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Can a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization ever be truly called a "Christian church"?

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posted on Aug, 22 2015 @ 05:41 AM
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What is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization?


A 501(c)(3) corporation is a non-profit organization that gains a tax-exempt status under section 501(c) in the U.S. Internal Revenue (IRS) Code [26 U.S.C. §501(c)]. Many types of clubs and groups are eligable for 501c3 incorporated status, but part 3 is developed for religious, educational, and charitable entities.
Link to article


What could the potential problems be?


THE DOWN side of the 501(c)(3) corporation:
*The creator of a corporation is the State;
*The State is the sole authority and sovereign head over the corporation;
*The corporation is subject to the laws of the State which limits its powers;
*The corporation has no constitutionally protected rights, except 14th Amendment;
*The corporation is an artificial person;
*The corporation submits to a State Charter declaring it is a creature of the State;
*The corporation is created for the benefit of the public;
*The corporation is a State franchise;
*The corporation is a privilege granted by the State.
Link to PDF


Does the US government really attempt to control the activities of 501(c)(3) "Christian churches"? Yes, it does.


Churches and religious organizations, like many other
charitable organizations, qualify for exemption from federal
income tax under IRC section 501(c)(3) and are generally
eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. To qualify
for tax-exempt status, such an organization must meet the
following requirements (covered in greater detail throughout
this publication):

* the organization must be organized and operated
exclusively for religious, educational, scientific, or other
charitable purposes,

* net earnings may not inure to the benefit of any private
individual or shareholder,

* no substantial part of its activity may be attempting to
influence legislation,

* the organization may not intervene win political campaigns,
and

* the organization’s purposes and activities may not be
illegal or violate fundamental public policy.
Link to PDF


With all of that established, I'm going to attempt to present what I think is a good argument for both sides of this issue then I'll try to determine the truth of the matter.

Why a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization CAN truly be called a "Christian church"


Romans 13:1-7 King James Version (KJV)

13 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
Link to Romans 13


In my opinion, Romans 13:1-7 gives Christians carte blanch to follow anything any government says or does. That unfortunately may explain the following:

The Vatican Concordat With Hitler's Reich
Link to article

Regardless of anyone's personal views on this matter, I think it's clear that Romans 13:1-7 completely supports the idea that a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization can truly be called a "Christian church." I think that's where investigation stops on this issue for many. I know that some Christians claim that the entire book of Romans should be thrown out of the Bible because they don't trust its supposed author, Paul. Since we can't confirm who any of the authors are for any of the books, I don't think that's a valid argument. If you're going to start throwing out books based on questionable authorship, I think you have to throw out the whole Bible.

Why a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization CANNOT truly be called a "Christian church"


Colossians 1:18 King James Version (KJV)

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.
Link to Colossians 1


If you read Colossians 1:18 in context it means that Jesus is "the head" of "the church." This is critical here because remember, "The State is the sole authority and sovereign head over the corporation." Obviously, Colossians 1:18 forbids churches from becoming 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. Again, I'm ignoring the fact that Paul supposedly wrote this verse for the same reasons I gave earlier.


Matthew 5:18 King James Version (KJV)

18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Link to Matthew 5



Matthew 4:4 King James Version (KJV)

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Link to Matthew 4


I believe that both Matthew 5:18 and Matthew 4:4 (which are both supposedly direct quotes of Jesus) mean that Jesus expected people to diligently study the entire Bible with no restrictions, exceptions, or exemptions.

Conclusion

In my humble opinion, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization CANNOT truly be called a "Christian church." First, Colossians 1:18 forbids it. Second, from the Christian point of view, the words of Jesus (quoted above from the book of Matthew) make it clear that Christians are to diligently study the entire Bible without any restrictions, exceptions, or exemptions. I see no contradictions between that and Romans 13. A person can follow a government while still recognizing that its actions, policies, laws, etc. are wrong according to the Bible. The problem is, the US government may not allow a "Christian church" to do that if it wants 501(c)(3) status. Going along with that cannot be considered truly Christian in my opinion.
edit on 22-8-2015 by Profusion because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 22 2015 @ 09:46 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

The bigger question here is can any non profit company truly be non profit...I think the entire thing is a scam where these CFO's and CEO's are making six figure salaries in the name of non profit...someone is making a huge profit...usually not the poor people being served...


