I dedicate my life, in my most imperfect way, to the Lord Jesus Christ. I am not worthy, but He is. Praise His name. Jerald Finney
“Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it, and he that hateth his life in this world, shall keep it unto life eternal” (John 12.24-25). “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15.13).
The Bible Answer to the Question, “Is an Incorporated 501(c)(3) or 508 Church a Church of Christ?” (Prepared for a talk given at the September 16-19 Liberty Baptist Church of Albuquerque, NM, Southwest Baptist Heritage Camp Meeting. Click here to go to Part I of the video of that presentation. Click here to go to Part II of that presentation, “Why a Church Is Not a Business.” Part II was removed from Part I. In Part II, Jerald Finney invited Evangelist and Pastor Terry Woodside to tell his story which demonstrates that a church which is a non-legal entity cannot be sued in America. Click here to go to the page which has links to all sermons and presentations at that meeting.)
About Jerald Finney after his salvation: Abbreviated version
Finney practiced law in Austin, Texas, from January 1994 through March, 2017 when he moved to Faribault MN. Cell: 512-785-8445; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. His Texas State Bar No. is 00787466 (inactive); Minnesota Bar No.: 0398728.
Jerald Finney was the lead counsel for the Biblical Law Center (“BLC”) from May, 2005 until early 2011. The BLC helps churches who desire to organize according to New Testament principles. In 2011, the Lord led Finney to withdraw as lead counsel and assistant director of the Biblical Law Center. Since then, he has continued to research issues pertaining to church organization and to help churches who wish to honor God and remain spiritual entities only. See Is a church a spiritual or legal entity. In 2016 the BLC again retained him to help churches who wish to remain spiritual entities.
Finney has honestly evaluated several methods of church organization used by various other organizations and individuals which allegedly comport with both biblical principles and civil law. His extensive Holy Spirit led studies of the Bible, civil law, and history have totally convinced him that the method first used by Attorney Al Cunningham to organize church matters is in line with Bible principles. The method is recognized but was not created by the legal system. See The Bible Trust Relationship: Essays and Other Resources. The teachings on this website, and in particular Section VI of the book God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Applicaiton, fully explains why the methods first utilized by attorney Al Cunningham are in line with Bible Principles. See ORDER INFORMATION, FREE PDF, AND FREE ONLINE VERSION PAGE FOR BOOKS BY JERALD FINNEY On, the other hand, some methods being promoted by some other individuals and organizations are invalid legally and biblically. See. e.g., Comparison of Three Methods of Church Organization: Bible Trust (ordinary trust), Incorporation (includes corporation sole), and Ecclesiastical Law Center Trust, Critique of “Church Freedom and the Corporation Sole” Website, and Ecclesiastical Law Center Exposed.
Working in the area of church and state law is a God-called ministry for Finney. Over the last few years he has lectured and preached on the issues concerning government, church, and separation of church and state. He has spent much more than he has made in furthering the goal of the ministry which is to glorify God by providing resources and help to those pastors and other believers who choose to please the Lord by organizing the churches they are members of according to the principles in the Word of God. Since this is a ministry, and since Finney expends his own funds for the ministry and is not paid, he can stand on truth without compromise. He can honor the Lord who instructs believers: “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18). His allegiance is to the Lord and His truths. He cannot be bought. When he disagrees with anyone, he has no earthy reason to do anything other than stand upon the truth. He will repent and has repented anytime anyone convinces or has convinced him that he is wrong.
Finney grew up in rural West Texas. He graduated valedictorian of his class of 320 seniors from Plainview High School in 1965. He graduated with a BBA in Economics from Texas Tech in 1970. He entered the Army as a 2nd Lieutenant and served in Viet Nam. After being honorably discharged from the Army in 1972, he moved to Fort Worth, Texas where he worked for the Missouri Pacific Railroad (Now the Union Pacific). He started a photography studio in 1977. In 1982, Finney was saved at a tent revival at Community Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. He immediately became an active member of Community Baptist Church. Since being saved, he has remained a faithful and active member of a local fundamental, Bible-believing Baptist church.
