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Author Topic: When you pay taxes, is it "sinful" Orthodoxy?  (Read 4854 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2011, 04:13:47 PM »

Firstly, The Emperor Tiberius had the weird stuff in Capri and he was the emperor during the entireity of Jesus' earthly ministry. Claudius was stuttering and stammering his way through the imperial palace at the time and Caligula was still breaking in his caliga with his father at the time....he was only about 10 yrs old during Jesus' crucifixion.

Second, let me ask you a question. We are told to give to the poor. If you gave a poor man $5 and he used it on a prostitute, did you sin? Of course not. You are not responsible for what a beneficiary of your obedience to the Lord does with that money. If so, alot of churches are sinning alot because I'm sure some of the poor folks receiving any money from churches are using it for drugs or other bad things.

We are told to obey the law until the Law and God part ways. I am not responsible for what my government does with my money. I AM responsible for obeying Christ when he says to render unto Caesar.

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Quote
No, but his third wife did.
yeah, with her brother Caligula...blech.....
Thanks for correcting my rusty chronology.
No sweat mate...you've corrected me once or twice Smiley

PP
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« Reply #46 on: September 12, 2011, 04:15:38 PM »

If you don't pay your taxes, you may go to jail. No matter how principled your beliefs, I'm not sure jail is a place you want to go. There are other ways to fight abortion besides not paying your taxes.
But what about all that money that goes for chemical, biological and atomic weapons? Surely these are immoral as their use would result in largescale civilian casualties. According to the RCC teaching (I don't know if the Orthodox agree with this):CCC 2314 "Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation."
  


The individual citizen, from whom the agents of Satan in charge of government in republican democracies extract taxes, has naught to fear morally from taxation. Voting may be another matter. This is why it is morally safer to live in an Orthodox autocracy. Even if the emperor is a heretic, no one votes for him and his crimes are on his own head and cannot easily be passed off to a faceless, soulless bureaucracy indulgent in callous officiousness and extremely bad poetry.
Well, that depends. I would say the guilt of voting is based on what consequences and policy decisions were forseeable at the time of election. Politicians rarely keep their campaign promises and such.
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« Reply #47 on: September 12, 2011, 04:58:13 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Since many Orthodox Christians believe directly that "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" validates paying certain taxes such as the income tax - when an individual knows that their taxation pays for things such as abortions & wars, does this conflict with Orthodoxy?

I'm stuck in this vexing question a lot.
Thanks
You seem to specializing in vexing yourself.

What do you think Caesar was using Christ's denarius for?  Feeding the poor (outside of the bread and circus to keep himself on top of the empire)?

Whose picture is on the dollar bill?  $5? $10? $20? $50? $100?....
Not Caesar's picture.  Masons.

Do you think Christ would have paid that denarius if he knew it was going to be used to kill babies?

Are you suggesting that the Incarnate God did not know something in particular?

The statement Christ made with the denarius regarding taxes is confirmed by the Apostle Paul in Romans 13.

Apostle Paul writes, " Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established." The Apostle is not trying to insinuate that all governments are perfect and rosy, rather that flaws and all (as overwhelming as they can be) God establishes all and further respects free-will.

Part of our Church life is to learn to understand that all of life is a gift of God, even those aspects we find less than fortunate.  

"This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor."

We should not as Christians feel guilty when we pay our taxes which contribute necessarily to war, systematic poverty, corruption, greed, ecological devastation, and all sorts of human suffering.  The world was this way in Christ's time, and Christ has sent the Church into the world.

We must learn to adjust our lives to the Will of God, and to accept it.  Just as it is natural that humans die, even in the Christian sense of "sleeping", still we have to learn with God how to properly deal with our grief.  Well its the same thing with our gripe.  The world is a mess, so what? God expects us to carry on and do His Will and His Works in cooperation through out the world.

Now this does get complicated in situations, for example like the US Civil Rights movement of the Doctor King era.  Civil disobedience, freedom marches, sit-ins and demonstrations, all of these were non-violent and Christian in spirit and yet were also seeming to contradict authority of the law/government and even the will of many of the common people.  I would say that these were appropriate, but only if we as Christians take these kinds of matters to our God in prayer and to our priests to help us truly stay balanced and harmonized.  God has called many martyrs and witnesses to stand up against the System, however these were CALLED by God for such a purpose, we can not succeed if we call ourselves.

For example, both Peter and Paul both were miraculously released from prison.  When Peter left the second gate by the hand of the Angel, he knew very well he was "breaking the Law" and obviously disobeying the authority of the government, and yet having been aided by an Angel in Divine Providence, surely this was the Will of God.  But it is a specific instance, not the ideal or the norm.  Paul's example is similar but more obvious to the point.  When Paul was to be released he challenged the warden to make sure it was all legitimate, and not merely to sneak them out the back door. In both instances, it seems clear that the Apostles did not necessarily act entirely on their own volition, but were moved by God.

As a man thoroughly grounded in the ideals and movements of social justice and equality, I have often been conflicted sometimes by these Scriptures and the Church history sometimes in regards to connections with the governments.  But we must remember the Lord lets His Son shine upon wicked and just alike, and lets the wheat and the chaff grow together alongside each other.  It is not for us to judge God, but to let God do the Judging.  We can still condemn the wrongs of the world, but we must do such in the Grace of God.  I have learned from my walk in Orthodox to trust God in all things, and it can be hard.  Really, this is an elaborated version of "why do bad things happen to good people?"

There answer is the same.  Seek prayer and of the course the age-old Orthodox adage, "Ask your priest."
My priest once said, if it truly violates your conscience to pay your taxes, then don't pay them. But you also must be willing to face the consequences, such as going to prison. (And also weigh it for greater evils; for instance, if you have a family to feed, it would be a greater sin to abandon them for the sake of a personal outlook on an issue you really have no control over.)
As you can see in God's Grace our fathers often have the best answers Smiley

I would say civil and human rights movements, so long as they are grounded within the Church (such as those of the recent Roman Catholic social justice movements) they fit in.  Catholics speak out against abortion, but they still pay their taxes.

stay blessed,
habte selassie


As usual, thoughtful and a candidate for post of the month.
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« Reply #48 on: September 12, 2011, 05:22:00 PM »

Since many Orthodox Christians believe directly that "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" validates paying certain taxes such as the income tax - when an individual knows that their taxation pays for things such as abortions & wars, does this conflict with Orthodoxy?

I'm stuck in this vexing question a lot.
Thanks
You seem to specializing in vexing yourself.

What do you think Caesar was using Christ's denarius for?  Feeding the poor (outside of the bread and circus to keep himself on top of the empire)?

Whose picture is on the dollar bill?  $5? $10? $20? $50? $100?....
Not Caesar's picture.  Masons.

Do you think Christ would have paid that denarius if he knew it was going to be used to kill babies?

Actually, Jesus' taxes were used to kill someone more innocent and blameless than babies: Himself.
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« Reply #49 on: September 12, 2011, 07:09:49 PM »

Actually, Jesus' taxes were used to kill someone more innocent and blameless than babies: Himself.

