Comparing present and past – Church and State


INTERIOR VIEWS OF St. Mary's CHURCH on Ascension Island, JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD, Wikimedia Commons


Dangers of the 501C3 Tax Exempt Church Status

Spiritual Abuse Sanctuary

Scarlett’s sound text, but uses a Worldwide Church of God video.



The Antipas Chronicles

HT: Meg, for the image


9 thoughts on “Comparing present and past – Church and State

  1. Hi Maria. I would guess 99.9% of churches are incorporated as 501 (c)(3) and the same thing in Canada under a different tax code. That doesn’t make it right but it could be argued that for a church to not take advantage of existing tax laws for non-profits would be a needless diversion of funds contributed to the Lord’s work. Jesus taught that people should pay their taxes but with 501 (c)(3) the government is offering an exemption. Why not take advantage of it? It’s not apples to apples to compare the early church to today’s environment. There were no intricate tax codes in 60 AD. I would be troubled if I contributed to a church every week and a good portion of the funds were being unnecessarily diverted to the U.S. treasury because of the idea that somehow having 501 (c)(3) status compromised the church’s integrity.

    Will the U.S. government someday try to use the 501 (c)(3) exemption to extort Gospel-preaching churches? I’m quite sure the day is coming. But until then, I think it would be foolish for a fellowship to pay one cent more to the U.S. Treasury than it has to.

    All that being said, I’ve enjoyed reading several books about the Reformation recently. The early Reformers unfortunately copied much of the Catholic church’s close alliance with the civil government. It’s easy to sit back in our day and judge Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and the others for adopting Catholicism’s church-state model. It took succeeding church Reformers (and governmental reformers) to abolish the church-state model. Hey, they still collect taxes in Europe in support of Catholic and Protestant state churches.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Tom! you wrote:

      “Will the U.S. government someday try to use the 501 (c)(3) exemption to extort Gospel-preaching churches?”

      From what I have learned, the idea isn’t to extort from 501 (c) 3 churches but to control them. These churches already are exempt under law from taxes without applying for this status. The exemption pertains to those who give to these churches, in which case because of that 501 (c) 3 status, people can declare on their Federal Income Tax yearly return a portion of what they’ve those churches.

      Where the control of churches with this status comes in is that these churches are limited in what they can preach and teach and say, e.g., they cannot endorse candidates. I’m sure there is more but this is the limits of my knowledge.

      Liked by 1 person

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