|On Feb. 13, 2001, Federal Marshals crashed into the sanctuary of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple, carried out those of us who were praying at the altar in front of the church auditorium, padlocked the doors, and turned the property over to a receiver, who eventually sold $6 million worth of property for $1.5 million to the Chrystel House Foundation for a Charter School.|
|Most churches in America have organized as "501c3 tax-exempt religious organizations." This is a fairly recent trend that has only been going on for about fifty years. Churches were only added to section 501c3 of the tax code in 1954. We can thank Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson for that.|
|It is no hyperbole to say that the vast majority of today’s churches do not remotely resemble the New Testament pattern. In the first place, the Church was never intended to be a government corporation! Yet, that is exactly what every 501c3 non-profit “religious” organization is: it is a government-created corporation. In the eyes of the government, pastors, elders, and deacons are not pastors, elders, and deacons; they are corporate officers. And put to the test, virtually any and all of these so-called “pastors,” “elders,” and “deacons,” will confirm that they are corporate officers. So, right out of the gate we must understand that we are dealing with government corporations and corporate officers, not with New Testament churches, pastors, elders, and deacons.|
Pray tell, where do you find anything in the New Testament about churches joining with the State, or being incorporated by the State, or being required to submit to the State? It’s not there! The 501c3 corporation status has turned the Lord’s Church into mere creatures of the State.
Therefore, please remember, when you “worship” inside these government corporations, when you give your tithes and offerings to these government corporations, you are NOT supporting “the Lord’s work.” You are supporting the work of the State. You might as well be paying taxes; it amounts to virtually the same thing. The same is true for all these TV preachers. They are all 501c3 incorporated!
This is why many pastors do not speak out on the burning issues of the day. This is why neither he nor his church will take a stand for anything. This is why he won’t “get involved in politics.” He is a corporate officer of the State, and he will not jeopardize his standing as such.
I don’t care how “nice” the preacher is! It matters not how knowledgeable you think he is of the Scriptures. It doesn’t amount to a hill of beans if he knows Hebrew and Greek and how many degrees he has behind his name. If he is a corporate officer of the State, he will never preach the “whole counsel of God;” he will never be willing to stand in front of his congregation and tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help him God.” He won’t do it! Why? He knows he is a State corporate officer, and he knows where the line is drawn. Ditto for the church deacons and trustees (I mean, corporate officers) that support him.
If the so-called “Religious Right” would get as excited about replacing these government-toadies (called pastors) that we have in our “churches” and putting honest-to-God, tell-it-like-it-is, fearless prophets in their pulpits as they are about replacing a “liberal” and putting some so-called “conservative” Republican in the White House, we really could have revival in America! The problem is not the White House; the problem is the church house!
Is it any wonder that the donor base for these religious-talking Republican politicians is mostly identical to the donor base for these religious-talking government corporations called churches? They are Siamese twins! This is why the “Religious Right” will never offend the GOP establishment: they are both sucking from the same teat! And the sow providing the milk for both is the federal government, via its non-profit corporation status, corporate welfare programs, and endless cash for the Warfare State.
Just look at the behavior of the people attending these government corporations. What do you see? Gossip, slander, backbiting, nosiness, jealousy, resentment, bickering, judgmentalism, and downright hatred is rampant! Church splits are commonplace. These government corporation “Christians” will betray their brothers and sisters for far less than thirty pieces of silver.
The motivating factor for most of these government corporations is the same as it is for private corporations: money. Money drives everything they do. The workshops, seminars, how-to manuals, etc., are all geared to making these government corporations more attractive and appealing to the donor base. Just as Jesus said to the moneychangers in His day, these corporate officers have turned God’s House into “a den of thieves.”
Why is it that today’s pastors and Christians are so clueless to what is happening in front of their eyes? They say they are “preaching the Gospel.” But they aren’t. What they are doing is pulling the wool over people’s eyes by refusing to sound the alarm! Why is it that as soon as the final “Amen” is spoken at the end of a “worship service,” the first thing out of the mouths of most of the men in attendance is something about sports? Why is it that so many “Christian” women spend dozens of hours each week searching the Internet in pursuit of whatever sordid information is floating around out there about their “friends” and fellow church members? It seems that today’s Christians are so ignorant of true Biblical friendship, fellowship, and brotherhood that they don’t know what to do with it even when they find it! Christian betrayal is epidemic!
A genuine New Testament church follows Jesus’ instruction to love one another. A New Testament church yearns for genuine Christian fellowship and brotherhood. A New Testament church prefers one another and honors one another. A New Testament church desires truth–even when it’s painful. And yes, a New Testament church is willing to die for one another!
I have spoken with Russian Christians who endured the “purging” under Joe Stalin. They told me about KGB agents bursting into a church service with fully automatic weapons demanding to know who the pastor was. They told me how when this happened, every man in the congregation raised his hand. They told me about how when government agents took men at gun point from the congregation, elderly ladies were laying in front of the government vehicles. Can one imagine this scene taking place in today’s churches?
I can see it now: government agents demand to know who the pastor is, and every man in the congregation points AT THE PASTOR! Government agents haul men out of the church and the old women applaud and get patriotic goose bumps as they are taken away.
All across the Christian spectrum, people are beholden to the state. Welfare checks, government pension checks, corporate welfare checks, food stamps, medical benefits, etc., etc., ad infinitum. “My God shall supply all your needs”? Who needs that promise? We have the state to take care of us! “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”? Irrelevant! We don’t even know how to recognize evil when we see it. “Give us this day our daily bread”? Antiquated rubbish easily explained away by our brilliant corporate officers in the pulpit. “Blessed are the peacemakers”? Forget it! “Conservative,” evangelical Christians and preachers today are the biggest cheerleaders, proponents, and apologists for spreading war, mayhem, and death all over the world!
