Copyright © December, 2010
Left click the following link for easy access to all articles on this website:
Complete listing of articles on “Separation of Church and State Law” blog
Note. A “+” represents a supportive letter, a “-” a negative letter.
II. Letter No. 1 (+), my reply, and reply to my reply (On Israel)
III. Letter No. 2 (+) and my reply (Good questions)
IV. Letter No. 3(-) and my reply (Winning the lost)
V. Letter No. 4 and my reply (Holy Ghost Theology)
VI. Letter No. 5 (-) and my reply (On the KJV issue)
VII. Letter No. 6 (+)(From Dr. Bob Welch) and my reply
VIII. Letter No. 7 (+) and my reply
IX. Letter No. 8 (+) and my reply (Pastor of corporate 501c3 church wants out)
X. Letter No. 9 (+) and my reply (Letter from Dr. Bob Welch, 73 yr. old pastor and missionary)
XI. Links to IRS Laws
XII. Information of books by Jerald Finney including links to online previews of two of his books.
XIII. Note concerning the Biblical Law Center and Jerald Finney
This article presents more e-mails from pastors with their comments, concerns, and questions concerning articles on this blog, and my replies to those e-mails. These e-mail letters not only raise important questions which need to be addressed, but also give insights into the thoughts of pastors.
II. Letter No. 1 received on 12/6/10
|Dear Mr. Finney: I have been reading your new book “God Betrayed” I am not far into it as of yet. But I was wondering where does Israel stand in todays geo-political scene? I know that in the future they will be in their land under God. But what about them now in the land?Thank you for you reply,
My Reply to Letter No. 1 (12/6/10)
Dear Mr. (if you are a pastor, I should say Pastor) ________________,
As foretold by prophesy, Israel was reestablished as a nation, as you know, in 1948. Israel will never be removed from the land again. As you know, at some point in time, the Gentile nations still in existence will send their armies against Israel. God will intervene, crush the Gentile armies, set up His Kingdom on earth, and rule from Jerusalem. Of course, many religions twist Scripture (mainly through allegorization), deny this truth, and claim that God is finished with Israel and that the nation of Israel should be destroyed.
The provable fact remains that nations who bless Israel are and will be blessed and those who curse Israel are and will be cursed, according the Abrahamic Covenant. It is a mistake for a nation or for an individual to commit the error of Balaam-his mistake was in reasoning from natural morality, and seeing the evil in Israel, he supposed a righteous God must curse them. He did not take into account the Abrahamic Covenant which God made with Israel. I go over this in much more detail in God Betrayed.
If you disagree with me on this, please let me know your reasoning.
For His Glory,
Reply to my reply
I agree wholeheartedly, thank U for your quick reply.
III. Letter No. 2 received on 11/30/10
Hello Brother Finney,
Allow me to introduce myself, my name is __________________, I recently graduated from ______________________ Baptist College and God has called me to plant an Independent Fundamental KJV Baptist church in ___________________, PA. I’m currently preparing to go on deputation to start raising the support needed to do such. This is all new to me and I’m trying to learn as much as I can – especially about the legalities involved. I stumbled upon your website while trying to find info about the 501c3.
I’ve spent half the day reading various articles on your website blog regarding the legalities and issues that come with incorporating a church, I did not know you had the option. I have heard very little about incorporation but had been told it was something I’d need to do to protect myself from lawsuits and to get tax exempt status. I now see that you do not have to be incorporated to receive tax exempt status which I’m thrilled to learn since I do not believe the government has any right to tax or regulate our churches nor do I want them having any kind of control over God’s pulpit. I also now understand why many pastors say they will lose their tax-exempt status if they endorse a political candidate or fear preaching against sodomy, it’s all related to incorporations, contracts, and government oversight.
So, thank you for your articles, they’ve enlightened me and helped me a lot. But I still have some questions if you wouldn’t mind taking the time to answer them.
First in the matter of deputation, I know most missionaries are supported by monthly check going through their local church, is this money taxable as income? Is it wise for a missionary to receive support money directly or should it go through a local church? I plan to raise support then use that support to both live on and to find a church building to rent or buy.
As a non-incorporated New Testament Baptist Church, how would I go about receiving church money, and specifically a salary, legally? Is my salary taxable? What about church property, would the church have to pay property taxes? Would I need to purchase the church property and put all buildings and such in my name or is there a way of putting it in the church’s name without it being incorporated? Can you open a bank account in a non-incorporated church’s name?
