Copyright © April 18, 2013
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Complete listing of articles on “Separation of Church and State Law” blog
The following is a complete list (with links) to prior publications of letters concerning this blog. Notice the article Letters from Pastors Regarding Hyles/Schaap and Other Articles which was published September 9, 2010, not long after the 2010 Hyles/Schaap articles were published.):
To download a document, right click the link, then left click “Download Linked File” or “Download Linked File As.”
Contents of this article:
Note. A “+” represents a supportive letter, a “-” a negative letter
II. (+) Letter No. 1 and my reply (From a pastor in the Philippines regarding the website and some Philippine church matters)
III. (+) Letter No. 2 and my reply (Insights of an x-member of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana)
IV. (+)Letter No. 3 and my reply (Concerning Internal Revenue Code § 508 status for churches)
V. (+)Letter No. 4 and my reply (Letter criticizing the publication of the article Jack Schaap, First Baptist of Hammond, Heresy and Apostasy)
VI. (+) Letter No. 5 (Pastor Mark Manzoni comments on Pastor Jason Cooley’s message “Whose Church Is It Anyway?)
VII. (-) Letter No. 6 and my reply (Criticizing me for being critical of Jack Schaap)
VIII. (+) Letter No. 7 and my reply (Commenting on the website)
IX. (-) Letter No. 8 (Letter attacking me and my article Jack Schaap, First Baptist of Hammond, Heresy and Apostasy)
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)
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 April 17, 2013 (From a pastor in the Philippines regarding the website and some Philippine church matters)
Thanks for educating the readers like me about the real principle in separation of Church and state. I learned that our Philippine constitution is pattern to USA constitution. But the Roman Catholic is would like to dominate and benefits the programs of our government. Requiring us Baptist Church and Pastors to submit to the governments when it comes to our Christian school. I started to stand that educating the children both those in our church and from outside that wanted our Christian system of education is our constitutional rights and it is part of our faith and practices so the government should respect it. There is ongoing debate Davao City Counsel concerning our right to have Christian school.
My Reply to Letter No. 1 on April 18, 2013
Thanks for your comment and thanks for taking a stand in the Phillippines! It is encouraging to hear from someone outside the U.S.
Brother Jerald Finney
III. Letter No. 2 received on April 16, 2013 (Insights of an x-member of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana)
Dear Brother you put into words what i was actually trying to convey. I am just SKEPTICAL after being told by a Reverand that i had plenty of time to be saved. Now i credit a Deacon at FBC for showing me that thou knowest not the day nor the hour when thy Lord cometh. Today is the day now is the time for thy salvation. So FBC indeeed led some souls to the Lord, just not through any QUICK PRAYERISM.
Then later being FOOLED by the likes of Dave Hyles and others. Now I had always wondered why the Hyles children was always kept in secret, sort of out of the public eye. It wasn’t until i was a member of Dave Hyles Miller Road Baptist Church in Garland that the Hyles house of cards started to fall. It was then that i started getting some REAL answers. Later i got a hold of Dr. Cloud and some of his e-mails. Then later Dr. Dixon, Joey Faust, yourself, and Pastor Cooley. I grieve over the facts as they came out. Just as the office of the Presidency has been abused so has the pulpits of america. Which is FAR MORE IMPORTANT. The Bible speaks of hirelings.
I know quite a few soul winners have fallen also. We just aren’t here to be followers of Paul or Appolos as the Bible declares. What people think about the pulpits of America is more disgraceful now than the office of the Presidency. II. Chronicles 7:14 If MY PEOPLE, which are called by MY NAME, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek MY FACE, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I HEAR from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Psalms 118:8 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. Psalms 146:3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. Jerimiah 17:5 Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusted in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. The more i reread the scriptures the more my heart is broken for this country. My hope is BUILT on nothingless than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but WHOLLY lean on Jesus name. No not even the tea party is gonna get us out of this. It will take the KING of KINGS! I do not intend on fighting or quabbleing with fellow brethren. I shall continue to tell others about Jesus, just as i did when i went to jail twice. For inside or outside i will spread the gospel as the Bible says to do. Matthew tells us of Pastors who scatter the flocks. We have seen through Jack Schaap what the Lord WILL DO! As in Acts 5:11 WOW! If i had not been through so much heresy as with the first reverand then with so called pastors later i may not be so Skeptical of who to give any certain amount of honor to. For fear it may again continue on into man worship. I will let the Lord lead in that part of my life as he did in getting me out of FBC in 1981.
