhaps you can enlighten us how "Bush got his thugs at the IRS to take away their "tax exempt status".
---NurseRobert on 7/29/09


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There has been a recent evangelical trend to equate conservative Christianity with "faith" and liberal Christianity with "apostasy" - and conservative politics with conservative Christianity, and liberal politics with liberal Christianity.

Many thus conclude "Republican is good" and "Democrat is evil". While this is sometimes true, the opposite is also sometimes true. Politicians and parties of any party can become corrupt and self-serving. By hitching one's wagon the horse of any party, when that party goes off course, one gets dragged through the mud with them.

Look at the Pharisees - so steeped in conservative correctness, that when a less conservative Jesus came, they called him evil.
---StrongAxe on 7/28/09


No, not because a member was elected to city council as a Democrat. Rather, because your "church offered congratulations to several members who are democrats elected to state and local government!"

If these folks are true party Democrats who agree with the Democrat platform, working to help the party leaders and the President further his agenda, a Christian church should have no business congratulating such people.

Besides, you complain a lot about how the church allocates money, and all the divorced women in your singles group who hate men (biblically, divorced women are not "single" unless their former husband is dead).
---ralph7477 on 7/28/09


Obewan, I think you need to find another church.
---ralph7477 on 7/28/09

Why because a member was elected to city councilman as a Democrat? What does that have to do with the abortion fight?

My church is a Republican stronghold. The parking lot is full of Bush bumper stickers. But, there were also some Obama stickers last year. We all get along as fellow Christians, and candidates are not endorsed from the pulpit.

We prefer to spend our time supporting issues like the crisis pregnancy center, unwed mothers homes, Celebrate Recovery ministry, and homeless shelter.

I will take your comment as a joke then.
---obewan on 7/28/09


Obewan, I think you need to find another church.
---ralph7477 on 7/28/09


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Bush got his thugs at the IRS to take away their "tax exempt status".
---obewan on 7/25/09

I doubt it. Please post your sources.
---NurseRobert on 7/27/09

I cannot post weblinks in this blog.

The last I had heard or read, the IRS HAD taken away their tax-exempt status, but the church was fighting it, and the case was elevated to the "higher courts". As a minimum, the church faced huge legal expenses to defend itself, and the IRS DID send them a bill!
---obewan on 7/28/09


Why was Jim Baker put in jail?

There are a lot of legal things that the church congregation and/or Pastors can and should do.
---Elder on 7/24/09
Baker was put in prison for embezzlement and tax evasion. That was valid since ministers who draw salaries are not tax exempt.

I am aware of what churches can do in the election process, and there is a HUGE difference between saying "abortion is murder" and "all christians must vote for candiate X". The best churches pass out "voting history" guides that show the positions of ALL candidates for ALL parties.

My church offered congratulations to several members who are democrats elected to state and local government!
---obewan on 7/28/09


Bush got his thugs at the IRS to take away their "tax exempt status".
---obewan on 7/25/09

I doubt it. Please post your sources.
---NurseRobert on 7/27/09


sophia:

While that is true, I don't know of any plans to tax churches SPECIALLY, just to tax them the same as anyone else is taxed. If this would destroy churches, it would destroy all other organizations as well.

(And if taxation would kill churches today more than torture and martyrdom did in the first century, or if taxation would kill churches today but not kill other taxpaying not-for-profit organizations, then there's something severely wrong with Christians in this culture).
---StrongAxe on 7/27/09


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NurseRobert -- I'm not that much of an activist...I was just wondering
---Donna66 on 7/27/09


I like the quote,"the power to tax, is the power to destroy". That always makes me fear the taxation of churches. On the other hand, I believe that every person and every entity or organization should seek not to burden others. So, if property tax is necessary to provide streets that go to and come from churches, or to provide fire departments that can put out a fire at a church, or for police that can respond to a call for help from those at church, it seems only fair and right that a church pays its fair share.
---sophia on 7/27/09


