Can Christians choose not to pay an income tax?


Recently, a man teaching a Bible class made the comment that "We as Christians can choose not to pay our income taxes with a clear conscience as it was an unconstitutional act when these taxes were brought into law"

I disagree because my understanding is that Romans 13 and "rendering to Caesar what is due" teach that a Christian is required to pay income taxes?


The teacher displays ignorance of both the Bible and the laws of his own country.

"Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake. 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" (Romans 13:5-7).

The only time a Christian goes against a government is when that government goes against God's laws. There is nothing with the Scriptures which state that taxing income is wrong. In fact, under the Old Testament, the requirement to tithe one's produce is an income tax of 10%.

What is being claimed is that the Christian is above his government. If he doesn't like a law or thinks the law shouldn't exist, then he is claiming a Christian can declare the law null and void. This is the opposite of what the Bible teaches. "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves" (Romans 13:1-2). The individual is under the government, not above it. "Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men-- as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God" (I Peter 2:13-16). Notice that we are to submit to every ordinance of man, not just the ones we personally like or agree with.

The man also is ignorant of the United States Constitution which allows itself to be amended when two-thirds of the states approve the amendment. At the time the amendment was proposed, 36 states needed to approve it. It was approved by 42, more than sufficient even if some of the states' votes were questioned. Since by the constitution's requirements the constitution was amended, the income tax is constitutional.

If he and others want to remove the income tax amendment, then they need to follow the same rules and get two-thirds of the states to remove the sixteenth amendment are replace it with something else.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email