Following is an email exchange between Sam Adams, Pastor of Independence Baptist Church, Belleview, Florida, John McGough, and Jason Wiesepape, Research Assistant to the President of Dallas Theological Seminary in which they conduct a friendly discussion of the IRS tax-exempt scheme for churches. This is most valuable for an understanding of one of the leading evangelical seminaries in America today on the subject of church and state especially as it interprets the Internal Revenue laws in the light of Romans Chapter 13.
John McGough is a fifty-one year old machinist in Houston who received Mr. Wiesepape's answer after posting a question on the Seminary's website under Theological Questions concerning the matter of churches being tax-exempt as 501 (c)(3) organizations. Mr. McGough then contacted Pastor Adams for help in answering Mr. Wiesepape. For the sake of space we only include five of the exchanges.
From: John McGough
To: Jason R. Wiesepape
Research Assistant to the President
Dallas Theological Seminary
Type: Bible/Theology question
I have done a study into this subject. The I.R.S. "Publication 557" under Religious Organizations it states 2 guidelines (1) That the particular religious beliefs of the organization are truly and sincerely held. (2) That the practices and rituals associated with the organization's religious belief or creed are not illegal or contrary to clearly defined public policy. I have difficulty in understanding how a person who believes that "Jesus Christ is the way the truth and the life and no one comes unto the Father but by him" could agree with this. Why should I or anyone be willing to agree with something like this that clearly states we will not say anything that goes against “Public Policy.” “Public Policy” down through the centuries has not agreed with the true faith in Christ. Why do the churches and pastors and maybe Dallas Theological Seminary agree with this? If a church or school is tax-exempt, then they have agreed with this. I look for a Biblical reason .
No man can serve two masters. Be not equally yoked to this world.
FROM: Pastor Sam Adams
Independence Baptist Church
Date: Fri, December 18, 2009 3:01 pm
To: Mr. Jason R. Wiesepape
Research Assistant to the President
Dallas Theological Seminary
Dear Mr. Wiesepape:
Thank you very much for inviting me to interject my thoughts into your dialogue. I must say at the outset that I am somewhat taken aback at your somewhat smug dismissal of the critical issue Mr. McGough has raised with you as a "red herring" or non-issue. This is an extremely serious issue for the churches in our day; it is the very same issue confronted by the early church, and is the very issue for which the early Christians were hated by Rome, gathered up and shipped to the Coliseum, and thrown to the lions. The issue is, to whom does the church submit, or who has authority or jurisdiction over the church: the Lord Jesus Christ, or civil government. I assure you that the question is far more serious to the Lord Jesus than it appears to be to you; as it really boils down to, who is Lord: Caesar, or Jesus? As we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ I suggest that you take this matter very seriously, and in Christ's name I implore you to do so. In so doing I have presumed that you are a true Christian who desires to bring honor to the Lord Jesus. I know it is a bit lengthy, but as Research Assistant to the President of Dallas Theological Seminary I am sure you are an avid reader and will also have a vested interest in understanding this issue.
To your question, "There are hundreds of millions of people in the world who do not know the name of Jesus Christ; don't we have something better to spending our time on (like sharing the Gospel with the lost)," I would reply that I probably spend at least as much time as you do (if not more) outside the walls of our church trying to win the lost to Christ, but if we are attempting to win the lost to a Jesus that doesn't mind sharing His church with the state, then we are leading them to a different Jesus (2 Cor. 11:4) than the one described in scripture, the Jesus who is to be the "head over all things to the church" (Eph. 1:22), and who is the "head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence" (Col. 1:18). The Jesus of the Bible who shed His blood for His church both demands and deserves the place of preeminence in His church Mr. Wiesepape; He not only commissions us to make disciples but also demands that we "hold fast" His name (Rev. 2:13).
Pastor Sam Adams of Independence Baptist Church, Belleview, Florida
In actuality, your position as it applies to the church (or local churches) is quite idolatrous, as I will attempt to explain. Just as no man can serve two masters, neither can the church. The Lord Jesus bought and paid for the church in His own blood, and made it quite clear that we are not to give to Caesar that which clearly and exclusively belongs to God (Matt. 22:21). Rome allowed religions of all kinds, but the reason Christianity was outlawed was because Christians were the only sect that refused to allow Caesar jurisdiction over the church or to say "Caesar is Lord." They refused to seek "licit" from Caesar or allow Caesar to license their churches as Luke recorded: "these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus" (Acts 17:7), for which they were cruelly martyred. Today's churches in the U.S. have betrayed both Christ and the blood of the martyrs in doing exactly what the martyrs refused to do. The issue is really two-fold: (1) is the Lord Jesus the sole head of His church, and (2) is the Bible the sole authority in Christ's church for faith and practice. When a church becomes a tax-exempt corporation it literally surrenders in both of these areas. Mr. McGough wrote:
I have done a study into this subject. The I.R.S. "Publication 557" under Religious Organizations it states 2 guidelines:
(1) That the particular religious beliefs of the organization are truly and sincerely held.
