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Thread: 501-C3 Organizations

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    501-C3 Organizations

    I'm interested in what others think of these organizations in light of the Bible and the future that we probably face if the sure word of prophecy is to be believed. Though I would not claim in any way that participating in such an organization is sin today, are we wise to forever ignore the implications of state-sanctioned church organizations and what this may mean once the U.S. government forms alliances with religions such as Islam?

    Should be be working toward getting out of these organizations and not having our names on their membership or giving lists at some future point in time?
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: 501-C3 Organizations

    Bob, what is a 501-C3 organization?........KK

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    Re: 501-C3 Organizations

    Craig, 501-C3 organizations are non-profit organizations.
    For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me. (Ps. 40:12)

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    Re: 501-C3 Organizations

    Bob:

    As you know The Embassy of Grace was registered as a "church" thus not needing the 501-C3 status. Although the IRS recommends it for recognition purposes, I refused to pay the fees to be "accepted" by the government as a "religious" organization.

    We should not and must not give the government the power to decide who is and who is not anything, but especially religious organizations.

    Those who want to donate to The Embassy of Grace have to do so knowing that they will get a receipt in the end of the year as a donation to a "church" for "non-services rendered"; but if anyone expects to donate to The Embassy of Grace "just" to get a tax deduction with no committment to the work that The Embassy of Grace executes then I would recommend a lot of 501-C3 organizations which, as Bob put it, will be, in light of Biblical prophecy, controlled by some bizarre world wide organization, starting by the local government of the nations where they are located! Not me Jose!

    Milt
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    Re: 501-C3 Organizations

    Thanks Milt!

    Most churches today in the U.S. are organized as 501-C3 non-profit corporations, in order to obtain tax deductibility of gifts. This includes the largest and smallest of church organizations, from a membership of millions to a membership that can be counted on one hand.

    Whether any like it or not, this amounts to registration with the government and state-sanctioned religion. Churches organized in this manner are eligible to participate in 'faith based initiative' programs while private 'for-profit' corporations and other businesses are not. Church schools organized in this fashion receive certain government benefits. Most do not realize that the giving records of 501-C3 corporations are open to the government. This is why the tax-deductibility benefit was given when the program was established sometime mid-last century. In exchange for the wonderful 'perk' of tax writeoffs for contributions, churches must supply giving records on demand--where traditionally such records had been 100% private.

    As I stated, I'm not trying to start a campaign in the present to get rid of 501-3C church organizations. I'm just wondering whether our future perspective and planning needs to include disassociation with them--once certain events begin to unfold that will undoutedly cause the members and givers of these organizations to be a target of government scrutiny. I, for one, believe that we are to stay under the radar screen of the beast as much as possible. In the end the national governments and beast will hate the whore and destroy her (Rev. 17:16) after forming an alliance with her. The beast will go after organized apostate Christianity thinking that this will destroy Christendom. But the Lord will preserve his people who avoid association with the economic system of organized Christian apostasy.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: 501-C3 Organizations

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby
    Thanks Milt!

    Most churches today in the U.S. are organized as 501-C3 non-profit corporations, in order to obtain tax deductibility of gifts. This includes the largest and smallest of church organizations, from a membership of millions to a membership that can be counted on one hand.

    Whether any like it or not, this amounts to registration with the government and state-sanctioned religion. Churches organized in this manner are eligible to participate in 'faith based initiative' programs while private 'for-profit' corporations and other businesses are not. Church schools organized in this fashion receive certain government benefits. Most do not realize that the giving records of 501-C3 corporations are open to the government. This is why the tax-deductibility benefit was given when the program was established sometime mid-last century. In exchange for the wonderful 'perk' of tax writeoffs for contributions, churches must supply giving records on demand--where traditionally such records had been 100% private.

    As I stated, I'm not trying to start a campaign in the present to get rid of 501-3C church organizations. I'm just wondering whether our future perspective and planning needs to include disassociation with them--once certain events begin to unfold that will undoutedly cause the members and givers of these organizations to be a target of government scrutiny. I, for one, believe that we are to stay under the radar screen of the beast as much as possible. In the end the national governments and beast will hate the whore and destroy her (Rev. 17:16) after forming an alliance with her. The beast will go after organized apostate Christianity thinking that this will destroy Christendom. But the Lord will preserve his people who avoid association with the economic system of organized Christian apostasy.
    Very interesting, I have known for preachers or ministers who needed to be liscensed before they could preach in a church or ordained , is this state regulation?

