Chapter 5: Analysis of “More Exclusivity Statements”


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Chapter 5: Analysis of “More Exclusivity Statements”

Jerald Finney
Copyright © November 22, 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”). This article looks at the fourth section of that chapter “More Exclusivity Statements.”

This ELC section is no argument at all, but pretends an argument. It is much ado about nothing, a feeble attempt to misdirect.

In the section entitled “More Exclusivity Statements” Ben Townsend of the Ecclesiastical Law Center (“ELC”) complains, and only the Lord knows why:

“The entire portion of two [Biblical Law Center (“BLC”)] bulletins make the belabored point that ‘We have it, but we can’t give it to them!’ It is almost as if those forty churches ‘across the nation’ have something no one else can have because they are Baptists.”

This author empathizes with those who follow the ELC recommendations as to church organization. He feels sorrow in the Lord for the ELC leaders who make unlearned attempts to discredit the BLC while not recognizing the serious flaws in ELC methods for church organization. Only through serious study can one immersed in ELC teaching begin to understand this.

How is it the business of the ELC to complain about the fact that the BLC will not help some churches? Nonetheless, the ELC raised the question, so this article will look at their infantile argument. Two points will be made. First, when this author was lead counsel for the BLC, the BLC tried to help every church who met basic Baptist criteria for a New Testament church. It became obvious that the Declaration of Trust and ordinary trust utilized by the BLC could not be adapted to certain theologies. Not only legal but also biblical principles are incorporated into the DOT and the ordinary trust utilized by BLC churches. Where possible, the BLC offered suggestions to churches whose theologies were not compatible with the BLC suggested methodology. Neither the BLC nor the “Separation of Church and State Law Ministry” is a buffet line with something for everyone; the goal of each is to Glorify God, not to make money, especially at the expense of compromise of biblical principles.

Second, any church is free to go to the law books and research the concepts of the ordinary trust and the legal principles for drafting a properly worded DOT which comports with the theology of that church. Neither this ministry nor the BLC wishes to spend its time researching other theologies and developing a system for those churches to remain out from under civil government control. Both ministries have studied in depth what the King James Bible teaches concerning the relevant doctrines of government, church, and separation of church and state. Neither ministry believes that the doctrines of some non-Baptist and some Baptist churches comply with New Testament doctrine. In fact, the traditional doctrines of any “Protestant” church and all Catholic “churches” would combine church and state. Even should a version of Protestantism reject their historic position which supports union of church and state (I know of none who have, but have not researched this in depth). For the most part, protestant churches remain true to tradition and are incompatible with the historical Baptist and biblical concept of “separation of church and state.” (See Is Separation or Church and State Found in the Constitution? as a starting point for more on this issue.).

As a sidenote, contrary to ELC misinformation, there are now many more than forty churches utilizing the DOT and the ordinary trust thereby created.

The ELC article then says:

“This Business Trust Instrument is used far and wide by nearly every type of organization on the face of the earth.” [Then, the article lists some organizations that use the “business trust instrument.”]. That listing ends the section.

No BLC church uses a business trust. As this author explains in other articles in this series, the ordinary trust created by the DOT recommended by the BLC and the ordinary Bible trust recommended by this “Separation of Church and State Law” ministry is not a business trust, a charitable trust, or any kind of trust which is a legal entity. The ordinary trust is merely a relationship with property which cannot sue or be sued or act legally. The ordinary trust is not the church and the church is not the ordinary trust. When a church places tithes, offerings and gifts into the estate of an ordinary trust, the church does not give up her non-legal entity status by so doing because the church holds or owns no property. Remember, as pointed out in various places in this booklet that the true, equitable, and beneficial owner of the trust estate is the Lord Jesus Christ, not the church and not the trustee.

This type of declared trust differs from the trust arrangement recommended by the ELC in that under the ELC methodology, the “property should be held by the church in trust for the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the true and beneficial owner,” and “the church by the Pastor, can execute a deed on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Only a legal entity can hold property. A church places tithes, offerings, and gifts into an ordinary trust, the type trust used by the BLC and by this SCSLM. On the other hand, an ELC church holds property in trust for the Lord Jesus Christ, the true and beneficial owner of the property. In other words, one who understands these matters can see that an ELC church is a legal enitity, thereby defeating the ELC argument that the ELC church is under the Lord Jesus Christ only. The church who uses an ordinary Bible trust holds or owns nothing.

From page 149 of  ELC book
From page 149 of ELC book “Approved by God”
From page 150 of
From page 150 of “Approved by God”

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