An essay on pages 457-68 of The Writings of John Leland
Edited by L.F. Greene, ARNO PRESS & THE NEW YOUR TIMES, New  York, 1969,
Reprinted 2010 by Local Church Bible Publishers,

If Christianity forbids national war—if the precepts of Christ, “I say unto you that ye resist not evil,” etc., were intended for the nations of the earth, and are binding on them, as political bodies, it follows, of course, that all the wars that have been since the introduction of Christianity, have been in direct rebellion against God.

Taking this to be the case, what ought to be done to remedy evil, and make an atonement for the long perpetuated crime? Those nations of savages, who have never heard the precepts of Christ, are excepted from present animadversion, but those nations that have been favored with the gospel, and now call themselves Christian nations, are particularly addressed.

A reformation, acceptable to God, consists in a disavowal of crimes—turning to the way of future righteousness—and restoring to the injured that which was wrongfully taken away. In this view of the subject, it becomes the kings and rulers, kingdoms and states, of this world, to confess the sin of war—turn to a course of perpetual peace—and restore all the dominion and territory, that has been taken by war, to those from whom they wrested them. Anything short of this would be hypocritical reformation. It is true, that this procedure, in a retrospective chain, would carry most of the nations and territories back to Rome, with Tiberius Cæsar at their head; in which condition the world was when Christianity was introduced.

This would be utterly impracticable. But the now existing kings and rulers, kingdoms and states, have it in their power to make restoration of the dominion and territory, which they now possess, that were taken from others by the horrid crime of war. And for such rulers and states to plead for peace without a restoration, is like the felon who wishes all others to be  at peace, that he may quietly possess his stolen goods.

When two men are in single combat, and one casts the other, and holds him, he cries, “Will you be peaceable?” But if the master was in the place of the underling, he would think more of extricating himself than he would of peace.

It is now rumored that the great powers of Europe, particularly Russia and Great Britain, are for giving peace to the world. Russia is the strongest power, by land, in Europe, and likely in the world. Great Britain commands the sea, with her navy, which is far superior to that of any other nation, if not to all other nations. Should these nations, therefore, unite to extirpate war from the earth, and establish universal peace, the poor and needy would resound their praise—the widows and fatherless would bless them. But while they proclaim peace, is it their intention to keep their navies, armies and garrisons in such repairs, that other nations cannot effectually resist them? If so, it is but the boast of complete despotism. The plain language of it is this: “We are masters, and intend to be so; we command you all to be peaceable one with another, and with us in particular; if not, see the rod in our hands, by  which we will scourge you until you are peaceable, for we are determined that all others shall be in peace, on the conditions that we prescribe.” Did Napoleon ever wish for more? Can a tyrant ask for more? If this state of the world is desirable, why did not Russia, Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, and other powers adopt it seventeen years past? What scenes of horror, and seas of blood it would have prevented.

If the now triumphant kingdoms are convinced of the moral evils of war, and wish to make an atonement for the treasure which they have consumed, the powers which they have overturned, and the lives which they have destroyed, let them now confess, reform, and restore all that they can; but, if they justify their past wars, under the pretense that they were necessary, in order to free the world from the tyranny of Napoleon, and bring it  into the happy state which it is now in, other nations may justify future wars, to deliver the world from its  present masters, and bring it into a happier state than it is in at present. But if the conviction of the now triumphant kingdoms is genuine, and their desire is to free the world from the cause of war, without seeking their own supremacy, then let them disband all their troops, and dismiss their military officers—demolish all their garrisons—destroy every ship of war—and convert every implement of war into instruments of mechanism and husbandry. Let them, moreover, restore the provinces and territories, with their respective jurisdictions, which they have taken from others, and make declaration that every section of the world shall attach itself to what government they choose, establish that form of government which is most congenial to their wishes, and have those to administer it whom they prefer, and that every man shall be free in his religion, to worship whom, when, and as he pleases, without any interruption. Let this proclamation be made, and put into effect by the great powers, and followed by all the smaller dominions, and all but tyrants, pensioners, and covetous priests, who make merchandise of what they preach, and the souls of men would hail the halcyon day. For princes to talk about peace, without coming to this standard, is but mocking the people—seeking to be emblazoned for noble generosity after they have killed and taken possession, without restoring to nations their liberties, and guaranteeing to individuals their inalienable rights.

As the project has never assumed the character of system, and been put in operation, it is unknown whether the members that are to compose this congress are to be chosen by the people, or appointed by the sovereigns—whether they are to hold their offices for life, during good behavior, or for limited terms—whether each kingdom and state shall have an equal number of members, or whether kingdoms and states shall be represented according to their numbers—whether, in all cases, a majority shall rule, or in some cases more than a majority should be necessary to carry a point—whether the non-submission of a single power, or several of them in concert, shall be suppressed by force  of arms, or by non-intercourse only.

Should all these questions, and all others that might arise, be cordially adjusted, and a congress assemble in style, it would remind one of what a barbarian said to the senate of Rome: “My own countrymen are hydras, but the senate is an assembly of the gods.”

In a congress thus formed, it is presumed that every member would have the views and wishes of their respective governments at heart. So long as unity continued among them, so long harmony would remain among the confederate nations but in case of disagreement, the same evils that now infest the world would arise in all their baleful aspects. From a knowledge of the physical strength of the greater powers, the smaller ones would feel afraid, as they now do; but supposing the decrees of congress should be contrary to the will of Russia or Great Britain, or against both these powers in connection, would those great powers succumb to the little states for the sake of peace, or would they not more naturally resist? If war is declared to subject the powers that will not acquiesce, the design of the congress, which is to prevent war, will be defeated. If an embargo is appealed to, that none of the confederate nations shall buy or sell any article to the obstinate states, could they enforce it? Would not the avarice and enterprise of the merchant defeat all the laws of congress? It is hard to conceive of any advantage that would arise from a congress thus formed, that does not now exist by friendly embassy, but it is easy to foresee what pomp and expense would attend it.

To prepare a way for a congress to be appointed, to prevent the horrors of war, peace societies are forming to facilitate the grand event. If these societies lay the foundation of their appeal upon this condition: “That on the           day of                              in the year                         all nations, by their agents, shall meet at
for the purpose fo affixing the day, when all armies shall be disbanded—all ships of war be sunk in the sea—alll forts and garrisons be destroyed—all instruments of war broken to pieces—all territory and dominion, taken by force of arms, restored to their best claimants_-all legal establishments of religion repealed, with a pledge that war never shall be appealed to for any purpose, and that no law shall ever be made to regulate religion, all good men, who understand the genius of Christianity, will give them their support. But if their exertions tend only to prevent the military exertions of one nation of the world, while other nations are waxing stronger and stronger, they must not judge that all those who withhold their support are enemies to human happiness.

The remarks already made originated from the supposition that the precept of Christianity, “resist not evil,” was a prohibition of national war; but the precept, connected as it is, looks as much like a prohibition of legal resistance, as it does of military force. If you are compelled, stripped of your coat, persecuted or smitten, never make use of the law to resist the evil, or get redress. Rather than go to law, why do ye not take wrong? Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? … That the precepts of Christianity, which enjoin non-resistence on the disciples, were not intended as maxims of state policy or civil law, appears pretty evident, from the consideration, that Christ never assumed the character of a worldly king, or civil judge. He said his kingdom was not of this world, and he refused to act as judge, in dividing the inheritance of two brethren, and in pronouncing the penalty of the law against the adulterous woman. The direct tendency of Christ’s kingdom was the eternal salvation of souls; the systems of civil law and national war, have nothing to do with souls and eternity. In the case of the dying thief, both governments show their nature and distinctness. The government of men condemned him to death, which he himself said was just, and the government of Christ pardoned his sin. Christ did not deliver him from the penalty of the law, and the decision of the law did not interfere with the government of Christ, which was wonderously displayed in saying, “This day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” The civil judge is not to question whether the criminal is saint or sinner, or how it will fare with him in the world to come; but these characteristics are all important in the kingdom of Christ.