Thank you for your e-mail, please understand i am just being cautious. In Feb. there was a lot of preachers praising FBC and saying how it is the best Church in the world. And yet the Church has not repented nor the deacons for bringing Christ to public reproach. The mockery of Christ and the Bible was bad enough without FBC adding fuel to the fire. Titus 2:5,8 Titus 2:10 I. Timothy 3:7 2nd. Samuel 12:14
I let that reverand tell many other little boys and girls that they have plenty of time to get saved without even getting a chance to rebuke him accordingly. So naturally i am upset over the continuance of similar heresies in our own camps grossly ignored. I shall continue to pray and let the Lord lead.
Sincerely In Christ Brother ___________________
The brother above later sent another e-mail (after my reply below):
With my FULL PERMISSION! And without RESERVATION! I had thought about including my name, but i am already EXPERIENCING great battles from FORMER FBC and FBC and H.A.C. people. Some of whom i am RELATED to. I am outspoken and opinonated but try to be Biblical about such matters. I CERTAINLY INCLUDE myself in II. Chronicles 7:14 because i am only a SINNER saved by grace and no better than anyone else. Perhaps the Chief among sinners. The Bible says ALL we like sheep have gone astray. Everyone has turned their own way. I fall and with the help of my Lord i rise again. Isn’t it WONDERFUL to have such a Heavenly Father to turn to?
What REALLY UPSETS me is the failure of repentance! The facts that Schaap had written such vulgar books without remorse and then turning against the God of the Bible! Denying the POWER thereof. The Bible is VERY CLEAR on such matters! He ACTUALLY said the Bible has 22 thousand errors and then turned around and said it is mostly correct. You cannot have it both ways or partial ways. The FACTS remain that FBC is 501c3 worships the god of money/mammon and did NOTHING to stop Schaap from the very begining.
My Reply on April 18, 2013
Dear Bro. __________,
Thanks for your very insightful reply. Especially thanks since you are one former member of FBCH who has the biblical understanding of the matter and the implications.
Amen! I agree with you 100%. It is very vexing to see God’s people behaving without remorse or repentance. The men of FBCH not seeing how they failed. Now lawyers and big-name preachers standing up for FBCH instead of calling for an application of II Chronicles 14. And a double Amen to your insight that [many of the] pulpits of America are more disgraceful than the office of the Presidency.
With your permission I will publish this exchange of e-mails, without identities, of course, unless you inform me that you do not want this published. It will be in an article on letters and my replies.
Keep up the great work for our Lord!
For His Glory,
IV. Letter No. 3 received on April 13, 2013 (Concerning Internal Revenue Code § 508 status for churches)
Greetings and Shabbat Shalom,
I ran across your information and the website while researching information for the 501. Reason is that I stepped out in ministry as led, first with a home group and then within the will of the lord, establishing a congregation/church. I am very curious after researching the 508 section. What I can not figure out, is how the church receives recognition in order to obtain this standing under 508. The IRS recognition appears to be necessary to obtain state exemption as well. Are there forms, as the government is famous for, for the status under 508? Do you have any books or such that outline how to obtain recognition under section 508? How do expenses, salaries and receipts for offerings, tithes, etc be given to members as well as other contributors and then recognized for tax deduction purposes.
I can say, after recently retiring from 23 years of government service in a management position in Law Enforcement, I by no means trust the government and especially under the present administration. I did not particularly like the idea of the 501, but till I saw your information, I did not think there was any other way.
Any information to clarify this would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You for your time and attention,
My Reply to Letter No. 3
Thank you so much for your inquiry. I love you in the Lord. I will succinctly answer your questions. To completely answer your questions requires a treatise. I have written comprehensively on these matters. One can have free access to all my books and writings in both online and PDF form on the “Separation of Church and State Law” blog (opbcbibletrust.wordpress.com). Four of the books are now available to be purchased from amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. You can also see the “Books” page of churchandstatelaw.com for ordering information. Sadly, the internet serves as proof that there are many, many uninformed people who will give you their opinions about these matters. Take such opinions for what they are worth.
I am just beginning a free online course that goes through my teachings. I am teaching one chapter at a time, beginning with teaching on the biblical doctrine of government. You can go to that course at https://opbcbibletrust.wordpress.com/course/.
