All posts by Jerald Finney

Jerald Finney has been the lead counsel for the Biblical Law Center ("BLC") since May, 2005. The BLC helps churches who desire to organize according to New Testament principles. Finney practices law in Austin, Texas, and can be reached at 512-385-0761 (home); 512-785-8445 (cell); jerald.finney@sbcglobal.net all of which are on the website the Lord has led him to create. Over the last few years he has lectured and preached on the issues concerning government, church, and separation of church and state. God called Finney, a Christian and fundamental Baptist since his salvation, 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. Since being saved, he has been a faithful and active member of a local fundamental, Bible-believing Baptist church. 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. 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 has also fought other legal spiritual battles including a criminal case in San Antonio. A peaceful pro-life advocate 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 for which Finney received $750). In 2005 Finney became lead counsel for the Biblical Law Center. Since his early Christian life, he has considered the issue of separation of church and state as taught in the Bible to be one of the primary issues facing New Testament churches today. He believes, based upon what the Bible teaches, that operating as a corporation (sole or aggregate), unincorporated association, or any other type of legal entity and/or getting a tax exempt status from the federal government at the very least puts the church under the headship of both the Lord and the state, and may even take the church from under the headship of Christ and put the church under the headship of the state. He believes that taking scriptures out of context and applying human reasoning contrary to biblical teaching (such as “Obey every ordinance of man,” or “We should be good stewards and incorporation is good stewardship”) in order to justify unbiblical marriage with the state causes our Lord much grief. 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 the Bible at least five 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 books. he had already read starting shortly after being saved, books and other information by Christian authors. For example, he had read, among other works, A Christian Manifesto[1], The Light and the Glory,[2] From Sea to Shining Sea,[3] The Myth of Separation and some other works by David Barton, [4]Rewriting America’s History,[5] and America’s God and Country.[6] 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[7] 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.[8] 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 of 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 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. [1] Francis A. Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto, (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1981). [2] Peter Marshall and David Manuel, The Light and the Glory, (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1977). [3] Peter Marshall and David Manuel, From Sea to Shining Sea (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1986). [4] David Barton, The Myth of Separation, What is the Correct relationship between Church and State? (Aledo, Texas: Wallbuilder Press, 1992). [5] Catherine Millard, Rewriting America’s History (Camp Hill, Pennsylvania: Horizon House Publishers, 1991). [6] William J. Federer, America’s God and Country, Encyclopedia of Quotations (Coppell, Texas: FAME Publishing, Inc., 1994). [7] Mark Douglas McGarvie, One Nation Under Law: America’s Early National Struggles to Separate Church and State (DeKalb, Illinois: Northern Illinois University Press, 2005). [8] 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 World of Children

Jerald Finney
Copyright © November 13, 2018

Every one of us is a child[i] to one degree or another. Not a one of us is completely mature. For one to advance toward maturity, he must be taught not what to think but how to think. For purposes of this essay, child means, “an immature or irresponsible person” or “a person who has little or no knowledge, understanding, or wisdom in a particular area.” A graduate school professor can still be an immature child. No child—whether liberal, conservative, religious, infant who has just begun to think cognitively, very old—is excluded from the analysis; everyone is included. Keep in mind that everyone is religious; and that every person who can know or apprehend by some minimal level of understanding has a philosophy,[ii] every philosophy has a theology,[iii] and every theology has a deity.[iv]

Many of us have heard advertisements read or enacted by children (both young and old). In one often played radio advertisement a young child reads, performs, and enacts an advertisement which has the purposes of appeal to the emotions and solicitation of gifts for an organization which feeds starving children. Listeners know that the child, like the Hollywood actor who wants to teach others about politics and politicians, has little experience, knowledge, and understanding concerning anything he is saying. Nonetheless, emotional appeal alone is enough to bring in a lot of dollars from many who never examine the philosophy, theology, and deity of those who sponsor the advertisement and use a child to present it. They never look into the percentage of gifts that actually go to feed poor children, the salaries of the employees and officers of the organization that is managing the gifts, the ultimate results of giving through the organization or person responsible for the ad. They do not investigate whether or not the gifts to the cause may ultimately do much more harm than good. They do not investigate the truth of the allegations in the ad. They do not look at alternatives to solving the alleged problem.