In war, also, which is the same among nations that courts of trial are among individuals, the moral state, and worth of the soul is out of the question, and national justice is all that is (or ought to be) in view. Nothing can be more preposterous and presumptuous than to declaim, or conceive that all who fall in battle, will undoubtedly go to heaven. The agriculturist, the mechanic, the merchant, the sailor, the scholar and the soldier, in this respect, stand on even ground. The truth is, those who fear God and work righteousness, will be accepted of their Maker, and all others will not. The soldier, therefore, who is a devout saint, if he falls in battle, will go from the field of battle to the regions of glory; but he who is a hardened sinner, falling in battle, will sink where he will lift up his eyes in torment.

Christianity was not designed by its author, to be characteristic of the nations of the earth, in their political state; nor was the name given in the days of its purity, to any but the meek disciples of Christ. The name however, has been filched by the enemies of Christ, and Christianity has been prostituted to the vilest purposes. Since Christianity became national, Christian nations have been equally cruel and bloodthirsty, and more unjust and perfidious than Turks or heathens. Nevertheless, Christ has a people among these nations, whom he redeemed and washed with his blood—a peculiar people, zealous of good works; they are not of this world, and the world knows them not. These are his disciples indeed. And to these disciples, there are so many commands of non-resistence, patience, forgiveness of offenses, praying for enemies, rendering good for evil, and blessing for cursing, that if these disciples are not to be considered in a two-fold capacity, it is notoriously wicked for them to bear arms and go to war, prosecute any one for smiting or robbing them, suing any man for debt, or applying to any legal office to secure the titles on their lands.

By their two-fold capacity, is intended, first, their being members of Christ’s body, which is the church; and secondly, their being subjects of the government where they reside.

As members of Christ’s body, or kingdom, their weapons are all spiritual. Force and recrimination are forbidden them. Their law is love. Their armor is the word of God for a sword—faith for a shield, and hope for a helmet. Where legal force, and carnal weapons are used among nominal Christians, to convert heathen, punish heretics, establish creeds of faith and forms of worship, collect money, compel attendance on worship, etc. under a religious covert, the commands of Christ to his disciples are broken. If they think they are serving God in it, they know not what manner of spirit they are of.

In the government of Christ among his members, commonly called church discipline, no force or resisting of evil is to be used. The church is to restore such as are overtaken with faults, in the spirit of meekness, warn the unruly, with all the gentleness of Christ—admonish and reject heretics, and cast from among them wicked persons; but church censure extends no farther than non-fellowship. Fines, imprisonments, punishments and civil incapacities, are not imposed by church censure. A declaration of who and what is fellowshipped, and who and what is not fellowshipped, is all that the church is to do.

But, if the desciples of Christ are considered in the second capacity that has been suggested, members of civil society, other things may be said. Civil society ….

That war, famine, and pestilence, have continued their ravages among men, since the introduction of Christianity, as much as they did before, will be generally granted, it is presumed; and the same is true of earthquakes, eruptions, etc. But for Christ, in his dediatorial character, to direct national war, would be meddling with the government of this world, which does not appear to be included in his mission. He did not come into the world to teach men the arts of husbandry, mechanism or science. He gave no code of laws for the government of nations, nor pointed out the best mode of administration. He left no orders, whether all nations should adopt the ancient Theocracy of the Israelites, or whether they should govern themselves as reason and justice dictate. He came into the world with the avowed purpose, “To glorify God on earth—to seek and save that which was lost—to lay down his life for his sheep—to wash sinners from their sins in his own blood—to magnify the law, make an atonement for sin, and bring in everlasting righteousness—to abolish death, and open a new and living way into the kingdom of glory—to save men ay the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost,” etc. Having these great works to finish, (all of which tended to the eternal salvation of the souls of men,) he did not intermeddle with the affairs of this world, but left the wheels of commerce and government to roll on as Providence led the way.

The great silence, however, in the New Testament, about war, has more sifnification than words could have. Had Christ given a precept that, in certain cases, it was the duty of kingdoms and states to wage war, every nation would make such cases their own, though the war which they waged was ever so unjust. Had he, on the other hand, given a precept that every species of war was criminal, the whole would have been exposed by robbery and death, by the cruelty of an individual, or a few, at most. But, although there is no direct precept in the New Testament, for or against national war, yet there are some useful hints given to direct our minds in research.

John was the forerunner of Christ, and his ministry is called “the beginning of the gospel of Christ.” He admitted those to his baptism, who repented of their sins, and gave evidence of their repentance, by bringing forth its fruits. Some of these were soldiers, who asked the divine teacher “what they should do?”  John never suggested to them that a military life was incompatible with the gospel, and that they must quit the sword, if they would follow the Lamb of God who stood among them; but prudently answered them,  “Do violence  to no man, (who is a private citizen,) neither accuse any falsely, (for a pretence to kill him,) and be content with your wages.” If your work was unjust, your wages would be unrighteous; but, while you do your duty, be content with your pay, and not covet more.

A centurion (captain of an hundred men) sent to Christ, requesting him to speak a healing word, that his favorite sick servant might live. The condescending Saviour answered his request—healed his servant—gave him no reproof for bearing the sword—no orders to relinquish the army; but said of him, “ I have not found so great faith in Israel.”

Another centurion we read of, who was a devout man, that feared God with all his house, wh gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always. The character given him is excellent; but he had not, as yet heard of the gospel way of salvation. As he was at prayer, he was warned opf God, bu a holy angel, to send for a New Testament preacher; and the preacher was also warned by a vision to go to the centurion, and tell him the way of salvation, and what he ought to do. Peter came, accordingly, and preached to him the forgiveness of sins, in the name of Jesus; and, when the Holy ghost fell on him, and those that were assembled with him, Peter commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord; but gave him no reproof for bearing a military commission—no orders to resign  his command of the Italian band.

The parable of the marriage made for the king’s son, and the dinner made ready, is so self-evident in its meaning, that all interpreters are agreed about it. The king’s son, is Christ. The sumptuous dinner, intends the blessings of grace in the gospel, including forgiveness of sins and eternal life. The first bidden guests were the Jews, who made light of it, and murdered the servants of the king: they both killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets—persecuted the apostles—pleased not God, and were contrary unto all men. For their opposition to the truth, and malice prepense against the messengers of it, He (the king) sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burnt up their city. That these armies intend the Roman legions, the murderers, the Jews, and the city, Jerusalem, there seems to be no real doubt. This event took place more than three score years after the beginning of the Christian era. Here, then is one instance in which the Almighty made use of war, after the gospel dispensation took place; and wars and rumors of wars have been in the world ever since. Many of the sore calamities, which God inflicts on wicked nations, (spoken of in the book of Revelations,) are evidently effected by the scourge of war.

But one thing should be particularly noticed, viz., that war was never appointed by God, by an original statute. Laws of civil government—putting away wives—war and such like precepts, were not from the beginning. As they all presuppose SIN in creatures, they could not have been appointed until sin had taken place. But after rebellious creatures had kindled the fire of hatred and war, the Almighty varied his precepts to meet their condition, and of course appointed war, which rebellious creatures had made, to punish them for their rebellion. This was the case in Old Testament times, and is as true in these days.

The Old Testament seems to be a kind of accommodation of God to fallen barbarous men, containing the best rules that the condition and general good of the world would admit of, having its special bearings towards the Jews.

The New Testament is not fraught with a code of civil laws, or national maxims, but has the salvation of souls as its object.