In the event I were to need an assistant pastor, how would I go about “hiring” and paying him legally? or a secretary for that matter? since a non-incorporated church cannot have employees. How would a non-incorporated church go about starting a Christian school? Would the school need to be incorporated?
I apologize for the many questions, I am just thinking ahead and trying to learn as much as I can about the legalities involved so I can plan accordingly. I plan on starting a bus ministry, Christian school, and a Christian children’s home, along with many other things in the future and want to make sure everything is done right from the start.
Thank you for your time and blogs, they have been a blessing.
Dear Brother ________________________,
I do have answers to all your questions, but I just have a minute right now. To go over all the questions would take more time than that. I would be honored to discuss your questions with you, so perhaps we can arrange to talk about this over the phone. My cell number is 512-785-8445, and my home number is 512-385-0761. Maybe we can touch base and arrange a time to talk about these matters of utmost importance to our Lord. I will be looking forward to meeting and talking with you. Let me just mention that this is a ministry with me and I do not charge pastors and missionaries.
May the Lord richly bless you in all that you do.
For His Glory,
Brother Jerald Finney
IV. Letter No. 3 received on 10/5/10)
The email address that I have responded to you is the one that needs removal from your list. We are located in the state of Rhode Island. It seems to me that we have enough of a hard time trying to win the lost and keep them serving the Lord faithfully. I fail to understand your calling to expose anyone that disagrees with your position. I believe, as the Scripture teaches, each servant stands or falls to his own master. To be frank with you, I believe it is people that hold such dogmatic positions against other “Christians” that do more harm than good. I believe you may have the best of intentions but please exclude us from your email list at this time. We appreciate you honoring our request.
My Reply to Letter No. 3:
Dear Pastor _________________________,
Your request has been honored and your e-mail is removed.
The Bible tells me to earnestly contend for the faith (Jude 1.3), but also to shun profane and vain babblings as well as to avoid foolish and unlearned questions (1 Ti. 2.16, 23). I feel that I must give an answer in order to comply with the former even though part of your letter is certainly consistent with the latter.
My main concern in my biblically based teachings is winning the lost and opposing theologies and “Christian” practices that lead to fewer souls being saved—that is opposing the heresies and apostasies in so-called Bible believing churches. In reply to your note, it is obvious that you have not studied some biblical teachings, much less read my writings or listened to my audio teachings.
I strongly suggest, for the glory of God, that you read what I have written before you comment upon it. I also suggest a study of the biblical teaching about church, state, separation of church and state, heresy and apostasy. I suggest a reading and study of all of 2 Ti. 2 which describes the path of a good soldier in time of apostasy.
For His Glory,
V. Letter No. 4 received on as a comment on opbcbibletrust.wordpress.com on 9/21/10
I appreciate your voluminous work on Bible interpretation. You have correctly spoken against churches being incorporated to the state. Let me preface my remarks by saying I do not consider any school of Bible interpretation correct, and that they all lead to creating the Traditions of Men, or the current group of Pharisees and Sadducees we have masquerading as “Men of God” in today’s world. There is only one way to correctly interpret God’s Word and that is through the Holy Spirit! Therefore my theology, if you will, is Holy Ghost Theology! Listening to your broadcasts on Dispensational and Covenant Theology left me with a question for you: You say that Covenant theology doesn’t believe in literally interpreting the Bible, and that’s why they spiritualize the interpretation of the 144,000 mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Do you literally interpret the teachings of Jesus Christ? Do you believe Christians should take up arms and fight in wars?
Thanks for your time,
My Reply to Letter No. 4 [Note. I intentionally am not answering some of the questions in the above letter: “Do you literally interpret the teachings of Jesus Christ? Do you believe Christians should take up arms and fight in wars?” I do read between the lines of the letter in giving my answer. I believe I know where this person is coming from since I talk to a lot of people in seeking to win the lost; and I try to give him an answer that will cause him to reevaluate what I perceive to be his wandering and misguided interpretations of Scripture.]
Thanks for your comment. There are many heretical positions and actions within “Christianity” besides those dealing with the issue of “separation of church and state.” God called me to deal with the specific issue of “separation of church and state,” but over the years I have had to face other heresies, beginning immediately after the Lord saved me in 1982. Among those were Pentecostalism and the Charismatic movement which stress “signs and wonders,” “speaking in tongues,” “health and wealth gospel,” incorrect interpretation of “the filling with the Holy Spirit,” etc. Those and other movements did not move me because all the teaching and preaching I heard was solidly biblical. I discovered, from studying my Bible, that one purpose of the Holy Spirit is to illuminate what is in Scripture, not to communicate new truth or instruct in matters unknown.