To claim 508(c)(1)(A) exemption in at least some cases, and maybe in all cases, puts a church in the same position that they would be in if that church applies for and receives 501(c)(3) status. Some churches are including all the 501(c)(3) requirements in their corporate constitutions or in other church documents in order to claim 508(c)(1)(A) status. They are effectively putting themselves under the civil government, under the 501(c)(3) rules when they do this. By the way, incorporation and any other legal entity status of a church is just as grievous to our Lord as 501(c)(3) status. I cover this completely in my writings and audio teachings.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is a statement of the biblical principles of separation of church and state, freedom of religion, soul consciousness, free will, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of association, and the right to petition one’s civil government for a redress of grievances. The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights that prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. A church in America can choose to retain her First Amendment freedoms. The First Amendment protects those churches who wish to remain under God only, mandates that churches can operate without government intervention, protects freedom of conscience, etc. However, the federal government violated the First Amendment and passed section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code, a law which allows a church to voluntarily give up her First Amendment protections. The law is clearly unconstitutional – that is, the law clearly violates the First Amendment. Nonetheless, churches, as they form, ignorantly line up to get their 501(c)(3) status.
Section 501 is a law passed by the federal govenment which, when applied to churches, respects an establisment of religion and prevents the free exercise thereof. 501(a) says: “(a) Exemption from taxation: An organization described in subsection (c) or (d) or section 401 (a) shall be exempt from taxation under this subtitle unless such exemption is denied under section 502 or 503.”
Section 501(c)(3) says: “(c) List of exempt organizations: The following organizations are referred to in subsection (a): (3) Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.”
Please notice the rules that are written into 501(c)(3). 501(c)(3) obviously is a law respecting an establishment of religion and which, according to the rules written into the law, “prevents the free exercise thereof.” The Internal Revenue Service added another rule – “may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy” – which was challenged in court but upheld in the Bob Jones University Case, 461 U.S. 574 (1983) (which is discussed in my writings and audio teachings).
508, like 501(c)(3), is a law passed by the federal government which regards an establishment of religion. If there were no unconstitutional law applicable to churches, 501(c)(3), there would be no need for another unconstitutional law, 508(c)(1)(A) to be applied to churches. Because of the First Amendment which forbade Congress to “make any law respecting an establishment of religion or preventing the free exercise thereof,” and because Congress did just that when it passed 501(c)(3), Congress was left with a dilemma; Congress probably realized that they needed more in order to satisfy the First Amendment. Therefore, instead of repealing 501(c)(3) insofar as it applied to churches, Congress passed 508(c). 508(c) recognizes that churches do not have to get 501(c)(3) status. Why? Because churches are non-taxable under the First Amendment? 508(c) does not say that. 508(c)(1)(A) says that “churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches” are “mandatory exceptions” to the requirement for certain organizations to get 501(c)(3) status. 508(c) gives no reason for stating that church are mandatory exceptions. The natural and logical interpretation of 508(c) would be that the First Amendment mandates that churches cannot be required to get 501(c)(3) status; that is, churches are non-taxable because of the First Amendment. The First Amendment says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment or religion, or preventing the free exercise thereof.” Since both 501(c)(3), if applied to churches, and 508(c) are laws respecting an establishment of religion and which prevent the free exercise thereof, both are unconstitutional in their application to churches. I could say much more about this, but I have said enough to show one who thinks seriously that a church should rely on the First Amendment – a statement of the biblical principle of freedom of religion – which protects churches from government power, influence, and interference rather than rely upon the unconsitutional 501(c)(3), as applied to churches, and 508(c) statutes passed by the federal government in spite of First Amendment prohibitions. Thus, I recommend that churches claim First Amendment status as opposed to 508 status. I am sure that the God of this world is highly entertained and that our Lord is grieved by the ignorance of most American preachers and churches concerning these matters.
Why are churches non-taxable? For several reasons. First, as to a church who does not illegally, intentionally, and knowingly give up her First Amendment status, because of the First Amendment. Second, even if the First Amendment did not exist, because a true church (a church whose purpose, organization, goals, and operation is in line with New Testament church doctrine) does not make a profit. Even a business which does not make a profit pays no income taxes. A true church is not a business wholly or partially. A true church cannot operate a business or businesses and still be a true church. A true church does not sell a good or a service. A true church makes sure that all tithes and offerings go to God and His purposes. A true church is not a legal entity and therefore acts in no legal way; for example, a true church does not get insurance, hold property, get a bank account, etc. I cover these matters in great detail in my writings and audio teachings. To get more explanation and information on these matters in a nutshell, click the following link: Quick Reference Guide for Churches Seeking to Organize According to New Testament Guidelines.