As far as the church I wonder what the numbers look like on donations and how much of a percentage actually goes to the church versus the Vatican...

Big freaking scam...



posted on Aug, 22 2015 @ 09:51 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

A simple answer to your question is No.

I think the churches have sold their sole to the state for a tax exemption. If I were to pastor a church I would refuse tax exempt status and tell my congregation why. The reason would be quite simple, God has instructed me to speak on all matters and the state wishes to control my speach.

And I would also be as active as possible, and encourage my congregation to be so as well, in spreading the word about how the state has infringed on religious free speech by requiring that they do not speak on political matters.

The separation of church and state was never intended to take away the churches first amendment rights. Yet the law is attempting to do just that. I believe it is an unjust law that directly violates the first amendment. If a church wants to preach a perceived need to follow theocratic laws, they should have every right to do so both publicly and privately.

In regards to the theological questions bosed in the scriptures.

The verses in Romans are wise words. To follow the Law of the Land. If you don't follow the laws of the land you will end up in prison.

However there is one law that is higher than the law of the land. And many of the prophets ended up in prison or will killed for following the higher law. That is the Law of God.

If a man were to refuse to go to war because the law of God is do not kill, ending up in prison would be considered a righteous act in the sight of God. It would no longer be considered disobedience to God because you have chosen the higher law of God.

Even living in harsh dictatorship one can obey both the laws of the dictator and the laws of God, for the most part.

The bible also says that just before the second coming the world will be controlled by sinful disobedient men. But it remains possible to follow their laws without following their behavior.



posted on Aug, 22 2015 @ 09:52 AM
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I happen to know that IRS agents confer with officials of various churches, so that the churches will understand what they may say and not say, teach and not teach, to retain their 501(c)(3) status. In this way the salt loses it savor, and the church becomes a State Church by default. Compared to my own study, I have leaned little from them.

BTW, another consequence is that almost all churches are run on a business model.
edit on 22-8-2015 by Lazarus Short because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 22 2015 @ 09:55 AM
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originally posted by: chrismarco
a reply to: Profusion

The bigger question here is can any non profit company truly be non profit...I think the entire thing is a scam where these CFO's and CEO's are making six figure salaries in the name of non profit...someone is making a huge profit...usually not the poor people being served...


As far as the church I wonder what the numbers look like on donations and how much of a percentage actually goes to the church versus the Vatican...

Big freaking scam...



Amen.

If any religious teacher receives more than double minimum wage in the US they are not following the teaching of God no matter how they want to spin it. Since the bible says that even the most righteous teachers are only worth double honor.

And I would think this same principle could be said for all non profit charities who claim to be doing charitable godly work. Earning six figures is hardly charitable and definitely not God's work.



posted on Aug, 22 2015 @ 10:06 AM
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It shouldn't be anyone's business, including the state, but since the state stuck it's nose in, this is where we are.

What a congregation decides they will do for their pastor is between them and their pastor and no one else's business. What tithes a congregation can collect and what happens with them is likewise not the business of the state, but obviously at some point, the state made it their business.

Remember, tithes are donations of money that has already been taxed once by the state.

Render unto Caesar what is Caesar; Render unto God what is God.

So they have already paid their taxes to Caesar, and now they tithe to God. What is going on is that the state is trying to more or less tax God unless a church applies for special exemption. This is no different than the proposal that would opt in everyone to organ donation unless they apply for exemption.

More or less it assumes that all property is the state's, not anyone else's, unless special papers are filed. This is why the income tax amendment needs to be repealed. When it was passed, we all steadily have been losing our rights to our property and to dispose of it as we see fit. This whole dustup with churches is just one facet of it.



posted on Aug, 22 2015 @ 12:40 PM
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A 501c is not a free church but an institutional religious Organization.

