The Blog of Rob Board – Author, speaker, pastor

Archive for June, 2015

How Satan is Muzzling the Church With FEAR

2 Timothy 1:7 – “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.”

Churches lost their freedom of religion when they came under the iron boot of tax exemption. Because Pastor’s are afraid of losing their tax exempt status they CANNOT PREACH the whole truth of Scripture and therefore they have lost their freedom to be the salt and light the Church is supposed to be. This homosexual marriage ruling is another fear tactic Satan is using to muzzle the Church in our culture.

Just another proof that God’s hand of blessing and protection has been lifted from America. First we legalized premeditated murder called abortion that brings judgment, then we have kicked God out of the school system and brought in the teaching of paganism which brings judgment, now we have legalized and protected homosexuality which also brings judgment. Can anyone else see this path we are taking toward judgment?

Below this line is a document I saw about how the Church has been deceived by the 501c3 tax exemtion status:

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.”

Although Johnson proffered this as a “favor” to churches, the favor also came with strings attached (more like shackles). One need not look far to see the devastating effects 501c3 acceptance has had to the church, and the consequent restrictions placed upon any 501c3 church. 501c3 churches are prohibited from addressing, in any tangible way, the vital issues of the day.

For a 501c3 church to openly speak out, or organize in opposition to, anything that the government declares “legal,” even if it is immoral (e.g. abortion, homosexuality, etc.), that church will jeopardize its tax exempt status. The 501c3 has had a “chilling effect” upon the free speech rights of the church. LBJ was a shrewd and cunning politician who seemed to well-appreciate how easily many of the clergy would sell out.

Did the church ever need to seek permission from the government to be exempt from taxes? Were churches prior to 1954 taxable? No, churches have never been taxable. To be taxable a church would first need to be under the jurisdiction, and therefore under the taxing authority, of the government. The First Amendment clearly places the church outside the jurisdiction of the civil government: “Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Religion cannot be free if you have to pay the government, through taxation, to exercise it. Since churches aren’t taxable in the first place, why do so many of them go to the IRS and seek permission to be tax-exempt? It occurs out of:

  • Ignorance (“We didn’t know any better”)
  • Bandwagon logic (“Everyone else is doing it”)
  • Professional advice (many attorneys and CPAs recommend it)

Does the law require, or even encourage, a church to organize as a 501c3? To answer that question let’s turn to what the IRS itself has to say.

Churches Need Not Apply

In order to be considered for tax-exempt status by the IRS an organization must fill out and submit IRS Form 1023 and 1024. However, note what the IRS says regarding churches and church ministries, in Publication 557:

Some organizations are not required to file Form 1023. These include:

Churches, interchurch organizations of local units of a church, conventions or associations of churches, or integrated auxiliaries of a church, such as a men’s or women’s organization, religious school, mission society, or youth group. These organizations are exempt automatically if they meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3).

Churches Are “Automatically Tax-Exempt”

According to IRS Code § 508(c)(1)(A):

Special rules with respect to section 501(c)(3) organizations.

(a) New organizations must notify secretary that they are applying for recognition of section 501(c)(3) status.

(c) Exceptions.

(1) Mandatory exceptions. Subsections (a) and (b) shall not apply to—

(A) churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches.

This is referred to as the “mandatory exception” rule. Thus, we see from the IRS’ own publications, and the tax code, that it is completely unnecessary for any church to apply for tax-exempt status. In the IRS’ own words a church “is automatically tax-exempt.”

Churches Are “Automatically Tax-Deductible”

And what about tax-deductibility? Doesn’t a church still need to become a 501c3 so that contributions to it can be taken as a tax deduction? The answer is no! According to IRS Publication 526:

Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible Contributions

You can deduct your contributions only if you make them to a qualified organization. To become a qualified organization, most organizations other than churches and governments, as described below, must apply to the IRS.

In the IRS’ own words a church “is automatically tax-deductible.”

Churches Have a Mandatory Exception To Filing Tax Returns

Not only is it completely unnecessary for any church to seek 501c3 status, to do so becomes a grant of jurisdiction to the IRS by any church that obtains that State favor. In the words of Steve Nestor, IRS Sr. Revenue Officer (ret.):

“I am not the only IRS employee who’s wondered why churches go to the government and seek permission to be exempted from a tax they didn’t owe to begin with, and to seek a tax deductible status that they’ve always had anyway. Many of us have marveled at how church leaders want to be regulated and controlled by an agency of government that most Americans have prayed would just get out of their lives. Churches are in an amazingly unique position, but they don’t seem to know or appreciate the implications of what it would mean to be free of government control.”

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I Will Give You REST

Do YOU have REST in your life?

Matthew 11:28 —  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you REST.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”          

Hebrews 3:19 —  And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.  Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of ENTERING HIS REST, any one of you should come short of it.  For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was united by faith in those who heard.  For WE WHO HAVE BELIEVED ENTER THAT REST, …”

Hebrews 4:11 —  “Let us therefore BE DILIGENT TO ENTER THAT REST, …”

 

What the people of this world are seeking more than any other thing is the very thing that God wants to give us more than anything else —  REST.

This world is filled with fears, anxieties, depression, sickness, disease, poverty and lack.  People spend the vast majority of their lives seeking solutions to these issues of life.

Here is a picture of a life of REST:  Psalm 23 – The Lord Jesus is Our Shepherd.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul;

He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

 

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil;

For Thou art with me;

 

Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.

Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

Thou hast anointed my head with oil;

My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

This passage of Scripture gives us a picture of our relationship to the Lord and our walk with Him.  He does all of the work.  We simply REST in what He is doing.

He takes responsibility for our provision, our protection, and placing us in a position of rest.

Remember Matthew 11:28?   “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

He is saying if you are weary of the daily battles in this life and you are weighted down with responsibilities and problems, come to Him and He will give you as a gift – REST.  You don’t have to earn it, beg for it, or do something to receive it.  He simply gives this rest to you as a gift of His abundance of grace.

Look what Jesus said concerning being anxious in this life.

Matthew 6:25-33.  “For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on.  Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing?

Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not worth much more than they?

And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span?

And why are you so anxious about clothing?  Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.

But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do so for you.  O men of little faith?

Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’

For all of these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need these things.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.”

 

 Philippians 4:6-7.  “BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

If we are not living a life in a position of REST, the question we have to ask ourselves is, “Why not?”

The scripture tells us in Hebrews 3:19 above that the reason for not being in rest is because we do not believe.  Scripture says “For WE WHO HAVE BELIEVED ENTER THAT REST, …”  If we have not entered the rest it must be because we have not believed what has been made available to us through Jesus.