Jesus more innocent and blameless than babies? How so?
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« Reply #50 on: September 12, 2011, 07:26:18 PM »

Babies sin (without culpability), Jesus never sinned at all.
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« Reply #51 on: September 12, 2011, 07:32:19 PM »

Babies sin

Do they?
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« Reply #52 on: September 12, 2011, 07:36:06 PM »

Babies are essentially animals in behavior, they participate in fallen nature. This is especially true if one can sin involuntarily, as Orthodoxy teaches.
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« Reply #53 on: September 12, 2011, 07:40:22 PM »

Babies are essentially animals in behavior, they participate in fallen nature. This is especially true if one can sin involuntarily, as Orthodoxy teaches.

Still trying to wrap my head around the concept. Can you give a specific example of a sin that they commit? I can half-way go along with the idea of adults committing and being guilty of involuntary sins... not so sure about babies.
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« Reply #54 on: September 12, 2011, 11:28:26 PM »

Babies are essentially animals in behavior, they participate in fallen nature. This is especially true if one can sin involuntarily, as Orthodoxy teaches.

Still trying to wrap my head around the concept. Can you give a specific example of a sin that they commit? I can half-way go along with the idea of adults committing and being guilty of involuntary sins... not so sure about babies.
They see something they want, they steal it.
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« Reply #55 on: September 13, 2011, 01:48:31 AM »

Can you steal something without being able to know about concepts like property and such, and knowing that people consider some things theirs? Also, in what sense do babies want it? Is it in an acquisitive or greedy sense? Don't you need to understand what you're doing for that to be so? I realise there are passages about being sinful from the womb and all that, but doesn't the Scriptures also speak of things as only being potentially sinful until you have some understanding in the matter?

"Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth." - Jn. 9:41

"If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin." - Jn. 15:22
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« Reply #56 on: September 13, 2011, 01:51:17 AM »

Maybe. I'm not sure.
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« Reply #57 on: September 13, 2011, 02:48:54 AM »

My priest once said, if it truly violates your conscience to pay your taxes, then don't pay them. But you also must be willing to face the consequences, such as going to prison. (And also weigh it for greater evils; for instance, if you have a family to feed, it would be a greater sin to abandon them for the sake of a personal outlook on an issue you really have no control over.)

For some people, a given issue does weigh on their consciences that much, and so not paying taxes might be the right move for them to make. But again, such choices have consequences and those individuals must be willing to face them.


I think this is a good answer. The question of the OP is one that deserves more consideration than we usually give it. Too often we seek justification from Scripture to assuage our consciences and do the less difficult thing rather than to engage our consciences and struggle with what is best.

As unOrthodox as he was, I still believe that Thoreau's essay "On Civil Disobedience" provides some worthy insights on the matter. It is difficult in our society to avoid paying any type of tax at all, because most of us pay taxes even when we shop for groceries and buy gasoline. So it's almost impossible to avoid it altogether. But I think this Priest is basically correct. The only thing I would add is that I don't think it is abandoning our family to give our lives to the "least of these". Ideally, we should prioritize the "least of these" while also reamining committed to our families. But since many Christians have no qualms about abandoning their families to go off to war, then I don't think it should be considered "abandoning our families" if we are taken to prison for not paying taxes as a result of our moral Christian convictions.


Selam

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« Reply #58 on: September 13, 2011, 04:49:38 AM »

My priest once said, if it truly violates your conscience to pay your taxes, then don't pay them. But you also must be willing to face the consequences, such as going to prison. (And also weigh it for greater evils; for instance, if you have a family to feed, it would be a greater sin to abandon them for the sake of a personal outlook on an issue you really have no control over.)

For some people, a given issue does weigh on their consciences that much, and so not paying taxes might be the right move for them to make. But again, such choices have consequences and those individuals must be willing to face them.


I think this is a good answer. The question of the OP is one that deserves more consideration than we usually give it. Too often we seek justification from Scripture to assuage our consciences and do the less difficult thing rather than to engage our consciences and struggle with what is best.

As unOrthodox as he was, I still believe that Thoreau's essay "On Civil Disobedience" provides some worthy insights on the matter. It is difficult in our society to avoid paying any type of tax at all, because most of us pay taxes even when we shop for groceries and buy gasoline. So it's almost impossible to avoid it altogether. But I think this Priest is basically correct. The only thing I would add is that I don't think it is abandoning our family to give our lives to the "least of these". Ideally, we should prioritize the "least of these" while also reamining committed to our families. But since many Christians have no qualms about abandoning their families to go off to war, then I don't think it should be considered "abandoning our families" if we are taken to prison for not paying taxes as a result of our moral Christian convictions.


Selam


I don;t see the use of torture as moral and I don;t see the stockpiling of nuclear bombs, chemical and biological weapons as something that Christ would have wanted us to do.
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« Reply #59 on: September 13, 2011, 04:54:57 AM »

My priest once said, if it truly violates your conscience to pay your taxes, then don't pay them. But you also must be willing to face the consequences, such as going to prison. (And also weigh it for greater evils; for instance, if you have a family to feed, it would be a greater sin to abandon them for the sake of a personal outlook on an issue you really have no control over.)

For some people, a given issue does weigh on their consciences that much, and so not paying taxes might be the right move for them to make. But again, such choices have consequences and those individuals must be willing to face them.


I think this is a good answer. The question of the OP is one that deserves more consideration than we usually give it. Too often we seek justification from Scripture to assuage our consciences and do the less difficult thing rather than to engage our consciences and struggle with what is best.

As unOrthodox as he was, I still believe that Thoreau's essay "On Civil Disobedience" provides some worthy insights on the matter. It is difficult in our society to avoid paying any type of tax at all, because most of us pay taxes even when we shop for groceries and buy gasoline. So it's almost impossible to avoid it altogether. But I think this Priest is basically correct. The only thing I would add is that I don't think it is abandoning our family to give our lives to the "least of these". Ideally, we should prioritize the "least of these" while also reamining committed to our families. But since many Christians have no qualms about abandoning their families to go off to war, then I don't think it should be considered "abandoning our families" if we are taken to prison for not paying taxes as a result of our moral Christian convictions.


Selam


I don;t see the use of torture as moral and I don;t see the stockpiling of nuclear bombs, chemical and biological weapons as something that Christ would have wanted us to do.


Neither do I.



Selam
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« Reply #60 on: September 13, 2011, 07:43:26 AM »

I would be really interested for anyone to point out when, during any time in history, any "moral" government ever existed that obeyed every single one of God's commandments.

King David himself committed murder, adultery, and countless other sins during his reign as King over Israel. My point is not to bash King David, but to point out that a man described as being "after God's heart," who was appointed by God through the Prophet Samuel was capable of sin.

If you are looking for a "moral" government, you are looking on the wrong planet. The only place where a "moral" government exists, or has ever existed, is in heaven itself.

Christ said give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Was this because Christ was advocating immoral governments? No, it was because we are not to build up our treasures on earth, but in heaven. Christ knew that no perfect government existed on earth, so why should we worry about returning the currency of the government to the government?