The real reason churches seek “tax-exempt” status is because they feel that they need to let people know that tithes, offerings, and gifts will be tax-deductible. Other false reasons are given to justify corporate 501(c)(3) church status. I go over all these matters in my writings. The main thing a believer and a church should understand is that God wishes believers and churches to do things according to the principles He has given us in His Word, no matter what the earthly consequences. Even if one has to pay a sales tax, he should never violate God’s law in order to avoid paying the tax. Which is more important, pleasing God or paying a sales tax? That said, no sales taxes are paid on goods bought by the pastors of the churches I have worked with and who operate totally under God without any connections to civil government.
In order to understand these matters, one first needs to understand the biblical doctrines of government, church, and separation of church and state. Then he needs to understand the American application of the biblical principles. That includes an understanding of the First Amendment, including the history of the Amendment. My resources will save you thousands of hours of study. I am not making available a course of study which will teach the biblical doctrines of government, church, and separation of church and state. I have added the first study segment, with self-test questions. Click the following link to go to that course of study: Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application.
Any local, autonomous New Testament church can honor God, including churches in China, Korea, Iran or the many other nations where there is no religious freedom. However, individuals in non-state churches in those nations will be persecuted, many times murdered. For example, in Korea, there are no open churches and to be found with a Bible or heard saying the name of Jesus means death.
A church anywhere who puts themselves under the civil government in any way grieves our Lord. You see, he is the sovereign of the universe and had made clear that he wants his children and believers to “obey God rather than man.” Of course, an individual and a church should obey his civil government as long as civil government laws are consistent with biblical principles.
Again, I cover this and all related matters in my writings. I cover first the biblical, then the historical and legal information a believer needs to know in order to please God in the organization of one of His local churches. I don’t have time to rewrite my books in this letter. If you are concerned with pleasing God, I humbly suggest that you begin to study these matters in the light of His Word.
May the Lord bless you as you search to please Him.
For His Glory,
V. Letter No. 4 received on April 9, 2013 (Letter criticizing the publication of the article Jack Schaap, First Baptist of Hammond, Heresy and Apostasy)
Jerald…. while I admire your attack on heresy, I think all this should not be aired on the Internet, etc. Why should we air our dirty laundry before the world It just gives more reason (s), or excuses to reject Christ as Lord.
I would like to know why this is being passed around to the world. Is it uplifting or edifying? I think not. I became pastor of my first church at the age of 19, back in 1956. I have pastored in four states, from California to Florida and several in between. Every where I lived we had men who strayed into sin. The best work was done in Scriptural confrontation, discussion, edification, prayer “trying to lift up the fallen”….before we walked away and gave him up to the Devil – on his rejection of our love.
I urge you to stop this castigation before the world, lest it aid others on their trip to Hell.
Dr. ______________________ (retired Baptist minister)
My Reply to Letter No. 4 on April 10, 2013
Dear Dr. ________________________,
I apologize for my short answer, but I have a lot on my plate.
I have already partially answered your questions in my letters link which was on the e-mail you received [Click the following link to go to those letters: Letters from pastors regarding Hyles/Schaap and other articles.]. This is being aired all over the world by the lost. I am representing the Lord Jesus in the way he prescribes in His Word. I am calling for contrite repentance which would include beginning at this point to do things God’s way as churches and believers. The world knows what happened at Hammond and is publishing it widely. The world needs to see mourning and true repentance, not the pride being displayed. That might influence the world to consider the message of the Savior, rather than to disdain His message.
I don’t use humanistic reasoning; rather, I seek to obey our Lord in his mandates to his churches and those who make up the body of his churches.
[You may read another article which I have now linked to in the Jack Schaap, First Baptist of Hammond, Heresy and Apostasy which goes into some detail concerning biblical reasons for publicly publishing articles like mine by clicking the following link: Ignoring the Sin of First Baptist of Hammond.]
May the Lord bless your work for Him.
For His Glory,
Bro. Jerald Finney
VI. Letter No. 5 (Pastor Mark Manzoni comments on Pastor Jason Cooley’s message “Whose Church Is It Anyway?)
Much appreciated receiving your recent email.
Pastor Cooley’s message “Whose Church Is It Anyway” says it so well. [Click here to go to the the Sermon’s page on the Separation of Church and State Blog and scroll down to the sermon.]
A blessed encouragement; I passed it on to some other preachers who would give it a hearty amen.
In the Service LORD.
Fellowship Baptist Church
982 Mendon Road
Cumberland, RI 02864
My Reply to Letter No. 5
Thanks Pastor Manzoni! It is always good to hear from you. I will forward this message to Pastor Jason.
VII. Letter No. 6 received August 9, 2012 (Criticizing me for being critical of Jack Schaap)
Let me ask you a question. Who benefits by you being critical of Jack Schaap? Have you ever thought of that? Even if what you say is true, how does that glorify the Lord Jesus Christ?