It appears, therefore, proper to examine the rise and rage of war among men, and whether any or all wars can be justified, on the principle of eternal right and wrong. Acknowledging this, however, in our examination, that the principle of eternal right and wrong, like a golden cord, runs through the Old and New Testaments, and shines with a thousand times more effulgence, than human reason can paint it with.

It is reasonable to conclude that the parent of all rational beings allots to each of them a certain degree of national right and independence, which no other individual, nor many individuals, in concert, ought to deprive him of. If this was not the case, individuals would never feel guilt for what they do, nor be accountable to their Maker for their deeds; but society must bear the whole. But as guilt preys upon individuals, for overt acts, and as every one must give an account of himself to his Maker, the argument is conclusive that each has a measure of original right, of whie he cannot justly be deprived. In this measure of natural right, exists life, liberty and property. Should one individual, therefore, be attacked by another individual, or a number of them in connection, in quest of life, liberty or property, the injured individual has a just right to use his weapon to defend himself, and if blood and life are lost in the contest, the guilt falls upon the assailants.

If no resistence can be justly offered to repel violence, it would follow of course, that one or two individuals might arm themselves, and destroy whole nations.

This kind of assault began with the first men that ever was born of a woman. His works were evil, and he slew his brother, and has ever since been called a murderer.

In process of time, individuals found it necessary to form into collective bodies, to withstand the aggressions of daring individuals and banditti. And what was unjust or expedient among individuals at first, became unjust or expedient among these collective bodies, now called governments and nations of earth.

As an individual who assaults and kills another, is a guilty murderer, s the nation that wages war, out of vain glory, from enmity, through covetousness, or from any other motive than self-defence, is guilty of murder, and will be treated by the King of kings as such. For notwithstanding any use that the Almighty may make of war, as a scourge to wicked nations, yet the nation that plunges voluntarily into it, is always criminal. Let all unrighteous, offensive wars cease, and there cannot be any righteous defensive wars on earth: for, if there is no assailant, there can be no defendant.

When one nation or government encroaches upon the territory or property of another government, dictates the other about her laws or rulers, or sheds the blood and enslaves the persons of her citizens, whether it is done under a proclamation of war or not, it is offensive war. And after the injured government has remonstrated the exercised all becoming patience, if a cessation and restitution do not follow, a defensive war seems not only justifiable but imperious; for the nation that does not contend for its own right, contends for the wrong of the encroaching nation.

Although Christianity, in its purest state, was not national, but personal and ecclesiastic, yet it is now become a national characteristic, to distinguish those nations where Christianity is professed, from Pagans, Turks and Jews.

Granting the propriety of the title, (which in fact is very disputable,) these nations, as bodies politic, may wage war upon the same footing as other nations, and on no other, viz., to defend their lives, liberty and property from the hands of those who assault them without cause. Nothing can be more horrid and wicked, than for these Christian nations to form their crusades and holy wars to convert the heathen, violently take away the land of the savages and make slaves of the prisoners.

But supposing there was a kingdom or commonwealth, of not only nominal Christians, but of real disciples of Jesus, whose hearts and practices were as perfect as this state of the world admits of, would it be lawful and duty for them to proclaim war, on any account?

This question is predicated upon a supposition which has never existed, it is presumed, since Christianity was introduced among men. The tares and the wheat have grown together, and will continue to do so until the harvest. Some colonies, however, have been settled by companies that made some advances towards it; but Roger Williams, Mr. Davenport and William Penn, with their respective associates, in Rhode Island, New Haven and Pennsylvania found so many tares among themselves, that they were obliged to have civil law (which is always sanctioned by the sword) to govern by. And notwithstanding Williams and Penn were great favorites of the savages, yet those colonies were involved in war.”

There is no doubt but many of those good people, who condemn national war of every description, are sincere in their profession; but should there be a commonwealth, in which all the leading characters, who control the destinies of bodies politic, were real saints, and conscience  bound against all war, should that commonwealth be invaded by a hostile army, of less physical strength than the commonwealth possessed, is there any doubt but what the citizens of said commonwealth would sincerely change their opinion? Would they not be guilty of neglecting the means which were in their hands, to defend themselves from the wrong of others, if they did not? Could not the most pious saint meet the hostile foe, in such a case, with the high praises of God in his mouth, and a two edged sword in his hand? Could he not do as a venerable old man did at Deerfield, in an Indian war? Said he, “I met an Indian, and I loved him; but to defend my right from his wrong, after praying the Lord to have mercy on his soul, I shot a bullet through his heart.”

We may reason from a unit to a universe: that which is right or wrong in an individual, would be the same in a government. Such kind of defensive war, is the only war that can be justified upon the principle of eternal right; all other wars are robbery, piracy and murder. And yet, the misanthropy and barbarity of fallen men are so great, that wars waged in avarice, on purpose to plunder—in ambition to rise high in esteem—or through hatred to a rival, are called honorable wars; and the more they can slaughter, the more splendid is the battle; while those who fall of their own, are said to be covered with glory; and, if they succeed to deprive the nation with whom they are at war, of all its sovereignty and rights, Te Deum is chanted, and the leaders of the war are led in triumph.

Military force, whether armed with staves, stones, battle-axes, swords or fire-arms, should never be called forth, but to repel invasions, suppress insurrections, and enforce the laws. The words of Washington, in his last will and testament, breathe forth the spirit of a good citizen. In bequeathing his sword to his kinsman, he adds, “Never draw it but in defence of your contryu’s rights; and, when drawn, never sheath it until the object is attained.”

It is a melancholy thought, that, in all ages, men, as individuals and as nations, have been so ungrateful, covetous, and full of misanthropy, that justice and goodness could not restrain them without the scourge of severity; but, when the King of kings gives orders to “loose the four angels, which are prepared to kill the third part of men,” it is “in righteousness—HE doth judge and make war.” So individuals, in prosecuting other individuals, and nations, in warring with other nations, should do it out of love to right, and not from a spirit of hatred.

The man who prosecutes his neighbor before a legal bar, does, in fact, declare war with him, as much as one nation does with another when it commences military hostilities. How happy it would be for the world, if there was so much virtue in it, that no kind of war would be necessary! If every man and every nation would do right to their neighbors, there would not and could not be any war on earth. But the reasoning is irrefutable, that those individuals who conduct in a manner that justifies a legal prosecution against them, when collected together in a political body, would conduct so as to justify a war of hostilities against them.

The path is plain before us: let no individual work ill to his neighbor, and let no nation be unjust to another, and war will cease forever.

As things are managed at present, if not in individual, yet a frw control the destinies of each nation. The mass of the people are so ignorant that they know not why war is proclaimed, or so circumstanced that they cannot help it. In such cases, some fight for a living, and others because they are forced to. To conquer or to be conquered leaves them in the same predicament. This is a sore evil under the sun, but it is common among men.

The religion of Jesus, in its genuine course, fills men with such meekness and philanthropy, that, if it was universally possessed, there would be no prosecution at law, nor any wars among men. But, when Christianity is prostituted, to be the characteristic of an unhallowed nation—a principle of state policy—a test to office—a footstool to promotion—a sinecure to religious orders, and a piece of merchandise, it ever will be, as it ever has been, followed by war and slaughter.

Among nations, as among individuals, it frequently happens that each party has injured the other; and, if they plunge into war in that predicament, it is like the potsherds of the earth striving with the potsherds of the earth. Innocency has nothing to plead; justice has nothing to hope. If they mutually make confession and restoration, war will be prevented. If one party only makes all reasonable concessions, and the other party makes none, but rushes into war, the offence lies on the side of the last party, and the first is the defendant.

In this wrong world, right does not always take place. “Truth faileth in the streets, and equity cannot enter;” hence, victory and triumph often attend the basest tyrant, while the unoffending are trodden down like the mire of the street. The king of Babylon conquered and subjugated more than twenty-five kingdoms (see Jeremiah XXV.) and made them drink the bitter cup. The Lord used him as a scourge to those wicked nations; but, as they had done the king of Babylon no harm, he was wicked in his offensive wars upon them; and, therefore, in his turn, the king of Sheshach (Babylon) was made to drink after the.