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    Re: 501-C3 Organizations

    The ability to preach is not state regulation but in most cases ordination or licensing is.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: 501-C3 Organizations

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby
    The ability to preach is not state regulation but in most cases ordination or licensing is.
    Thats what I`m talking about, thats not biblical do you think. Paul or the other apostles, or Timothy or titus would not have saught license from the state to meet together as a fellowship, or to ordain pastors over flocks..

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    Re: 501-C3 Organizations

    I believe that the RPCGA (Reformed Presbytertian Church General Assembly) does not allow any of its churches to have 501-C3 status. I see some good arguments against it (especially since in theory it least it is really unnecessary for tax-exempt status) but I believe some blow the issue out of proportion. With all the problems in the church today I don't see 501-c3 status anywhere near the top of the list. It does keep such organizations from spending time promoting political candidates but I don't know why a pastor would want to waste his time doing that anyhow. He can still preach on issues that woule affect the way a person votes. As time goes by it is possible that these rules could be interpreted to be more restrictive and in that case this would be a much bigger issue than it is currently.

    Ordination is handled by the church. Licensing usually only comes into play on the issue of whether or not a pastor can officiate a marriage ceremony. Regulations for whether or not he can do this vary by state but often as long as the pastor is authorized by his own church to perform the wedding ceremony the state will recognize it. I believe this is legitimate since licensing a marriage belongs to the realm of authority of the state not the church.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: 501-C3 Organizations

    Quote Originally Posted by wildboar
    I believe that the RPCGA (Reformed Presbytertian Church General Assembly) does not allow any of its churches to have 501-C3 status. I see some good arguments against it (especially since in theory it least it is really unnecessary for tax-exempt status) but I believe some blow the issue out of proportion. With all the problems in the church today I don't see 501-c3 status anywhere near the top of the list. It does keep such organizations from spending time promoting political candidates but I don't know why a pastor would want to waste his time doing that anyhow. He can still preach on issues that woule affect the way a person votes. As time goes by it is possible that these rules could be interpreted to be more restrictive and in that case this would be a much bigger issue than it is currently.

    Ordination is handled by the church. Licensing usually only comes into play on the issue of whether or not a pastor can officiate a marriage ceremony. Regulations for whether or not he can do this vary by state but often as long as the pastor is authorized by his own church to perform the wedding ceremony the state will recognize it. I believe this is legitimate since licensing a marriage belongs to the realm of authority of the state not the church.
    Thank you sir...

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    Re: 501-C3 Organizations

    Quote Originally Posted by wildboar
    Ordination is handled by the church. Licensing usually only comes into play on the issue of whether or not a pastor can officiate a marriage ceremony. Regulations for whether or not he can do this vary by state but often as long as the pastor is authorized by his own church to perform the wedding ceremony the state will recognize it. I believe this is legitimate since licensing a marriage belongs to the realm of authority of the state not the church.
    The state should not be in the business of recognizing certain individuals that have a backing of a church institution vs. those who do not have the backing of a church institution. I personally believe this is a violation of the first amendment and actually is a melding of church and state which I personally cannot stand.
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    Re: 501-C3 Organizations

    The state should not be in the business of recognizing certain individuals that have a backing of a church institution vs. those who do not have the backing of a church institution. I personally believe this is a violation of the first amendment and actually is a melding of church and state which I personally cannot stand.
    But it really only comes into play in the area of marrying two individuals. If it really bugs you, people can get married by the justice of the peace. There are also all kinds of organizations on-line which help you obtain some sort of license. I believe the law is in place to keep people from just setting up shop and collecting money to perform weddings. I don't see how the first ammendment which provides freedom of speech and the press has anything to do with the state determining who may or may not perform a marriage ceremony.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: 501-C3 Organizations

