My Reply follows the E-mail inquiry
On Friday, March 1, 2019, 12:35:10 PM CST, _______________________ <______________________> wrote:
Dear Brother Finney:
I have been studying the articles, opinions, legal issues, etc. on your website. As far as planting a church is concerned, I agree with nearly everything you propose. If I should ultimately decide to form a church, I will be calling on you for assistance. However, should a great number of churches begin to follow your lead, I would be surprised if the government did not seek another way to crush that movement. Being right would not make much difference.
I did also find very interesting the articles regarding organizing and operation as a non-tax exempt church or a tax paying church. If I read you correctly, short of forming as an NT church, a church, by choosing to initially organize or switch to a tax paying church status, avoids restrictions imposed by the government regarding campaigning or preaching against law or public policy. Correct me if I am wrong.
The only thing I am not convinced of at this point is that any ministry should or must grow out of or be attached to the Church, NT church or not. In my case, I believe I have been called to evangelism. As I believe the Spirit stated it, “I mean a full blown ministry. Don’t think small.” The only reason I have been exploring actually starting a Church is to find a way to allow the tax deduction to donors, as a ministry outside a Church has to have 501(c)(3) exemption for that to be possible. I have almost come to the conclusion to operate a a tax paying ministry to avoid government restrictions on what I can or cannot say. If some potential donors won’t donate due to lack of a deduction, so be it. I would not enter into this if I was interested in getting rich. Even as a for profit, tax paying ministry, it would be my sincere intent to use nearly all income to the ministry for promoting the gospel and saving souls, which is as it should be.
Oh. I see I left out my main complaints with most Churches in general: They don’t teach the full Gospel. They use watered down translations/versions of the Bible. They often speak against listening to anyone that might be preaching on TV. Although I certainly do not accept all that may be heard there, I have found that some on TV actually teach more of the KJB than I ever heard in Church. At this point, I wonder how many other poor slobs have been shorted on the truth of the full Gospel.
I know you are a busy man, Sir, but if you find the time, any comment from you would be valued.
Jerald Finney firstname.lastname@example.org To: ___________________ Mar 2 at 12:30 PM
I could write many pages or even a book addressing your e-mail. I will briefly but humbly and in love answer some of the matters raised in your e-mail. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27.6).
Let me just say a few relevant things. The purpose of this ministry is to help otherwise properly ordered churches (according to the KJB) organize according to New Testament church doctrine, no matter what positions civil government or church/state establishment takes on the matter. Fortunately, churches in America can organize according to Bible principles without persecution. This is because of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and corresponding state constitutional provisions. Of course we can see the writing on the wall – the day will come when Christ’s remnant churches in America will have no choice but to go underground.
There is no such thing as tax paying status for a church. A New Testament church (a First Amendment church) is non-taxable. A 501c3 or 508 church is tax exempt. I have explained this in online essays and books. I do not have time to explain it in this e-mail. The real reason churches seek tax exempt status is so that contributions are tax deductible. This means that people give for a tax deduction, not because they love the Lord, the latter being the only reason God will honor anything one gives.
First Amendment churches are non-taxable and submit themselves to no federal government rules (that is, if they are not incorporated under state law or have become a type of legal entity other than a corporation). Churches are not businesses. Unlike churches, businesses are not protected by the First Amendment. The only way that a church can become taxable is for the government to pass a law stating that churches are taxable. The First Amendment prohibits the federal government from passing any such law.
The First Amendment states: “Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion or preventing the free exercise thereof.” Nonetheless, the federal government passed laws, Sections 501(c)(3) and 508 of the Internal Revenue Code which apply not only to non-church organizations but which also “respecting an establishment of religion and prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Churches can choose to apply for 501(c)(3) status or claim 508 status, but they are not required to do so because of the First Amendment. If they choose to do so, they submit to the Internal Revenue Service rules that come with 501(c)(3) and 508 status.
I would also give conclusory answers to some other issues you raised that can be verified with a lengthy, Holy Spirit led KJB New Testament study:
- God ordained His churches, not ministries outside His churches. Ministry is to be under the authority of a visible New Testament ordered church under Christ and Christ alone, not government (or any other entity) or Christ and another entity. Lone wolf ministries are not in God’s perfect will. I understand from experience that the Holy Spirit may call a church member to initiate a ministry which the church will not support since most pastors and churches are locked into their traditions of supporting only certain ministries; most restrict the working of the Spirit. Most do not understand that the Holy Spirit lives in, comforts, instructs, and directs every believer according to his gift(s) and calling. In that case, the member may have no other choice but to go it alone.
- The New Testament principle and model for an evangelist is for him to be ordained and sent out from a local New Testament church.
- God has principles for His churches which you do not understand, as proven by your e-mail.
- You wish to establish for an extra-biblical organization which will ultimately do much harm to the cause of Christ.
Question: Where did the Holy Spirit state:
“”I mean a full blown ministry. Don’t think small.”?
What do you mean by small? A Bible principle is:
“Little is much when God is in it. Much is Satanic when God is not in it.” God’s Word makes clear that few enter God’s gate (the narrow way) and many enter Satan’s ways (the broad way). For example, mega churches think big in the worldly fleshly sense but minimize or eliminate the eternal and spiritual because doing otherwise means persecution or rejection by the multitudes of lost people and spiritual babies who fill their coliseums and contribute to their temporal earthly goals and ambitions.
I agree with you that few, if any, churches preach the whole Gospel. Even relatively good pastors fear touching some essential doctrines including the doctrines of church, government, and separation of church and state. Many are heretical. Most are apostate. They are not churches under Christ. They are not Christ’s churches.
Believers should proceed in knowledge, understanding and wisdom. One can start a church, but he cannot start a church under Christ outside His guidelines. Christ’s churches are built by Him and are under Him in all things. He has an order for church planting. Any church started, organized, and operated outside His plan is not His church. It may be a church (an ekklesia, an assembly of people) but it is not His church.
Brother Jerald Finney