Teacher talking to students in classroom

Many children are college graduates, some with “doctors” degrees who have been brainwashed as opposed to educated. True education teaches people how to think not what to think; how to examine the veracity of alleged facts, principles, and theories. True education trains the mind to search for truth with an open mind; to examine different allegations, conclusions, facts, philosophies, theologies, and deities. True education starts with particular facts and truths, not with the conclusion.

College graduates have, for the most part and no matter their field of study, been indoctrinated into a liberal mindset which is guided by postmodernism.[v] They believe what they are told. They do not analyze beyond the very limited framework built by their authorities.  They do not question their authorities. They do not realize that their authorities start with an answer and then select facts which support, when taken out of context, that answer. They do not open their minds to other points of view, experiences, or claims. Their minds spontaneously concoct solutions and conclusions. Should their attempt to solve a problem or problems from their philosophical basis fail, they formulate and apply another ideology. The result is always failure to advance and backwards progress with ever more serious consequences.

Some children are very religious. Some are born again Christians. The common ground of most such children is that they have not critically analyzed the validity and/or the deeper teachings of their philosophy, theology, and deity; they have gone no further than the fundamentals and acceptance of their authority. Of course, if they are truly “born again” they are a new creature, a regenerated spiritual being; but even though born again, most remain spiritual babes since they never study, analyze, and meditate on the Word of God.[vi] They generally accept what they are told by their professors, religious leaders, and experts. Their attitude is “Our teacher told us this so it must be true, right, and good.” They do not examine their ultimate authority, the Word of God. Most do believe that God has given them a Word that they can depend upon; in inerrant and infallible preserved Word.

Most “Christians” are spiritual[vii] babies. Most will not endure sound doctrine[viii] much less examine such doctrine. Those who are called to be teachers usually are children who avoid venturing beyond anything that is not a simple fundamental of the faith for fear of offending some member of the church; some never mention such important fundamentals as sin and hell for fear of offending some baby Christian or lost person. Definitely, fewer such leaders go on to or even know the deeper doctrines of Scripture such as church, governments, and the relationship of church and state. For example, even more dedicated church members sometimes find teaching on the institution the Lord loved and gave himself for, a doctrine which consumes the major part of the New Testament, boring and unacceptable.

As a result of infantile status, people are “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness.”


Endnotes

[i] For purposes of this essay, child means, “an immature or irresponsible person” or “a person who has little or no knowledge, understanding, or wisdom in a particular area.” Child can also mean “a son or a daughter.”

[ii] For purposes of this essay, philosophy means, “the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence.”

[iii] For purposes of this essay, theology means, “religious beliefs and theory.”

[iv] For purposes of this essay, theology means, “Any person or thing exalted or deified and honored as one’s ultimate authority.” The laws and ordinances of a deity direct the individuals under his control; those who give or pledge their allegiance to him. When one’s deity does not control the society or civil government in which that individual lives, he will, actively or passively, work for ordination of his deity over all areas of government—individual, family, civil, and religious.

[v] Postmodernism teaches that everything is relative. My reality is just as valid as your reality. My reality says that I am god or Ronald McDonald is god; you have no right to say that your God or god is the only God or god or superior to my god. My reality says that sodomy is an acceptable lifestyle and you have no right to say that sodomy is wrong or that sodomy is a sin. Every man’s reality is just as acceptable as that of every other person. Truth is relative to the postmodernist. Everyone’s truth is as valid as that of everyone else. How does the postmodernist view the truth of one who says that there is only one truth? The postmodernist claims to be tolerant and the only thing that he will not tolerate is the intolerable meaning that which says that there is only one truth. Where does this relegate God the Son of the Bible and the founder of Christianity. Jesus said, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). The answer is obvious.

[vi] 1 Peter 2.2.

[vii] For more understanding of “spiritual” see, e.g., What is a Spiritual entity? (https://jeraldfinney.com/2017/12/08/what-is-a-spiritual-entity/).

[viii] See, e.g., Hebrews 5.11-6.2; 1 Corinthians 3.1-3; Acts 20.26-38.

Answer to question concerning my posting on Facebook of links to some Prophecy News Watch Articles

Prophecy News Watch promotes a fake Bible.