    If perhaps my child wants to marry someone, and I want to perform the wedding, I cannot because I am not a licensed minister in an officially state recognized church. It has nothing to do with being able to go to the "justice of the peace." It's the fact that I simply cannot do it unless I go through an officially sanctioned religious institution.
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    Re: 501-C3 Organizations

    If perhaps my child wants to marry someone, and I want to perform the wedding, I cannot because I am not a licensed minister in an officially state recognized church. It has nothing to do with being able to go to the "justice of the peace." It's the fact that I simply cannot do it unless I go through an officially sanctioned religious institution.
    You can still speak of marriage. I'm having a hard time seeing where you are going with this first ammendment thing. The fact that a person can't perform surgery unless they are licensed does not mean that their right to freedom of speech is being violated.

    I would agree that something is wrong with the state determining who can perform wedding ceremonies if marrying was the duty of the church but it's not. It is the duty of the state. A wedding that takes place in the presence of a non-Christian justice of the peace involving two non-Christians is still a binding marriage. It is not a sacrament. The only way I could really see your argument is if you took the Romish position that marriage is a sacrament and institution of the church.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: 501-C3 Organizations

    If a man and a woman are believers and the decide to be married why do they need the "church" or the state to preform a cerimony or issue them a licence tell them they are so?

    Are we really bound by such things?
    Isaiah 45:7, (KJV), I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

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    Re: 501-C3 Organizations

    I'm not sure I understand the original question. Isn't it a good thing to obtain a status where the corrupt government can't get your money? As a libertarian I don't believe in taxation of any organization, but as long as there are taxes and there's a chance to "opt out" under the 501-C3 clause, isn't that just a good thing?
    For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me. (Ps. 40:12)

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    Re: 501-C3 Organizations

    If a man and a woman are believers and the decide to be married why do they need the "church" or the state to preform a cerimony or issue them a licence tell them they are so?
    Because marriage is a civil institution, it falls within the jurisdiction of the civil ordinances to determine who is married. We are also called to be in obedience to the civil powers as long as they do not command us to disobey God. We don't find any instance of God telling us not to engage in a marriage which is recognized by the state. Paul addresses all marriages whether entered into by believers or unbelievers as binding which shows that it is not an institution of the church. It is not within the power of the individual citizen to determine who should be married anymore than it is within his power to determine who should be executed. Both belong within the sphere of authority of the civil government.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: 501-C3 Organizations

    Quote Originally Posted by Wildboar
    Because marriage is a civil institution, it falls within the jurisdiction of the civil ordinances to determine who is married.
    This is not true. The state no more determines who is married by licensing them as such than a pastor of a church determines who is elect by considering someone part of their flock.
    We are also called to be in obedience to the civil powers as long as they do not command us to disobey God.
    I agree with what you are saying here in principle, however, for some of the same points that Bob brings up about 501-c3 organizations, I could see where it could possibly be detrimental for the state to have record of your marriage or to license it.
    It is not within the power of the individual citizen to determine who should be married anymore than it is within his power to determine who should be executed. Both belong within the sphere of authority of the civil government.
    I disagree with your statement here and find this to be an erroneous comparison. It is within the right of an individual or, more likely, the individuals that wish to be married to one another. This is not a right that the state has, it simply licenses the two who have already decided to covenant.
    Isaiah 45:7, (KJV), I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

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    Re: 501-C3 Organizations

    I'm not sure I understand the original question. Isn't it a good thing to obtain a status where the corrupt government can't get your money? As a libertarian I don't believe in taxation of any organization, but as long as there are taxes and there's a chance to "opt out" under the 501-C3 clause, isn't that just a good thing?
    Here is a link to website with articles that provide arguments against churches applying for 501c3 status: http://hushmoney.org/articles.htm
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: 501-C3 Organizations

    Federal Law (currently) is such that churches do not have to register for 501(c)(3) status to have contributions be tax deductible. Furthermore, if you are a church, you do not have to file the annual informational return to the IRS (the 990 series of returns). The problem arises when you get something like a religious ministry that doesn't provide a church, but provides tracts, a website like this one, etc. At that point, you must file the 501(c)(3) application to obtain deductibility and then file the annual return. Only certain organizations other than churches are exempt from filing the annual return (such as schools and a few other exceptions)
    It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 NASB

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