RIGHT will finally take place. Though the contest between truth and error, right and wrong, is long, and, to appearance, very doubtful in its issue, yet truth and right must triumph at last.


God Judges Nations

1Jerald Finney
Copyright © November 5, 2011

Click here to go to “Self-exam Questions: God Judges Nations?


This article is a continuation of Jerald Finney’s systematic development of the doctrines, application, history, and legalities of “separation of church and state.” See En1 for more on this matter; See En2 for information on books by Jerald Finney which thoroughly examine “separation of church and state law.” This article is an edited version of Section I, Chapter 10 of the book God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Link to preview of God Betrayed). (Link to Contents of “Separation of Church and State Law” Blog which has links so that the new follower can start his study at the beginning. “Line upon line, precept upon precept.”).

God judges nations

G1od judges nations. He judged Israel by sending Israel and Judah into captivity because of their repeated failure, despite many warnings from God, to keep His commandments and His statutes. He warned them in advance of what he was going to do (See, e.g., Je. 25.11).  His prophets repeatedly warned the Jews, not only of the consequences of their sins, but also pointed out their specific sins. Here are a few of the many relevant prophecies of warning to Israel:

  1. 1“… [F]or the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood. Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away…. ”  (Ho. 4.1-3).  Israel was willfully ignorant: “… because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no more priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the  law of thy God, I will also forget thy children…. (See Ho. 4.6-11).”
  2. God reminds Israel through his prophet Amos of all His judgments against Israel and in spite of those judgments, “yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.”  God says, “Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel” (Am. 4.6-13 (part of verses 10 and 12 quoted)).
  3. God wanted Amos to preach 3 things to Israel: (1) the people did not respect the preaching of the word of God (Am. 7.10-13, 16); (2) Israel did not honor the Sabbath (Am. 8.5); (3) they did not detest sin any more (Am. 8.14).  God also wanted Amos to tell Israel exactly what he was about to do. They rejected his message. In fact, they didn’t even want to hear him preach. They rebelled at the message and the messenger.

13God also judges Gentile nations. He has given them their authority (Da. 2.37-40), and will hold them to account:

  1. “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah” (Ps. 9.17, 20).
  2. “For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet” (Ps. 47.2-3).
  3. Psalm 135.6-12. “Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places…. Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings; Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan….” (Ps. 135.6, 10-11).
  4. “To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth forever; And slew famous kings, for his mercy endureth forever; [kings named]” (Ps. 136.17-21).

3God used Assyria to judge Israel and then judged Assyria for its pride in boasting that Assyria did this (Is. 10.5-19).

God, through his prophets, told of the coming judgments on all nations, and the reasons for those judgments:

  1. destruction of Moab (Is. 10.5-19);
  2. destruction of Damascus (Is. 17);
  3. burden of Egypt (Is. 19);
  4. prophecy that Assyria will waste Egypt and Ethiopia (Is. 20);
  5. 9burden of Tyre (Is. 23);
  6. woe of Ephriam (Is. 28);
  7. Armageddon: “the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them…. (Is. 34);”
  8. judgment of Babylon (Is.. 47);
  9. judgment on Israel’s oppressors (Is. 49.22-26; 51);
  10. all nations to be judged—many nations listed to be judged (Je. 25.11-14, 15-38; 26.18-38);
  11. destruction of Egypt, Philistia, Tyre, Moab, Ammonites, Edom, Damascus, Elam, Babylon, Chaldea, etc.—read through Jeremiah 46-51 and notice the reasons given for destroying these nations;
  12. Babylon destroyed because Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, scattered Israel (Je. 50.17-18); because they [strove] against the LORD (Je. 50.24);
  13. the judgment against Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea because of the violence and evil done to Israel (Je. 51.24, 35-36);
  14. judgments against various nations in Ezekiel 25-32—the reason for each judgment given and the judgment;
  15. judgment of the Gentile nations in Joel 3.2-8 after Armageddon;
  16. judgments on people surrounding Israel prophesied in Amos 1.1-2.3;
  17. judgments on certain nations prophesied in Zephaniah 2.4-15;
  18. Zechariah, more than Haggai or Malachi, gives God’s thoughts about the treatment of Israel by nations surrounding Israel—He has given them their authority and will hold them to account, the test being their treatment of Israel. “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye” (Zec. 2.8).

TreatmentOfIsraelThe test for a Gentile nation, as always, is the way a nation treats Israel. “And I will make of thee [Israel] a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing; And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed (Ge. 12.2-3).” “Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee” (Ge. 27.29).  “He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee (Nu. 24.9).”

Thus, nations that blessed Israel have invariably been blessed, those that have persecuted Israel have suffered ill (See Ge. 15.13, 14; De. 30.5-7; Is. 14.1, 2; Jl. 3.1-8; Mi. 5.7-9; Mt. 25.31-40). A careful study of ancient history and of current events reveals that disaster follows when a nation “curses” the nation Israel (See John McTeman and Bill Koenig, Israel: The Blessing or the Curse (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Heathstone Publishing, 2002), cited in William P. Grady, How Satan Turned America Against God (Knoxville, Tennessee: Grady Publications 2005), pp. 1-13.).

The “times of the Gentiles,” a period during which Jerusalem is under Gentile rule, began when Nebuchadnezzar carried Zedekiah into Babylon (2 Chr. 36.1-21; Je. 38.7; Mt. 21.24 (speaking of the time after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.)), since which time Jerusalem has been under Gentile rule. Only a remnant returned to Israel after seventy years in captivity. That remnant remained until Jerusalem was destroyed and the Jews were dispersed throughout all nations.  Christ foretold: “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Lu. 21.24).

BabylonConfusion3The whole world system, made up of the Gentile nations after the dispersion of the Jews, fell into and will remain in confusion until the Lord returns (See 1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 2 to Is. 13.1, p. 724; Scofield is right about this):

In the prophets “Babylon,” when not referring to the city [as in Is. 13], is used symbolically to denote the confusion “into which the whole social order or the world has fallen under Gentile world domination.”), conquers the nations with a crushing blow (Da. 2.45, Da. 7.9-11; Re. 19.11-21), and sets up His kingdom (Da. 2.44). Ultimately, Christ will return and gather the nation Israel, the “the apple of the eye of the Lord of hosts” (Zec. 2.8: “For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.” In two other verses, God calls Israel the “apple of His eye:” De. 32.10; Lam. 2.18), from all nations where He has scattered them, and bring them into the land He has given them: “Thus saith the LORD of hosts: Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness” (Zec. 8.7-8. See also, Zec. 8.1-8, De. 30.1-9 (God declared the Palestinian Covenant), Ps. 110, Ro. 11.25-27). He will establish His kingdom by power, not persuasion. This will be after the divine judgment upon the Gentile world powers:

  1. “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him” (Da. 2.44 and 7.27; see also, Da. 2.34, 35, 45; Ps. 2.4-9; Is. 9.7; Zec. 14.1-9).
  2. In addition to His treatment of Israel at His return, Christ will destroy the present political world-system (Da. 2.34, 35; Re. 19.11-21) and judge the nations (Jl. 3.1-8; Mt. 25.31-46). Then there will follow world-wide Gentile conversion and participation in the blessings of the kingdom:
  3. “Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession” (Ps. 2.5-8).
  4. 1“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Is. 2.2-4).
  5. “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious” (Is. 11.10).
  6. “And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising” (Is. 60.3).
  7. “Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain…. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: … Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for  we have heard that God is with you” (Zec. 8.3, 20, 23).
  8. LionLamb“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the king, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of the tabernacles. In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the posts in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts” (Zec. 4.16-21).
  9. “For then [in context, after the Lord crushes the nations] will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent” (Zep. 3.9).
  10. “And to this agree the words of the prophets: as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things” (Ac. 15.15-17).
  11. “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had perceived his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived  and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that that part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Re. 19.19-20.6).