Although I am actively involved with several ministries, this “separation of church and state” ministry takes much more of my time than any of the others. I simply do not have time to debate every heresy. However, God has provided good resources for the believer who is seeking truth. As to the heresies mentioned in the first paragraph, I suggest that a very excellent resource is Charismatic Chaos by John F. MacArthur, Jr.
May the Lord lead you into truth regarding this very important issue.
For His Glory,
VI. Letter No. 5 received on 9/13/10
The King James Bible is not inspired. God’s words are inspired.
My Reply to Letter No. 5 (9/14/10)
Dear Ms. ________________,
This issue requires serious thought and analysis. In all due respect, and in love, and as kindly as I can think to reply to your statement, you need to do a lot of Holy Spirit led study before entering into this debate. If you do that, you will be able to both intelligently comment on the subject and also to understand that the KJV is God’s Word in English. God is perfectly capable of giving those of us who speak English (as well as any other language) His inspired Word. He has done so, Satan hates it, and is doing all he can to discredit God’s Word.
By the way, if God is not able to give us His perfect Word, He is not able to do what He has told us He would do and He is not the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing God which I am totally convinced that He is. Preserving His Word is much less difficult than many of the other things that He has done, is doing, and will do. If we do not have His Word, then all is in vain.
For His Glory,
Brother Jerald Finney
VII. Letter No. 6 received on 9/13/10
Just want ou to know that you are a continued blessing and encouragement to me. I always tell young preachers and Believers – “Do right – no matter what any one else does – ALWAYS DO RIGHT – that is being biblical in that rightness.” Thank you be ‘being right on and biblical!’
Dr. Bob Welch, Pastor
King Cove, Alaska 99612
My Reply to Letter No. (9/14/10)
Dear Pastor Welch,
Thank you greatly for the encouragement!
For His Glory,
Brother Jerald Finney
VIII. Letter No. 7 received 5/15/10
Thank you for sending me your articles. Just out of curiosity, where did you get my email address? As far as I know we’ve never met nor had I ever previously visited your web site. Not a huge deal just curious.
Your Servant for Christ,
Grace Baptist Church
My Reply to Letter No. 7 (5/18/10)
Dear Pastor ________________________,
I apologize for not getting back with you sooner. It has been a busy week or two.
Thanks for your kind e-mail. My hope in this ministry is to be a blessing. I got your e-mail address from an online list.
For His Glory,
Bro. Jerald Finney
IX. Letter No. 8 received 4/8/10
My Dear Brother,
I have been so convicted of this and did not know what to do. I have started a church and incorporated it. I am Pastoring a church that is incorporated for 52 years now. I have been here 7 years and would love to remove this sin in the camp. Please help me to do this. I have been thinking of changing the name and getting a fresh start. Would that work? Let me know.
Saved To Serve,
My Reply to Letter No. 8
Dear Pastor _______________________,
I just sent you an e-mail with my phone numbers. Please contact me and I will consider it an honor to go over the procedures with you. The organization I work with has helped many churches get out from under civil government control through incorporation and 501c3. A lawyer founded the organization in the 1980s and developed the legal procedures and documents for organizing churches according to New Testament principles as well as the civil laws in America.
I will be looking forward to talking with you. My phone numbers are given in my e-mail. You can also get contact information, including phone numbers by going to the “Contact” page of the website, churchandstatelaw.com.
For His Glory,
Brother Jerald Finney
X. Letter No. 9 received 4/3/10
My Dear Brother Jerald,
Greeting in the Precious Name of our soon coming God and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I read through a number of your articles and Emails. It is a joy to read your articles and sound exegeses of Scripture. It is pathetic at times to read the responses from ‘Pastors’ who ought to know better. But, as far as I see, we are living in the last day – days of apostasy. I often, in this day, deal with some of the same resistance and find that people get ‘angry’ with me for an unwillingness to ‘change’ with the times.
I was saved at Word of Life Camps, under the ministry then of Jack Wyrtzen. Now just to say that Word of Life is not what or where it used to be biblical. My date of salvation: June 24, 1956 at the age of 19. I have been in church related ministries since. Involved in Missions Ministry with Missionaries in the Dominican Republic – starting church. In the last year over 300 have been saved and two churches started. I’m still a pastor at the age of 73.