God called him to enter the University of Texas School of Law in 1990 at the age of 43 to stand in the gap concerning legal issues facing Christians. He received his JD degree in 1993 and has followed the Lord in the practice of law since that time. Finney received his law license in November 1993 and began practicing law in January, 1994. All along he was seeking the Lord’s direction. The Lord initially led Finney to practice criminal law. He knew that not many, if any, of the Christian law firms dealt with or specialized in criminal law, and that some Christians were being charged with crimes for their Christian behavior and for taking a stand for God’s principles.
The Lord confirmed Finney’s choice. Very soon after he started practicing, he helped an Eastern Orthodox priest with a criminal charge. He was charged under a criminal statute for trying to expose the promotion of sodomy and other sins within a Catholic Church. God gave the victory in that case.
Then Steve, a Christian who counseled outside abortion clinics, called Finney. He was charged with a crime under the Austin, Texas Sign Ordinance for his activities outside an abortion clinic. Being a new lawyer, Finney called the Rutherford Institute. They asked him to send them a summary of the facts and a copy of the Sign Ordinance. Then they told him that the case could not be won and that they would not help. Steve lost at trial, but God gave the victory on appeal. The Austin Police Department immediately cited Steve for violation of the state sign ordinance. The Lord gave the victory at trial.
Finney’s first felony trial came about a year and six months after he started practicing law. A single Christian mother was charged with third degree felony injury to a child for spanking her six year old son. She left some prominent stripes across his rear end and also a stripe across his face when he turned suddenly during the spanking. The Lord gave the victory at trial.
At the same time, Finney was also representing another Christian married lady who was charged with the same crime for spanking her little girl with a switch. On the date the trial in that case was to begin, the prosecutor, with prompting by the judge, lowered the offer to deferred adjudication probation of short duration on a misdemeanor charge with very few conditions on the probation. In a deferred adjudication in Texas, there is never a judgment of guilt if the probationer successfully completes the term of the probation, (and, with successful completion of the probation, the probationer can now file a Motion for Nondisclosure which, if granted, requires the file to be sealed so that the general public has no access to it). The mother decided to take the offer.
Finney defended a peaceful pro-life advocate in trial in San Antonio, Texas. The accused was arrested and charged with criminal trespass for handing pro-life literature giving information about the development of the unborn baby, places to go for help, and other information to women entering an abortion clinic.
All the above-mentioned cases as well as others not mentioned were handled free of charge (except the last spanking case mentioned above for which Finney received $750 for his services). Since that time, and even before, Finney has felt that the Lord was telling him that it was time to move on. He sought God’s will. His prayer was that He would show him His direction.
The Lord has also allowed Finney to help Christian parents in numerous situations involving Child Protective Services (“CPS”) infringement into parental rights. God has given the victory in all those situations.
The Lord has also used Finney to intervene in numerous situations where government officials or private companies tried to deny certain Christians their rights to do door-to-door evangelization, preach on the street, hand out gospel literature in the public forum, and pass out gospel tracts and communicate the gospel at their place of employment.
Finney was somewhat familiar with the issues of church incorporation and 501(c)(3) tax exemption. For biblical reasons, he was against a church becoming entangled with either. The Lord was preparing him for the next step in his Christian legal career. For example, he bought and studied books by Peter Kershaw and Robin Wright. He attended a seminar highlighting Peter Kershaw. Robin Wright taught several hours over several days at his church on church and state law. He spent several hours privately talking with Dr. Wright.
In April, 2005 Finney, at the invitation of Dr. Greg Dixon, became the lead counsel for the Biblical Law Center. Once he took on the position as counsel for the BLC, it was necessary to do an in-depth study of the issue of separation of church and state. He began with the Bible. He initially read through and studied the Bible at least numerous times (and many more times since then) primarily seeking the answer to the question, “Does the Bible have anything to say about this issue?” He was amazed at what He learned. The Bible gives God’s principles concerning separation of church and state, the purpose of a church, the purpose of the civil government, the headship of church, the headship of civil government, the principles by which each is to be guided, and much more concerning these two God ordained institutions. He continued to read the Bible daily seeking insights into these and other issues.
