God lets us know we have obligations. And so, we pay taxes. No big deal. Not a lot of commotion. An obligation we have like any other.
Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
English Standard Version. (2016). (Romans 13:5–7). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
We move a bit higher in our motivation now. Any citizen can obey the law because of fear of punishment, but a disciple of Jesus ought to obey because of conscience. Of course, if the government interferes with conscience, then the disciple must obey God rather than men. But when the law is right, the disciple must obey it if he is to maintain a good conscience.
The United States Government maintains a “Conscience Fund” for people who want to pay their debts to the Government and yet remain anonymous. Some city governments have a similar fund. One city that had investigated some tax frauds announced that several citizens were going to be indicted. They did not release the names of the culprits. That week, a number of people visited the City Hall to “straighten out their taxes”—and many of them were not on the indictment list. When conscience begins to work, we cannot live with ourselves until we have made things right.
God commands us to pay what we owe: taxes, revenue, respect, honor. If we do not pay our taxes, we show disrespect to the law, the officials, and the Master Jesus. And this cannot but affect the conscience of the believer. We may not agree with all that is done with the money we pay in taxes, but we dare not violate our conscience by refusing to pay.