Quick Challenge Answer: Should Churches be Tax Exempt?

In the United States, churches are considered non-profit organizations and thus do not have to pay taxes to the IRS. Some people take great issue with that and believe many churches abuse their tax-exempt status for self-gain or political influence. Others seem willing to die on the hill to keep the tax-exempt status. Should churches be tax-exempt? How important should this issue be for Christians?

It Makes Sense

In general, churches being tax-exempt makes perfect sense. The church is not a business trying to turn a profit. In most cases, they just want to keep their doors open and serve their communities. If all churches suddenly had to pay additional taxes every year, it would add extra financial strain and likely close many doors. It would certainly be nice not to have the government making the church’s mission more difficult.

Should Some Lose that Exempt Status?

However, it would be naïve to think that no church will step outside of that mission. A frustrating number of “churches” seem more focused on either gaining money or power. It’s easy to be sympathetic when looking at the small local church trying to keep a community of believers together. One can’t help but be cynical when looking at the big megachurch that has no shortage of funds and seems to have its priorities off. We’d all love to see pressure put onto a cult organization hiding behind the church banner or a con artist abusing the name of Christ. However, I am not convinced that blanket taxation of all churches is the most appropriate answer.

Political Involvement and the Johnson Amendment

The other reason some oppose having churches be tax-exempt is when they get involved in politics. I’m not going to comment on whether or not churches should be highly political or endorse policies and candidates. I will just add a few things. First, the Johnson Amendment, which serves as the main law regarding this issue, was originally written because of churches opposing Johnson’s election. It was hardly neutral legislation to begin with. Second, despite the constant debate, the amendment is rarely ever enforced. Even if it was enforced how bad would that be? How committed are you to your political views within the church? Are you committed enough to pay for them? Maybe that shouldn’t be required, but it wouldn’t be the end of the church. If being political in church isn’t worth paying for, how much is it worth?

The Church Will Survive

In my opinion, this should not be our hill to die on. The tax exemption is nice but hardly the foundation of the Christian church in America. This entire question has less to do with scripture and theology and more about politics and modern church practice. Those are important but should not be the primary focus of the church. Christianity has endured far worse than extra financial cost. If churches cease to be tax-exempt, God’s grace and his gospel will continue to be shared.

Discuss your thoughts for this post on our Facebook Group here.  

Catagories
Archives
Calendar
May 2022
S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  
RSS Listen to Our Latest Podcast Here
  • What Would Overturning Roe Vs. Wade Mean? May 17, 2022
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team discusses what would happen if the Supreme Court overturnes Roe Vs. Wade. 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • Are Left Handed People Sinful? May 12, 2022
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity QCQ Podcast, the team answers the question "Are Left Handed People Sinful?".  
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • The NYT Suggests We Give Up God For Easter May 10, 2022
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team responds to a New York Times opinion piece that suggests we should give up God for Easter. 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • Was Jesus Raising Lazarus A Coming Out Story May 3, 2022
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team discusses a theory that Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead was actually an analogy for coming out of the closet. 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • How Tent Making Christianity Got Started April 26, 2022
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, Drew shares an interview he did with Greg West from The Poached Egg apologetic website on how the website and podcast got started.  
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • What Is Maundy Thursday? April 15, 2022
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team answers the question "What is Maundy Thursday?".  
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • Objections And Answers To The Resurrection April 12, 2022
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team discusses objections and answers to the Resurrection of Jesus.
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • What Is Palm Sunday? April 7, 2022
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity QCQ Podcast, the team answers the question "What is Palm Sunday?". 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • Are Christians Getting The Bible Wrong? April 5, 2022
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity Podcast, the team discusses a social medial post claiming people are leaving the Church due to false interpretations of the Bible. 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean
  • Do Monster Energy Drinks Promote Satan? March 31, 2022
    In this episode of The Tent Making Christianity QCQ Podcast, the team responds to a video claiming Monster Energy Drinks promote Satan. 
    Drew Covert, David Johansen, Paul Yearyean