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Taxes and tithes

Jesus was constantly getting under the skin of the religious authorities of the day. They kept looking for ways to trap him, to make him show that he was a rule-breaker. Here’s a situation where he was asked about paying taxes.

Matthew 22:15-22
15 Then the Pharisees went and took counsel how to entangle him in his talk. 16 And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Hero′di-ans, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true, and teach the way of God truthfully, and care for no man; for you do not regard the position of men. 17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the money for the tax.” And they brought him a coin. 20 And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21 They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22 When they heard it, they marveled; and they left him and went away. (RSV)

So – we are supposed to pay taxes. Got it. But what about tithes? If we are supposed to give “to God the things that are God’s” – then we need to rethink tithes. God’s face isn’t on the money we have.

What is from God?

Our time.
Our energy.
Our talents and abilities.
Our creativity.
Our intelligence.

We should give these things in the service of God, not money.

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