I've never understood why the Rev. Wright in Chicago (remember, GD America!) can express political views with impunity. I'm positive his church is tax exempt. But other pastors try to hide any political leanings at all... for fear of losing their non-profit status.
---Donna66 on 7/24/09

Donna, you have every right to file a complaint with the IRS. If you feel his is preaching politics from the pulpit, do something about it.
---NurseRobert on 7/26/09


I've never understood why the Rev. Wright in Chicago (remember, GD America!) can express political views with impunity. I'm positive his church is tax exempt. But other pastors try to hide any political leanings at all... for fear of losing their non-profit status.
---Donna66 on 7/24/09
It is a two way street. There was a "conservative" Presbyterian church in California that was not even talking about "voting" for candidates. They were critical of the Iraq war and saying things against war, and Bush got his thugs at the IRS to take away their "tax exempt status".
---obewan on 7/25/09


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Obewan- interesting. Can you imagine the gnashing of teeth when conservatives discover Jesus is not one of them? He was raised orthodox but considered a radical and heretic in those days and nothing would be different today.
He would probably be closer to Rick Warren than James Dobson.

Can you imagine his views on the poor, illegal immigrants, the death penalty, racial profiling the war in Iraq or even Hiroshima?

If churches are threatened with taxes maybe pastors will return to the evangelical message instead of hitting the airwaves with rants about judges, gays and liberals.
That's a good thing.
---larry on 7/25/09


"if we are going to allow churches to use tax free contributions to elect certain candidates"
obewan
And, just when did this occur? Who is the "we" that allowed it?
If the "we" allowed such a thing why would these churches lose anything? Why would they be prosecuted in courts of law?
Why was Jim Baker put in jail? If "we" allow such things.
There are a lot of legal things that the church congregation and/or Pastors can and should do. Contact me and I will give you a list.
Remember Saved people are still citizens. And uninformed people make statements such as have been made. The church should and can be involved.
---Elder on 7/24/09


good explaination and analysis, obewan.
When I mentioned the Temple Tax, I was thinking about The Temple taxing the religious people of the day. They did not have a separation of church and state, so the Temple was using its money (tax) for civil activities.
---Rod on 7/24/09


I've never understood why the Rev. Wright in Chicago (remember, GD America!) can express political views with impunity. I'm positive his church is tax exempt. But other pastors try to hide any political leanings at all... for fear of losing their non-profit status.
---Donna66 on 7/24/09


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rod- Who imposed the tax on the temple?
---Betty on 7/24/09
It was the other way around. The King imposed a tax to build the temple. I think the temples were not built with "tithe" money.

Tithes were like taxes, and were used to care for the priests, AND widows, orphans, and disabled people.

So, if churches are taking tithes but not caring for widows, orphans, and the poor, who needs to be taxed to do it? One might easily conclude not the churches since we have secular welfare programs that do that now. But do you get my point?
---obewan on 7/24/09


rod- Who imposed the tax on the temple?
---Betty on 7/24/09


obewan said, "There are some churches that will expel members for voting for ANY democrat."
Oh, yea? Name some of them or just one.
---Elder on 7/23/09
A quick Google search turned up hundreds of press releases on two churches in North Carolina that have already expelled members who vote for Democrats. You may have called me on the single ANY claim, but I was exaggerating to make a point. Left unchecked by proper use of the law, that is what it might come down to. I repeat, if we are going to allow churches to use tax free contributions to elect certain candidates, then we need to make contributions to political parties and PAC's tax free too just to be fair. Christians are not above the law.
---obewan on 7/24/09


\\ The temple in Jesus' day had a temple tax.
---Rod on 7/23/09\\

This was a tax paid TO the Temple, not BY the Temple.

Did you think otherwise?
---Cluny on 7/24/09


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obewan said, "There are some churches that will expel members for voting for ANY democrat."
Oh, yea? Name some of them or just one. I would like to contact them as speak to them.
If you can't post it here, and you probably can't, write me at elder2291.
I will let folks know when you give me the names and I will post the outcome of my search and results.
Churches pay plenty of taxes as it is. Take the gas taxes for example.
We citizens are overtaxed as it is. Why tax churches?
---Elder on 7/23/09


The temple in Jesus' day had a temple tax.
---Rod on 7/23/09


\\also, pastors tells the congregation to OBEY our gov't authorities (including) paying taxes, when they are exempted from it? does not that contradicts what they preach?
---mike on 7/21/09\\

Where did you get the idea that ministers don't pay taxes, mike?