God will use Israel to “break in pieces the nations” (See Je. 51.19-23). The order of events [of the last days] is:

(1)    We are now at the end of the times of the Gentiles. The end began in 1948 when Israel became a nation. A nation was born in one day. The return was a miraculous event fulfilling the scripture that a nation would be ‘Born in a day:’ ‘Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children’ (Is. 66.8). They returned in unbelief; the Prophet Ezekiel foretold this return of the Jews without God, trusting in their own strength. Without the Holy Spirit the Jews are nothing but ‘dry bones’ (Eze. 37.1-14). The yearning in Re.21.1-2the heart of the Jews for their land—‘Next Year in Jerusalem’—has been the watch cry of Jews for 2000 years. They started going back at the beginning of the 13th Century because of persecution. A trickle in the beginning has reached around 5 million today. Israel is returning to the land in unbelief. ‘Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away’ (Mt. 24.32-35). The fig tree is Israel (Jud. 9.11; Jl. 1.7; Mt. 21.18-19).” (Dr. Greg Dixon pointed out these insights to the author.).

(2)   Invasion of Israel by Russia and Moslem allies –– Magog (Rosh), Meshech (Moscow-Eastern Capitol), Tubal –(Western Capitol), Persia – (Iran), Ethiopia, Libya, Gomer-(Southern Russia), Togarmah (Eze. 38-39). This alliance includes Russia, Iran (Persia) and their Moslem allies.  These nations will be miraculously defeated by Israel (Eze.).

(3)   The invasion of Palestine by Gentile world powers headed up under the Beast and false prophet (Jl. 2.1-10, 18-20; “Armageddon:” Re. 16.13-16; Zec. 12.1-9).

(4)   The destruction of the invaders by the Lord’s army (Jl. 2.11; Re. 19.11-21), and the repentance of Judah in the land (Jl. 2.12-17).

(5)    The answer of Jehovah (Jl. 2.18-27).

(6)   The pouring out of the Spirit (Jl. 2.28, 29)

(7)    The return of the Lord in glory and the setting up of the kingdom (Jl. 2.30-32; Ac. 15.15-17) by the regathering of the nation and the judgment of the nations (Jl. 3.1-16)

(8)   Full and permanent kingdom blessing (Jl. 3.17-21; Zec. 14.1-21).


En1 Why should believers, and especially pastors, be concerned about the area of church and state law? Because only through knowledge can they avoid dishonoring the Husband/Bridegroom/Head of their local church body and thereby failing to achieve their God-given goal—glorifying God and pleasing Him.

These articles systematically examine the biblical doctrines of church, state, separation of church and state and the application of those doctrines in America. For believers and churches, the information presented is—according to God’s Word—of great importance to our Lord. By reading and studying each article using the Bible as the standard, a believer will discover that the biblical principles are correct as presented. By studying the historical and legal facts presented—without bias, prejudice, illicit motive, or an overriding opposing agenda which has a vested interest in maintaining a status quo due to loss of finances, support or something else—and examining those facts in light of biblical principle, a qualified believer (a believer who has the necessary biblical, historical, and legal qualifications and education) can understand that the conclusions are correct.

That said, understanding the biblical principles, relevant history, and legal principles and facts is, first, impossible for one who is not a born again believer who is walking in the Spirit, and, second, daunting for even the spirit filled follower of Christ. Years of honest, open minded study is required to achieve the correct knowledge and understanding of all facets of church and state law. First, one must interpret Scripture correctly (See 2 Ti. 2:15) as to the relevant topics. After mastering the biblical principles, one must then labor through the annals of history, and the intricacies of law. In order to be qualified to comment upon the law, one must have an extensive legal education. He must understand how to do legal research and how to reach correct legal conclusions. Legal commentary by a pseudo lawyer can sound good to the untrained, while he may be correctly understood as frivolous and unlearned and probably heretical by the educated believer.

This is not to say that a non-lawyer cannot understand the legal and historical aspects of spiritual matters. In fact, the author knows some pastors and other believers who, having already correctly divided the Word of Truth and determined to seek to please God in all matters, have open minds and who have eagerly sought truth in the historical and legal church and state law arena. He is working with such a young pastor at this very moment. He is a brilliant young man who had mastered the Scriptures and Baptist history before the author met him. He excels the author in those matters, as do some other pastors and believers known by the author. Unlike most pastors, he does not have the disadvantages of having gone to either a secular or ecclesiastical (Baptist or otherwise) institution of higher learning. Secular colleges and universities usually corrupt even the most devout child of God; and religious colleges, institutions, and seminaries generally (with few exceptions, one of which the author has personal knowledge of)—by either mixing an ample dose of humanism with whatever biblically correct teaching they dose out; or by having totally having abandoned truth—likewise usually corrupt their students to one degree or another.

On the other hand, I am vexed by what I read in some books and websites concerning church and state law; particularly by some vicious, unfounded attacks upon the Biblical Law Center Declaration of Trust by unqualified, biased assailants who are attempting to mislead believers and churches through incorrect biblical and legal analyses and personal attacks upon and outright lies about those with whom they disagree in such matters.

Being a believer alone, even a pastor, does not by itself qualify one to teach on church and state law. The author has been a believer and faithful member of independent Baptist churches since his salvation. He was called by God to go to law school for His glory and to please Him. As a result of that calling, he obtained a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from one of the best law schools in the country and has practiced law for seventeen years. He has no motive for dishonesty. By design, he has never made a dime above expenses in his work in the church and state law arena. In fact, he has spent tens of thousands of dollars with total income of at most three to four thousand dollars in all the years he has worked in this area of law. Because of this he is beholden to no one and nothing but the truth and his Lord and Savior. Since becoming a lawyer, he has devoted untold thousands of hours in biblical, historical, and legal study and analysis of church and state law.

As always, he declares that if anyone can show him where he is in error, he will recant. Honest, loving believers have taught him much and caused him to modify some of his positions. He has also, in his continued studies, modified some of his conclusions and positions. However, he maintains his primary positions because neither he, through his continued studies, or others have shown him to be wrong about his basic church and state law principles and conclusions.

En2 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 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.

More letters from pastors and others

Jerald Finney
Copyright © November, 2011
Left click one of the following link for easy access to all articles on this website:
Complete listing of articles on “Separation of Church and State Law” blog

Recommended websites: The Old Time Way;  Old Paths Baptist Church; Only Way: An Appeal to Heaven
Recommended reading: Outcome Based Religion (Click to see review)


Note. A “+” represents a supportive letter, a “-” a negative letter

I. Introduction

II. (+) Letter No. 1 and my reply (Thanks for encouraging churches with the truth)
III. (+) Letter No. 2 and my reply (Legal Questions from a pastor)
IV. (-) Letter No. 3 (Letter from a 501c3 state church pastor and my reply)
V. (-) Letter No. 4 and my reply (Letter stressing “Our Common Christian Heritage” and my reply)
VI. (+) Letter No. 5 and my reply (Church member wants advice and help in order to present the truth about church incorporation to the members of his incorporated church)
VII. (+) Letter No. 6 with no reply (Keep them [the articles, sermons, etc.] coming!)
VIII. () Letter No. 7 and my reply, his reply, and my final reply (Calvinism versus free will)

IX. Information on books by Jerald Finney including links to online previews of two of his books.
X. Links to IRS Laws (Some of these links may no longer work. If so, you can use Google to find the laws)
XI. Note concerning the Biblical Law Center and Jerald Finney

I. Introduction

This article presents more e-mails from pastors and others 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 and other believers and non-believers.