I would dare say that most of today’s churches and pastors have never given a second thought to what the “church” is. The church is not a building. The church is not programs and musicals, and socials and recreational theme parks. The church is not restaurants and bookstores. The word “church” means “called out assembly.” Called out from what? Called out from state governance and control; called out from worldly philosophies and principles; called out from bondage and tyranny. That’s what!
Need I remind my brothers and sisters that the first reference, chronologically, to the “church” is found in Acts 7:38 where Stephen gave tribute to “the church in the wilderness”? Why was the church in the wilderness? God had called it out of Egyptian bondage. Hence, the word “church,” meaning “a called out assembly.”
So, where is the called out assembly today? It has left nothing! The assembly gathers together under the auspices of, and in the name of, the state. It grovels before the state. It gears its messages to the pleasure of the state. It keeps its congregants in the dark to the illegalities, improprieties, and criminalities of the state. It seeks the state’s approval and approbation. And when called upon by the state, it will betray or sell out any preacher, prophet, or Christian brother or sister.
You who say you love God, you who say you know what’s going on and are concerned about your children’s future, you who say you desire truth, how can you continue to support these 501c3 government corporations with your attendance and with your tithes and offerings? You are called to “come out.” So, why don’t you? These government corporations are in bed with Babylon. And Babylon is not our friend. It is enslaving saints all over the world. It is persecuting the Bride. It is making war with God’s children. It is drunk with the blood of pilgrims and patriots! How dare you sleep in the same bed with her?
How did the Holy Spirit conclude the Book of Revelation? By commanding us, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Rev. 18:4)
This unholy alliance between the Lord’s Church and Caesar, between the Body of Christ and Beelzebub, between the fellowship of God and the fellowship of Satan is plaguing our nation, our families, and our future. “Come out of her, my people.”
|October 8th, 2011|
By Dr. Harold Pease
Freedom Sunday, held Oct. 2, is now over. This was the Sunday when 539 ministers throughout the United States defied the IRS and federal government and did at least three things in common in their Sunday sermons. They identified where the candidates stood on the issues, what the Bible says on these issues, and where a follower of Jesus Christ should stand. Their followers, of course, are left to make their own decisions, but the clergy is no longer silent. The following day they mailed a recorded copy of their sermon to the IRS; all the evidence that is needed to deny their 501C3 tax exemption status.
Standing by to defend three first amendment rights, that of freedom of speech, religion, and even assembly, is a group of 2500 attorneys united under the Alliance Defense Fund should the federal government wish to enforce the previously constitutionally uncontested Lyndon Baines Johnson Amendment initiated in 1954. Thirty-three pastors successfully did this in the year 2008, 84 in 2009, and 100 in 2010 with no retribution. In fact, no church’s tax exemption status has been taken away for having done so in the 57 years the amendment has been in place. Proponents encourage other ministers to follow their Pulpit Freedom Movement by going to www.speakupmovement.org or by phoning 1-800-telladf. Consider the over-the-pulpit political statements made by Martin Luther King, Jr., Jessie Jackson or even Jeremiah Wright.
The ministers argue that the Johnson Amendment which resulted in the tax exemption legislation known as 501C3, wherein tax exempt organizations cannot endorse or oppose candidates, was actually designed to deal with two businessmen in Texas who had used tax exempt money to oppose the future President Johnson, and that the legislation was never intended to be used on churches. Whether that is so or not, the IRS viewed it so and constantly threatens to apply it. The effect has been to “silence and chill the pastors.” At election time pastors frequently receive a letter reminding them that they can lose their 501C3 status should they make political statements as a pastor.
The movement demands a return to pre-1954 when there was no government censorship on the pulpits of America at all, whether left or right on the political spectrum—true separation of church and state. Both persuasions should have pulpit freedom.
Is this activity constitutional? Absolutely!! It is an American tradition. Many of the Founding Fathers were clergymen and used their pulpits before and after the American Revolution to foster a better understanding of liberty. The Constitution only denies the requirement of a religious test “as a qualification to any office of public trust under the United States.” The First Amendment also specifically denies Congress from making any “law respecting an establishment of religion.” Any attempt to muzzle the clergy is unconstitutional.
The urgency of the ministers picking up their traditional role as a conscience of the culture is critical for the saving of the culture. Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Beltville, Maryland said it best. “In the next decade or so what America will be for the next few hundred years, I believe, will be decided.” Speaking directly to his clergy colleagues he continued, “Would you want to be someone who stood by and did nothing and had no voice in changing America for good, that lives through years of regret that you did nothing when you could have spoken out? Or, will you be someone, no matter how small your congregation is, or how large your congregation is, that will take up the challenge to follow Christ and endure momentary discomfort in trying to figure out how to articulate the message? That is a little price to pay for the benefit that we can bring to the entire culture.”
No pastor should fear the IRS. Clergy, it is your constitutional right and responsibility to speak boldly and clearly on any subject that you think important. If not you, who? If not now, when? Your government has muzzled you with fear and intimidation. Remember parishioners came to you for guidance. A good Shepherd will give it to them. Clergy who were unable to participate October 2, are invited to do so on another Sunday. Again, who will speak if the church is silent? After all, it’s about your liberty, please pass this along.
Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.