non-incorporated baptist churches

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Joe Turner, Nov 9, 2002.

  1. Joe Turner

    Joe Turner
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    My wife and I are looking for a good Bible believing Baptist church and have found a church about 50 miles from us. They seem to agree with us doctrinally, but they proclaim that any church that is registered with the state is, in essence, wrong. Does anyone out there attend an unregistered church, and if so, can you help me understand the scriptural support for this stand and why churches that are registered are in the wrong? :confused:
     
  2. narrow is the way

    narrow is the way
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    Joe,

    Welcome to the unregister Baptist movement. Please take the time to search 501(c)3incorporations on your search engine you will find the information you are seeking. Search anything that mentions church on this engine. Please feel free to PM me, I would love to talk to you about this. It is a choice between God or the state as head of the church.
     
  3. rlvaughn

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  4. Dr. Bob

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    Having smuggled Bibles into the old USSR in the early 70's, I had a lot of contact with "unregistered" Baptist churches. They had a cause and to register meant accepting government rules and regulations that they could not abide.

    I have always been with registered 501c3 churches here in the US and cannot imagine WHAT the government requires of us that would in any way parallel the REAL conflicts in places like the old USSR.

    Sadly, the movement is becoming a "new" fundamental - you're not a REAL baptist church if . . . Just like adding the KJV or other man-made doctrines and then calling his "fundamentals". Grrr.
     
  5. Ben W

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    I have some friends who belong to a church that is not registered. There arguments are good for there idea. However I am concerned that an unregistered church may have some problems. My main concern is in the area of accountability. In Australia the organised churches are putting systems in place to stop child molesterer's from there agenda. The alarm bell rings when a church wants no registration, Jim Jones did this.

    The second problem is getting a Public Liability insurance carrier. Those in leadership could find lawsuits laid on them, lets face it it does happen.

    I dont see a registration as a big deal, So I dont think any church really should have a problem with it. Simply being registered does not invoke any governmental interference into the churches affairs unless untoward behaviour is happening.

    I dont see that they have a Scriptural basis for not registering. To say that there is, is adding on a further doctrine wich is not right. If they are 50 miles away, Id look at some others before deciding.
     
  6. narrow is the way

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    Corporation-An artificial person or legal entity(not a body of believers)created by or under the AUTHORITY of the laws of the state(not created by God, and not under His AUTHORITY). An association of persons created by statute as a legal entity.Blacks Law Dictionary,6th Ed.

    Let's say that the piano player has retired,now there is a position to fill. Now in walks a sodomite who wants to play your piano.If your curch has any standards they will not allow this, then it can sue you in court.If Christ is your head you can throw it out on its head without worry.But give it the gospel first.This is just one of many examples that could be given. More info to follow.
     
  7. narrow is the way

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    When a church incorporates it submits a charter to the state,which the state has the power to approve or deny. The corporate church becomes subject to the state and the state now assumes AUTHORITY to review the actions of the church and all corporate officers. Does your church designate the pastor as the president of the corporation? Is there is a board of directors? Does your church hold business metting to discuss corporate finances? The IRS can come in and demand to see your church records, the records of the church are none of their business. An employee of the state could visit your corporate metting on Sunday and if your president is preaching against something that goes against what the state wants your president to tell you they can close your doors. And this my friend is happening in this state.

    [ November 10, 2002, 08:18 AM: Message edited by: narrow is the way ]
     
  8. Baptist Believer

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    This is a false example.

    In the United States we have something called the First Amendment and "separation of church and state" that would prevent this situation from happening.

    Someone could try to sue your church for refusing to admit a homosexual person, but the lawsuit would immediately be tossed out because the First Amendment trumps any laws against discrimination.
     
  9. wjrighter

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    i'm not sure but didn't jesus get some money from a fishes mouth to pay tax? whats in the context of that story ???
     
  10. narrow is the way

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    You dont get it do you, once you incorporate your church,that entity is no longer a church by the letter of the law you are saying you are protected by.Thus, you can be sued because you are a corporation,waving your rights under the first amendment. BECAUSE you are no longer a church do you understand?

    [ November 11, 2002, 03:09 PM: Message edited by: narrow is the way ]
     
  11. Baptist Believer

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    You dont get it do you, once you incorporate your church,that entity is no longer a church by the letter of the law you are saying you are protected by. Thus, you can be sued because you are a corporation,waving your rights under the first amendment. BECAUSE you are no longer a church do you understand?[/QB]</font>[/QUOTE]Nope. I'm sorry, but I'm 99.99% sure that you've been misled here. I'm not an attorney, but I am familiar with constitutional law and religious liberty issues and everything I've ever encountered concerning the subject recognizes incorporated churches as churches. Go talk to an attorney if you don't believe me.

