Friday, May 04, 2012

Taxing the Rich

Taxes on the rich make poor people (and some Christians) feel better, but they are unjust because the treat righteous and unrighteous wealth the same. The gospels define unrighteous wealth and provide a solution for dealing with it: repent and give it away. Zacchaeus demonstrated how this works.

Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount” (Zech 19:8).
When the people saw Zacchaeus doing this, they thought "the Kingdom of God was going to appear at once (Luke 19:11). They were right.

When the church preaches the gospel effectively in a wealthy nation, there should be a large number of Zacchaeuses and a massive flood of unrighteous wealth flowing to biblical deacons who are working with those who care for the poor. If the gospel is also being proclaimed to the poor there should be an even greater number of people being lifted out of their situation into a better life.


Eli Chitaka said...

That makes sense. Hypothetically if all 'unrighteous' wealth was given away, what a different world we'd live in. In my travels it does seem to me that most individuals and nations claim what they have has been acquired righteously/honestly. I imagine it would take a total re ordering of what it means to earn a living if all unrighteous wealth was given away/shared.
That said it seems nigh impossible to divide between the two. Zacchaeus wasn't even sure hence why I think he erred on the side of generosity though we don't know how much he gave away in the end.
He's probably a good example though, except I'm yet to meet a christian that has done likewise, I suspect in part because most of us give ourselves the benefit of the doubt.

Genghis7777 said...

I vaguely recall reading somewhere that there was some halachic basis for the amount he paid in compensation.