Before addressing the 501c3 status it is important to understand a few things about the status of individual believers in the Kingdom of God.
In the Bible, the word “church” never refers to a building: It is always people. The word “church” is translated from the Greek word “Ecclesia” which simply defined means “called out ones”.
So from what is the Ecclesia called out of? The world: The satan’s world, the satan’s system. God’s people have been called out of the satan’s world system and into God’s Kingdom system.
Contrary to the world’s system is God’s system. The Bible relates that God’s system is a legal system based upon law… God’s law … What is the greatest law? The law of love. We have all heard of the 10 commandments / laws as well as numerous other Biblical laws such as the laws of sowing and reaping, the law of life, sin and death, and on and on it goes.
To be in God’s system is to be separate from the world’s system.
To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which / who are written / registered / enrolled in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. See also 2 Cor. 10:13
1 cor. 12:27 says that “you are the body of Christ, and members individually.”
Opposite of God’s ways are the ways of the world; the ways of the satan.
One of the ways of the world is the corporation
What is a corporation?
“Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary defines it as ‘an ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility’. It is a legal construct, a charter granted by the state to a group of investors to gather private funds for a specific purpose. Originally, charters were granted in the service of a public purpose, and could be revoked if this were not fulfilled. The relationship between state and corporation is a complex one. Over the past 400 years corporations have conquered territory and brought in resources for the state, breaking laws put in place to constrain them and gaining in power and privilege. History shows a repetitive cycle of corporations over-reaching, causing such social turmoil that the state is forced to reign them back in through regulation.”
The United States Supreme Court has ruled that the “corporation is a creature of the state and the state is the sovereign of all corporations.”
However, Yeshua said that you can’t serve two masters:
In Mark 12:27 Yeshua made a very clear distinction between God’s government and governments of the world:
“And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
He also said that “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Mt. 6:24
About the 501c3
501c3 status did not exist before 1954. “The Johnson Amendment is a provision in the U.S. tax code, since 1954, that prohibits all 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates. Section 501(c)(3) organizations are the most common type of nonprofit organization in the United States, ranging from charitable foundations to universities and churches. The amendment is named for then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, who introduced it in a preliminary draft of the law in July 1954.”
What are the effects of the Johnson amendment?
The Johnson Amendment regulates what tax-exempt organizations such as mainstream churches can do in the political arena.
Under terms of the 1954 legislation (named for its principal sponsor, then-Sen. Lyndon Johnson), churches and other nonprofit organizations that are exempt from taxation “are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office,” according to the IRS website.
Organizations claiming tax-exempt status cannot collect contributions on behalf of political campaigns or make any statement for or against a particular candidate. Clergy are not allowed to endorse candidates from the pulpit.
There are little or no advantages for a church to be registered as a 501c3 and numerous disadvantages.
Christian Churches have always been independent of the IRS. America declared it’s independence in 1776. The American system was specifically designed to keep Christian churches outside of governmental authority including taxes. This is part of what the Revolution / the War for American independence was fought for.
This has been confirmed and reaffirmed throughout America’s history.
“Although a church, its integrated auxiliaries, or a convention or association of churches isn’t required to file Form 1023 to be exempt from federal income tax or to receive tax-deductible contributions, the organization may find it advantageous to obtain recognition of exemption.” From IRS Pub 557
There is no need for a true church of God to be to place itself under the authority of the state and to do so for lucre is sin.
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