    I think the confusion may come from the use of the word "corporation". Just because a church incorporates does not mean that the First Amendment does not apply. When I get home today I will look up this issue in some of my constitutional law books. I do know that there have Supreme Court cases regarding "freedom of association" within religious congregations and the religious institution always wins on the basis of the First Amendment, not on the status of incorporation.
     
  12. narrow is the way

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    Dear Baptist,

    Please let us know when you get home and find out. thanks NITW.
     
  13. Farley

    Farley
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    The Bunker Mentality...

    Church Membership

    By Michael Bunker
    [email protected]
    Want to discuss it? Try the BunkForum

    "Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” 1 Corinthians 6:15-17

    May 17, 2002 – Joining ourselves to something is very serious business. God has declared it so. To make ourselves “members” of something is to partake in the rewards or punishments of that thing. Consider that Jesus prophesied to the Pharisees that since they were “gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ” (Acts 4:26), that they would CORPORATELY be held responsible for every murder of all of God’s prophets and wise men!

    “Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.” – Matthew 23:34-3
    Notice that Jesus said that because they had joined together in league against Him, ALL the righteous blood ever shed upon the earth (from Abel to Zacharias – A to Z) would come upon them. They would specifically be punished, as co-workers and co-rebels, along with ALL of those who had ever come against God or His true servants.

    This concept really aggravates anyone with an Arminian mindset. They chafe at the fact that God would hold people responsible for acts in which they had not actively participated. Note that these Pharisees were very Religious men, joined together with the Scribes and other religious sects as the “members” of institutional Judaism of the day. They were the CHURCH on the earth at the time of Christ. They insisted (verse 30) that had they been alive in the days of their fathers, they “would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets”. But in doing so, they were confessing that they were their father’s sons.

    Religious men HATE God’s justice. They hate Righteous judgment. So they, through their teachings and actions, accuse God of unrighteousness through the denial of His sovereignty. They idolize and worship their supposed “free will”, while denying that they are the creations of an all-powerful Sovereign God, and as such are banned from bringing a railing accusation against that Creator, by squealing “why have you made me such”. And in doing so, they prove to us they are the children of their fathers. They say that a God who would hold men guilty of crimes committed before they were born must be a sadistic and capricious God - denying, in fact, that the sins of Adam have come upon every child of Adam. Once again, they join themselves in religious league as members of the institutional CHURCH on the earth.

    Paul told the Corinthians plainly that they were either:

    a) The members of Jesus Christ, or
    b) The members of a Harlot.

    Before you go screaming that Paul was teaching against sexual immorality, let us find out what the Bible labels as Harlotry.

    In the Book of Revelation, John tells us that that there has appeared on this earth a woman named MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT. This woman sits on seven mountains (verse 9), and also sits upon many waters (verse 1). She has committed fornication with the Kings of the earth (verse 2), and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication (verse 2).

    Note that it was the universal opinion of the Reformers, and of anyone else who honestly examines these scriptures, that the city that sits on seven hills is ROME, and the woman who sits there is the CATHOLIC CHURCH. Also note that the Bible calls this woman the MOTHER OF HARLOTS (verse 5), indicating that her offspring are HARLOTS.

    Many will pause here and begin to argue that their particular denomination was never a part of the Catholic Church, and so technically can not be termed her offspring. I know that the Baptists and the Seventh Day Adventists make this claim. But notice what Jesus said to the Pharisees, your denial of your parent does not necessarily mean that you are not her offspring. We know them by their fruit. Since almost 100% of organized Christianity has derived its structure and organization from the Catholic Church, we may safely say that a Harlot can be discerned by comparison with her mother. The Protestant churches today have organized themselves along a hierarchical structure that begins at the top with Pastors (popes, cardinals, etc.) and flows downwards towards the laity. The doctrine of the Nicolaitanes can be clearly seen in the structure of organized Protestantism today.

    NICO = conqueror of, or tyranny over

    LAITANE = the laity

    You might also note that Jesus declares that he HATES Nicolaitanism. Nicolaitanism is treated by Christ in the same manner as Phariseeism.

    So let us get our bearings.

    The Bible uses the term Harlot almost universally to mean spiritual harlotry. Note that in the early proverbs (1-8), there is a constant contrasting of two different types of woman. Seeking one woman (wisdom and understanding) is encouraged, while seeking the other woman (a harlot) is discouraged. Specifically in Proverbs chapter 7, a parable is unfolded to describe EXACTLY who is a harlot.

    In Mark 13:34 Jesus declares that HE is a man taking a far journey. He tells us that He left His house, and that He will return on a day appointed.

    In Proverbs chapter 7, a young man, devoid of understanding is going his way to visit a harlot. Note that this is happening “in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night”. The Hebrew that is translated “in the evening”, along with the other words means: IN THE EVENING OF DAYS. This is a prophecy of the end times.

