Question:

I ran across your site after my daughter asked me where can she find a clear and concise list of God's statutes.  I pondered that for a while and happened upon your explanation. It's perfect. Thank you.

As is states in Isaiah, "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: for with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken" (Isaiah 28:10-13)

By the way are you a 501C church?


Answer:

The only thing we are is a church of Jesus Christ. I assume you are referring to the United States tax code and the provision allowing churches to receive non-profit status.

The Jews once asked Jesus whether it was lawful to pay taxes. After noting that their money had Caesar's image on it Jesus told them, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:17-21). Jesus told Peter to pay the temple tax and supplied the funds even though as the son of God he did not owe himself any money (Matthew 17:24-27). Later Paul stated concerning governments, "For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor" (Romans 13:6-7).

Governments exist by the authority of God (Romans 13:1-2). So long as the demands of a government do not violate the laws of God, there is every reason for Christians to be obedient to the government under which they exist. When a congregation owns a building, the government requires that there be someone designated to own the land, whether it be one or more individuals or a corporation. The preferred method is a corporation because people come and go. The existence of a congregation generally exceeds the life of people. If individuals owned the property for the church it would have to be bought and sold as the people came and went. If someone died while owning the property, it would pass through that person's inheritance. Such is both annoying and costly. Having a corporation own the property is more expedient under United States law because trustees can be named to fulfill the legal requirement and they are easily changed as time passes.

Our government has chosen to allow churches to exist as non-profit organizations. They don't have to, but we appreciate the kindness. It is true that some IRS officials have tried to use that status as a stick to keep some churches from speaking on some issues. We ignore them in this regard because the government's authority doesn't reach to telling Christians what can or cannot be taught. "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). If the government ever decided to pull our non-profit status because of what we taught, it will be their choice. Meanwhile, we will continue to teach the truth. If it means we would have to pay taxes, so be it.

In other words just because we enjoy the non-profit status at the moment, we have not given the government any control over the church and its teaching. Therefore, having a non-profit status at the moment is a non-issue.