While you are exposing the sins of another, you are guilty of sins of your own. The men that you criticize will answer to God. And, besides that, this is a local church discipline matter, not your’s.
Please answer these questions.
My Reply to Letter No. 6 on August 11, 2012
I have answered these questions and many more time and time again through my audio teachings and writings. My answers have always relied upon precepts and directions from the Word of God. The answers are published online at opbcbibletrust.wordpress.com [Also, one can refer to my reply to letter no. 4 above for more reasoning and resources.]. I really do not have time to continually repeat my answers. Let me add that among those who have an interest in spiritual matters there are far more who are knowledgable and thankful that someone is doing the work of God as to these matters than there are those who will not and maybe cannot understand truth when presented.
If only more folks would get saved and rally around Christ and his truths, there would be far fewer instances of heresy and its consequences as demonstrated by Jack Schaap and First Baptist of Hammond. There is sanctification and unity in truth.
I am a sinner saved by grace through faith unto good works which God hath ordained that I should walk in them. I deserve hell, but He gave me eternal life.
If you are lost, my prayer is that you will be saved. If you are saved, my prayer is that you will seek the guidance of the Word of God as led by the Holy Spirit in a search for truth.
For His Glory,
Brother Jerald Finney
VIII. Letter No. 7 on July 12, 2012 (Commenting on the website)
I really like your web site!
My Reply to Letter No. 7 on July 13, 2012
Thanks for the encouragement! Posted on July 13, 2012
IX. Letter No. 8 received on August 9, 2012 (Letter attacking me and my article Jack Schaap, First Baptist of Hammond, Heresy and Apostasy)
Please take me off of your mailing list. I am not pro-Dr. Schapp or anti-Dr. Schapp or First Baptist Hammond as far as that is concerned. My concern is that a church and families are hurting. There is no edification in your slander or hate. Go and win someone to the Lord. Go support a missionary. You are not a defender for God’s purpose. I will pray for you and hope that you will remove yourself from this type of correspondence.
My Reply to Letter No. 8 on August 9, 2012
I support missionaries to the tune of $300+ per month and tithe of all that I possess. I have won many to the Lord. I am a faithful member of a Baptist church & have been since salvation in 1981. Etc.
I love you, so I give you truth.
Obviously, you are a spiritual midget. Name calling instead of honesty and biblical analysis is what I detect in your offering. People are hurting because of unchecked heresy by a church and her pastor. Someone is trying, in love, to alert, and spiritual morons distort biblical principles, history, heresy, and apostasy. As a result, far fewer souls are being saved as churches, families, and the nation slide down the slippery slope to hell.
I will continue to do whatever the Lord calls me to do despite unfounded vicious attacks by the unknowledgeable.
I don’t want your prayers because I do not believe they will be heard. You need to get the log out of your eye before attempting to help anyone else.
For His Glory,
Brother Jerald Finney
God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Link to preview of God Betrayed): may be ordered from Amazon by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Amazon.com or from Barnes and Nobel by clicking the following link: God Betrayed on Barnes and Noble. All books by Jerald Finney as well as many of the books he has referenced and read may also be ordered by left clicking “Books” (on the “Church and State Law” website) or directly from Amazon by going to the following links: (1) Render Unto God the Things that Are His: A Systematic Study of Romans 13 and Related Verses (Kindle only); (2) The Most Important Thing: Loving God and/or Winning Souls (Kindle only); (3) Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities? (Link to preview of Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities?) which can also be ordered by clicking the following Barnes and Noble link: Separation of Church and State on Barnes and Noble.
X. Links to Internal Revenue Code Laws
You can read portions of the following Internal Revenue Code laws which pertain to churches and pastors by going to the following site: “Laws Protecting New Testament Churches in the United States: Read Them for Yourself”; or you may read an entire law online by clicking the following links:
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is above all laws including those listed below when a church chooses to remain a totally spiritual entity (does not do something (incorporating, obtaining Internal Revenue Code § 501(c)(3) status, or by becoming a legal entity by some other action) .
1. § 501(c)(3). Exemption from tax on corporations, certain trusts, etc.
2. § 508. Special rules with respect to section 501(c)(3) organizations
3. § 7611. Restrictions on church tax inquiries and examinations
4. § 1402. [Dealing with taxes on income of pastors]
5. § 107. Rental value of parsonages
6. § 102. Gifts and inheritances (Tithes and offerings are gifts and, therefore, according to the Internal Revenue Code § 102, not income)
7. § 2503. Taxable gifts
8. § 170. Charitable, etc., contributions and gifts