    Also note that a woman comes to meet him. She has been lying in wait. She has prepared a speech that will attract him to her. And PLEASE notice that there is a Harlot ON EVERY STREET CORNER! (verse 12)

    She tells the ignorant young man to come into her. She says, “let us take our fill of loves until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. For the Goodman is not at home, he is gone on a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed. ”

    Oh please, dear reader, listen to me. It is Jesus that has gone on a long journey! It is Jesus that will return on the day appointed! Please take care to understand that in the evening of days, right before He returns, there will be a Harlot on every street corner enticing those who have no understanding to come in. She only desires that the ignorant man will stay until morning. She is a Harlot.

    Paul clearly says that we are NOT to join ourselves to a Harlot. We become a partaker in the deeds of anything we join ourselves to. Church membership is not mentioned ONE TIME in all of scripture. We are not authorized to “join” a church, a denomination, or a cult. We are not to lend ourselves to be “members” of a Harlot!

    Let’s examine what the Bible says about “membership”.

    First, we see that we (all those who are truly born-again, redeemed) are to be “members” of Christ. In Romans, Paul says that we are servants to whomever we yield our “members”. Paul consistently compares us to the BODY, by calling us the Body of Christ. As a Body, we are not to yield our members to sin and unrighteousness, just as the Body of Christ should not yield its “members” to harlotry. We are either “members” of the Body of Christ, or we are “members” of another entity (the Church) which is foreign to Christ and separated from Him. We are told that “we, being many, are one body, and all members one of another. (Chapter 12, verse 5)”

    I specifically adjure you to read what Paul says to us in 1 Corinthians the 12th chapter. He says that we (those who are truly in Christ), like a Body, are one. We are not all the same body parts, but we are all one body. God Himself has set every one of us in the Body as it has pleased Him (verse 18), while specifically ordering us not to join our “members” to anything other than Him. Now, there are many members (verse 20), but ONE true Body. And we should ALWAYS realize that there should never be a SCHISM (separation, split, delineation or gap) in the Body (verse 25).

    Just so we don’t miss it, Paul lays it down clearly in verse 27, “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”

    So don’t tell me that when this same writer (PAUL) says in this same book (1st Corinthians) that we are not to join our MEMBERS to a Harlot, that he is not specifically banning membership in anything but the Body of Christ. Note that he says in 1 Cor 6:15-17 that you are EITHER a member of Christ, or you are the member of a Harlot.

    So we are left with the feeble argument that official Church membership denotes membership in the Body of Christ. That is an argument that is almost too stupid to answer, but we will address it.

    Just as membership in a particular sect at the time of Christ did not signify relationship with God, but on the contrary it emphasized the separation FROM God – we can say that membership in the Pharisaical denominations and churches of today is not a sign of Body membership, but rather denotes the opposite. I say this not to condemn those true believers who have yet to come out of institutional religion, but to exhort them to do so immediately. Christ did not choose to save sect members IN their particular sects; rather he called them OUT from them. Paul is not notable to us because he remained a Pharisee, rather we read and heed him because he was brave enough to come OUT from that most heinous of sects.

    Since “church” membership is not only NOT authorized in scripture, but it is specifically banned – we can see that the membership “letter” does not tend towards the spiritual freedom preached by Christ and the apostles, but tends towards bondage to sectarian interests and Nicolaitanism in all its forms. Paul asks us then to separate ourselves from that unrighteousness, “putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members ONE of ANOTHER.(Ephesians 4:25)” We cannot continue to abide sectarian religion masquerading as Christianity, because in doing so we hate our own flesh, and we deny that “we are members of His body, of his flesh, and of his bones. (Ephesians 5:30).”

    Ignorant men will demand church membership, particularly so that church discipline can be administered. But in declaring that discipline can only be administered to members who have joined themselves to a Harlot – the ignorant leader has declared that he is the master of a Harlot, a pimp in spiritual terms.

    If a formal letter of “membership” is required in order for the Body to correct itself, where is the spiritual parallel in our own bodies? The apostles used the Body as a shadow of the Body of Christ specifically so that we would draw conclusions in relation to our own bodies. Does my foot need a letter in order to be joined to my leg? Does my head require a signed letter from my hand in order to be fed?

    Any group who requires Church membership in order that they might “legally” engage in Church discipline is clearly too ignorant and immature to be disciplining anyone. The membership letter in this way has become a tool of bondage and abuse and NOT a tool of fellowship in the election mystery.

    When we become “members” of the True Body of Jesus Christ, we break all allegiances with the traditions and organizations of men. Our membership is a spiritual mystery in which the unredeemed and unregenerate cannot partake. Note that even the most strident supporters of “Church membership” will admit that they have “members” who are not truly Christians. In this admission, they must also admit that they are co-members with unrighteousness, and partakers of all that is unholy. They have joined themselves in league with the children of darkness, and as Christ prophesied, they will be held responsible for all the works of darkness.

