Can A NT Church Be 501c3? Is The 501c3 NFP Status Biblical?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by DeaconLew, Oct 14, 2004.

  1. DeaconLew

    DeaconLew
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    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. Johnson was no ally of the church. As part of his political agenda, Johnson had it in mind to silence the church and eliminate the significant influence the church had always had on shaping "public policy."

    If, as stated in the statute, all government created entites must uphold public policy, then how can a NT church be 501c3 and obey Jesus to rebuke the prevailing sins of the day? Let your voice be heard!

    -DeaconLew
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    The church is not a government created entity. The 501c3 status is a government category. It in no way affects the mission or mandate of hte church. IT is very easy to rebuke hte prevailing sins of the day.

    But having said that, most churches are not actually 501c3. They are treated that way even though they have not gone through the process. As I understand it, most would not really qualify since 501c3 status restricts a number of things that churches do, like designated giving and the like.

    The 501c3 has been beat up many times on this board. I am of the opinion that it is a lot of smoke with a great lack of fire.
     
  3. DeaconLew

    DeaconLew
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    Not so Brother. Please consider the following:
    Corporation. An artificial person or legal entity created by or under the authority of the laws of a state. An association of persons created by statute as a legal entity. Blacks Law Dictionary, 5th Edition.

    Every 501c3 NFP organiztion is, indeed, a corporation. Every corporation is a legal entity created by or under the authorit of the state. This makes EVERY 501c3 NFP organization have to obey the laws and regulations under which they were established.

    The 501c3 NFP Org is not a NT church, it is a government entity. More to say later....

    -DeaconLew
     
  4. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    But the fact that a church may be a 501c3 for legal purposes does not make it a government entity. That doesn't even make sense. You have been listening to some fearmongers who do not know what they are talking about.

    Incorporating the church does have certain benefits in our society that do not compromise its nature. There is legal protection for its officers, as well as other benefits. IT is not compromised in the least.

    But as I say, most churches are not 501c3 anyway.

    REad some of the old threads. This is much ado about nothing.
     
  5. Craigbythesea

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    The inner-city church that I served for six years as the senior pastor was incorporated as a 501c3 non-profit corporation. Not even once did the state or federal government give us any trouble of any kind. In fact they were a great help to us by giving us our tax-except status while at the same time doing absolutely nothing to interfere with our church and the free preaching of the gospel.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. PastorGreg

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    On what do you base the statement that most churches are not 501c3? That is certainly different from my experience. And yes, incorporation as a 501c3 makes you just that - a corporation which exists at the whim of the state. C4K - You didn't need tax expemtion, because the IRS code already acknowledges that churches are tax free. Huge difference. All you gained was a loss of first amendment rights. Churches can take any role in political campaigns, etc. that they want, but 501c3 corporations cannot.
     
  7. PastorGreg

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    The reason you have business meetings, extra-biblical offices, etc. is because you are a corporation, these are not the functions of a church.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Because very few go through the governmental paperwork to receive that status. It is a long and complex process.

    http://foundationgroup.bizsitenetworks.com/content.asp?CID=34294

    Many people confuse the tax exempt status of a church with being 501c3. A church is treated as tax exempt. They are not 501c3. When you apply for a bulk mail permit, you apply as a non-profit, and the USPS treats you as a 501c3 even though you are technically not one.

    No, not really. The church exists with or without 501c3 status. The status does not affect the existence of the corporation. Besides incorporating a church does not make the church 501c3. It is done for legal purposes.

    The reason we have business meetings is to do things decently and in order, to follow the NT pattern of congregational government under the leadership of a pastor. It is nothing to do with being a corporation. We have no extra-biblical offices.
     
  9. Ed Edwards

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    Can A NT Church Be 501c3? Yes.
    But it shouldn't be.
    There is no need for a NT church that
    does not own property nor take
    up government printed money to be
    under 501c3?
     
  10. Johnv

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    I think Ed sees clearly. A church (that is, a house of worship) is under no obligation to register for 501c3 status. Its tax exempt status is assumed, so long as it operates as a house of worship.

    The problem arises when we refer to any religious endeavor or entity as a "church". A non-church endeavor must file for 501c3 to have a tax exempt status. Otherwise, you end up with Jim & Tammy style hotels and amusement parks that get tax exemption status just because they claim to be a house of worship. Now, those hotels and amusement parks can still receive tax exampt status, but must file and operate as 501c3 religious and charitable not-for-profit entities.

    A good exdample is the Salvation Army. A Salvation Army Church does not need to register for 501c3, because they are a house of worship. OTOH, a Salvation Army homeless shelter must file for 501c3 exemption because, while it operates on a religious premise, it is not a church, but a religious and charitable not-for-profit entity.

    No, but they are functions of good stewardship. A church has a responsibility to its congregants to act as good stewards.
     

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