Pastors and priests had better wake up their ideas. In this increasingly secular culture, people are beginning to wonder why churches don’t pay taxes like everybody else. I used to wonder why that was as well until I heard the reason why this is so.
Apparently church organizations used to be the providers of social services. They set up hospitals, orphanages, and rescue missions to help people in need. At the time, governments weren’t all that involved in social work.
As the so-called progressive movement grew, so did the involvement of governments in caring for the disadvantaged. People soon accepted this, reducing the pressures on church budgets. The twin lures of more control over people by the government and more money for church budgets has steadily eroded the need for Christian social outreach.
The danger in this trend is that the rationale for Christian charities and churches receiving a tax break is rapidly fading. From what I’ve learned from various sources, atheists are now openly questioning this tax holiday for one religion.
If believers in Christ aren’t careful and don’t heed the warning signs, they could wake up one day and find that their churches suddenly owe taxes. I dare say that some municipalities might even demand retroactive tax payments.
I hope and pray that churches of all denominations get their acts together and start reaching out to their communities. This can be done in simple ways. For example, volunteers could shovel the sidewalks of elderly neighbours. They could drive disabled folks and seniors to doctor appointments. Even helping elderly and infirm neighbours with shopping trips would be a step in the right direction.
I used to receive plenty of help from church members. Now, only a few of my former congregants are willing to help. Thorhild County now takes me, and a few seniors, shopping twice a month. I also ride with seniors from Newbrook on the county bus for a day-long shopping trip. A few non-Christian neighbours also give me rides but I pay for their gasoline and time.