Question:

Brother Finney, Why are you promoting the prophecy news watch people promoting that fake Bible? Their understanding of prophecy can’t rise higher than the spirit they’re serving and feeding from. And any time you post their articles the ad for their fake Bible comes up & is promoted. It’s like digging the ground from beneath your own feet with regard to the building of the antichrist unity.

My Answer:

Dear Sister ______________,

Thanks for letting me know that PNW promotes a fake Bible. I did not know that, and I did not know that their ad pops up when someone goes to their link. As you know, I am 100% KJB. I receive the PNW e-mail with links to news articles, some of which are very informative. I know that many of their articles are plagiarism because I many times google to check the accuracy out.

I have never ordered any of their books or materials, so I do not know what they teach. I just find the articles they offer informative. I definitely do not recommend them as a reliable source for help with Bible study. I test all “teachings” on the Bible against the Word of God, the KJB.

Thanks again.

Brother Finney

Reply to My Answer:

Thank you for responding.  I’m thankful, & glad to hear you haven’t changed your stance.  So that makes me wonder about the links and news stories that I post on facebook with comment.  Apparently the preview that comes up when we post is not what stays on our feed, because that ecumenical one world Bible ad is what shows on my feed from your share, and occupies the top third of the window when I open the link, the news story beginning lower third after their header & so forth.  That is very disturbing.  Might be time to leave Facebook.  It looks like such a good witnessing place, and a sort of fellowshipping space for likeminded people with so many of us isolated…..but not if they’re skewing & undermining the witness

Click here to go to the web page for the “Questions and Answers on Various Topics” webpage which links to this and other question and answer pages.

Links to Essays and Teaching on Covenant and Dispensational Theology

  1. Introduction
  2. Colonial Theological Warfare–Separation of Church and State
  3. The Essence of Dispensationalism
  4. The Way in Which the Two Systems Meet the Requirements for a Philosophy of History
  5. Some Basic Teachings of Covenant Theology
  6. Puritan Covenant Theology Exposed in the American Colonies
  7. Three Critical Factors Upon Which Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology Disagree
  8. Dispensationalism Correctly Explains the Covenants of Law and Grace(Optional)
  9. Persecution: A Consequence of Covenant Theology
  10. History Proves Established Churches Are Vile, Viciously Persecute Heretics, and Corrupt the State, the Church, and the People(Optional)
  11. New Testament Teaching against Persecution of Heretics(Optional)
  12. Conclusion to “Dispensation Theology versus Covenant Theology and their importance to the issue of church and state relationship in America

The Hypocrisy of Pastors Who Ask Their Highest Authority To Overturn LGBT Nondiscrimination Ordinance

Click the image above to go to the online version of the book.

Jerald Finney
Copyright © October 13, 2018

According to an Austin American Statesman article, “Pastors group seeks to overturn Austin’s LGBT hiring protections,” the Houston-based U.S. Pastor Council has sued the city of Austin in federal court in hopes of persuading their highest authority to overturn a city nondiscrimination ordinance that offers employment protection based on sexual orientation and gender identity. They argue that the ordinance is unconstitutional and invalid because it does not include a religious exemption for 25 member churches in Austin that refuse to hire gay or transgender people as employees or clergy. According to the Statesman article:

“’These member churches rely on the Bible rather than modern-day cultural fads for religious and moral guidance,’ said the lawsuit, filed over the weekend in Austin federal court. They will not consider practicing homosexuals or transgendered people for any type of church employment (or position in the clergy).”

Obviously, these churches pick and choose from the Bible what they want to believe. This article will reveal several aspects of their hypocrisy.

First, they violated the Bible principle of separation of church and state, a principle which is reflected in America’s highest man made law, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and corresponding state constitutional provisions. Those laws guarantee that a church in America can, without persecution, operate totally outside government control. By incorporating, a church places herself under state law for many purposes. By applying for and receiving Internal Revenue Code § 501(c)(3) status or claiming IRC § 508 tax exempt status from the federal government churches choose to place themselves under the rules that come with that status.