That is simply an introduction of myself. The main purpose of this Email is to commend you on you strong, biblical stance on Scripture. In a day when I see so many falling away from the Truth it is good to see someone sticking in there – in spite of the opposition.
God’s best to you. May His sufficient grace be with you – as He has promised – may you always stay true and faithful to Him, His word and His call upon you life.
Bob Welch, Pastor/Missionary
My Reply to Letter No. 9
Dear Pastor Welch,
What a joy to hear from another pastor and missionary who honors our love relationship with our Lord and Savior! Thanks for taking time to read my e-mails and sending encouragement. As you well know as I can see from reading your e-mail, it is vexing to see the state of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom among some or our allegedly Bible believing brethren. When I get an e-mail such as yours, I become more determined to continue in this spiritual battle the Lord has called me into.
May the Lord continue to richly bless you! What a blessing to know that you are still serving our Lord at 73. I see that your desire was not that of many pastors-retirement with all its perks provided by church they built along with the help of the civil government. I pray that I am able to keep working for our Lord until I go home. I am 63 now.
For His Glory,
Brother Jerald Finney
God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Link to preview of God Betrayed): may be ordered from Amazon by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Amazon.com or from Barnes and Nobel by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Barnes and Noble. All books by Jerald Finney as well as many of the books he has referenced and read may also be ordered by left clicking “Books” (on the “Church and State Law” website) or directly from Amazon by going to the following links: (1) Render Unto God the Things that Are His: A Systematic Study of Romans 13 and Related Verses (Kindle only); (2) The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls (Kindle only); (3) Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities? (Link to preview of Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities?) which can also be ordered by clicking the following Barnes and Noble link: Separation of Church and State on Barnes and Noble.
XII. Links to Internal Revenue Code Laws
You can read portions of the following Internal Revenue Code laws which pertain to churches and pastors by going to the following site: “Laws Protecting New Testament Churches in the United States: Read Them for Yourself”; or you may read an entire law online by clicking the following links:
1. § 501(c)(3). Exemption from tax on corporations, certain trusts, etc.
2. § 508. Special rules with respect to section 501(c)(3) organizations
3. § 7611. Restrictions on church tax inquiries and examinations
4. § 1402. [Dealing with taxes on income of pastors]
5. § 107. Rental value of parsonages
6. § 102. Gifts and inheritances (Tithes and offerings are gifts and, therefore, according to the Internal Revenue Code § 102, not income)
7. § 2503. Taxable gifts
8. § 170. Charitable, etc., contributions and gifts
The Biblical Law Center helps churches to organize as New Testament churches completely out from under civil government and under God only. See churchandstatelaw.com for contact information for Jerald Finney, counsel for the Biblical Law Center. This is a ministry, not a business enterprise. Jerald Finney has made no profit at all in this endeavor of Christian love, but rather has expended much of his own money for God’s glory, in attempting to provide information and service for God’s churches.
All conclusions in this article are opinions of the author. Please do not attempt to act in the legal system if you are not a lawyer, even if you are a born-again Christian. Many questions and finer points of the law and the interpretation of the law cannot be properly understood by a simple facial reading of a civil law. For a born-again Christian to understand American law, litigation, and the legal system as well as spiritual matters within the legal system requires years of study and practice of law as well as years of study of Biblical principles, including study of the Biblical doctrines of government, church, and separation of church and state. You can always find a lawyer or Christian who will agree with the position that an American church should become incorporated and get 501(c)(3) status. Jerald Finney will discuss the matter, as time avails, with any such person, with confidence that his position is supported by God’s Word, history, and law. He is always willing, free of charge and with love, to support his belief that for a church to submit herself to civil government in any manner grieves our Lord and ultimately results in undesirable consequences. He does not have unlimited time to talk to individuals. However, he will teach or debate groups, and will point individuals to resources which fully explain his positions.
About Jerald Finney: The author is a Christian first and a lawyer second. He has no motive to mislead you. In fact, his motivation is to tell you the truth about this matter, and he guards himself against temptation on this and other issues by doing all he does at no charge. He does not seek riches. His motivation is his love for God first and for others second. His goal is the Glory of God. Jerald Finney has been saved since 1982. God called him to go to law school for His Glory. In obedience, Finney entered the University of Texas School of Law in 1990, was licensed and began to practice law, for the Glory of God, in November of 1993. To learn more about the author click the following link: About Jerald Finney.