Friday, September 25
Is it lawful to pay head tax to Caesar or not? —Matt. 22:17.
The party followers of Herod who raised this issue hoped that if Jesus denounced the tax, he might be accused of sedition. If Jesus said that taxation was a necessary burden, he could lose the support of his followers. Jesus was careful to remain neutral on the taxation issue. Of course, Jesus knew that corruption was common among tax collectors. But Jesus did not want to get sidetracked, diverted from the much more important issue. That was God’s Kingdom, which would be the real solution. He thereby set the example for all his followers. They should avoid becoming involved in political issues, no matter how right or just a certain cause might seem. Christians seek the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. They do that instead of forming strong opinions about, or speaking out against, certain unjust practices. (Matt. 6:33) Many of Jehovah’s Witnesses have succeeded in moving away from strong political views that they once held. w18.06 6 ¶9-11
Jesus was not neutral on the tax issue. He told the Jews to pay their taxes —“Pay back, therefore, Caesar’s things to Caesar, but God’s things to God.”
In saying “pay back” Jesus implied that the Jews —being under Roman occupation —owed Caesar. That is not neutrality. It is subjection. Jesus advocated being loyal to the occupying Roman Empire as long as that loyalty did not impinge upon or detract from the service we owe to God.
Even as the future king of the world Jesus did not advocate rebellion against Rome. Ironically, after Jesus established Christianity a seditious faction of fanatical Jews revolted against the Roman occupation. Ultimately their rebellion is what brought about the horrific destruction of Jerusalem. Had the Jews remained in subjection they would not have brought disaster upon themselves.
There is a Bible account in the book of Esther relating how a Jew named Mordecai heard of a plot to assassinate the king. He reported it. In time his good deed was made known to the king, which led to Haman’s downfall and saved the Jews from suffering the pogrom Haman put into motion.
Mordecai could have kept silent. He could have reasoned that since the Jews were captive in Persia that maybe it was God’s will for the king to be murdered. But he did not. He was loyal to the Persian king. That is not neutrality.
Is it wrong to have strong political views in the face of what is happening now? For example, an anarchist movement has been deployed by the empire in the United States intending to destroy the nation, rewrite history, topple iconic statues, and advocating violence against the police. Isn’t neutrality the same as tacit approval of those who wish to destroy America? If we must pay back what is owed to the government do we not also owe a measure of support for the system in place and for the local police that are under siege?
In the 13th chapter of Romans Paul advocated more than merely paying taxes. He ordered Christians to “Render to all their dues: to the one who calls for the tax, the tax; to the one who calls for the tribute, the tribute; to the one who calls for fear, such fear; to the one who calls for honor, such honor.”
Honoring the superior authorities means rejecting the assault upon the system by anarchists. That is not neutrality. Paul even exhorted Christians to pray for the stability of the nation where we live: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made concerning all sorts of men, concerning kings and all those who are in high positions, so that we may go on leading a calm and quiet life with complete godly devotion and seriousness. This is fine and acceptable in the sight of our Savior, God, whose will is that all sorts of people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” —1 Timothy 2:1-4
Can you imagine the reaction if an elder would make a public prayer supplicating God’s blessing upon President Trump in order that we may go on leading a calm and quiet life? You may be certain that many heads would explode. The fact is, the Watchtower has never encouraged Jehovah’s Witnesses to follow the exhortation of the inspired apostle.
Some may not realize that a long time ago Rutherford advised the Bible Students to join in a national day of prayer called for by Woodrow Wilson, the president of the United States in 1918. The Bible Students supplicated Jehovah to end the war in Europe —a war that later became known as the First World War. (Evidently God answered their prayers as the war ended a few months later)
Years later when Fred Franz was fabricating an elaborate interpretation of prophecy he surmised that the reason Heaven allowed Rutherford to go to prison and the Bible Students to be subjected to persecution and turmoil —what Franz claimed was captivity to Babylon the Great, which has only recently been scrapped —is because Jehovah was displeased with them for violating Christian neutrality by following the apostle’s exhortation! (Read about it here —paragraph nine) It is simply incredible that the Watchtower considers praying for God to intervene to stop the senseless slaughter of millions of young men from all nations to be unchristian!
The cited article also condemns the Bible Students for having purchased war bonds. But didn’t the apostle advise Christians to give tribute to whoever calls for the tribute? Do not tax dollars also fund the military? If the Watchtower now condemns the Bible Students for having purchased war bonds are they now advocating not paying taxes as a protest against war? Maybe we should defund the police too since there have undoubtedly been many cases of abuse and unjustified killings.
The truth is, the Watchtower has never really been neutral. The organization has always been pro-empire. That is because the king of the north (British Empire) has led some into apostasy. That is why the Governing Body aligned Jehovah’s Witnesses with the United Nations and committed millions of unwitting publishers and pioneers to disseminate UN propaganda. (See Strange Bedfellows. Be sure and check out the PDF at the bottom of the page with a compilation of the plethora of WT references to the UN.) That is why the Watchtower almost exclusively quotes from British-aligned historians who are imperialists. That is why the Watchtower never cites the accomplishments of nations —like America. It only touts the achievements and high ideals of the United Nations. That is why the Watchtower echoes the propaganda of the globalists in claiming that nationalism is the scourge of mankind and the primary cause of war. In reality, the empire has always used the divide and conquer strategy of pitting nations against each other. True, nationalism facilitates that, but the real scourge is the machinations of the British Empire.
The truth is, Jehovah’s Witnesses are going to miss America when it is thrown down. Presently we do not realize that God really did bless America just so that we could accomplish his work in a peaceful, calm, and quiet setting with full godly devotion and seriousness. All that is about to change.