Until recently, US tax laws considered pastors self-employed, and thus had to pay taxes at a HIGHER witholding rate than others.

I will admit there's a widespread misconception that ministers don't pay income taxes, but this is simply not true. I've met PhDs who labored under this misconception.
---Cluny on 7/23/09


Rod & obewan- Did Isarel tax the temple?
---Betty on 7/23/09
The temple was not a political action committee. They did not even have elections for that matter.

I never said that churches should be taxed. I said they should play by the rules.

Free speech allows them to say, "abortion is wrong" without violating tax-exempt status. Free speech also allows them to say, "vote for candidate X", but in doing so they must risk giving up their tax exempt status. They must live with the same rules as any other party that attempts to put candidate X into office. But my take is that churches should focus on getting people saved more than getting specific people elected.
---obewan on 7/23/09


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Rod & obewan- Did Isarel tax the temple?
---Betty on 7/23/09


No, churches should not be taxed.
---Betty on 7/22/09
Why not Betty?
---Rod on 7/22/09
She is quick to give an unconditional answer. If a church attempts to force voting for one particular political candidate, and if they cross the line between separation of church and state, they should be taxed just like a union or political action committee, or to be fair, then donations to unions and political action committees should be tax free like tithes. Jesus was NON-PARTISAN and so am I. Even as a (former) Republican, I voted for a Democratic sheriff once because he had the best track record and was a 20 year incumbent. There are some churches that will expel members for voting for ANY democrat.
---obewan on 7/23/09


stephen:

Perhaps, but not totlly. If someone (say) keeps alcoholics out of thier home in order to keep bad influences away from their children, this means that they don't get to speak with them even once.
---StrongAxe on 7/23/09


Stephen--

There is no way to know how much time Jesus spent with drunkards and prostitutes...publicans and sinners. He didn't bring them into his inner circle...except for Matthew who was considered a "sinner" because he was a tax collector. Tax collectors were notoriously dishonest.

Hmmm. Reminds me that Jesus paid taxes!
Once he had to find the money in a fishes mouth. But he didn't seek an exemption.
---Donna66 on 7/22/09


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Strong-

He ate with them maybe once each person or twice or maybe three times?

He didn't take them into his inner circle and devote extensive precious time to them. He spoke to them about the Truth, ate with them, then left.

Do you see the difference?
---stephen on 7/22/09


Why not Betty?
---Rod on 7/22/09


No, churches should not be taxed.
---Betty on 7/22/09


stephen:

Nevertheless, Jesus hung around with sinners without judging them - and the Pharisees were criticizing him for setting a bad example by hanging around with drunkards, and prostitutes, and extortionists. Yet he didn't seem to have a problem with doing so.
---StrongAxe on 7/21/09


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Yea Rod it was a joke in the sense that your home doesn't use the road. The people inside do.
The members in a church pay all of the taxes needed to take care of what the church might need, Fire, Police or anything else. To tax money that has been taxed would be to tax twice.
There are many areas, like my home, who when emergency vehicles are sent out the user has to pay a fee on top of the taxes.
Maybe services provided by the churches should be paid for by the public.
The city of Lynchburg would be a hillside hick town if it weren't for the church there.
(Really think it through -- Point and game.)
---Elder on 7/21/09


Hi Elder, I hope I am not miss understanding a comment you made about churches not using the roads, maybe you were attempting to be funny. However, if a church has a fire, fire departments and emergency vehicles will use the roads to protect the church building, thus, churches should pay taxes. "(Think it through before you say it)" touche.
We are all double and taxed on tax in many ways.
I hope this discussion doesn't degenerate to a tic for tack interaction.
A point is that Christ is the focus of the Christian life, Churches for the most part are businesses.
---Rod on 7/21/09


God will judge the churches and the members. Jesus set a pretty strict standard for adulterors with the entire casting stone parable. The adulteror was told to LEAVE YOUR LIFE OF SIN.

