In an era of Robin Hood taxation ideologies, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) recently proposed a devastatingly delusional 70% tax on the wealthiest citizens. And now Elizabeth Warren is greedily scheming up a new ‘wealth tax’ to correct the evils of wealthy Americans.
‘New’ because we already have multiple tax penalties for the wealthier: the existing estate or death tax along with higher tax brackets for higher income. Sounds more like Rob’em Good to me.
But since all of this chicanery is couched in the name of compassion and care (cue Friar Tuck), what would Jesus do? The implication is that a wealth tax is the ‘Christian’ thing to do. Would the consummate compassionate and caring God of the Universe force the rich to pay disproportionately more than the poor and middle-class?
It might shock you to realize that God is not a socialist. And God is not against the rich. Think Job, Abraham, David, Solomon, Joseph of Arimathea, and Mary the mother of John, to name a few. All wealthy. All approved by God and made wealthy by Him.
In this #MeToo era, unlike Warren and Cortez, God doesn’t ‘force Himself’ on anyone. He certainly does not compel anyone to give of their own wealth (whether a few dollars or millions). While we will all give account of our stewardship and generosity, He allows is the freedom to choose how we will participate in His Kingdom.No so with this radical faction today.
So imagine how repugnant it is for Warren and Cortez – anyone, for that matter – to compel you to give sacrificially, especially if you have more money than others. Behold the new heights of discrimination, prejudice, injustice, and old fashioned highway robbery.
What would Jesus do?
So what would Jesus do? What is God’s Internal Revenue Service like? It was and is quite simple, equitable, and effective! And it is voluntary.
The poor paid 10%. The middle-class paid 10%. The upper-middle-class? They also paid 10%. What about the stinking filthy rich? Surely God “stuck it to” those evil rich business men and women and the wealthy fat-cat land owners, right? Remember, the democratic socialists in the name of compassion want to penalize those with more money by forcing them to pay up to 70% of their income and an unthinkable annual tax on already taxed assets and savings.
So, what did God require of these ‘greedy capitalist pigs’? Amazingly, God still only required 10%; the same as those with less income. Sounds radically simple! Or is it simplistically radical?
Here’s the truth: God’s ways are righteous and effective. In His economic model, the wealthy will always bring in more revenue, but not inequitably so. God does not punish the rich or poor. He punishes bullies. Tax bullies. Thieves. He has always been against those in power abusing and manipulating those they are supposed to be helping.
He’s really looking for faithful managers of His money – after all, He owns it all! If you’re poor because you’ve squandered resources, you will have the answer for you lack of faithfulness. There will be no blaming the rich on that day. And if you’ve been a faithful steward with a large estate, generous along the way, you can expect a commendation from our Lord!
Money and riches are not evil. But coveting others money is most certainly evil. And taking the next step to steal another’s money is abhorrently wicked. This is the current State of the Union.
What does the Bible say? Let the thief no longer steal! (Ephesians 4:28)
So please stop trying make Jesus a socialist. He simply was not. And stop forcing yourself on others! If you think others should pay more taxes, lead by example.
Here’s some advice to Alexandria and Elizabeth: you start the revolution by giving sacrificially out of your own income. Don’t stop at 70%, either. Show us how it’s really done. Be über generous. Give until it hurts – the government programs will find ways to spend your money. But don’t compel others to give their hard-earned money in your name. You have neither a legal nor moral right to do so.
Or you could follow Jesus’ example. Far from commanding you to compel us to be generous, Jesus commands each of us personally to be generous and to love our neighbors as ourself. And He gives us the choice as to how much we give. We determine how we will spend the money He has entrusted to us.
In fact, this is what He modeled. Paul writes “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)
After all, Paul modeled his life after the Master. He wrote, “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls…” (2 Corinthians 12:15) and “I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:33-35)
Notice though, the focus is individuals doing their own part in giving, not forcibly taking money from others and redistributing. So here’s a novel idea: “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
I truly hope that AOC grows out of her dangerous naiveté. This socialistic thinking brings death to economic growth and innovation. Oh that both she and her like-minded ‘Auntie Elizabeth’ would model for the rest of us this sacrificial giving, the way God intended. For God loves a cheerful giver, freely giving out of his or her heart to those they deem are in need. This is God’s will and pattern for us.