Americans in particular have this peculiar notion of creating this great Christian government so we can lead perfect Christian lives in our perfect Christian little bubble. Look at the Government under which the Apostles lived. It was a pagan empire and Christianity was a strange cult with a few hundred followers. Yet the Church flourished and God's will was done. If it could survive and thrive under those conditions, what does it say about our faith walk when we blame our government for not leading a moral life?

Pay your taxes, be a good civil servant, and follow God's commandments. The former is not in contradiction to the latter.
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« Reply #61 on: September 13, 2011, 08:17:53 AM »

^ Girl, you are rockin' it!
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« Reply #62 on: September 13, 2011, 08:57:52 AM »

Babies are essentially animals in behavior, they participate in fallen nature. This is especially true if one can sin involuntarily, as Orthodoxy teaches.

Another way of saying 'participate in fallen nature' is 'sin in Adam', 'participate in original sin'. Though not guilty of any personal sin, they are born under sin, the curse, and death because of the fall of our first parents in the garden. They have a nature corrupted by sin.

This is why we baptize 8-day-old infants (who have obviously committed no personal sins) "for the remission of sins". They are in need of the "new creation" as much as any adult.

Jesus was not born under sin, the curse, and death. He was not and could not have been tainted by ancestral sin.
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« Reply #63 on: September 13, 2011, 09:11:56 AM »

I would be really interested for anyone to point out when, during any time in history, any "moral" government ever existed that obeyed every single one of God's commandments.

King David himself committed murder, adultery, and countless other sins during his reign as King over Israel. My point is not to bash King David, but to point out that a man described as being "after God's heart," who was appointed by God through the Prophet Samuel was capable of sin.

If you are looking for a "moral" government, you are looking on the wrong planet. The only place where a "moral" government exists, or has ever existed, is in heaven itself.

Christ said give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Was this because Christ was advocating immoral governments? No, it was because we are not to build up our treasures on earth, but in heaven. Christ knew that no perfect government existed on earth, so why should we worry about returning the currency of the government to the government?

Americans in particular have this peculiar notion of creating this great Christian government so we can lead perfect Christian lives in our perfect Christian little bubble. Look at the Government under which the Apostles lived. It was a pagan empire and Christianity was a strange cult with a few hundred followers. Yet the Church flourished and God's will was done. If it could survive and thrive under those conditions, what does it say about our faith walk when we blame our government for not leading a moral life?

Pay your taxes, be a good civil servant, and follow God's commandments. The former is not in contradiction to the latter.

Hear, hear!  As St. Thomas More once said, "The King's good servant...but God's first!"
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« Reply #64 on: September 13, 2011, 12:01:58 PM »


Quote
No, but his third wife did.
yeah, with her brother Caligula...blech.....

He was talking about Messalina, not Agrippina, Drusilla, and Livilla.
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« Reply #65 on: September 13, 2011, 12:47:38 PM »

Oh yeah! Forgot about her. She got the axe for the plot to kill him. *ugh* so hard to keep up with the wives....

PP
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« Reply #66 on: September 13, 2011, 02:19:13 PM »

Oh yeah! Forgot about her. She got the axe for the plot to kill him. *ugh* so hard to keep up with the wives....

PP

This part was pretty memorable in "I Clavdivs".
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« Reply #67 on: September 13, 2011, 02:45:38 PM »

My wife got me that for Christmas..I've yet to watch it though. Work too much Smiley

PP
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« Reply #68 on: September 13, 2011, 02:52:54 PM »

I would be really interested for anyone to point out when, during any time in history, any "moral" government ever existed that obeyed every single one of God's commandments.

King David himself committed murder, adultery, and countless other sins during his reign as King over Israel. My point is not to bash King David, but to point out that a man described as being "after God's heart," who was appointed by God through the Prophet Samuel was capable of sin.

If you are looking for a "moral" government, you are looking on the wrong planet. The only place where a "moral" government exists, or has ever existed, is in heaven itself.

Christ said give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Was this because Christ was advocating immoral governments? No, it was because we are not to build up our treasures on earth, but in heaven. Christ knew that no perfect government existed on earth, so why should we worry about returning the currency of the government to the government?

Americans in particular have this peculiar notion of creating this great Christian government so we can lead perfect Christian lives in our perfect Christian little bubble. Look at the Government under which the Apostles lived. It was a pagan empire and Christianity was a strange cult with a few hundred followers. Yet the Church flourished and God's will was done. If it could survive and thrive under those conditions, what does it say about our faith walk when we blame our government for not leading a moral life?

Pay your taxes, be a good civil servant, and follow God's commandments. The former is not in contradiction to the latter.
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« Reply #69 on: September 13, 2011, 03:25:51 PM »

My wife got me that for Christmas..I've yet to watch it though. Work too much Smiley

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« Reply #70 on: September 13, 2011, 03:36:00 PM »

I would be really interested for anyone to point out when, during any time in history, any "moral" government ever existed that obeyed every single one of God's commandments.

King David himself committed murder, adultery, and countless other sins during his reign as King over Israel. My point is not to bash King David, but to point out that a man described as being "after God's heart," who was appointed by God through the Prophet Samuel was capable of sin.

If you are looking for a "moral" government, you are looking on the wrong planet. The only place where a "moral" government exists, or has ever existed, is in heaven itself.

Christ said give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Was this because Christ was advocating immoral governments? No, it was because we are not to build up our treasures on earth, but in heaven. Christ knew that no perfect government existed on earth, so why should we worry about returning the currency of the government to the government?

Americans in particular have this peculiar notion of creating this great Christian government so we can lead perfect Christian lives in our perfect Christian little bubble. Look at the Government under which the Apostles lived. It was a pagan empire and Christianity was a strange cult with a few hundred followers. Yet the Church flourished and God's will was done. If it could survive and thrive under those conditions, what does it say about our faith walk when we blame our government for not leading a moral life?

Pay your taxes, be a good civil servant, and follow God's commandments. The former is not in contradiction to the latter.
At the Nuremberg trials,  people were found guilty and executed even though they may have claimed that they were only following orders. The court ruled in favor of the doctrine of shared responsibility.  If people stand idly by and raise no objections,  while a country is stockpiling huge amounts of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons, and is engaging in torturing people and waging war under false pretenses, then why would they not be guilty under the doctrine of shared responsibility?
And there are countries which do not engage in torture and are not stockpiling chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, such as Luxembourg for example.
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« Reply #71 on: September 13, 2011, 03:40:23 PM »

My priest once said, if it truly violates your conscience to pay your taxes, then don't pay them. But you also must be willing to face the consequences, such as going to prison. (And also weigh it for greater evils; for instance, if you have a family to feed, it would be a greater sin to abandon them for the sake of a personal outlook on an issue you really have no control over.)

For some people, a given issue does weigh on their consciences that much, and so not paying taxes might be the right move for them to make. But again, such choices have consequences and those individuals must be willing to face them.


I think this is a good answer. The question of the OP is one that deserves more consideration than we usually give it. Too often we seek justification from Scripture to assuage our consciences and do the less difficult thing rather than to engage our consciences and struggle with what is best.

