Taxation Without Representation
©1999 by James
A. Fowler. All rights
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The illustrator of these
parodies is Aaron Eskridge.
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"Taxation without representation"
was the issue that led the colonists of the Massachusetts Bay
Colony to instigate the Boston Tea Party of December 16, 1773,
an incident which helped to precipitate the American Revolution.
The entire system
of taxation by the British was regarded as oppressive. Distant
authorities exerting their power, exacting the taxes, the expenditure
of which would bring little or no benefit to those paying. In
fact, the taxes were being misspent and were being used to perpetuate
an antiquated and corrupt government system.
That situation led God-fearing
colonists to defy the governing powers. "Pay with no say"
was intolerable. Upon the arrival of three ships laden with tea
into the Boston harbor, defiant colonists costumed as native
Indians, boarded the ships and dumped the tea in the sea.
Will Christians ever act
as assertively to address a similar intolerable and oppressive
situation within ecclesiasticism? Perhaps it is time to dump
the big "T" of tithing into the "C" of conspiracy!
The pressure to tithe
at least ten percent of one's income is also a method of funding
used by power-hungry authorities to line their own pockets and
to perpetuate an antiquated and corrupt system of ecclesiasticism.
Legislated tithing has no
place in the new covenant dynamics of the Church of Jesus Christ,
wherein "the law is written upon our hearts" (Heb.
8:10; 10:6). Christian giving is not mandated by percentages.
Christian giving is not to be manipulated by ecclesiastical authorities
utilizing emotional appeals to create guilt incentives.
Christian giving is the
opportunity afforded to every Christian to be the vessel through
which the giving character of God's grace continues to be expressed.
In the midst of our personal relationship with God in Jesus Christ,
we consider what He wants to give of that which is His already;
how much, to whom, and when. "Let each one do just as he
has purposed in his heart" (II Cor. 9:7), in accordance
"as he may prosper" (I Cor. 16:2).