    Repentance is a work of God, and it is a gift provided by a Sovereign God to His elect. I pray that those who have participated in this evil will understand that it is the goodness of God that leads us to real repentance. Thank Him for His goodness, and seek His face for future guidance.

    For those who harden their hearts against the Truth and who seek to rationalize unholy behavior, I leave you with the direct exhortation of Jesus Christ regarding Nicolaitanism: “Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.”

    “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

    I am your servant in Christ Jesus,

    Michael Bunker

    Subscribe to Michael Bunker's e-mail newslist. Just send an e-mail to: [email protected].

    DISAGREE? Discuss or Debate this: BunkForum

    Read more like this: Bunker Mentality Archives
     
  14. rsr

    rsr
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    Farley, this is not a criticism but an observation. The post is WAY too long; the chance of anyone making it all the way through on a message board is slim. Instead, post the salient point(s) and then list the Web site for folks who want to read more.

    Just a suggestion if you want it to be read.

    Nine screens is just too much for my tired old eyes; it looks better and is easier to read in formatted html.

    [​IMG]

    [ November 11, 2002, 07:34 PM: Message edited by: rsr ]
     
  15. ahebert

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    The issue of whether or not to be a registered church is really an issue of whther or not we are in accordance with Romans 13:1.

    It is necessary that those higher powers be within the bounds of government given in scripture. If by chance the government asks a church to do something aginst scriptural law, that is the time to no longer be registered. But our government requires no such religious accountability. Praise God for our United States - especially Texas! [​IMG]
     
  16. Baptist Believer

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    Sorry it took longer to get back to you than I expected... I was not able to find a Supreme Court case that directly spoke to the issue you raised and I suspected that it was because it was already a matter of settled law since it is a necessary element of separation of church and state.

    I did a little research and looked up the law:

    Your answer is in the United States Code, Title 42 - The Public Health and Welfare, Chapter 21 - Civil Rights, Subchapter VI - Equal Employment Opportunities, Section 2000e-1:

    (a) Inapplicability of subchapter to certain aliens and employees of religious entities

    This subchapter shall not apply to an employer with respect to
    the employment of aliens outside any State, or to a religious
    corporation, association, educational institution, or society with
    respect to the employment of individuals of a particular religion
    to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporation,
    association, educational institution, or society of its activities.


    If you want to read the section for yourself, follow this link:

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casecode/uscodes/42/chapters/21/subchapters/vi/sections/section_2000e-1.html

    Please notice that it specifically mentions a "religious corporation".

    You don't lose your First Amendment protections if you incorporate.
     
  17. Bartimaeus

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    Well... How about the 5th Amendment?
    Taken from the Official IRS Invesigative Guidelines for Special Agents on page 5041.32 in the section entitled:
    Corporation Books and Records (242.31) states, "(1) The privilege against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment does not apply to corporations. The theory for this is that the State, having created the corporation, has reserved the power to inquire into its activities, and that an inanimate corporation body should not be afforded the same protection as a natural person in avoiding incrimination."

    Our Pastor brethren seem to say control is not control if it is only a little bit. You can do this but you can't do that.
    The IRS says that if I have a person from the Republican party then I..... M U S T ..... have a person from the Democratic party. Now mind you this isn't really control, because it's only a little bit in one little itty bitty area. Right!
    It only takes a little cyanide to spoil the party.

    Thank You ----Bart

    P.S. It is a hard position to stand and defend the codes, rules, regulations, statutes and ordinances of a System of "Law" like ours.
     
  18. narrow is the way

    narrow is the way
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    Hmmmm, no one touching this one. I may not be as informed as the rest of you, but at least I know who the head of the church should be.
     
  19. Baptist Believer

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    I haven't responded yet because I'm extremely busy at work and at home and I'm still trying to verify this alleged quote from the IRS manual.

    I need to know the context of the quote in order to respond to it. All I have been able to find is a bunch of people on the Internet quoting this exact line without any other supporting evidence.

    Obviously what is in an IRS manual is *not* necessarily the law, just operating policy, and our constitutional protections supersede any provisions of corporate law that would apply to non-religious institutions.

    Furthermore, the issue with using a church to promote a specific political party involves *tax* issues, not issues involving a corporation, so it does not apply to the subject at hand.

    Just because no one has responded yet does not mean that it is accurate. :rolleyes:
     
  20. narrow is the way

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    Actually, the only reason a church is incorporated is purely for tax purposes. What about the Indianapolis Baptist Temple case? Where were their constitutional rights? Where was the seperation of church and state? The IRS took their property and everything on it.
     

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