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Blessed InegbedionSunday, August 10, 2014
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CHURCH PAYMENT OF TAX: A SIN ON THE ENFORCER(S)

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n Tuesday May 27, 2014, a delegate representing civil organizations, Mallam Naseer Kura said during his contribution on the report of the committee on religion that religious leaders were making much money and should be taxed.

His rationale was that, pastors were making too much money at the expense of the people and that many of them owned private jets and universities. Who are they? I know indubitably that he is referring to the likes of Bishop David Oyedepo, Pastor Enoch Adeboye and Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. I think he is just envious of the aforementioned servants of God. You should jealous people for good and not for evil. Everyone is jealous in nature. The inability for someone to control his/her jealousy put the jealousy into question. I also view his assertion as pointless. It is in similitude to a student who stood up confidently to answer a question and scored zero.

Be as it may, it is shocking and bothersome that the delegates to the just concluded National Conference on May 27, 2014 in unison voted that religious bodies should pay tax. A church is a non-profit organization that is establish for the gathering of believers who worship God. A non-profit organization should not and cannot be taxed. The members are already taxed on individual incomes. Taxing the church when the members receive no monetary gain would lead to double taxation. That few pastors bought private jets does not mean that all the pastors bought private jets. Some pastors are rich while many pastors are poor. Everyone is not born with the same grace. Should churches pay tax, what are the criteria of assessing a rich pastor's tax to that of a poor pastor?

The world is really coming to an end. Instead of them finding solution to the country's prevalent issues like: unemployment, un-equipped hospitals, moral decadence of our education, power failure, bad roads, bombing of lives and properties in different parts of the states, rescuing of the said missing CHIBOK girls, religious intolerance and among others; they were there pocketing millions of naira and wasting time and Nigeria's resources confabulating on issues that will not contribute positively on how to combat Nigeria's innumerable problems or ameliorate the country.

Luke 6:37 in the Holy Bible says that; Do not judge so that you will not be judged. Do not condemn so that you will not be condemned. In a similar manner, Matthew 7:4-5 says, how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your own eye and behold, the log is in your own eye. You hypocrites first take the log out of your own eyes, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eyes'.

By and Large, it is true that despite the proliferation of churches in different streets, villages, towns and cities in Nigeria, there is still high level of bribery and corruption. This is happening because many people in the pretext of a servant of God opened churches for business purpose. In Matthew 21: 12-13, it is stated that Jesus Christ entered the temple and drove all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers, and the seats of those who were selling doves and He said to them, "It is written "MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER; but you are making it a ROBBER'S DEN". Those that opened churches for business purpose should wait on the wrath of God and if the delegates to the just concluded National Conference want Churches to pay tax, the sin of the church will be on the enforcer(s).

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