I am in the midst of co-leading a course at the Ottawa School of Theology and Spirituality (www.osts.ca ) on how our faith affects our attitudes, values and choices regarding money. I am working with a financial advisor to lead the course. We are calling the course – “Would you want Jesus to be your Financial Advisor?”
We are now three weeks into it and a couple of things that I noticed so far are: 1) Money is regarded as so personal/private that we don’t have many opportunities to talk about money and personal financial choices in a group setting; 2) the context of 1st century Palestine and the context of 21st century North America are very different and yet what each context has in common is human beings!
A couple of nights ago we focused on taxes and began with the question: “What is your favourite tax to pay?” It was a disarming question because the words favourite and tax rarely appear in the same sentence. The initial silence gave way to a good discussion about the responsibility of citizenship and the privilege of being able to contribute to the good of all.
We looked at various forms of taxation and the objectives of a tax system and realized that most of the objectives align with values we hold out of an understanding of faithfulness.
So why all the angst about paying taxes – maybe it is because there are more questions about decisions that are made about how the tax money is spent. It is tough when differing priorities, large systems, and human greed get mixed together.