Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Ben Carson, Taxes and the Devil Quoting Scripture

With smiling cheeks, as I reported, Ben Carson was in San Francisco yesterday promoting his presidential run.

One thought that came to mind was a quote from William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice:
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!
And a quote from the Bible, itself:
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.-1 PETER 5:8
These thoughts came to me because Carson talked about the Bible a lot and used tithing as a comparison to a flat tax, in his comments yeterday.

But there are a few things that should be noted about Carson's proposed flat tax versus tithing as written about in the Bible.

First. Carson says that a flat tax would "in the beginning" be closer to 15% than the Bible's mention of 10% tithing. Got that? It will cost you 50% more to help support the Washington  D.C.'s bureaucracy then it would to support God's work.

But there is another important distinction between Carson's plan and tithing. In the Bible, there is no call for IRS agents or any other type of tax enforcement agents. It is purely voluntary.
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.-2 Corinthians 9:7 
We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.-2 Corinthians 8:1-5
When Carson starts talking about the full Bible comment on tithing, I will be impressed. Not before.




    If I pay my "tithe" to the government, will I get a "blessing" that there's not room enough to contain? I could use a bigger refund...

  2. Since tithing is a voluntary act from the heart, how does Mr. Carson Biblically explain away the fact that his plan forces payment? The answer is, he can't. So much for Christian teaching.

    Also, Christians, even well-meaning ones, are oftentimes the worst at applying sound hermeneutical principles of the Sacred text. They are quite adept at ripping a text, or texts, out of context to make pretexts for their arguments. This is potentially dangerous. It's quite sad really.

    And just for the record, I am saying these things as a born-again Christian.

    1. This is one of the reasons why I became Catholic. I saw too much damage done by people who interpreted the scripture in their own way. When read in the life of the Church, the Bible becomes a means of grace or "wisdom unto salvation," as John Wesley put it.

  3. "In the Bible, there is no call for IRS agents or any other type of tax enforcement agents. It is purely voluntary."


  4. What's worse is the (at least) borderline blasphemy of identifying the work of the state with the work of God and the Church in the world. "Christians" like Carson need to be watched like hawks - their true god is the state. That Carson wants to coerce people to "sacrifice" more to the state than what is customarily offered to God is very telling.

    1. I have it on good Authority that Satan's merely does God's work. He's the #1 Servant of God, though a bit overzealous at times in enforcing Teh Rules...

      [wink wink]

  5. The New Testament knows nothing of tithing. Tithing is an Old Testament concept found nowhere in the New Testament. As Bob mentioned, the NT speaks of free will giving.

  6. And, if IIRC, the tithing is on the increase. No increase in income over the previous year, no tax.

  7. Carson is just channeling the pope and his teaching on taxes and the government. Who are you, Wenzel, to question the pope on proper biblical interpretation and application?


  8. The true Tithe according to the scripture is food, meat, wine, corn, oil, etc... but it is NEVER MONEY!

    Anyone who says a tithe is money is a deceiver or being deceived. Do not add or take away from what is written.

  9. He's no Dr. Ron Paul. That's why he hasn't been scorned by the Republican party.

    Anyone who actually understands the Constitution/economics/or Christianity would never be accepted by the status quo. Carson understands none of these even though he's a "smart" guy. Einstein was too, but I bet he was a lousy brain surgeon!

  10. Nice work Bob, using scripture to respond to this. It definitely needs to be addressed, as I think a godly man would not try to increase or justify the burden that the government puts on his people in Gods name.

  11. FWIW, I'm a Baptist pastor. Regarding the OT tithe, though it was required by the Mosaic Law, it was a voluntary religious offering not a compulsory tax. There was no Levitical police force that made anyone tithe. The only repercussion for failure to tithe was God would withhold his blessings from you. The penalty was strictly religious and ceremonial, not civil.

    Israel's first 400 years (approximately), during the period of the Judges, there was no compulsory tax. There were no taxes until they demanded a king in 1 Samuel 8 where God tells them a king will "take" their sons and daughters to work for him. And he will "take" their servants to work for him. And he will "take" the best of their fields, vineyards and oliveyards. And he will "take" a tenth of their sheep. And he will "take" a tenth of all their seed and "take" a tenth of their crops. It's clearly evident from the passage that God didn't think any of this was a good thing.

    Wouldn't it be nice if we were only taxed at a total of 10% and yet God clearly (with Old Testament Israel) saw taxation as a very negative thing.