Copyright © December 10, 2012
Just as Christ “loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ep. 5.25), a Christian should give priority to his relationship with Christ since God says that this relationship—not salvation of souls, good works, missions, or anything one does for his fellow man—is His top priority (See Jerald Finney, The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls? (Austin, TX: Kerygma Publishing Co., 2008 (Click the link to go to the booklet reproduction on this website or go to Books page of Church and State Law Website for ordering information. It is available on Kindle)). Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (Jn. 14.15). The greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all one’s heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mt. 22.37; Mk. 12.30; Lu. 10.27). If believers and churches do not love Christ with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, God contemns all else that they do (Song of Solomon 8.7; I Co. 13). Christ tells churches who have lost their first love, in spite of many good works, to “repent and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick, except thou repent” (Re. 2.2-5).
In order to apply biblical standards regarding the relationships between Christ and His children and churches, between Christ and civil governments, and between a church and the state, one must first study the Bible and then facts concerning civil law. A systematic study of God’s Word and reality reveals that many churches have a relationship not only with our Lord, but also with the state. This grieves our Lord.
This book contains many facts from civil law as well as many statements and principles from the Word of God. The author cites all his sources so that the saved person who reads this book can check out the law, the facts, and the principles and make a decision as to how God feels about His churches incorporating, obtaining 26 United States Code (Internal Revenue Code) § 501(c)(3) status, or becoming a legal entity in any other way.
Studying this book will help Christians and churches in America understand how to apply the principles concerning the love between Christ and His churches to reality. Go to churchandstatelaw.com for more information of Jerald Finney and other books and resources.
Note. See Jerald Finney, God Betrayed, Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Xulon Press, 2008 (www.xulonpress.com) or Austin, TX: Kerygma Publishing Co., 2008 (Books page of Church and State Law website)) for a thorough study God’s Word, history, and law concerning the issue of separation of church and state. Readers unfamiliar with the concepts in God Betrayed, including the biblical doctrines, will find the book to be very challenging. It is not written for the casual reader, but studying the book is worth the effort. Most of God Betrayed is now reproduced on this website in written form, and Jerald Finney’s audio teachings on God Betrayed are on this website as well as on the Radio broadcast page of the Church and State Law website. A quicker study is available in Separation of Church and State: God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities which is now reproduced on this website in its entirety in this section (To order, go to Books page of Church and State Law website).