He also began to read other literature on the history of the First Amendment, the issue of separation of church and state, and legal issues regarding separation of church and state. He had already read, starting shortly after being saved, books and other information by Christia authors. For example, he had read, among other works, A Christian Manifesto [EN1], The Light and the Glory,[EN2] From Sea to Shining Sea,[EN3] The Myth of Separation and some other works by David Barton, [EN4], Rewriting America’s History,[EN5] and America’s God and Country.[EN6] These resources inspired, influenced and guided him and millions of other Christians, gave them philosophical and historical underpinning, and led them into battlefields such as politics, law, and education armed with what they learned from those resources.
Sometime in 2006 he began to realize that some of the books by Christian authors which he had come to depend upon were misleading, at the very least. Other books revealed to him that some of the above mentioned books had misinformed and misled sincere Christians by revising and/or misrepresenting the true history of separation of church and state in America. In 2006, he read One Nation Under Law[EN7] which cites a wealth of resources for one seeking to understand the history of separation of church and state in the United States and of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.[EN8] Reading One Nation Under Law, some of the books it cited, and some other books was a launching pad into the universe of historical information which he never dreamed existed. He had expected to be misled in the secular law school he attended. He was amazed that he had been misled by Christian brothers. I asked myself, “How could Peter Marshall and others have missed this vital information?” At an Unregistered Baptist Fellowship conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, James R. Beller, a Baptist historian, gave a PowerPoint presentation which gave him the answer to this question. Finney bought two of Beller’s books and read them. Those books filled in the details not mentioned in Pastor Beller’s concise PowerPoint presentation.
Since that time, God has led Finney into an in depth study of the issues government, church, and separation of church and state. God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application and the other books he has written and listed on this website were written as a result of those studies. God Betrayed is not a rehash of the same information that has been circulated in the Fundamental Baptist and Christian community through sermons, books, seminars, etc. since at least 1982, the year Finney was saved. God Betrayed and Finney’s other books reveal facts and information that must be understood in order for a pastor and other Christians to begin to successfully (in God’s eyes) fight the spiritual warfare we are engaged in according to knowledge.
Finney’s writings and teachings on church and state law prove, to a believer who has the qualifications to understand these matters, that the a church can utilize a properly worded and executed Declaration of Trust and accompanying documents to maintain her status as a spiritual entity only.
God Betrayed is written for the scholarly world, primarily Christian but also secular, and is an open declaration of the biblical and legal principles involved in the issue of separation of church and state. Resources for the Christian who already understands that a church should remain a spiritual entity only, and not entangle herself with any man-made law include Separation of Church and State/God’s Churches: Spiritual or Legal Entities? (Much shorter book than God Betrayed); Questions/Answers (Basic questions with short answers); and Essays/Articles.
Finney believes that the lack of attention to the biblical doctrines concerning government, church (which is likened to the wife and bride of Christ), and separation of church and state, has had dire consequences for individuals, families, churches, and America. Unless pastors educate themselves on these doctrines and their application in America, the rapid downhill slide will continue at an accelerating pace.
 Francis A. Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto, (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1981).
 Peter Marshall and David Manuel, The Light and the Glory, (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1977).
 Peter Marshall and David Manuel, From Sea to Shining Sea (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1986).
 David Barton, The Myth of Separation, What is the Correct relationship between Church and State? (Aledo, Texas: Wallbuilder Press, 1992).
 Catherine Millard, Rewriting America’s History (Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: Horizon House Publishers, 1991).
 William J. Federer, America’s God and Country, Encyclopedia of Quotations (Coppell, Texas: FAME Publishing, Inc., 1994).
 Mark Douglas McGarvie, One Nation Under Law: America’s Early National Struggles to Separate Church and State (DeKalb, Illinois: Northern Illinois University Press, 2005).
 The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The religion clause, properly interpreted, as is shown in God Betrayed, is a correct application of the biblical principle of separation of church and state.
A biblical and historical Baptist principle is that God desires separation of church and state, not separation of God and church or separation of God and state. Study Jerald Finney’s writings and/or audio teachings to discover the truth about and how to apply the principle.