II. Letter No. 1 received October 19, 2011 in response to Film: Divided (Why young people are leaving churches); Sermon: The Method Matters to God; Essay by colonial Baptist Pastor John Leland + MORE


Thank you for the email and the information packet.  Cornerstone is an solid independant fundamental baptist church… and heartily say amen to the information that you so graciously sent to us.

May the Lord bless you as you encourage churches with the truth,
Pastor __________________
Senior Pastor
____________________ Baptist Church
_________________________, Mi

My Reply:

Thanks, Pastor __________________________. Your letter is an encouragement to me.

For His Glory,
Brother Jerald Finney

III. Letter No. 2 received October 19, 2011 (Legal Questions)

Brother Finney,

Thank you for emailing me back. I am definitely planning on starting my church the Bible way and not place it under the restrictions of a 501c3 which would make God’s church into a government-approved Non-Profit Organization. I have recently talked to a Pastor in West Virginia who has been to court twice due to his church not being a 501c3 and he won both times. He told me that the government will consider your church an organization if you have any 1 of these 5 things: a church constitution, church membership, employees, and there were 2 others I cannot think of. I’m trying to learn all I can about how to avoid making any mistake that would cause my church to be defined as an organization or corporation by the government. I learned not to have a church constitution but to claim the Word of God as the church’s defining document. One thing I recently had questions on was how do churches pay their employees… any church that grows will need full-time Christian workers serving in the church, well, I found that churches do not have employees, they have servants who are given love offerings of support and the church cares for them as it does the pastor. That made sense to me.

I undoubtedly will need help and guidance in the matter when I do start my church.  I have many questions, but I am not ready to start a church yet, I have a Bible college degree, I have God’s calling on my life, I have been ordained and had hands laid on me and prayed over, and I believe I know what city God is sending me to, but I am still waiting on God to send me the wife He has chosen for me before I start my church. When that happens, I will be contacting you.

I appreciate the work that you are doing for pastors like me who are not taught these things, as a matter of fact, most pastors have told me to file 501c3 for lawsuit protection, it’s amazing what people tell you, it seems to me that most pastors are simply afraid of the IRS.

Thank you for your future assitance in the ministry God has called me to.

– ___________________

My Reply to Letter No. 2:

Dear Brother _______________,

I was reviewing old e-mails and came across our communications below. I don’t recall is we ever talked about your questions.

If not, feel free to call me.

Brother Jerald Finney

To: Jerald Finney <>
Sent: Wed, December 1, 2010 1:35:31 PM
Subject: Re: Legal Questions

Hello Brother Finney,

Thank you for writing me back. I am available most afternoons and evenings, except on Wednesdays and Sundays. So just let me know what time you’d like for me to call you, it’d have to be sometime next week since this is deer gun season week in Ohio.

Thank you again.
– Brother __________________

From Jerald Finney; To _________________________; Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2010 2:13 PM; Subject: Legal Questions ______________________

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

From: …; To:; Sent: Tue, November 30, 2010 6:25:05 PM; Subject: Legal Questions

Hello Brother Finney,

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is ___________________, I recently graduated from Commonwealth 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.

– Brother ______________________

IV. Letter No. 3 received on March 25, 2010

You stereotype every 501c3 church as doing all of these things when you don’t even know who does and who don’t. It is apparent that you are against having a 501c3, but I would submit to you Romans 14:4. I can stand before God with a good conscience over this issue and I nor our church is guilty of anything you accuse. Now I know that probably bugs you, but I am thankful the God is my judge and not you sir. Tell you what, you keep condemning churches like ours and I will keep trying to win the lost to Christ and glorifying Him.

May you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ

My Response to Letter No. 3

Dear Sir,

You cannot bug me because I love God first and my neighbor (which includes you). Your letter gives me a chance to challenge you to look at the Word of God, history, and law and support what you say from those sources, not from your “conscience.” If your conscience does not condemn you for prostituting God’s bride, then your conscience may have been seared, at least as to this matter. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:1-2).

I have done a comprehensive assessment of your argument in the booklet, The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls. That booklet is also reproduced on this website at the following link: The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls.

One should try to win souls to Christ without leaving other biblical duties undone (without dishonoring one’s love relationship with Christ). The church I am a member of emphasizes soul winning and support of missionaries. I spend approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours a week devoted directly to one on one soul winning (door to door evangelism) as well as taking every other opportunity to present the Gospel of salvation to those with whom I come into contact. I pledge monthly support which results in the salvation of souls worldwide. The same can be said of my pastor (who is even more devoted to this cause than I) and other members of the church. By operating according to the principles of Satan in some matters, most “Bible-believing” churches are contributing to the loss of untold numbers of souls, since, by proceeding according to human reasoning rather than Bible principle, they lose the power of God to one degree or another. Honoring God’s principles is much more important than reasoning based upon what one does while discounting or ignoring what one does not do but should be doing.

I do not condemn you-a true understanding of Word of God, history, and law condemn you. I have stereotyped no church. I have explained in detail the biblical principles violated by church incorporation and 501c3. Just operating under those satanic devices violates biblical principle, prostitutes the bride of Christ, and grieves our Lord. You do not address any of my biblical, historical, and/or legal teachings. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2.15).

Should you wish to contribute intelligently to a resolution of your disagreements with me, please contact me. Read my writings and/or listen to my audio teachings and tell me where you believe I am wrong. I will calmly and sincerely consider what you have to say. I doubt that you can convince me that I am wrong, but if you can, I will publicly repent of any error.

For His Glory,
Jerald Finney

V. Letter No. 4 received on September 13, 2011  in response to “ON SABBATICAL LAWS” by colonial Baptist Pastor + article on the biblical doctrine of government


My Reply to Letter No. 4

Dear ____________:

I love you. I always get straight to the truth, for I have not enough time for anything else.

God’s people in America are being destroyed for lack of knowledge (among other things such as love for our Lord) (See, e.g., 1 Peter 1 and Hosea 4). Baptists have no common Christian heritage with Protestants and Catholics. Catholicism, led by Constantine and justified by perverted biblical interpretations of Augustine, began in the fourth century to viciously torture and murder all those who refused to bow down to the unified church-state alliance. As many as 50,000,000 people deemed to be “heretics” were killed by that wicked alliance. The Protestant churches which came out of Catholicism adopted the Catholic union of church and state theology, and continued to persecute any who refused to submit to their wicked religion. For example, Martin Luther in Germany, although he at first espoused separation of church and state, succumbed to pressure, changed his theology, and began to persecute Jews and believers who would not bow down to the teachings of the official state church, the Lutheran church. The persecution of Baptists and other dissenters by Protestants continued in the American colonies. In fact, a great spiritual warfare between the dissenters, mainly Baptists, and the Protestants (mainly the Congregationalists in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire and the Anglicans in the southern colonies) resulted in implementation of soul liberty (religious freedom) in the First Amendment to the Constitution.  Those who were by belief Baptist have always been persecuted by the arm of the civil magistrate at the behest of state churches when those churches were united with a civil government.

Sadly, informed secularists know these facts. The common Christian heritage they love to refer to includes the murder of millions when “union of church and state” was practiced, wars (like the Crusades) initiated by the state church; persecution of Baptists and other dissenters by the state established churches in the American colonies, etc. The false revised teachings being disseminated in the “Christian” community in America, in deciding to promote a false “common Christian heritage” in their arguments which allege that America is a “Christian” nation have unknowingly worked with Satan in bringing the downfall of America and the one world government and religion prophesied in Scripture. I cover all these matters and much more in my books, articles, and audio teachings.

