Contents of this booklet (left click link to go to entry):
Chapter 1: Legal Entity Status and the Corporation Sole
Chapter 2: Analysis of “Benefits of the Corporation Sole Compared to a Traditional 501c3 Church”
Chapter 3: Analysis of “Church Establishment Affidavit”
Appendix A: What is a Corporation Sole?
Appendix B: Corporation Sole and Internal Revenue Code §§ 501(c)(3) and 508
- 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)
- 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.
- A relevant and helpful article, as one who studies the above booklet out will see: Corporation: A human being without a soul
Copyright © February 17, 2015
This conclusion will briefly address (1) the meaning of corporation sole status; (2); the problems with a “Church Establishment Affidavit; and the (3) alleged Benefits of the Corporation Sole Compared to a Traditional 501c3 Church.
Clearly, a corporation sole is a non-profit corporation created under the non-profit corporation law of the state. Oregon Revised Statutes, Oregon Non-profit Corporation Law, Volume 2 Business Organizations, Commercial Code § 65.067, 2013 is the authority behind or the creator of the corporation sole. (Click the colored link to go directly to the statute.). That law clearly says,
“… The corporation sole is a form of religious corporation and differs from other religious corporations organized under this chapter only in that the corporation sole does not have a board of directors, does not need to have officers and is managed by a single director who is the individual who constitutes the corporation and is the corporation sole’s incorporator or the successor of the incorporator.”
That law further states:
“(3) All of the provisions of ORS 65.044 to 65.067 apply to a corporation sole. If the corporation sole has no officers, the director may perform any act that an officer may perform with the same effect and in the same manner as though one or more officers of the corporation sole performed the act.”
ORS 65.044 TO 65.067, with which the corporation sole church has contractually agreed to comply, cover: 65.044 Incorporators; 65.047 Articles of incorporation; 65.051 Incorporation; 65.054 Liability for preincorporation transactions; 65.057 Organization of corporation; 65.061 Bylaws; 65.064 Emergency bylaws and powers; 65.067 Corporation sole.
One can go to Sections 65.044 to 65.067 by clicking Oregon Revised Statutes, Oregon Non-profit Corporation Law, Volume 2 Business Organizations, Commercial Code § 65.067, 2013.
The church non-profit corporation sole, like all corporations, is a legal entity whose authority for many purposes is the state.
One can first create a “church” by use of a church establishment affidavit. However, if one does so, he violates New Testament church doctrine. The author of the Church Freedom and the Corporation Sole website claims that by creating a church by use of the Church Establishment Affidavit one can get around the problems of incorporation and also avoid the rules of 501c3 by proclaiming that the church is a 508 tax exempt church.
That is all false. The affidavit cannot overrule the law of the creator of the corporation sole, the state (Oregon in this instance). The corporation sole church has accepted the state’s offer laid out in the non-profit corporation law of Oregon, thereby binding the church by contract, to that law. Nor can a church manipulate the Internal Revenue Service Code so as to do away with the speech restrictions of the Code by any scheme, especially the imaginary one concocted by the author of the Church Freedom and the Corporation Sole website. The 508 church is under the same rules as the 501c3 church. Fortunately, the authority over the matter has chosen, to this point, to not go against most churches who openly defy the rules that come with 501c3. The point is that the IRS, not the Lord Jesus Christ, is the authority who can choose to take jurisdiction and threaten the 501c3 or 508 status of a church who does so. See, for example, Church Internal Revenue Code § 508 Tax Exempt Status. The promoters of the corporation sole scheme are aware of the rules and the threat, and they try to convince “churches” led by the unstudied that their program will allow them to say and preach on subjects forbidden by the rules that come with 501c3 by the use of a Church Establishment affidavit in conjunction with 508 status.
In Matthew 16, the Lord announced the purpose of the institution of the church, but wholly without explanation as to how, when, or of what materials that institution should be built, or what should be its position, relationships, privileges, or duties:
“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
The Epistles of Paul develop the doctrine of the New Testament church. Through Paul, we know that a church is not an worldly organization, but a spiritual organism, and taken with all local autonomous New Testament churches, the body of Christ. Through Paul, we know the nature, purpose, and form of organization of local churches, and the right conduct of such gatherings.
The Bible does not condone “creating” a church by use of a legal document such as a “Church Establishment Affidavit.” God said that the gates of hell shall not prevail against His churches. In other words, His churches would, in continuous succession and until the end of the church age, fight the spiritual warfare that He called them to fight. [Emphasis mine.] See, After Salvation, for more understanding of that warfare. Since the beginning of the New Testament church, there has always been a remnant of churches who carried on for the Lord. They were persecuted (burned, drowned, beheaded, tortured, etc.) first by unbelieving Jews, then by the Roman Emperors, by the established churches (Catholic and Protestant), and now by Islam, atheism (e.g., North Korea), Hinduism, Budhism, etc.; but they were and are careful to maintain their continuity and order in spite of persecutions. They never persecuted, they never resorted to the use of a legal document for their creation, nor did they ever, like the established churches and others, twist the word of God to teach the false doctrine of union of church and state through non-profit corporation status or by any other means. One of their “earmarks” was and is adherence to the New Testament doctrine of separation of church and state which is recognized by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. See Separation of Church and State and The History of the First Amendment. The remnant of New Testament churches in America are not presently persecuted for exercising their beliefs, including their belief in separation of church and state. A New Testament church in America may do things God’s way without persecution.
New Testament churches will never “create” a church by using a Church Establishment Affidavit. Churches who incorporate (as corporation sole or otherwise) may as well concoct some scheme to “create” a church since they are organizing as legal entities and thereby displeasing the Lord by becoming legal entities under their civil government creator. However, most of those churches do not use a Church Establishment Affidavit, and they will make the same decisions as does the corporation sole church as to how to claim their tax exempt status. Any church may claim either 501c3 status or 508 status. Both 501c3 status and 508 status subjugate a church to the rules that come with 501c3; both recognize that the head of the church, as to some matters, is the federal government, and specifically the Internal Revenue Service. See Church Internal Revenue Code § 508 Tax Exempt Status; see also, God Betrayed/Church Corporate-501c3 Status: Union Of Church and State.
The Benefits of the Corporation Sole Compared to a Traditional 501c3 Church page on the Church Freedom and the Corporation Sole website makes some ridiculous claims. Those claims are meticulously analyzed in Chapter 2: Analysis of “Benefits of the Corporation Sole Compared to a Traditional 501c3 Church.” An analysis of those alleged benefits reveals that they are total misrepresentations of truth. There are no benefits to the corporation sole method of organization over that of any other incorporated church who has either 501c3 or 508 status. The believer who is interested in pleasing God as to church organization needs to study that chapter, and all chapters, of this booklet. Should one not already have an understanding of the relevant Bible doctrines—the doctrine of government, the doctrine of the church, and the doctrine of separation of church and state—he can go to the resources on the Separation of Church and State Law website for a study of those doctrines. Check out all teaching by the standard of the word of God.
Those who fall for the corporation sole scheme violate God’s precepts for New Testament churches and also fall for a scheme which brings no benefits that they would not otherwise have as “traditional 501c3” churches. One thing many individuals and “churches” do – they continue to give money to a con artist who displays no understanding of the relevant Bible doctrines or American law.
May the Lord, through His word, lead you as you seek to glorify Him in all things.