Jim McGuiggan* (author and member of the church) tells the story of the small French village of Domremy. In 1429, Charles VII gave this village exemption from taxes. Think of it – no property taxes!! West of the town, in Paris, historical ledgers are kept which record taxes paid by towns and villages dotted all over the country. In Domremy’s case you can look up 1429 and you’ll find written across the whole page in red ink: “FREE, BECAUSE OF THE MAID.” The maid was Joan of Arc. She had requested tax freedom for her home town because she felt taxes exploited her villagers. (How true!). Her wish was honored for 350 years, but then taxes resumed after the French revolution. The town still exists today(population 155), including Joan of Arc’s house.
“Across the lives of all those who have become identified with the Christ is written in blood: ‘Free, because of THE MAN.’”
You can look up Domremy on sites like Google Earth; it’s a beautiful little place. But their ancestors didn’t receive tax freedom because their town was beautiful, or its citizens nice. It was paid for by the heroics of Joan of Arc. We didn’t earn freedom from sin because of any merits of our own; it was paid by the blood of Jesus.
One more thing: the people there can only look back wistfully at tax freedom, a privilege that ended over 200 years ago. But our freedom in Christ never ends.
– Tim Johnson
* Jim McGuiggan: The Book of Romans. Montex Publishing, Lubbock, Texas, 1982, page 242.