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How can a church incorporate? - Follow Up Question

Submitted: 2/13/2014
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Question: In your response you mentioned 'There is no requirement that the church agree to not teach certain things' However, contrary to your statement when you sign the 501c3 covenant you agree not to 'carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation' (26 USC 501-C-3). This prohibition extends, not only to the endorsement of a political candidate, but also any other attempts to 'influence legislation,'including taking a public stand against such government-protected abominations, such as abortion or homosexuality. If what I am saying is false then please post a good article about the sin of homosexuality on this site. How can you preach the entirety of the Word of God and bind yourself in covenant not to do so? Also the U.S. Supreme Court defines a corporation as follows: 'A corporation is a creature of the state. It is presumed to be incorporated for the benefit of the public. It receives certain special privileges and franchises and holds them subject to the laws of the state and the limitation of its charter. Its powers are limited by law. It can make no contract not authorized by its charter. Its rights to act as a corporation are only preserved to it so long as it obeys the laws of its creation. There is a reserved right in the legislature to investigate its contracts and ascertain if it has exceeded its powers' (Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43). The Greek word for the “BODY” is “Soma”. This word was translated into Latin as “Corpus”. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a “corporation” is: “a group of people combined into, or acting as one body.” This word “Corporation” was derived from the Common Law and was directly take from the Christian understanding of the “Corpus” or Body of people. You are born into the Kingdom of God and join yourself to a harlot. Please show a biblical example of Jesus or any of the Apostles signing covenant with the state if it is biblical?

Answer: No church is required to obtain a 501c3 exemption from the IRS. All churches in America are automatically tax exempt without doing anything. But even if a church does get a 501c3, this is unrelated to the church's incorporation. In other words, a church does not have to be incorporated to seek a 501c3 exemption, and a church that is incorporated does not have to seek one. You are mixing together two unrelated issues. The prohibition of certain political speech is a federal law whereas incorporation is a state issue. By the way, this federal prohibition does not restrict me at all as a private citizen; it only restricts our church from operating as political action committee. I am strongly in favor of changing that law, but for now it has nothing to do with our assembly being incorporated and it doesn't stop me from being politically active.

It is true that state legislatures (the government) create the legal mechanism for incorporation, but the corporation itself is created by individuals. No government body ever forced our assembly to incorporate, and we can disband the corporation any time we want to. When you say that the government can investigate us, that is limited to legal transactions, which the government always has the right to look into if there is cause to believe there may be fraud or other illegality. But the government has no power to investigate or control our doctrine or practices. These are totally off limits.

You asked, 'How can you preach the entirety of the Word of God and bind yourself in covenant not to do so?' We have never bound ourselves in any covenant that limits what we can preach. Even if I got up on Sunday morning and endorced a political candidate, the worst thing that can happen is we might lose our tax exempt status, but that would not affect our corporation at all. It's a separate issue.

We're not sure what it has to do with incorporation, but we teach that homosexuality is sin and that no one who practices it will inherit the kingdom of God. There is nothing in our corporate status that prohibits us in any way from declaring the whole counsel of God.