Comparing Political Platforms (14) IRS and Government

Are you planning on sitting out this election? You might want to think again about what the Bible says about communities, individuals, and how it speaks to the question, “Does God distinguish between the community and the individual?”  And while we’re at it, “How big should government be? How far should its reach extend? Where does the Church’s role end and the government’s role begin?”  No one serves two masters.

As we continue our series Comparing the Political Platforms, today we circle back to cover the IRS in relation to the overall concept of the size and scope of government.


(Note: The DNC platform does not mention the IRS even once, although paying one’s “fair share” of taxes is mentioned 9 times. Words like funding (23x), investment (12x), revenue (2x), resources (27x) and incentives (4x) replace the word taxes in many instances.)

We will increase investments to make quality childcare more affordable, boost wages for childcare workers, and support the millions of people paying for, coordinating, or providing care for aging relatives or those with disabilities…We will preserve and increase the supply of affordable rental housing by expanding incentives to ease local barriers to building new affordable rental housing developments in areas of economic opportunity. We will substantially increase funding for the National Housing Trust Fund to construct, preserve, and rehabilitate millions of affordable housing rental units. (p.5) We will dramatically increase federal infrastructure funding for our cities—making significant new investments in roads and bridges, public transit, drinking and wastewater systems, broadband, schools, and more. (p.19) We reaffirm our commitment to eliminate poverty. Democrats will develop a national strategy, coordinated across all levels of government, to combat poverty. We will direct more federal resources to lifting up communities that have been left out and left behind, (p.20) That is why we will implement the National HIV and AIDS Strategy; increase research funding for the National Institutes of Health; cap pharmaceutical expenses for people living with HIV and AIDS; (p.48)


2.3 Energy and Resources: While energy is needed to fuel a modern society, government should not be subsidizing any particular form of energy. We oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, and production.

2.11  Libertarians would phase out the current government-sponsored Social Security system and transition to a private voluntary system. …civil society will be strengthened as government reduces its activity in this realm.

2.7 Marketplace Freedom: Libertarians support free markets … We oppose all forms of government subsidies and bailouts to business, labor, or any other special interest. Government should not compete with private enterprise.

2.4 Government Finance and Spending:   All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. We call for the repeal of the income tax, the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal programs and services not required under the U.S. Constitution. We oppose any legal requirements forcing employers to serve as tax collectors. Government should not incur debt, which burdens future generations without their consent. We support the passage of a “Balanced Budget Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution, provided that the budget is balanced exclusively by cutting expenditures, and not by raising taxes.

RNC In a free society, the primary role of government is to protect the God-given, inalienable rights of its citizens. (p.9) Our most urgent task as a Party is to restore the American people’s faith in their government by electing a president who will enforce duly enacted laws, honor constitutional limits on executive authority, and return credibility to the Oval Office. We need a Republican president who will end abuses of power by departments and agencies, like the IRS and the EPA, and by the White House itself. (p.10) We will fight for Congress to adopt, and for the states to ratify, a Balanced Budget Amendment which imposes a cap limiting spending to the appropriate historical average percentage of our nation’s gross domestic product while requiring a super-majority for any tax increase, with exceptions only for war or legitimate emergencies. .. Republican budgets will prioritize thrift over extravagance and put taxpayers first. We support the following test: Is a particular expenditure within the constitutional scope of the federal government? If not, stop it. (p.23) Many good civil servants work at the IRS, but the agency itself is toxic. Its leadership employs known tax delinquents, rehires workers previously fired for misconduct, … Worst of all, the IRS has become an ideological attack dog …systematically targets conservative, pro-life, and libertarian organizations, harassing them with repeated audits and denying their tax exempt status. Its commissioner has lied to Congress, hidden evidence, and stonewalled investigations. He should be impeached by the House of Representatives and convicted by the Senate. … We also support making the federal tax code so simple and easy to understand that the IRS becomes obsolete and can be abolished. (p.27)

The Bible says nothing about the size and scope of government in the US. It does say much about community and about the individual’s role in it.

Consider this: Joshua and Caleb wandered in the wilderness along with the faithless ones who would die there and never see the Promised Land. They would be judged as a community and as individuals, with God distinguishing between the faithful (Joshua and Caleb), the innocent (the children), and the faithless within the community.

Numbers 14: 20 The LORD replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21 Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth, 22 not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times– 23 not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. 24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. 25 Since the Amalekites and Canaanites are living in the valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea.” 26 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: 27 “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. 28 So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you the very things I heard you say: 29 In this desert your bodies will fall– every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. 30 Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 31 As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. 32 But you– your bodies will fall in this desert. 33 Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the desert. 34 For forty years– one year for each of the forty days you explored the land– you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’ 35 I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this desert; here they will die.” 36 So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it– 37 these men responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the LORD. 38 Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived. 39 When Moses reported this to all the Israelites, they mourned bitterly.

The government, the shepherds, and the leaders will be called to account in an especially profound way because of leadership. But each one is treated as an individual within that group when the real government spoken about in Isaiah 9:6-7 arrives in the very last day.

Ezekiel 34:1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. …7 “‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 8 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, 9 therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 10 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock … 17 “‘As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats …20 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away, 22 I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another. 23 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. 24 I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the LORD have spoken.

size and scope of governmentManmade government, though instruments of God, will vanish someday.  Every leader will be held to account as an individual, for the good and the bad.

But there’s more: The community of followers will be judged within and as a whole…both for our individual role as well as the impact we had upon our community.

1 Peter 4:17 “For it is time for judgment to family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”

Don’t be deceived: The fate of the disobedient spies displays that in God’s sight, sitting it out is faithless.

Your vote likely counts more in the eyes of God who gave you the candidates, who sees your heart, and who knows your true motives, than your vote actually counts in any election.  Our accountability begins as the family of God, extends inward to the individual heart, and outward to the nations.

Will God not know or care that we were dissatisfied with God’s choices for us?  Will it matter to Him that we refused to pray, responding with faith in action knowing His ways are not our ways?  Will God be pleased with our predetermined path of sitting it out?

* * *
This series contains:

Categories Articles, Articles and Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on August 27, 2016

Social Networks: RSS Facebook Twitter Google Stumble Upon Digg Reddit

Leave a Reply