Malankara World

Today with Jesus

Obey the Laws and Be Truthful

by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Toronto, Canada

Today's Bible Verse

"Use the coin to pay your taxes and mine." ( Mathew 17:27)

Discussion

Are you tempted to evade taxes?

Christians are not the breakers but builders and helpers of the smooth running of any institution. Fees and fines, taxes and duties that are entitled for each individual should be paid and documented. The transparency and accountability of money matters by Christians and Christian managed institutions, should be above suspicion. We are always accountable to God and our fellow beings. Charity contribution is in the blood of all Christians. But who are its beneficiaries and how it is handled is a matter of concern in the present financial turmoil and crunch. Donors have the right to know and handlers have the duty to show how and whom the charity money is being benefited. But now, almost all the charities and Christians missionaries are under the scanner of income tax authorities and the donors because of their mishandling and nearly zero accountability of money dealings.

In America, an estimated 1.8 million churches are exempted from income tax. But this privilege is being abused to the tune of many millions of dollars. There are televangelists running lucrative businesses such as recording studios and selling oil and gas under cover of the religious exemption. There is inconsistency even among the prominent evangelistic organizations. But there are also the true Christians who shine in this dark, dirty and messy financial dealings. Billy Graham, for example, long ago opted not to classify his empire as a church, and thus files a 990, in part because he wanted to encourage other religious charities to be transparent and accountable.

When we donate a cent, we should ensure that it should reach the purpose it was intended for, and we should have a say in it. Accountability and transparency in all matters of life is the hall mark of all Christians and Christianity.

Prayer

Jesus, let us be truthful to you in all matters of finance. Let us have the mind and conscience to pay all taxes due to the Government. We pray that all the charitable institutions who are working in mission fields, be accountable and transparent. Let us all be generous and be blessed. All we ask in the name of Jesus.

Amen.

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