As unOrthodox as he was, I still believe that Thoreau's essay "On Civil Disobedience" provides some worthy insights on the matter. It is difficult in our society to avoid paying any type of tax at all, because most of us pay taxes even when we shop for groceries and buy gasoline. So it's almost impossible to avoid it altogether. But I think this Priest is basically correct. The only thing I would add is that I don't think it is abandoning our family to give our lives to the "least of these". Ideally, we should prioritize the "least of these" while also reamining committed to our families. But since many Christians have no qualms about abandoning their families to go off to war, then I don't think it should be considered "abandoning our families" if we are taken to prison for not paying taxes as a result of our moral Christian convictions.


Selam



It's a fair point. Christ did say that if we were not willing to leave even our families for his sake, we are not worthy of him. Strong words from God's mouth. So, there may be times when a person is called to even abandon their family. (Though this should be weighed with utmost care, equal to the gravity of the calling.)

Civil disobedience is a great example. The Church calls us to obey our worldly authorities unless they require us to flatly disobey the laws of God. But there are often shades of gray, and different people will be called to take different stands. Saint George and others served in the pagan army of the Roman Empire, while untold numbers of martyrs resisted the same army. All of them were acceptable to God.

We must not put our hopes in men or invest our hopes in governments. But God and the Church realize these things exist, and I don't think we should either blindly march to the government's drumbeat or blindly live in the clouds. We must be rational sheep—especially we who live in democratic societies.

Tsar Nicholas II, I think, reigned with the awareness of his God-given responsibility to his nation. In a democratic society, we all share in that responsibility. When you have a Caesar who personally controls every aspect of his nation's life, obedience means one thing. When you have a democracy, obedience means something else.

Sometimes that means holding our nose while our governments enable infanticide (meanwhile fighting against it within the system), and sometimes that means overthrowing our government, and everything in between.
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« Reply #72 on: September 13, 2011, 03:41:55 PM »

I would be really interested for anyone to point out when, during any time in history, any "moral" government ever existed that obeyed every single one of God's commandments.

King David himself committed murder, adultery, and countless other sins during his reign as King over Israel. My point is not to bash King David, but to point out that a man described as being "after God's heart," who was appointed by God through the Prophet Samuel was capable of sin.

If you are looking for a "moral" government, you are looking on the wrong planet. The only place where a "moral" government exists, or has ever existed, is in heaven itself.

Christ said give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Was this because Christ was advocating immoral governments? No, it was because we are not to build up our treasures on earth, but in heaven. Christ knew that no perfect government existed on earth, so why should we worry about returning the currency of the government to the government?

Americans in particular have this peculiar notion of creating this great Christian government so we can lead perfect Christian lives in our perfect Christian little bubble. Look at the Government under which the Apostles lived. It was a pagan empire and Christianity was a strange cult with a few hundred followers. Yet the Church flourished and God's will was done. If it could survive and thrive under those conditions, what does it say about our faith walk when we blame our government for not leading a moral life?

Pay your taxes, be a good civil servant, and follow God's commandments. The former is not in contradiction to the latter.
At the Nuremberg trials,  people were found guilty and executed even though they may have claimed that they were only following orders. The court ruled in favor of the doctrine of shared responsibility.  If people stand idly by and raise no objections,  while a country is stockpiling huge amounts of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons, and is engaging in torturing people and waging war under false pretenses, then why would they not be guilty under the doctrine of shared responsibility?
But who gave us this doctrine of shared responsibility? Is it found in the Gospel, as "give unto Caesar what is Caesar's" is found in the Gospel?
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« Reply #73 on: September 13, 2011, 04:02:03 PM »

I would be really interested for anyone to point out when, during any time in history, any "moral" government ever existed that obeyed every single one of God's commandments.

King David himself committed murder, adultery, and countless other sins during his reign as King over Israel. My point is not to bash King David, but to point out that a man described as being "after God's heart," who was appointed by God through the Prophet Samuel was capable of sin.

If you are looking for a "moral" government, you are looking on the wrong planet. The only place where a "moral" government exists, or has ever existed, is in heaven itself.

Christ said give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Was this because Christ was advocating immoral governments? No, it was because we are not to build up our treasures on earth, but in heaven. Christ knew that no perfect government existed on earth, so why should we worry about returning the currency of the government to the government?

Americans in particular have this peculiar notion of creating this great Christian government so we can lead perfect Christian lives in our perfect Christian little bubble. Look at the Government under which the Apostles lived. It was a pagan empire and Christianity was a strange cult with a few hundred followers. Yet the Church flourished and God's will was done. If it could survive and thrive under those conditions, what does it say about our faith walk when we blame our government for not leading a moral life?

Pay your taxes, be a good civil servant, and follow God's commandments. The former is not in contradiction to the latter.
At the Nuremberg trials,  people were found guilty and executed even though they may have claimed that they were only following orders. The court ruled in favor of the doctrine of shared responsibility.  If people stand idly by and raise no objections,  while a country is stockpiling huge amounts of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons, and is engaging in torturing people and waging war under false pretenses, then why would they not be guilty under the doctrine of shared responsibility?
But who gave us this doctrine of shared responsibility? Is it found in the Gospel, as "give unto Caesar what is Caesar's" is found in the Gospel?
When the people shouted let His Blood be upon us and our children, were they not saying that they shared in the responsibility for His Death?
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« Reply #74 on: September 13, 2011, 04:17:50 PM »

I would be really interested for anyone to point out when, during any time in history, any "moral" government ever existed that obeyed every single one of God's commandments.

King David himself committed murder, adultery, and countless other sins during his reign as King over Israel. My point is not to bash King David, but to point out that a man described as being "after God's heart," who was appointed by God through the Prophet Samuel was capable of sin.

If you are looking for a "moral" government, you are looking on the wrong planet. The only place where a "moral" government exists, or has ever existed, is in heaven itself.

Christ said give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Was this because Christ was advocating immoral governments? No, it was because we are not to build up our treasures on earth, but in heaven. Christ knew that no perfect government existed on earth, so why should we worry about returning the currency of the government to the government?

Americans in particular have this peculiar notion of creating this great Christian government so we can lead perfect Christian lives in our perfect Christian little bubble. Look at the Government under which the Apostles lived. It was a pagan empire and Christianity was a strange cult with a few hundred followers. Yet the Church flourished and God's will was done. If it could survive and thrive under those conditions, what does it say about our faith walk when we blame our government for not leading a moral life?

Pay your taxes, be a good civil servant, and follow God's commandments. The former is not in contradiction to the latter.
At the Nuremberg trials,  people were found guilty and executed even though they may have claimed that they were only following orders. The court ruled in favor of the doctrine of shared responsibility.  If people stand idly by and raise no objections,  while a country is stockpiling huge amounts of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons, and is engaging in torturing people and waging war under false pretenses, then why would they not be guilty under the doctrine of shared responsibility?
But who gave us this doctrine of shared responsibility? Is it found in the Gospel, as "give unto Caesar what is Caesar's" is found in the Gospel?
If there really is no shared responsibility, then would the logical conclusion be that it was immoral and wrong to try the German soldiers at Nuremberg? After all, they were only rendering to Caesar what was Caesar's since they were just obeying higher orders.
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« Reply #75 on: September 13, 2011, 04:26:54 PM »

I would be really interested for anyone to point out when, during any time in history, any "moral" government ever existed that obeyed every single one of God's commandments.

