1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
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Open letter to pastors and churches interested in establishing a Bible trust
I receive many inquiries from pastors and other believers requesting help with setting up what I call a “Bible Trust.” See How a Church Can Organize to Remain a New Testament Church (Holding Property In Trust For God Is A Scriptural Principle Recognized by American Law). The ordinary trust, a non-legal entity, is a Bible concept that is recognized and honored in American law. When properly implemented, its use not only corresponds with Bible principles but also is recognized in American law. It allows a church who is careful not to act legally in any way to remain a spiritual entity under the Lord Jesus Christ only without persecution.
Anyone can apply the concepts, but not everyone has the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom to do so. Why? Because they have not taken the time to study it out. One should first have a firm understanding of the Bible principles of church, state, and separation of church and state. If you have not studied those doctrines, you may go to Sections I-III of God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application for this author’s study of those precepts. God Betrayed (from Amazon) [Click cover at left or click here to go to amazon.com] (Available from Amazon.com in both softback and Kindle); Xulon Press Quickest way to get the book since Xulon prints the books for all booksellers; (Xulon Press; Barnes and Noble)(PDF)(Online version – updated and revised)(CLICK HERE TO GO TO DOWNLOADABLE AUDIO SERIES ON GOD BETRAYED)
The following letter is being sent to those who inquire, usually by e-mail, about help with church organization.
Thanks for your inquiry concerning establishing a Bible trust. Thank the Lord that some of his pastors and other believers are waking up to critical church/state/separation of church and state issues.
I wish to help everyone and every church I can in the matter of church organization. Before I can determine whether I can help someone, I must know more than a name. This is God’s ministry, and I wish to glorify Him first. In order to do that, you must be willing to do more than just send me a simple request. You must be willing to put some time and effort into laying a foundation upon which we may proceed.Let me assure you that you will not have to put in the untold thousands of hours which I have devoted to this cause, but you must be willing to do a little work yourself before we can go forward. This letter will explain further.
First, let me say that the trust relationship is a concept which has come down through the ages and is recognized by American law. Although American law recognizes the concept, American law did not create or legislate the concept. See How a Church Can Organize to Remain a New Testament Church (Holding Property In Trust For God Is A Scriptural Principle Recognized by American Law); For more resources, see Essays on The Bible Trust Relationship: Links to Essays and Other Resources. Of course, American law has expanded the concept to include many trusts that are legal entities. The common law trust is not a legal entity. This is great because when properly implemented and used by a church, it corresponds with Bible principles and does not place a church under an head other than the Lord Jesus Christ.
Anyone and any church is free to implement a trust relationship, a fiduciary relationship with money and property, which is not a legal entity. The common law trust, which I call a Bible trust, is not the church and the church is not t he trust. The Bible trust does not make a church who places tithes, offerings, gifts, and property into the trust estate a legal entity. As long as the church is careful not to act legally in any way, the church remains a purely spiritual entity under the Lord Jesus Christ only. A church establishes a Bible trust to hold and manage property for the benefit of the true owner of all things, the Lord Jesus Christ. A trustee becomes the legal owner of the property and his obligation is to hold and manage that property for the true, beneficial and equitable owner of the property, the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are two ways of doing a Bible trust. One can do his own studies and then draft a trust which honors Bible precepts. Another way is to go to someone who has studied this out. Of course, the latter way is the easiest and fastest way, but the former way is the best way because one then will have a far greater understanding of the relevant Bible doctrines and the law. Therein lies the real problem with the former way— to do it properly, one must have done extensive study of both the relevant law and also the Bible doctrines of church, state, and separation of church and state. It is also advisable to study church history because one finds that many churches deviate from preeminent Bible principles on various matters. Some of those churches have followed Catholic and Protestant perversions. Others have added new perversions.
One is doing a great disservice to the church he is entrusted with if he just takes the Resolution to Adopt the Declaration of Trust, the Declaration of Trust, and the Appendix and fills in the blanks (or gets me to draft the documents and then goes forward on his own thinking that the finished forms are all he needs). This is because one may need guidance in opening a bank account (what about the EIN?),seeking insurance (not on the church, but liability insurance on property in the trust), confronting issues, etc. Should he have questions in the future, he will likely need to consult with someone who has devoted his life to this cause. If one just fills in the blanks on his own, or takes documents which I provide to him and goes forward alone, then he will be on his own in the future.
In order to see if I can be of help to you, will you please permit me to ask you a few questions. The questions are necessary for several reasons, one being that we want to make sure that we agree on New Testament church doctrine which, of course, includes church organization. This is the first step in helping one who is interested in organizing a church under the Bible trust.
We discussed the details of some of the questions. However, to make sure my memory and notes are accurate, please correct any incorrect answers I have inserted.
You may simply download this document, type in the answers, and return via e-mail attachment.