If a Christian is not attempting to leave their life of sin, then they will be judged by God. As for myself, if they are not attempting to leave the life of sin, then I would not get very close to them because their sin will tend to infect you and those of your house by association.

Inviting the current alcohlic over to your house to meet your children while they are drinking is not setting a good example for your children. You are teaching them sin is okay.
---stephen on 7/21/09


Should churches be taxed?

Only if they invest their moneys into commercial enterprises that would compete with those in business.
---Lee1538 on 7/21/09


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the money the church receive from its congregation is income. (income tax?)

where in the bible says that churches SHOULD NOT BE TAXED?

also, pastors tells the congregation to OBEY our gov't authorities (including) paying taxes, when they are exempted from it? does not that contradicts what they preach?
---mike on 7/21/09


By the way, did you know that churches do not have "free speech?" Interesting, they can not preach politial positions.
---Rod on 7/20/09
Churches have free speech, but they just risk losing their tax exempt status if they are caught pushing one party over another.

Unions and political action committees who endorse candidates and help elect them are not tax free. Churches should be no different. There was a Baptist church in the South that expelled a married couple for voting for the "wrong candidate". Rightly so, they were prosecuted to lose their "tax exempt" status and it was a major court case that went to the higher courts. I don't remember the final verdict though, but they were wrong anyway.
---obewan on 7/21/09


Cluny is right, read his statement.
Along with the ministry not being taxed there is also the fact it cannot campaign for candidates. Would you taxers like to change that also.
There are certain political issues that can be brought up by the church. As far as the Church using the roads I have never seen one driving and neither has Rod. The members use the road and pay taxes. (Think it through before you say it) Why should they be double taxed? Can't they have the same rights as the drunks who drive on the road?
Church members are taxed. Yet, most of those who use the programs, such as food banks, bill payments and so on do not pay any extra tax.
This blog has made me wonder if some of the bloggers even attend a church.
---Elder on 7/20/09


Well, I believe the early church managed without a tax exemption. It would give the church more freedom today to speak on controversial subjects, if they were taxed.

It would mean that those who give to the church would get no charitable deduction either. But I doubt most who donate to churches give for that reason.
---Donna66 on 7/20/09


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\\ At least the richy churches should be. Those that are mis-using the money like politicians are.\\

What's a "richy church"?

And who gets to determine which churches are misuing money?
---Cluny on 7/21/09


The meaning of church today has a completely different meaning than in Jesus' time.

Today, a church is a non-profit corporation having rules for state corporations and the IRS - highly regulated by government.

In Jesus' time, the church was simply a group of christians. The seven churches in Reveation are actually locations of groups of christians - not a "church" as christians know it today, not a denomination, not a building, not a non-profit corporation. Unlike what most christians believe, belonging to a denominational "church" is not a requirement to have a personal relationship with God.

What's going to happen to you and your church during the tribulation when christianity will be outlawed?
---Steveng on 7/20/09


Churches are granted tax-exempt status in exchange for restrictions on what they can say or do.

If a church truly wants to have the freedom to say and preach whatever it wants (regardless of political correctness or other government shackles), the best way to do so is to "just say no" to tax-exempt status, just as many other organizations do.
---StrongAxe on 7/20/09


Hi, Rodj . . . I just thought of how Jesus says, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's," in Matthew 22:21.

And I think of how each household has cable, maybe for at least fifty bucks a month > for twenty households, that would be $12,000 a year. And the computer, maybe . . . on we could go. You used to have a TV and electricity, that's it, but basic American culture cleans out about $25,000 per twenty church households, per year ? ? ?