King David himself committed murder, adultery, and countless other sins during his reign as King over Israel. My point is not to bash King David, but to point out that a man described as being "after God's heart," who was appointed by God through the Prophet Samuel was capable of sin.

If you are looking for a "moral" government, you are looking on the wrong planet. The only place where a "moral" government exists, or has ever existed, is in heaven itself.

Christ said give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Was this because Christ was advocating immoral governments? No, it was because we are not to build up our treasures on earth, but in heaven. Christ knew that no perfect government existed on earth, so why should we worry about returning the currency of the government to the government?

Americans in particular have this peculiar notion of creating this great Christian government so we can lead perfect Christian lives in our perfect Christian little bubble. Look at the Government under which the Apostles lived. It was a pagan empire and Christianity was a strange cult with a few hundred followers. Yet the Church flourished and God's will was done. If it could survive and thrive under those conditions, what does it say about our faith walk when we blame our government for not leading a moral life?

Pay your taxes, be a good civil servant, and follow God's commandments. The former is not in contradiction to the latter.
At the Nuremberg trials,  people were found guilty and executed even though they may have claimed that they were only following orders. The court ruled in favor of the doctrine of shared responsibility.  If people stand idly by and raise no objections,  while a country is stockpiling huge amounts of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons, and is engaging in torturing people and waging war under false pretenses, then why would they not be guilty under the doctrine of shared responsibility?
And there are countries which do not engage in torture and are not stockpiling chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, such as Luxembourg for example.

Do you really think that Christ, being an omnipresent, omniscient god would not have foreseen what the Nazi's would do when he said "pay unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar"? Do you think God didn't know about how man would continue on the path of self-destruction that started in the Garden of Eden?

That is why Christ came to this earth; not to be a political savior but a spiritual one. God knew that there was no way man on his own could save himself or create a government that would save him.

Christ came to conquer death; not to conquer Congress.
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« Reply #76 on: September 13, 2011, 04:27:37 PM »

Since many Orthodox Christians believe directly that "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" validates paying certain taxes such as the income tax - when an individual knows that their taxation pays for things such as abortions & wars, does this conflict with Orthodoxy?

I'm stuck in this vexing question a lot.
Thanks
You seem to specializing in vexing yourself.

What do you think Caesar was using Christ's denarius for?  Feeding the poor (outside of the bread and circus to keep himself on top of the empire)?

Whose picture is on the dollar bill?  $5? $10? $20? $50? $100?....
Not Caesar's picture.  Masons.

Do you think Christ would have paid that denarius if he knew it was going to be used to kill babies?

Do not think that Christ Jesus would of know what Caesar was using the denarius for, especially since I doubt it was beyond Caesar to kill babies.
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« Reply #77 on: September 13, 2011, 04:33:04 PM »

If there really is no shared responsibility, then would the logical conclusion be that it was immoral and wrong to try the German soldiers at Nuremberg? After all, they were only rendering to Caesar what was Caesar's since they were just obeying higher orders.

So what is your solution? No one pay their taxes until all governments comply with God's law? Then surely, I hope that you will not drive on any roads, send your children to public schools, go to any public libraries, accept any social security or disability benefits, or partake of the health care system in any country, as it is subsidized by the government. Also, please do not mail any letters using the Postal Service, or accept charity from any church, because federal dollars also go to those agencies. Since you don't believe in funding public services, please don't use them.

There are legal methods within the US Constitution to protest your government, and still pay your taxes. As for other countries, I do not know, as I am unfamiliar with their laws.
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« Reply #78 on: September 13, 2011, 04:34:03 PM »

I would be really interested for anyone to point out when, during any time in history, any "moral" government ever existed that obeyed every single one of God's commandments.

King David himself committed murder, adultery, and countless other sins during his reign as King over Israel. My point is not to bash King David, but to point out that a man described as being "after God's heart," who was appointed by God through the Prophet Samuel was capable of sin.

If you are looking for a "moral" government, you are looking on the wrong planet. The only place where a "moral" government exists, or has ever existed, is in heaven itself.

Christ said give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Was this because Christ was advocating immoral governments? No, it was because we are not to build up our treasures on earth, but in heaven. Christ knew that no perfect government existed on earth, so why should we worry about returning the currency of the government to the government?

Americans in particular have this peculiar notion of creating this great Christian government so we can lead perfect Christian lives in our perfect Christian little bubble. Look at the Government under which the Apostles lived. It was a pagan empire and Christianity was a strange cult with a few hundred followers. Yet the Church flourished and God's will was done. If it could survive and thrive under those conditions, what does it say about our faith walk when we blame our government for not leading a moral life?

Pay your taxes, be a good civil servant, and follow God's commandments. The former is not in contradiction to the latter.
At the Nuremberg trials,  people were found guilty and executed even though they may have claimed that they were only following orders. The court ruled in favor of the doctrine of shared responsibility.  If people stand idly by and raise no objections,  while a country is stockpiling huge amounts of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons, and is engaging in torturing people and waging war under false pretenses, then why would they not be guilty under the doctrine of shared responsibility?
And there are countries which do not engage in torture and are not stockpiling chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, such as Luxembourg for example.

Do you really think that Christ, being an omnipresent, omniscient god would not have foreseen what the Nazi's would do when he said "pay unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar"? Do you think God didn't know about how man would continue on the path of self-destruction that started in the Garden of Eden?

That is why Christ came to this earth; not to be a political savior but a spiritual one. God knew that there was no way man on his own could save himself or create a government that would save him.

Christ came to conquer death; not to conquer Congress.

Could we perhaps say that this is a matter of personal conscience, or in other words, that given the context, part of what Christ is saying is that we should refrain from judging others in this matter. I think it is no sin not to pay taxes to Hitler, and to accept the consequences, more than that, there is some nobility in such an act. But it is no sin in my opinion to pay taxes to Hitler.
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« Reply #79 on: September 13, 2011, 04:48:23 PM »

If there really is no shared responsibility, then would the logical conclusion be that it was immoral and wrong to try the German soldiers at Nuremberg? After all, they were only rendering to Caesar what was Caesar's since they were just obeying higher orders.

So what is your solution? No one pay their taxes until all governments comply with God's law? Then surely, I hope that you will not drive on any roads, send your children to public schools, go to any public libraries, accept any social security or disability benefits, or partake of the health care system in any country, as it is subsidized by the government. Also, please do not mail any letters using the Postal Service, or accept charity from any church, because federal dollars also go to those agencies. Since you don't believe in funding public services, please don't use them.