1. What is the name of your church at present?
2. What is the name church you wish to establish under the Bible trust?
3. What city, county, and state is the church in?
4. How is the church organized (plurality of elders, one pastor with possibly associate pastors, the roles of the members, etc.)?
5. All that this ministry does is based upon the foundation of the King James For us to proceed, it is absolutely required that you understand that the foundation for our help—the foundation for the necessary documents, the Bible and historical foundation, and the foundation for all that we do—is the King James Bible. The King James Bible differs from all interpretations of the Bible in many significant ways. The King James Bible alone was responsible for the freedoms we enjoy, including the freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, and the other freedoms granted us by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and corresponding state constitutional provisions. During the colonial period and the early history of the United States, the King James Bible was the only English Bible relied on by those who fought the spiritual warfare that gave us our First Amendment freedoms. English interpretations of the Word of God began to be introduced in the mid- to late-1800s as the battle against the KJB began to heat up. The principles in the King James Bible are those we rely on and must proceed with. You may wish to use an interpretation for your teachings, sermons, etc., but we cannot help you if you do not agree that the KJB will be the basis for the separation of your church from the state in all matters.
Do you agree with all that is stated in 5 above?
6. Does the church now own any real property?
7. Does the church now hold any personal property? If so, how is it held?
8. Does your church lease property? Please answer with the information on your lease; that is, in what name is the lease.
9. Does the church presently hold a bank account? [Yes]
10. Does the church presently carry insurance of any kind, to include liability insurance on the leased property?
11. Does the church pay salary(ies)?
12. Does the church have “employees?”
13. Is the church incorporated?
14. Does the church have a constitution? By-laws? Any other kind of organizational document(s)? A church covenant? Any kind of doctrinal statement other than the Bible?
15. Are you willing to educate the church body as you take steps to organize under the Bible trust?
16. In the process of educating your church body, are you willing to have at least a conference call or calls with me and the men of your church, so that I can answer and ask questions?
17. Is the church tax exempt (Internal Revenue Code §501(c)(3) status or §508 status)? [We have discussed this–The answer is “Yes, 501(c)(3) status.”]
18. Can you think of any manner in which the church has acted legally? Examples: entered into any contract, sued, been sued, held property, held a bank account, etc. (some of these have been the subject of questions above).
19. Does the church approve of women pastors or elders?
20. Does the church approve of women deacons?
21. Are there women officers of any kind in the church?
22. The documents will make clear that no the church will never have a woman pastor, deacon, or officer? Is this agreeable to you and the church?
23. Are you an ordained pastor or elder?
24. When were you ordained?
25. Who ordained you?
26. Have you been baptized by immersion by an ordained pastor?
27. Do you believe in believer’s baptism (that baptism follows salvation)?
28. Do you believe that baptism saves a person or that baptism is one part of one’s salvation?
29. How many ordained pastors or elders are in the church?
30. Do you agree with the eleven earmarks of the New Testament church as laid down by J.M. Carroll (Please answer next to each earmark below):
- Its Head and Founder—CHRIST. He is the lawgiver; the Church is only the executive. (Mt. 16:18; Col. 1:18.)
- Its only rule of faith and practice—THE BIBLE. (2 Tim. 3:15-17.)
- Its name—‘CHURCH,’ ‘CHURCHES.’ (Mt. 16:18; Re. 22:16.)
- Its polity—CONGREGATIONAL—all members (Mt. 20:24-28; Mt. 23:5-12.)
- Its members—only saved people (Ep. 2:21-22; 1 Pe. 2:5.)
- Its ordinances—BELIEVER’S BAPTISM, FOLLOWED BY THE LORD’S SUPPER. (Mt. 28:19-20.
- Its officers—PASTORS AND (1 Ti. 3:1-16.Its work—getting folks saved, then )
- baptizing them by immersion, teaching them ‘to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you’ (Mt. 28:16-20.)
- Its financial plan—Gifts to God by the members of the church to be used for God ordained purposes as laid out in the Bible. For example, ‘Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.’ (1 Co. 14.)
- Its weapons of warfare—spiritual, not carnal. (2 Co. 10:4; Ep. 6:10-20.)
- Its independence—Separation of Church and State. (see, e.g., Mt. 22:21.)
31. Do you have any other questions, comments, suggestions, etc.
32. Please let me know any other information which you deem important.
Signature of Pastor or Elder with name printed next to signature
Date Signed: ________________________________________________________________
Please understand that I ask these questions to make sure that God is honored and glorified. I hope that we can work together as you seek to please him in the matter of church organization by helping you establish a New Testament church. Once you answer the above questions, we can talk. Your answers may make it possible for me to proceed with further help and advice, or not.
May the Lord richly bless you and your church family as you seek to glorify him.
For His Glory,
JERALD C. FINNEY
BAB, HB, BBA, JD
801 Elgin St.
Amarillo, TX 79118
Phone : (512) 785-8445