Metallic Pea

Frustrating People Since 1971.

Your Delta Tau Chi Name is Pinto

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I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me!’  ~ II Corinthians 11:1

What is the Church?  Perhaps the more important question is: Who is authorised to define what (or who) the Church is?

For Christians, it seems easy enough to define and, for Presbyterians, easier still: The Universal Church, ekklesia, ‘consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.’  The current, visible church (or Church Militant) is defined as that which ‘consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion; and of their children.’

Or is it?

I would assume–I would hope–that a unanimity of believers would agree with me in asserting that it is God, through His revelation in Scripture, who is authorised to establish the parameters for what is and what is not included in the definition of His Church.  However, the Internal Revenue Service sees things differently.  According to a publication by that behemoth monument to bureaucratic excess, ‘Tax Exempt and Government Entities Exempt Organization’, the church (or ‘a’ church as they understand it) is defined thus:

The term [‘church’] is not used by all faiths; however, in an attempt to make this publication easy to read, we use it in its generic sense as a place of worship including, for example, mosques and synagogues.  With the exception of the special rules for church audits, the use of the term church throughout this publication also includes conventions and associations of churches as well as integrated auxiliaries of a church.

It continues:   

Certain characteristics are generally attributed to churches.  These attributes of a church have been developed by the IRS and by court decisions.  They include: distinct legal existence; recognised creed and form of worship; definite and distinct ecclesiastical government; formal code of doctrine and discipline; distinct religious history; membership not associated with any other church or denomination; organisation of ordained ministers; ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of study; literature of its own; established places of worship; regular congregations; regular religious services; Sunday schools for the religious instruction of the young; schools for the preparation of its ministers.  The IRS generally uses a combination of these characteristics, together with other facts and circumstances, to determine whether an organisation is considered a church for federal tax purposes.  The IRS makes no attempt to evaluate the content of whatever doctrine a particular organisation claims is religious, provided the particular beliefs of the organisation are truly and sincerely held by those professing them and the practises and rites associated with the organisation’s belief or creed are not illegal or contrary to clearly defined public policy. [Emphasis mine.]

It seems to me that God has quite clearly described for us what constitutes His Church and how it may be recognised and that the IRS’ definition is gilding the lily at best and spiritually subversive at worst.  Such is the lion’s share of the argument I make against church incorporation.  (Disclaimer: I DO NOThold that church incorporation is necessarily a sin; rather, I merely argue that it is, in my opinion, imprudent and fraught with more dangers than it is worth, as it pertains to tax savings and other earthly benefits derived therefrom.  Again, I am not accusing WPC, or any other church, of a sin; I am merely stating my opinion.)

The bolded areas in the quote above are disconcerting to me.  Illegality and contrariness to ‘public policy’ are minefields which are in our best interests to avoid altogether.  The fetters are not yet here but what happens when, as is the case in Canada, for example, it becomes a crime to hold, as Scripture clearly teaches, that homosexuality is a sin?  What is our recourse when we receive a government letter informing us that the IRS no longer feels that our beliefs are ‘truly and sincerely held’?

The issue need not only be discussed in the abstract; it is happening already.  Because we have allowed the State a hand in ‘authorising’ marriage (as if it actually had the power to do so) via marriage licenses, we now find ourselves in a battle with infidel interest groups (read ‘the homosexual lobby’) regarding whether or not to sanction unions between people of the same sex–something God has labeled as an abomination.  What God ordained from the beginning, we are suddenly unable–or unwilling–to define and require the State to do so for us (again, as if it were authorised to do so).  What is the church’s recourse if–or when–marriage is redefined to include homosexual relationships?  Will it even stop there?  If ‘love’ (in the modern, perverted sense of the word) is all that is required, how then can the State prohibit two men and a woman from ‘marrying’?  What about incest?  Can the State discriminate against a father and daughter who desire a ‘loving union’?  If the State can define–or, more accurately, redefine–what God has already established and the Church is bound to uphold, where does it stop?  More importantly, if we tacitly give our approval to the State to define who we are and what we can do, will we have a leg to stand on?

Here is something to consider in this regard: What if the government required us to get a license to be baptised?

————————-

We cannot allow churches to be silenced any more than we can allow political dissent in general to be silenced. ~ Ron Paul

Church loses tax-exempt status for refusal to allow homosexuals access to their facilities.

IRS versus a Local Church.

On a lighter note, I recently discovered Biblical proof that there will be no women in Heaven.

Hey, when it all goes to Heck in a hand basket, you’ll need your Ministry of Homeland Security Emergency Radio!!

‘A person who says that Man must get back to Nature is not unlike a drunken man who pushes himself back from his own supper table and insists that he must get home immediately.’  ~ G. K. Chesterton

The greatest trick Satan has pulled is to make man think that he is harmless.

‘Israeli archaeologists have discovered the quarry that supplied the massive stones used in the construction of the Second Temple compound, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced yesterday.’

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Written by ninepoundhammer

September 26, 2007 at 12:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Very funny Matt–Heaven was silent for a half hour so there must not be any women there. Funny stuff.

    hannah

    September 26, 2007 at 4:47 pm


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