There are legal methods within the US Constitution to protest your government, and still pay your taxes. As for other countries, I do not know, as I am unfamiliar with their laws.
My solution would be to speak out against injustice and immorality, as is possible. And work as far as possible for peace.
To just go along, as the German soldiers did, and not speak out as is possible, seems to be wrong to me. We do have something of a shared responsibility in this, just as the German soldiers were executed at Nuremberg for following orders, even though they were only rendering to Caesar.
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« Reply #80 on: September 13, 2011, 04:49:57 PM »

But it is no sin in my opinion to pay taxes to Hitler.
And what is then your opinion concerning the fairness of the Nuremberg trials?
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« Reply #81 on: September 13, 2011, 04:59:47 PM »

But it is no sin in my opinion to pay taxes to Hitler.
And what is then your opinion concerning the fairness of the Nuremberg trials?

Totally fair. German taxpayers weren't on trial, Nazi leaders and bureaucrats were.
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« Reply #82 on: September 13, 2011, 06:14:06 PM »

I would be really interested for anyone to point out when, during any time in history, any "moral" government ever existed that obeyed every single one of God's commandments.

King David himself committed murder, adultery, and countless other sins during his reign as King over Israel. My point is not to bash King David, but to point out that a man described as being "after God's heart," who was appointed by God through the Prophet Samuel was capable of sin.

If you are looking for a "moral" government, you are looking on the wrong planet. The only place where a "moral" government exists, or has ever existed, is in heaven itself.

Christ said give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Was this because Christ was advocating immoral governments? No, it was because we are not to build up our treasures on earth, but in heaven. Christ knew that no perfect government existed on earth, so why should we worry about returning the currency of the government to the government?

Americans in particular have this peculiar notion of creating this great Christian government so we can lead perfect Christian lives in our perfect Christian little bubble. Look at the Government under which the Apostles lived. It was a pagan empire and Christianity was a strange cult with a few hundred followers. Yet the Church flourished and God's will was done. If it could survive and thrive under those conditions, what does it say about our faith walk when we blame our government for not leading a moral life?

Pay your taxes, be a good civil servant, and follow God's commandments. The former is not in contradiction to the latter.
At the Nuremberg trials,  people were found guilty and executed even though they may have claimed that they were only following orders. The court ruled in favor of the doctrine of shared responsibility.  If people stand idly by and raise no objections,  while a country is stockpiling huge amounts of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons, and is engaging in torturing people and waging war under false pretenses, then why would they not be guilty under the doctrine of shared responsibility?
But who gave us this doctrine of shared responsibility? Is it found in the Gospel, as "give unto Caesar what is Caesar's" is found in the Gospel?
If there really is no shared responsibility, then would the logical conclusion be that it was immoral and wrong to try the German soldiers at Nuremberg? After all, they were only rendering to Caesar what was Caesar's since they were just obeying higher orders.
As I understand the subject of this thread, we're talking about whether it's contrary to the Gospel to pay or not pay taxes. You've introduced a concept of morality made by man, not one elucidated in the Gospel. I therefore fail to see how this concept of "shared responsibility" is a fair measure of what is sinful in the eyes of God. You're also talking about an active execution of government policies that goes well beyond merely paying taxes. How, then, is any of what you're arguing relevant to this discussion?
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« Reply #83 on: September 14, 2011, 12:27:17 AM »

I would be really interested for anyone to point out when, during any time in history, any "moral" government ever existed that obeyed every single one of God's commandments.

King David himself committed murder, adultery, and countless other sins during his reign as King over Israel. My point is not to bash King David, but to point out that a man described as being "after God's heart," who was appointed by God through the Prophet Samuel was capable of sin.

If you are looking for a "moral" government, you are looking on the wrong planet. The only place where a "moral" government exists, or has ever existed, is in heaven itself.

Christ said give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Was this because Christ was advocating immoral governments? No, it was because we are not to build up our treasures on earth, but in heaven. Christ knew that no perfect government existed on earth, so why should we worry about returning the currency of the government to the government?

Americans in particular have this peculiar notion of creating this great Christian government so we can lead perfect Christian lives in our perfect Christian little bubble. Look at the Government under which the Apostles lived. It was a pagan empire and Christianity was a strange cult with a few hundred followers. Yet the Church flourished and God's will was done. If it could survive and thrive under those conditions, what does it say about our faith walk when we blame our government for not leading a moral life?

Pay your taxes, be a good civil servant, and follow God's commandments. The former is not in contradiction to the latter.
At the Nuremberg trials,  people were found guilty and executed even though they may have claimed that they were only following orders. The court ruled in favor of the doctrine of shared responsibility.  If people stand idly by and raise no objections,  while a country is stockpiling huge amounts of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons, and is engaging in torturing people and waging war under false pretenses, then why would they not be guilty under the doctrine of shared responsibility?
But who gave us this doctrine of shared responsibility? Is it found in the Gospel, as "give unto Caesar what is Caesar's" is found in the Gospel?
If there really is no shared responsibility, then would the logical conclusion be that it was immoral and wrong to try the German soldiers at Nuremberg? After all, they were only rendering to Caesar what was Caesar's since they were just obeying higher orders.
As I understand the subject of this thread, we're talking about whether it's contrary to the Gospel to pay or not pay taxes. You've introduced a concept of morality made by man, not one elucidated in the Gospel. I therefore fail to see how this concept of "shared responsibility" is a fair measure of what is sinful in the eyes of God. You're also talking about an active execution of government policies that goes well beyond merely paying taxes. How, then, is any of what you're arguing relevant to this discussion?
You are raisng a valid point here, but the original question concerned the Orthodox position and was not necessarily  limited to what is found in the Gospels. I was looking at whether in history, we see that society considers the dictum of  "Render to Casesar what is Caeser's" to relieve one of shared responsiblity. I believe that the Nuremberg trials show that a world court would not accept this dictum or the excuse that you were  just following orders  as a legitimate defense. So the question would be how does the Orthodox Church views the Nuremberg trials. If the Orthodox view the Nuremberg trials as fair, then it seems reasonalble to conclude that the  defense of Render to Caesar would not hold up.
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« Reply #84 on: September 14, 2011, 01:50:34 AM »

I would be really interested for anyone to point out when, during any time in history, any "moral" government ever existed that obeyed every single one of God's commandments.

King David himself committed murder, adultery, and countless other sins during his reign as King over Israel. My point is not to bash King David, but to point out that a man described as being "after God's heart," who was appointed by God through the Prophet Samuel was capable of sin.

If you are looking for a "moral" government, you are looking on the wrong planet. The only place where a "moral" government exists, or has ever existed, is in heaven itself.

Christ said give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Was this because Christ was advocating immoral governments? No, it was because we are not to build up our treasures on earth, but in heaven. Christ knew that no perfect government existed on earth, so why should we worry about returning the currency of the government to the government?

Americans in particular have this peculiar notion of creating this great Christian government so we can lead perfect Christian lives in our perfect Christian little bubble. Look at the Government under which the Apostles lived. It was a pagan empire and Christianity was a strange cult with a few hundred followers. Yet the Church flourished and God's will was done. If it could survive and thrive under those conditions, what does it say about our faith walk when we blame our government for not leading a moral life?

