December 5, 2012
I've often wondered if churches should have to pay propert taxes, though I do feel that they are more productive than a Costco.
I don't think that the deduction for giving to churches should be done away with.
My concern is with churches that have large, lavish facilities and seem more concerned with their members having a good time on campus than contributing to their community. If these churches can afford to build a movie theater on their campus (like a church in my neighborhood), then surely they can afford to pay property taxes.
Though, like mentioned in the article, even churches like this do charitable work in the community. It's hard to find the proper line between a church being a charity or a church being a recreational facility that also engages in some charitable work.
The question about churches and taxes isn't coming up now because of some need to fundamentally reexamine the question. It's coming up because the secular humanist nation state is financially broke and in the process of collapsing under the weight of its own hubris. Furthermore, it has to claim all power for itself, and cannot tolerate the competition represented by the church. The sad part is how many Christians support it even though virtually everything it does directly violates what the Bible teaches. The Bible that Christians claim to follow.
It's one thing to talk of this as a matter of civic good or political expediency, and that is a discussion well worth having, but is there a biblical basis for saying churches should not be taxed? None come to mind without a bit of convoluting.
My concern is whether directly or indirectly, churches play a key role in a person's view on politics. And while it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, there are those who, for example, believe, based on the bible and the church teachings, that abortion is wrong and so they vote accordingly which affects everyone and everything related to politics. And like mentioned above, there are churches with ultra-lavish buildings or even churches whose goal is to open up several campuses and the money with which they do this with, while it may be considered offering or what have you, is usually a very large amount. Yet and still, they pay no taxes. And then, regardless of whether or not you're helping your community, some of the practices these churches implement are highly questionable as far as the financial aspect is concerned. If you want to play, it's time to pay.
Why should churches and all non-profits lose their tax-exempt status? Because they are using that advantage to unfairly compete against for profit business. Here is a slew of examples of just one type of instance: using bellfries as cell phone towers.
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