Second, they gave up much of their First Amendment and state constitutional protections by voluntarily entering into contracts with the state of incorporation and the federal government—in other words, by obtaining corporate 501(c)(3) or 508 status. Their new status as artificial persons places them under the Fourteenth Amendment for many purposes. Artificial persons such as corporate 501(c)(3) or 508 churches are under the jurisdiction of state and federal courts. 501(c)(3) and 508 churches have agreed to the rules that accompany the status, and any other rules that may be unilaterally added by the federal government. One of the present rules that comes with church tax exempt status is “shall not violate fundamental public policy.” That rule was added by the Internal Revenue Service and upheld by the United States Supreme Court. Same sex marriage, for example, is now fundamental public policy. Defining marriage to include members of the same sex has implications for the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Pastor Council.

They seek a court order on the basis that “churches affiliated with the U.S. Pastor Council have a right under the U.S. and Texas constitutions to exclude the hiring of gay and transgender people and, if required by church bylaws, bar women from serving in senior pastor positions.” What provisions give them such a right? Certainly not the First Amendment or any state constitutional provisions since they gave up those rights when they gave to Caesar the things that are God’s by voluntarily submitting themselves to Caesar

Third, they attack the city’s hiring ordinance. They submitted themselves to the ordinance when they, like businesses, hired people to work for their organization. A church which follows the guidelines of New Testament church doctrine will not hire anyone. It will not have employees. In accordance with Bible church doctrine, there is not a single instance recorded in the Bible of a church hiring anyone.

Fourth, they act like businesses but want to be called churches. Why? For temporal, material, and earthly reasons and goals. A New Testament church is an eternal, spiritual, and heavenly entity, a spiritual body, not a legal entity such as a corporate and or tax exempt religious organization. It is a body, but an eternal, spiritual, and heavenly body.

Fifth, they appeal to their authority, the federal court in this instance. They agreed, when they chose their status, that the court would be their authority. Now they go to their authority, not to the Bible, to resolve their issue. The only head of a New Testament church is the Lord Jesus Christ. This does not negate God-given civil government jurisdiction over church members who, for example, commit a crime or tort against another; but it does negate civil government jurisdiction over a church organized according to Bible principles.

Sixth, they commit the greatest hypocrisy of all by claiming constitutional protection under the First Amendment and state constitutional provisions, provisions which reflect Bible principle, when they have voluntarily left their first love, the Lord Jesus Christ, and took on two other lovers – the state of incorporation and the federal government. Instead of relying on their God-given Head, the Lord Jesus Christ, for all purposes, they now depend upon civil governments for many temporal, material, and earthly reasons.

In conclusion, they are not churches under Christ; they are not churches of Christ. “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). “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church” (Ephesians 1:22). “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18). Instead, these churches have chosen, for earthly, not Bible, reasons to leave their first love. See, e.g., The Bible Answer to the Question, “Is an Incorporated 501(c)(3) or 508 Church a Church of Christ?” 

Jesus Christ has warned such churches: “Except ye repent, and do the first works, … I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” (Revelation 2:5). These churches are not built by the principles of Christ as given in the Bible. They are built by the principles of men, by man’s laws and business models. Christ is not their authority in all things. They are hypocrites, pretenders, of the worst kind. Had they chosen to honor the Lord Jesus Christ and His principles for church organization, they would not be under the jurisdiction of any civil government as guaranteed by the First Amendment and corresponding state constitutional provisions.* By prostituting themselves with the state and federal governments, they have already lost their spiritual standing with Christ, no matter how their highest authority rules. Their only hope as churches is to repent of their unholy contracts and return unto their first love. Then, they can go to their new authority, the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word, for church direction in all matters of faith and practice.

* For more on this, Click here to go to the answer to a question regarding a lawyer’s false statements concerning church corporate 501(c)(3) status as compared to church First Ameendment status. You may also study many of the other resources on this website which explain church First Amendment status. A First Amendment church (a New Testament church) may not sue or be sued.

II. A. RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN AMERICA

Links:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Light Begins to Shine
  3. The Pilgrims and Puritans in Massachusetts
  4. The Baptists in Rhode Island
  5. The Separates and Baptists in New England
  6. From New England to the South
  7. To Virginia
  8. Religious Freedom in America!
  9. Conclusion

Questions with Short Answers:

  1. What is the history of the First Amendment?
  2. What is the History and Meaning of “Establishment of Religion” in America?
  3. What is an established church?
  4. What is a First Amendment Church?

Other studies:


Click here to go links to the written lessons.
Click here to go to links to the 3 1/2 to 6 minute video lectures.