Question:

Is it scriptural for a church of Christ to register as a charitable organization? By charitable organization I mean being exempted from tax and duties, and receiving financial grants from the government in order to fund missionary projects, etc.? Is it good for a church of Christ to venture into this system? If not, can you share some of your views as to why? Thanks.


Answer:

Some governments grant non-profit groups, including churches, to not pay taxes on purchases. There is nothing wrong with a church taking advantage of the savings offered since it does not give the government any control over the church. See: Are you a 501C church?

It becomes a completely different matter if the church requests and receives funding from the government. The only means of raising funds that God has given to the church is by voluntary contributions by its members. By requesting funds, a measure of control is given to the one granting the money. Typically you will find that governments that give out funds to religious organizations often do so with many strings attached. They know groups will make compromises when money is involved. See: Can a church receive funds from non-believers or an organization?

Stick to doing things God's way and don't make the church dependent on others.