So, we don't mind rendering to cable and to computer (o: And the time TV can take, versus this time with people, loving people and enjoying God . . .
---Bill_bila5659 on 7/20/09


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If churches are taxed as part of the push back by mostly liberals we will find that Dobson, Sharpton and others who spend more time discussing politics than Christ are largely to blame.
These guys get their 15-minutes in front of worldwide secular media and all we hear about is the virtue of conservative judges, the deity of Michael Jackson, the evils of Barack Obama or the joys of prosecuting abusive police. Phooey.

Even Abortion should be attacked from a point of view that no one has a right to interfere with God's plan for a life not just consevative vs. liberal.

If these guys really have a heart for the lost and believe the end is near, both men should shock the world and meet at the Lincoln Memorial for an alter call.
---larry on 7/20/09


tom2: "...but in doing so you are catagorizing the church as a business."

The church is already classified as a business. They start out filling out corporate forms for their particular state (in the United States) and then they fill out non-profit forms from the IRS to request tax exempt status with respect to its income tax obligations which is called the (503)c corporation.

Just FYI.
---Steveng on 7/20/09


If you tax churches, then you will have to tax charities and private schools like the Ivy League which may keep their endowments in charitable trusts. It won't just be churches but it will be all charities.

This nearly completely defeats the point of operating a charity.
---stephen on 7/20/09


It's just lately that I have thought about this topic. I have come to the conclusion that the church should be taxed along with their business dealings.
The church is a business anyway, who is to decide what is "true ministry" and what is business?
Churches reap the benefits of roads, military, police and fire departments.
By the way, did you know that churches do not have "free speech?" Interesting, they can not preach politial positions.
---Rod on 7/20/09


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If the church is a ministry of evangelical worship, care for the widows,fatherless and poor NO.
However if the church, pastor or tv evangelist is involved in the pagan muck of politics, speaking against the president, and using air time to rail against liberal judges or candidates then by all means YES.
---larry on 7/20/09


At least the richy churches should be. Those that are mis-using the money like politicians are.
---Lawrence on 7/20/09


You have to believe that church taxation has been privately discussed in Washington DC as well as state capitals. Big government is flat broke and needs money... badly. They are looking at every feasible revenue resource and I bet they see churches as a big untapped pot of gold.

Give them enough time. They'll figure out a way to get their cut.
---ralph7477 on 7/20/09


As a matter of fact, churches ARE taxed in the USA.

Anything that is not directly related to the church's ministry is subject to taxation.

For example, if a church is given an apartment house, and the property is rented out to tenants, the church must pay real estate taxes on this property.

If the church owns a parsonage, the pastor has to pay income tax based on the fair rental value of it.
---Cluny on 7/20/09


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Well, there are religious groups witch are abusive and whose wealth is superfluous. We Christians are glad to help with our money (Romans 13:1-8). But if the authorities see we are doing what is good, they can give us write-offs and keep the taxes on what isn't helping.

Paul says, "Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges." (in 1 Corinthians 5:12-13) We have enough to handle, just to judge ourselves, versus getting tangled and emotionally mangled and strangled with "the affairs of this life" (2 Timothy 2:4). If ones are not cheerfully giving (2 Corinthians 9:7) and you think you can get Satan's kingdom to do what is right, "have fun" (o:
---Bill_bila5659 on 7/20/09


Having discussed this question with many people over many years I have come the conclusion that the answer is YES! This conclusion is sad in a way, but still with the wild unreconcilable different views in the position of churches running themselves like a business I could reach no other decision.

Certainly I do not expect this to take place. The taxation in and of itself is a necessary thing in our society and the humongous mega-churches must pay their own way.

In my own situation my wife does not want me to give any money except by check.(Tax deductible don't you know)
---mima on 7/20/09


should we tax God?if the church is doing the work of the gospel message should we tax it?the proponents of the separation of church and state might say yes,make them carry their fair share,but in doing so you are catagorizing the church as a business.Yes the catholic church has become one of the wealthiest entitys in the world today,because of this freedom from taxsation law,they have many,many,relics which are priceless,and such a store of art it would blow your mind.But remember this ,actually it all belongs to God,the whole world does,and everything in it,we are only stewards.
---tom2 on 7/19/09


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