Q. I appreciate and agree with your interpretation of scripture that we should give a minimum 10 percent of our income plus offerings, the more the better. I happily meet these minimums and hope to increase them as God prospers me. However, some writers conclude that the temple to which the ancient Israelites were contributing was more than a religious tithe, but as a theocracy the temple was also responsible for the social welfare as well as the religious welfare of the people.
Since our taxes to the U.S., state and local governments are to promote the common good, although sometimes debatable as to their effectiveness and wise use, is it possible to consider involuntary taxes as being a part of our tithe?
A. Jesus said that we should give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s (Matt. 22:21). In my mind this makes the use of tithe money to pay taxes impossible to justify. But in the practical sense, the government does help us pay our tithes by making a percentage of them deductible when calculating our tax liability.