Pay your taxes, be a good civil servant, and follow God's commandments. The former is not in contradiction to the latter.
At the Nuremberg trials,  people were found guilty and executed even though they may have claimed that they were only following orders. The court ruled in favor of the doctrine of shared responsibility.  If people stand idly by and raise no objections,  while a country is stockpiling huge amounts of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons, and is engaging in torturing people and waging war under false pretenses, then why would they not be guilty under the doctrine of shared responsibility?
But who gave us this doctrine of shared responsibility? Is it found in the Gospel, as "give unto Caesar what is Caesar's" is found in the Gospel?
If there really is no shared responsibility, then would the logical conclusion be that it was immoral and wrong to try the German soldiers at Nuremberg? After all, they were only rendering to Caesar what was Caesar's since they were just obeying higher orders.
As I understand the subject of this thread, we're talking about whether it's contrary to the Gospel to pay or not pay taxes. You've introduced a concept of morality made by man, not one elucidated in the Gospel. I therefore fail to see how this concept of "shared responsibility" is a fair measure of what is sinful in the eyes of God. You're also talking about an active execution of government policies that goes well beyond merely paying taxes. How, then, is any of what you're arguing relevant to this discussion?
You are raisng a valid point here, but the original question concerned the Orthodox position and was not necessarily  limited to what is found in the Gospels. I was looking at whether in history, we see that society considers the dictum of  "Render to Casesar what is Caeser's" to relieve one of shared responsiblity. I believe that the Nuremberg trials show that a world court would not accept this dictum or the excuse that you were  just following orders  as a legitimate defense. So the question would be how does the Orthodox Church views the Nuremberg trials. If the Orthodox view the Nuremberg trials as fair, then it seems reasonalble to conclude that the  defense of Render to Caesar would not hold up.
And yet, "render to Caesar what is Caesar's" is found in the Gospel, while the world court concept of "shared responsibility" is not.
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stanley123
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« Reply #85 on: September 14, 2011, 03:06:11 AM »

I would be really interested for anyone to point out when, during any time in history, any "moral" government ever existed that obeyed every single one of God's commandments.

King David himself committed murder, adultery, and countless other sins during his reign as King over Israel. My point is not to bash King David, but to point out that a man described as being "after God's heart," who was appointed by God through the Prophet Samuel was capable of sin.

If you are looking for a "moral" government, you are looking on the wrong planet. The only place where a "moral" government exists, or has ever existed, is in heaven itself.

Christ said give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Was this because Christ was advocating immoral governments? No, it was because we are not to build up our treasures on earth, but in heaven. Christ knew that no perfect government existed on earth, so why should we worry about returning the currency of the government to the government?

Americans in particular have this peculiar notion of creating this great Christian government so we can lead perfect Christian lives in our perfect Christian little bubble. Look at the Government under which the Apostles lived. It was a pagan empire and Christianity was a strange cult with a few hundred followers. Yet the Church flourished and God's will was done. If it could survive and thrive under those conditions, what does it say about our faith walk when we blame our government for not leading a moral life?

Pay your taxes, be a good civil servant, and follow God's commandments. The former is not in contradiction to the latter.
At the Nuremberg trials,  people were found guilty and executed even though they may have claimed that they were only following orders. The court ruled in favor of the doctrine of shared responsibility.  If people stand idly by and raise no objections,  while a country is stockpiling huge amounts of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons, and is engaging in torturing people and waging war under false pretenses, then why would they not be guilty under the doctrine of shared responsibility?
But who gave us this doctrine of shared responsibility? Is it found in the Gospel, as "give unto Caesar what is Caesar's" is found in the Gospel?
If there really is no shared responsibility, then would the logical conclusion be that it was immoral and wrong to try the German soldiers at Nuremberg? After all, they were only rendering to Caesar what was Caesar's since they were just obeying higher orders.
As I understand the subject of this thread, we're talking about whether it's contrary to the Gospel to pay or not pay taxes. You've introduced a concept of morality made by man, not one elucidated in the Gospel. I therefore fail to see how this concept of "shared responsibility" is a fair measure of what is sinful in the eyes of God. You're also talking about an active execution of government policies that goes well beyond merely paying taxes. How, then, is any of what you're arguing relevant to this discussion?
You are raisng a valid point here, but the original question concerned the Orthodox position and was not necessarily  limited to what is found in the Gospels. I was looking at whether in history, we see that society considers the dictum of  "Render to Casesar what is Caeser's" to relieve one of shared responsiblity. I believe that the Nuremberg trials show that a world court would not accept this dictum or the excuse that you were  just following orders  as a legitimate defense. So the question would be how does the Orthodox Church views the Nuremberg trials. If the Orthodox view the Nuremberg trials as fair, then it seems reasonalble to conclude that the  defense of Render to Caesar would not hold up.
And yet, "render to Caesar what is Caesar's" is found in the Gospel, while the world court concept of "shared responsibility" is not.
However, an Orthodox participant here says that the decisions of the Nuremberg trials were "totally fair". How can that be in accord with the gospel if the soldiers were  rendering to Caesar what was Caesar's by following the orders of Caesar? Nuremberg did not accept the defense of <<I was just following the orders of Caesar>>. By saying that Nuremberg was fair, you would be basically saying that the defense of <<rendering to Caesar what is Caesar's>> is not admissable.
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« Reply #86 on: September 14, 2011, 03:33:17 AM »

I would be really interested for anyone to point out when, during any time in history, any "moral" government ever existed that obeyed every single one of God's commandments.

King David himself committed murder, adultery, and countless other sins during his reign as King over Israel. My point is not to bash King David, but to point out that a man described as being "after God's heart," who was appointed by God through the Prophet Samuel was capable of sin.

If you are looking for a "moral" government, you are looking on the wrong planet. The only place where a "moral" government exists, or has ever existed, is in heaven itself.

Christ said give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Was this because Christ was advocating immoral governments? No, it was because we are not to build up our treasures on earth, but in heaven. Christ knew that no perfect government existed on earth, so why should we worry about returning the currency of the government to the government?

Americans in particular have this peculiar notion of creating this great Christian government so we can lead perfect Christian lives in our perfect Christian little bubble. Look at the Government under which the Apostles lived. It was a pagan empire and Christianity was a strange cult with a few hundred followers. Yet the Church flourished and God's will was done. If it could survive and thrive under those conditions, what does it say about our faith walk when we blame our government for not leading a moral life?

