Home About Us Apostolic Free Library Questions & Answers Guestbook Order Online Search The Network

How can a church incorporate?

Submitted: 5/23/2013
Post a comment or
ask a follow-up question
Question: I would like to know what you concider to be Scriptural teaching concerning the relationship between Christians and civil authorities, and how that relationship relates to our citizenship in the Kingdom of God. Spicificaly how can a Church Incorperate, sign documents that declaire they will not teach the entirity of God's word and allow their ministers to be licensed by the state.

Answer: In 1 Peter 2:13 the apostle says, 'Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake....' Of course, this is only if submitting to the civil authorities does not cause a believer to be unfaithful to God. Daniel had to disobey the civil authorities in order to stay faithful to God.

Concerning a local church incorporating. The laws of incorporation differ from state to state, so we can only speak concerning our state's laws. In Pennsylvania, the state allows a church to incorporate. No church is required to incorporate. If a church decides to, the state has a model corporate structure available, but the church is free to structure itself any way it chooses. The fact that a church incororates does not give the state any power over the local church. There is no requirement that the church agree to not teach certain things. We cannot see how being incorporated affects the spiritual life of the church in any way, shape, or form. It is simply an organizational tool. A key point to remember is, churches incorporate themselves, the state does not incorporate them. This means that a corporation is not a creation of the state. So we see no conflict between incorporation of a church and the church being free to do everything that God wants us to do.