Since true believers have decided to revise history, or follow Christian revisionist history, they have become a laughing stock among secular scholars and, due to the trickle-down effect, to the uninformed secularist masses. We see the result of the “Christian” endeavors to bring America back to God, since those endeavors have not been according to knowledge. Individual, family, church, and state morality and depravity have regressed at an accelerating rate. America, American individuals and families (in general), and American churches (in general) are now moral cesspools.

Your e-mail, dear sir, shows your ignorance of history and biblical theology. Biblical doctrine is preeminent for the believer, as is exposure of heretics and apostates. Unrevised history is very important. Without understanding history, one can never learn from and correct the mistakes, heresies, etc. of the past.

To include apostates and heretics in our “Christian” heritage other than to expose their false theologies and consequences thereof has led to tragedy, including the downfall of this nation which has paralleled a dumbing down of Americans-including most “Christians.”

For His Glory,
Jerald Finney

VI. Letter No. 5 received on April 21, 2010

Mr. Finney,

My husband will be attending a Board of Directors Meeting tonight at the church where we attend and presenting the TRUTH about caving to the State for incorporation. This will be a tremendous amount of information to digest for these men and my husband doesn’t want to overwhelm them. However, it is important to give them a snapshot of what it entails to “dissolve” a 501(c)(3) corporation. (He can’t present the PROBLEM with submitting a SOLUTION.)

Could you please provide the process regarding the Declaration of Trust in a nutshell? We realize this process isn’t going to be easy, but understand it is doable.

Your suggestions, comments, or guidance will be appreciated!

Because of Him,

My Reply to Letter No. 5

Dear Mrs. ______________________:

In order to advise your husband on this matter, I need to talk to him. Dissolving the 501c3 corporation and/or organizing a church under the Declaration of Trust involves complex legal matters. Every case has to be examined individually to determine the best way proceed.

Please have your husband call me and I will be glad to discuss this matter with him. My phone number is 512-385-0761 or 512-785-8445 (cell).

For His Glory,
Jerald Finney

Note. I did talk with and advise this concerned church member. I also sent him copies of all my books at no charge.

VII. Letter No. 6 received July 31, 2011 in response to Pastor’s article on church incorp. & 501c3; Sermon: “Him”

KEEP them coming!   ”  make them shorter ”  CUZ the time(s) are getting shorter before our Lord’s return & the Meeting in the air!

No Reply to Letter No. 6

VIII. Letter No. 7 received March 11, 2011
in response to “The Biblical Doctrine of Separation of Church and State.”

Dear Jerald:

On page 16 of “God Betrayed” you stated: “Man makes a choice of his own free will as to how he will respond to God. The principle of freedom of conscience or free will is found throughout the Bible.”

You quoted from John 3:16, 18 and Rev 22:17. However, I could not see how those passages supported your point that “man makes a choice of his own free will.” Certainly, those passages make the point that salvation is by faith and man must be willing to believe, but they do not in any way suggest that belief is a choice made by man’s “own free will.”

You further stated that “the principle of freedom of conscience or free will is found throughout the Bible.” When I read the bible, however, I find quite another view of man’s condition. The bible states that man is dead in trespasses and sin. We, who are saved, were at one time dead in sin, but God, through his Holy Spirit, made us alive by his glorious grace. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” Ephesians 2:1.

It is not possible for a dead man to do anything, a dead man cannot even have faith, he must be made alive again. Man does not have it in him to come to Jesus; God must draw him. “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44. Indeed, Jesus must be the source of our faith because “there is none that seeketh after God.” Romans 3:11.

Notice what Jesus makes clear in John 15:5: “without me ye can do nothing.” Hebrews 12:2 confirms what Jesus said in John 15:5, and pretty well precludes any source for our faith other than Jesus: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” Hebrews 12:2.

If Jesus is the author of our faith, then that precludes man from being the author through his free will decision. An author is one that originates or creates. There is no mention in the bible of there being any coauthors of our faith, it is Jesus alone who is the author of our faith. He originates and creates faith in the believer. Jesus is also the finisher of our faith, that is, he completes and perfects our faith. So there is no room for anyone to say that God only makes an offer of salvation, and that we must accept that offer of our own free will. That is to contradict God’s word and say that man is the finisher of his own faith. The bible makes it clear that Jesus is the finisher of our faith. Jesus must first set our will free from the bondage of sin. Our faith in Jesus is both authored and finished by Jesus. Our will is enslaved to sin, and we can only believe in Jesus if Jesus frees us from that bondage and imparts the faith in us, making us new creations by the Spirit of God.

This is not some theological nit-picking; it is the very heart of the gospel. “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe.” (Romans 3:22 KJV) Notice that the righteousness of God is “by the faith of Jesus Christ.” The passage explains the source of the faith; faith comes from Jesus Christ, hence it is the “faith of Jesus Christ.” The plain language of Romans 3:22 indicates that our faith comes from Jesus. One cannot have faith in Jesus without being given the faith of Jesus.

Next, read Galatians 2:16. The passage indicates that Jesus Christ is both the source of our faith and the object of our faith. There is a clear distinction in the passage between the faith “of” Jesus and the faith “in” Jesus. The passage reveals that the faith “of” Christ is the reason we have faith “in” Christ. Our Justification is by the faith “of” Christ. We believe “in” Jesus, because we have the faith “of” Jesus. Jesus is both the object of our faith and the source of our faith. The faith supplied by Jesus is the means of our justification. Jesus has done it all! The passage refers to the source of our faith as being “of” Christ in two separate clauses.

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Galatians 2:16.

The passage that absolutely crushes the claim that man has a free will to believe in Jesus is found in John 1:13. In John 3:3 we read that Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born again to see the kingdom of God. That is a spiritual rebirth that cannot be by the will of man or through the flesh. God made it clear just three chapters earlier in John 1:13 that this new spiritual birth comes to those “[w]hich were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:13.

Notice God has stated unequivocally in John 1:13 that man does not believe in Jesus by the will of man. Man indeed is completely helpless to believe in Jesus. God must give the man a new heart to believe. Man must be born again by the Spirit of God. Man is then given the faith of Jesus to believe in Jesus. Jesus is not only the object of our faith, he is the “author and finisher of our faith.” There is no room in the gospel for man to believe in Jesus by his “own free will.” The gospel theme encapsulated in John 1:13 is that salvation is completely by the sovereign will of God.

The very theme of the gospel is that God seeks men, men do not seek God. While you state that mans belief is by his “own free will,” God states that belief is not from man’s will, but is completely an act of God’s act of mercy. “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” Romans 9:16. From the beginning of Jesus’ ministry he made it clear that he was Lord, and he chose his disciples, they did not choose him. “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” John 15:16.

Salvation is by grace through faith. Ephesians 2:8. The faith comes by God’s grace; faith is not by man’s “own free will.” Indeed, it cannot be, because man’s condition is one of enslavement to sin and the whole point of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was to free his elect from their slavery to sin. Luke 4:18.

Please let me know if you think that I am in error on this. If you have contrary biblical authority supporting your position that “man makes a choice of his own free will” to believe in Jesus I would very much be interested in reading it.


My Reply to Letter No.7

Dear Mr. ______________:

I respectfully disagree with your position in the letter [above], based upon what the Bible teaches. Very briefly, I would remind you that “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Ro. 4.5); in other words, one’s faith is not a work.

I do not have the time to address all your arguments, but let me refer you to your paragraph 2 which says:

“You [Jerald Finney] quoted from John 3:16, 18 and Rev 22:17. However, I could not see how those passages supported your point that ‘man makes a choice of his own free will.’ Certainly, those passages make the point that salvation is by faith and man must be willing to believe, but they do not in any way suggest that belief is a choice made by man’s “own free will.’”

How can man be “willing to believe” if he has no free will? He cannot. Thus, that argument is contradictory, and all your arguments can be easily answered by a believer educated in God’s Word.