Pay your taxes, be a good civil servant, and follow God's commandments. The former is not in contradiction to the latter.
At the Nuremberg trials,  people were found guilty and executed even though they may have claimed that they were only following orders. The court ruled in favor of the doctrine of shared responsibility.  If people stand idly by and raise no objections,  while a country is stockpiling huge amounts of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons, and is engaging in torturing people and waging war under false pretenses, then why would they not be guilty under the doctrine of shared responsibility?
But who gave us this doctrine of shared responsibility? Is it found in the Gospel, as "give unto Caesar what is Caesar's" is found in the Gospel?
If there really is no shared responsibility, then would the logical conclusion be that it was immoral and wrong to try the German soldiers at Nuremberg? After all, they were only rendering to Caesar what was Caesar's since they were just obeying higher orders.
As I understand the subject of this thread, we're talking about whether it's contrary to the Gospel to pay or not pay taxes. You've introduced a concept of morality made by man, not one elucidated in the Gospel. I therefore fail to see how this concept of "shared responsibility" is a fair measure of what is sinful in the eyes of God. You're also talking about an active execution of government policies that goes well beyond merely paying taxes. How, then, is any of what you're arguing relevant to this discussion?
You are raisng a valid point here, but the original question concerned the Orthodox position and was not necessarily  limited to what is found in the Gospels. I was looking at whether in history, we see that society considers the dictum of  "Render to Casesar what is Caeser's" to relieve one of shared responsiblity. I believe that the Nuremberg trials show that a world court would not accept this dictum or the excuse that you were  just following orders  as a legitimate defense. So the question would be how does the Orthodox Church views the Nuremberg trials. If the Orthodox view the Nuremberg trials as fair, then it seems reasonalble to conclude that the  defense of Render to Caesar would not hold up.
And yet, "render to Caesar what is Caesar's" is found in the Gospel, while the world court concept of "shared responsibility" is not.
However, an Orthodox participant here says that the decisions of the Nuremberg trials were "totally fair". How can that be in accord with the gospel if the soldiers were  rendering to Caesar what was Caesar's by following the orders of Caesar? Nuremberg did not accept the defense of <<I was just following the orders of Caesar>>. By saying that Nuremberg was fair, you would be basically saying that the defense of <<rendering to Caesar what is Caesar's>> is not admissable.
But we're talking about paying taxes here. We're not talking about executing government policy. How does your line of questioning fit into whether it's moral or not to pay taxes?

Let me bring up this analogy to make my point: We're talking about whether it would be moral for us to pay taxes even if we knew that some of the money would be used to perform abortions, while you're asking whether we would consider it moral to actually use tax money to perform the abortions. We're talking about two totally different things here.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2011, 03:36:45 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #87 on: September 14, 2011, 03:35:05 AM »

You are raisng a valid point here, but the original question concerned the Orthodox position and was not necessarily  limited to what is found in the Gospels.

The Church has some teachings and beliefs that are not mentioned in the Gospel but it does not have ones that are contrary to it (in contrary to your religious organisation).

Quote
how does the Orthodox Church views the Nuremberg trials. If the Orthodox view the Nuremberg trials as fair, then it seems reasonalble to conclude that the  defense of Render to Caesar would not hold up.

The Church, in contrary to the Vatican, doesn't have the need to have opinion on and interfere to everything everywhere.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2011, 03:35:25 AM by Michał Kalina » Logged
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« Reply #88 on: September 14, 2011, 09:17:11 AM »

The Nuremburg trials really didn't add anything to world jurisprudence except that it formalized the fact that a victor can impose any conditions he wishes on the vanquished.  This concept goes as far back as to the Brennus vs Rome case of 390 BC.  See, war crimes and shared responsibility really only matter if you loose.  Germans, Japanese and Serbs have all been executed for war crimes (what ever those are), but more importantly they lost.  Loss is unforgivable.  See, most African militia leaders or dictators who chop up people, they generally get let off.  Primarily because the world community just doesn't care about Africa, unless of course it sells U2 concert tickets.  These Nuremburg trials did nothing to punish Soviet commanders who ordered rapes all across Eastern Europe.  Fire bombing civilians or giving a generation leukemia is perfectly fine, just make sure there is a star on you wing rather than a sun or a cross.

Actually, if you want Gospel proof that shared responsibility is bovine feces, you need to look no further than the Nuremburg trials.  The only part in the Gospel that I can remember that speaks of shared responsibility is the part about the blood being on their hands and on their children's hands.  If this were an actual moral/legal principle, then wouldn't the Holocaust have been justified since they were only punishing people for their shared responsibility?  No.  Punishing someone for someone else's sins is not a Christian principle.  Last time that happened our Savoir got nailed to a cross.
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« Reply #89 on: September 14, 2011, 03:11:50 PM »

I would be really interested for anyone to point out when, during any time in history, any "moral" government ever existed that obeyed every single one of God's commandments.

King David himself committed murder, adultery, and countless other sins during his reign as King over Israel. My point is not to bash King David, but to point out that a man described as being "after God's heart," who was appointed by God through the Prophet Samuel was capable of sin.

If you are looking for a "moral" government, you are looking on the wrong planet. The only place where a "moral" government exists, or has ever existed, is in heaven itself.

Christ said give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Was this because Christ was advocating immoral governments? No, it was because we are not to build up our treasures on earth, but in heaven. Christ knew that no perfect government existed on earth, so why should we worry about returning the currency of the government to the government?

Americans in particular have this peculiar notion of creating this great Christian government so we can lead perfect Christian lives in our perfect Christian little bubble. Look at the Government under which the Apostles lived. It was a pagan empire and Christianity was a strange cult with a few hundred followers. Yet the Church flourished and God's will was done. If it could survive and thrive under those conditions, what does it say about our faith walk when we blame our government for not leading a moral life?

Pay your taxes, be a good civil servant, and follow God's commandments. The former is not in contradiction to the latter.
At the Nuremberg trials,  people were found guilty and executed even though they may have claimed that they were only following orders. The court ruled in favor of the doctrine of shared responsibility.  If people stand idly by and raise no objections,  while a country is stockpiling huge amounts of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons, and is engaging in torturing people and waging war under false pretenses, then why would they not be guilty under the doctrine of shared responsibility?
But who gave us this doctrine of shared responsibility? Is it found in the Gospel, as "give unto Caesar what is Caesar's" is found in the Gospel?
If there really is no shared responsibility, then would the logical conclusion be that it was immoral and wrong to try the German soldiers at Nuremberg? After all, they were only rendering to Caesar what was Caesar's since they were just obeying higher orders.
As I understand the subject of this thread, we're talking about whether it's contrary to the Gospel to pay or not pay taxes. You've introduced a concept of morality made by man, not one elucidated in the Gospel. I therefore fail to see how this concept of "shared responsibility" is a fair measure of what is sinful in the eyes of God. You're also talking about an active execution of government policies that goes well beyond merely paying taxes. How, then, is any of what you're arguing relevant to this discussion?
You are raisng a valid point here, but the original question concerned the Orthodox position and was not necessarily  limited to what is found in the Gospels. I was looking at whether in history, we see that society considers the dictum of  "Render to Casesar what is Caeser's" to relieve one of shared responsiblity. I believe that the Nuremberg trials show that a world court would not accept this dictum or the excuse that you were  just following orders  as a legitimate defense. So the question would be how does the Orthodox Church views the Nuremberg trials. If the Orthodox view the Nuremberg trials as fair, then it seems reasonalble to conclude that the  defense of Render to Caesar would not hold up.

Paying taxes and "following orders" are not the same thing. Render to Caesar refers specifically to paying taxes. It does not necessarily refer to other forms of participation in the state.
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1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
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