- Contents and Preface
- Chapter 1: Analysis of the title and first two paragraphs of Chapter 18 of “Approved by Man” by Wright/Townsend (ELC leaders)
- Chapter 2: Analysis of the first section of chapter 18 “The Propagation of the Declaration” (Below)
- Chapter 3: Analysis of the second section of Chapter 18, “Why such a strong stand against the DOT?
- Chapter 4: Analysis of the third section of Chapter 18, “Biblical Law Center Bulletins”
- Chapter 5: Analysis of the fourth section of Chapter 18, “More Exclusivity Statements”
- Chapter 6: Analysis of fifth section of Chapter 18, “We Can’t Give it to Other Churches!”
- Chapter 7: Analysis of the sixth section of Chatper 18, “Has it ever been tested in court?”
- Chapter 8: Analysis of the last section of Chapter 18, “The Questions will keep coming”
- Chapter 9: Ben Townsend Explains Chapter 18 of Approved by Man: He admits that he did not know what he was talking about
- Chapter 10: Reply to Ben Townsend’s Article, “Give and Take”
- Chapter 11: Answer to Ben Townsend’s Article, “It Really Isn’t Personal: “It’s Financial!”
- Chapter 12: Answer to Ben Townsend’s Article, “God is our Benefactor; He is NOT a Beneficiary”
- Analysis of Ben Townsend’s Article, “A Law, Made by Man, Will be Changed” and Conclusion
- Exposing or Silently Co-existing with False Teaching Causes Suffering and Persecution from Within and Without a Church (050217)
- The Only Way a Church Can Organize to Remain a New Testament Church (050616 article which explains that why trust is a Bible concept and why it is the only way a church can organize in accord with New Testament principles and the wisdom of using a properly worded and executed Declaration of Trust with supporting documents.)
- Expose And Reject The Teachings and Methods of Church Organization Con-Artists and Charlatans (050616)
- Why Understanding and Applying Church and State Law Is Important for Believers and Churches (June 3, 2012 article)
- Is the ordinary trust recommended by this “Separation of Church and State Law Ministry” and by the BLC a legal entity?
- See Comparison of Bible Trust (ordinary trust), Incorporation (includes corporation sole), and Ecclesiastical Law Center Trust for a concise chart of the differences each brings to church organization.
- See Spurious rationale for church incorporation: to hold property (Section VI, Chapter 7 of God Betrayed; Chapter 7 of Separation of Church and State) for an explanation of the ordinary trust. That chapter shows how the ordinary trust comports perfectly with Bible principle and why this author now co-labels the ordinary trust a Bible trust.
Chapter 2: Analysis of “The Propagation of the Declaration”
Copyright © November 20, 2014
Note. This is a continuation of the examination of Chapter 18 of Approved by God written by Ben Townsend of the Ecclesiastical Law Center (“ELC”), a chapter which attacks the ordinary (Bible) trust recommended by the Biblical Law Center (“BLC”) and by this “Separation of Church and State Law” ministry. This article answers questions raised in the first section of that chapter “The Propagation of the Declaration.”
See Comparison of Bible Trust (ordinary (Bible) trust), Incorporation (includes corporation sole), and Ecclesiastical Law Center Trust for a concise chart of the differences each brings to church organization.
When this author became lead counsel for the Biblical Law Center (“BLC”), he began a period of intense study. His main goal was to satisfy himself that he was on solid biblical (first and foremost) grounds. Had he found that the Declaration of Trust (“DOT”) was not correct according to both Bible precept, he would not have continued his position as lead counsel. After 2½ years of intense studies, he concluded not only that the DOT created a trust relationship in line with Bible precept but also was recognized by American law. When he left the BLC in 2011, he and Dr. Greg Dixon were in agreement as to the fact that the DOT created a type of trust (which trust law calls an “ordinary” trust) which describes a relationship with property whereby a trustee (the legal owner) holds the property for the benefit of the true and equitable owner of the property, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The concept of the ordinary (Bible) trust was not invented in 1986, as the ELC points out in this section. The God-given precept of a trust relationship with money and property was implemented in the church context in 1986 by Attorney Al Cunningham who founded the BLC. This author explains the legal and biblical basis of trust (the ordinary (Bible) trust) in Section VI, Chapter 7 God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application (Click the link to go to the online version). This author, by necessity of countering long published and continuing ELC attacks against the DOT and the ordinary trust thereby created, is also explaining certain facets of the ordinary (Bible) trust in this series of articles.
