In Moslem lands under Sharia law, they are called the “Moral Police,” but in San Diego we now have the “Prayer Police”. According to the May 22nd World Net Daily, a man and his wife found out what its like to be harassed by government goons when they came to their home on “Good Friday” and demanded the following answers: "Do you have a regular weekly meeting in your home? Do you sing? Do you say 'amen'?" "Do you say, 'Praise the Lord'?" The lady of the house boldly said “Yes” to all of the above.
A San Diego pastor and his wife claim they were interrogated by a county official and warned that they will face escalating fines of $100 to $1000 if they continue to hold Bible studies in their home without a Major Use Permit (MUP), which would cost untold thousands of dollars to comply. Thankfully, they are going to fight this outrageous encroachment on their God-given rights, and we also applaud them for continuing to have their services.
Someone has said long ago that history repeats itself. If this assault on the Christian faith is not stopped in our land, we are going to see a return to the conventicle once again as our Christian dissenter fathers and mothers experienced them in England and Scotland in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Conventicle Act of 1664 by the Parliament forbade religious assemblies of more than five people not authorized by the Church of England. Later a conventicle became known as a secret or illegal religious meeting. This is the same type of meeting that the “Confessing Church” held in Germany and the unregistered churches conducted in Russia during the communist years. The “house churches” in China experience this very thing at this time.
All of this is an outgrowth of the U.N. goal to eliminate all local churches. The Christian ALERT Network of Kileen, Texas has a documented study on this issue. It is also a part of the program initiated by the Secret Clinton White House meeting in October 1998 to eliminate all uncooperative churches. Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch has documented this as well as Texe Marrs in his Power of Prophecy Newsletter (August 2000).
In the case of U.S. vs Indianapolis Baptist Temple (Gregory A. Dixon, Pastor/Trustee), most people think that it was a simple tax case, but it was not. It is true that the church, after it no longer operated as an incorporated tax exempt 501 (c) (3) organization, stopped participating in the withholding and FICA tax scheme, because the Lord’s church is not a tax collector nor tax payer to Caesar, Biblically or Constitutionally. However, the U.S. Attorney, Robert Metzler who argued the government’s case in oral arguments before the U.S. 7th Circuit in Chicago on May 11, 2000, proved that the Justice Department realized that there was something far more important about this case than just taxes. Following are his own words from the court record.
“I’d also like to turn to…our second point which is the position of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple advances they say that the tax laws do not apply to a New Testament Church and this appears to be part of their LARGER ARGUMENT that they’re simply not subject to any government regulation, for example, in the declarations submitted below there is a resolution of Indianapolis Baptist Temple that states that Indianapolis Baptist Temple will no way accept certification, registration, accreditation, licensure, or approval of its property or its ministries including but not limited to fire, health and safety standards by any governmental agency, local, state or federal…We hold that this is a simply untenable position.” (Emphasis mine)
This is what the Indianapolis Baptist Temple was fighting for, total liberty. It was not a tax issue -- it was a Lordship issue over everything we had, our doctrine, our possessions, our educational ministry, everything. The government knew it. If we had won, we would have had a free church in America for the first time since before the Civil War.
But even though it seems that we lost, we are still alive to fight another day, because the IRS in their arrogance never assessed the taxes against the church. The lawsuit was never against the church. The judge never ruled against the church, but rather a defunct corporation with a defunct ID number, and they admitted it as did the 7th Circuit.
The Baptist Temple still exists and is stronger than ever. The government only took the property and sold it, but the buildings are not the church. The church is still alive and well and meeting in beautiful new facilities. They just started their eighth satellite church in Indianapolis on Easter Sunday. The congregation will celebrate their 59th anniversary on June 28. So let’s not give up, let’s keep fighting, let’s not allow them to drive us into the conventicles yet, not in America.