Can a church fellowship operate without money? Yes

But buildings need to house assemblies and taxes on them and utilities need to be paid for.

the assembly hall should be owned by the church but government wont allow that unless they are a registered organization with a 501c.

so say a man called of God to teach builds a building for assembling on his own property. He paid for the permits, and taxes to do so. Once up and functioning the church members should help with the taxes and bills thereafter and even help the teacher so he can have time to study the word to teach it. The Bible says, Gal 6:6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. so why not let those being taught communicate unto the one who put the building up in all good things so he can pay the property tax, buy food and clothing and pay the bills related to that building.

The problem is most give to get a tax break. But that is a poor and unbiblical reason to give. right after the above verse it says this, Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

So those being taught the word should share with those who teach it. This is a commandment that they share ALL GOOD THINGS, not in hand me downs, and seconds but in the Good things and just not a few good things but ALL. that would include cash. But there should be no collection or offering or begging for this it should happen because they here the word, believe the word and obey the word. And there should be no yearly tax exemptions no hand of Govt in the assembly of believers.


MHO



edit on 22-8-2015 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 22 2015 @ 01:05 PM
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a reply to: ChesterJohn

You are speaking a mixed message.

On the one hand, the state ought not be involved. On the other hand, it should.

Either it makes no laws inhibiting the free exercise (including tax laws which would include the taxing of the means of fellowship which has already been taxed once already) or it does.



posted on Aug, 22 2015 @ 02:10 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

no the property is personal and belongs to the individual teacher.

But abiding to the laws the building tax is one thing. But if you want the exemption to the property tax then you are forced to do a federal 501c to qualify. With the 501c the state and fed can control your message and things that you do.

So you have to take the route of less entanglements and stay within the guidelines of Scriptures. Even the early church paid taxes but not in the form we have today it was a yearly flat tax.



posted on Aug, 22 2015 @ 03:28 PM
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receiving free money because god = immoral

failing to inform the government that you are receiving free money because god = illegal



posted on Aug, 22 2015 @ 07:49 PM
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a reply to: TzarChasm

The IRS told me last year that money given to me was a gift and it was not taxable, and I wasn't required to claim it.

gift money is not an income.

Now a 501c allows you to collect, ask, beg, tithe and other types of collection of money but must all be accountable to the IRS as church collections.

If a missionary gets their money through a church or another type of ministry with a 501c the church or ministry must submit 1099 to that missionary and the missionary must claim it as income or explain why it is not income. If they explain it was a free will gift and not compensation for any work done or an earning then it is not taxable. According to the IRS


edit on 22-8-2015 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 22 2015 @ 08:50 PM
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a reply to: TzarChasm

did you know that panhandling/begging is taxable income?

That is right if you ask for money it is taxable. But if someone just comes up and gives it to you and you didn't ask for it, that is a free will gift and is not taxable.


edit on 22-8-2015 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 23 2015 @ 08:25 PM
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Only people make up a church - a building or a "legal" organisation is not a church, so your question is pointless.



posted on Aug, 23 2015 @ 09:34 PM
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a reply to: Aloysius the Gaul

Gaul, I am impressed with that statement.

so I gave you a star.



edit on 23-8-2015 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 24 2015 @ 04:33 PM
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a reply to: ChesterJohn

I am rarely surprised that an atheist can make more sense about religion than the self-proclaimed believers - and the more fanatic the believer the less surprised I am that atheists know more.



posted on Aug, 25 2015 @ 07:46 PM
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a reply to: Aloysius the Gaul

then as you know many so called believers think the church is a building when the preserved word of God says it is the followers of Christ who are saved by grace. In the NT there are three churches 1) Israel 2) the Body of Christ and 3) pagans.

the church is the individuals not the organizations.



posted on Aug, 25 2015 @ 07:51 PM
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a reply to: ChesterJohn

In the NT there are no churches at all.



posted on Aug, 26 2015 @ 08:44 PM
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originally posted by: Aloysius the Gaul
a reply to: ChesterJohn

In the NT there are no churches at all.



Umm? Use your Bible program and search the word church and churches in the NT. I am at work and don't have one here but tomorrow I will list the times that church and churches is found in the preserved English Bible.




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