The ELC asks in “The Propagation of the Declaration” section of Chapter 18 of Approved by Man, if the DOT has ever been used by churches, and what entities have used this “magic document.” The DOT used by the BLC has created many ordinary trusts and the trust estates of those trusts include the tithes, offerings, and gifts of many churches. After becoming lead counsel for the BLC, this author met and/or talked with many of the pastors of churches for whom the BLC had already helped establish an ordinary trust. After becoming lead counsel, he met others who came to the BLC for help and who adopted a DOT and put into operation the ordinary trust thereby created.
In 2011 this author stepped down as lead counsel for the BLC and became head of the “Separation of Church and State Law” ministry of Old Paths Baptist Church (SCSLM). Recently, he adopted the appropriate name for the ordinary trust when utilized by churches: the Bible trust. Many churches are now putting tithes, offerings, and gifts into the ordinary (Bible) trust which is recommended by this ministry and the trust recommended by the BLC.
Contrary to the assertion of the ELC in this section, any law book cannot explain the DOT and the ordinary (Bible) trust thereby created. There are untold thousands of law books covering every area of the law. Most of those never mention trust law. Moreover, every book on trust law cannot explain the DOT which creates the DOT and the ordinary (Bible) trust thereby created. Some law books (or sections thereof) and court cases address various issues concerning charitable trusts, some business trusts, some ordinary trusts, and the use of the DOT to create the particular type of trust being examined. Any competent lawyer or paralegal knows that one must be able isolate the issue(s), court cases and law(s) relevant to the questions at hand. Should a lawyer present to the court irrelevant law, unreliable law, and/or incorrect law, his opponent would make him look like a fool and the judge would declare his arguments facetious. That is the case of common sense as applied to legal disputes. The same discernment cannot be expected of pastors and believers who have not studied trust law; many have relied upon the facetious teachings and aid of the ELC in ordering their affairs. They have done so because they themselves simply have not been called to know it all and many have become easy prey for the ELC.
Common sense—and more importantly for the believer, biblical sense—should be a rule for all issues, legal or otherwise. The author humbly submits that the judge of the dispute between this ministry and the ELC must use not only common sense, but also biblical sense, in seeking out whom to believe as to these matters. This exchange between the ELC and this ministry is presenting two opposing arguments to those serious readers who will judge this exchange. The ELC challenge, along with personal attacks, pseudo-legal arguments, etc. have been published verbally, online, and in printed publications made available for public consumption for many years. This series of articles is the first public response to those attacks by this, or any other, ministry. For His Glory, this author humbly submits that one should be diligent in his search for truth concerning these most important matters.
After online publication of the first eight chapters of this booklet, Ben Townsend of the ELC partially explained Chapter 18 of Approved by Man – he admitted that he did not know much about trusts in Section 2 of an online response entitled Give and Take (See Chapter 9 and 10 for a response). He also admitted in an article entitled “A Law, Made by Man, Will be Changed” a very important truth which is in direct contradiction to what he has asserted in books and online articles—that the “ordinary trust” is not a legal entity (See Chapter 13). That admission is only partially true since, as explained in other chapters, some types of trusts are legal entities and only the ordinary trust is not. In other words, he admitted that he attacked the BLC, the DOT, and the ordinary trust without knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. He completely discredits all he has published on these matters by his admissions. A study of ELC teaching reveals that the ELC method of church organization is confused, unlearned, and ill-advised. The ELC system results in churches who are legal entities which are subject to and have been involved in the legal system.