All the arguments on both sides of this issue have been made. Having read the Bible many times and having heard preaching by pastors of both persuasions, it is obvious to me that the Bible teaches that man has free will. One can selectively choose Scriptures which, when taken alone and without a consideration of other Scripture, teach what you contend in your letter.

I quoted some other pastors and gave their reasoning in the book. I believe the quote of Pastor Joey Faust is especially instructive. However, the purpose of the book was not to debate a tenet of Calvinism (I say “a tenet of Calvinism” rather than “the sovereignty of God” because you and I would agree that God is sovereign—I make this clear in the book) or to fully develop what the Bible teaches about free will. I would note that many things such as salvation and the relationship between a local church and Christ (the main issue of the book) is irrelevant if man is just a robot who can make no choice since an individual is either preordained by God to salvation or eternal death in the lake of fire and a church cannot make a choice of whether to remain under Christ alone or submit herself to civil government. If there is no free will, sin is not a choice, repentance (a change of mind, or a conversion from sin to God) is not a choice, nothing is a choice; one cannot exalt himself, humble himself, or abase himself negating verses such as “every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 18.14). Any given person is destined for either heaven or hell and he has no choice as to the matter.

I have much other biblical authority, but really don’t have time to argue with anyone about this. Let me suggest that you listen to the sermon at the bottom of the “Salvation” tab of church and state law. That sermon makes clear that salvation is all of God. However, that does not mean that a man does not have free will to choose to exercise the faith that saves or not.

I was talking to a Baptist preacher and friend who believes as do you about this matter. I said, “Will you explain this portion of Scripture to me?” I read the Scripture to him. His response was, “It doesn’t mean what it says.” He is a brilliant man, but he could not explain away that example of man exercising his free will. I could have given him many others. However, neither of us convinced the other, and you will not convince me nor I you. I still love you in the Lord. There are pastors and others whom I deeply respect and love with all my heart who believe as you do. I don’t argue with them about this matter. It is between them and the Lord.

I hope you will agree that the Lord Jesus commissioned us to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,” and “to preach repentance and remission of sins in his name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem.” Let us be about our Father’s business as we continue to love one another.

For His Glory,
Brother Jerald Finney

Mr. ___________________’s Reply:

Dear Jerald:

Thank you for getting back to me. It is obvious to me when reading your book that God has gifted you with a sharp intellect. I realize that sometimes discussions like this can be tedious, and if it gets to that point just let me know, and we can leave the issue be. Your email, though, raised some interesting points that I want to follow up on.

I agree with you that “salvation is all of God.” Yet, I can find no biblical authority for your next statement, which contradicts the first: “However, that does not mean that a man does not have free will to choose to exercise the faith that saves or not.” If man has a “free will” to choose, then it cannot be that “salvation is all of God.”  The two statements are mutually exclusive and cannot both be true.  Wouldn’t you agree that if man has free will to choose, then salvation is at least in part of man?

The theme of the bible is that man is spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and that“there is none that seeketh after God.” Romans 3:11. Do you accept that premise? If you accept that premise, how does a man obtain a “free will” without God first regenerating the man?

I can cite passages that unequivocally state that salvation is not by the “choice of man’s own free will.” John 1:13; Romans 9:16.  Can you cite one single passage anywhere in the bible that sates in like unequivocal fashion that salvation is by the “choice of man’s own free will?”

Free will assumes a will unhindered by God (hence the term “free will”). If man has an unhindered free will, that means that Judas had a free will and God was rolling the dice and hoping that Judas would betray Jesus. Under the free will theory, the crucifixion of Christ was one big gamble that paid off for God and man.

The true gospel, however, tells a different story. Judas betrayed Jesus as prophesied by God hundreds of years earlier. Jesus stated, while praying to God the Father: “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” John 17:12.

Not only did Judas not have a free will to choose whether to betray Jesus, but every single act of Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Jews, and the Romans was preordained and orchestrated by the sovereign God of Heaven. “For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.” Acts 4:27-28. In fact, God orders the steps of all men and controls their very tongue. “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue are from the Lord.” Prov. 16:1.

How do you reconcile the theory that unregenerate man has a free will to choose to believe in Jesus with those bible passages that state clearly that the unregenerate do not and cannot seek after God and that salvation is not by the will of man and the fact that God preordained and moved Judas, Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Jews, and the Romans with his divine hand to betray and crucify Jesus?


My Reply to Mr. ______________’s Reply:

Dear Bro. ______________________,

Thank you for your concern and kind Christian manner in your correspondence. [Note. If your position is right, I don’t know why I would be thanking you for anything since God actually is responsible for your concern (actually, if you are right, you have no concern nor does God) and your kind Christian manner (actually, if you are right, that manner is not of you, but totally predetermined by God). Since I don’t believe as you do, I will leave the thank you above in this e-mail. Of course, if you are right, God is responsible for everything I write in this e-mail, including this Note and for my leaving this note in it.
Your position on this matter is very confusing. I thought that the Bible says that God is not the author or confusion (1 Co. 14.33). If He is not, then no one can be the author of confusion, since no one else does anything except as God as determined in advance.]

Again, I have heard most of the arguments on both sides and come down on the side that says that the Sovereign God chose to give man a choice. That is my biblically based belief. You pick out Scriptures to support a lot of unbiblical beliefs based upon a partial reading of Scripture. You also reach conclusions that are not supported by a full reading of Scripture. In my e-mail last reply to you, I summarily addressed some of the arguments you stated in your most recent e-mail [above]. You have not even considered those succinct arguments which I presented.

Once more, I refer you to my prior e-mail and to Pastor Joey Faust’s footnote in my book. I believe he offers great insight into this matter.

If you are right, it does not matter what we do or say since we are responsible for nothing we do, say, or believe. My arguments are not my arguments since it was predetermined that I would make them. Likewise, your arguments were also predetermined by God. Each person’s fate is also set. We have no responsibility for anything. God is responsible for everything that every person has ever done, said or believed. He is responsible for every sin, crime, lie, etc. that has ever happened. Only He is responsible for anything. Everything is a gigantic game being totally controlled by God. No person is responsible for anything. God is responsible for what I am writing you at this moment. I have nothing to do with it. God is in fact arguing with Himself. What do you think is the reason for that?

On the other hand, if I am right, each person is responsible and will be held accountable.

I love you in the Lord and wish you the best, but the Lord has already filled my plate with work (not to attain my salvation, but for His Glory and pleasure). I work because I am saved, not to be saved. People have presented postions to me on other biblical matters which are not directly related to the issues concerning church, state, and separation of church and state; for example, matters involving Israel and the Sabbath. They have made arguments that I have  looked into as I do my daily Bible study. I have taken notes and meditated upon their arguments. Sometimes my beliefs have been modified, sometimes not. However, I have not taken the time for lengthy debates on most matters simply because God did not call me to argue about everything that comes along.

May the Lord richly bless you and may you grow in knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. I mean nothing personal by this: I will not be taking the time to answer future e-mails about this matter for the reasons already explained. If your position is correct, God has already predetermined that this would be my final response as to this matter. Regardless of who is right, please take the matter up with Him.

For His Glory,
Brother Jerald Finney

IX. Note

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 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.

X. Links to Internal Revenue Code Laws [Some of the following links may no longer work [As of November 5, 2011]. If not, you can find the laws by using Google.]

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.
§ 508. Special rules with respect to section 501(c)(3) organizations
§ 7611. Restrictions on church tax inquiries and examinations
§ 1402. [Dealing with taxes on income of pastors]
§ 107. Rental value of parsonages
§ 102. Gifts and inheritances (Tithes and offerings are gifts and, therefore, according to the Internal Revenue Code § 102, not income)
§ 2503. Taxable gifts
§ 170. Charitable, etc., contributions and gifts

XI. Note

The Biblical Law Center helps churches to organize as New Testament churches completely out from under civil government and under God only. See 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.