(2) That the practices and rituals associated with the organization's religious belief or creed are not illegal or contrary to clearly defined public policy.
I have difficulty in understanding how a person who believes that "Jesus Christ is the way the truth and the life and no one comes unto the Father but by him" could agree with this. Why should I or anyone be willing to agree with something like this that clearly states we will not say anything that goes against "public policy." "Public policy" has not down through the centuries agreed with the true faith in Christ. Why do the churches and pastors and maybe Dallas Theological Seminary agree with this.
Your first reply stated:
Thank you for contacting Dallas Theological Seminary. We and other institutions like ours can adhere to these guidelines since there is currently no public policy in place which makes it illegal to profess John 14:6. If this ever became a public policy, then we would let go of our tax-exempt status. There has never been a public policy in the history of the United States that has not allowed a "Religious Organization" to confess "true faith in Christ." Thus the issue you raise is beside the point because it is an issue that does not exist, and if it did then we would let go of our tax-exempt status.
Your second reply restated your position:
In expanding on what I said earlier, to disagree with the 501-3-C tax-exempt status because it prevents "Religious Organizations" from professing "true faith is Christ" is just a red herring because there exists no public policy that prevents a "Religious Organization" from professing "true faith in Christ."
Perhaps you and DTS have a different idea of what constitutes true faith in Christ than I do Mr. Wiesepape, but Biblically speaking faith cannot be separated from practice. To deny Christ's name, which means His authority, (Rev. 2:13, 3:8) IS to deny the faith. Furthermore, perhaps you put "Religious Organization" in quotes in hopes of hiding behind such a label, but let me state clearly that the main issue is not with "religious organizations" such as colleges and para-church organizations, the issue at hand is with churches and all ministries conducted under their authority, and what stance DTS advocates for churches to take regarding this issue. Mr. McGough has good reason to ask how DTS could in good conscience dare to agree to the conditions required for tax exempt status. As you should have noticed from IRS publication 557, your 501c3 status places DTS in a position where you have voluntarily agreed to place both Christian faith and practice in submission to "public policy" as established by statute and case law. The government does not care what we believe; it just wants to limit our influence in society by publicly silencing our beliefs or containing them within the walls of the church. Whether or not "public policy" agrees with Biblical church policy is not the issue; the issue is, if the Bible is the sole authority for faith and practice, and if the Lord Jesus is to be the sole head of the church, then "public policy" is to have no place of authority over church affairs. That is true even if "public policy" completely agrees with Biblical church policy, but as you must surely be aware that has not been true in this nation for a very long time.
"Public policy" in this nation since the 1960's has included forced socialism via a "welfare" program that nullifies God's command to work for a living and promotes slothfulness, fornication and covetousness by stealing from workers to support sluggards that refuse to work and by rewarding unwed mothers for bearing children out of wedlock. "Public policy" includes the federal control of education, by imposition of federal guidelines for humanistic, anti-Christian and pro-homosexual curriculum, with the mandated teaching of godless atheistic evolution and homosexuality as an alternate lifestyle in the public schools. "Public policy" has for some time included blatant promotion and funding of the homosexual agenda via "diversity training" in the Military and all other government agencies, funding of "Planned Parenthood" programs, foreign aid to communist and anti-Christian countries, and U.S. funding of most of the UN budget to undermine America's national sovereignty, promote a global "New World Order" antichrist government, and carry out international abortion programs, etc., etc., ad infinitum. And because the churches have allowed themselves to be controlled, and most preachers cower in fear of speaking out on political issues, public policy now includes Obama's declaration that America is no longer a Christian nation; it now includes gay marriage, government funded abortion, euthanasia for the elderly, outlawing of public prayer in Jesus' name, hate crime legislation to jail preachers that speak out against homosexuality or Islam, etc., etc. In case you haven't noticed, John 14:6 is quickly becoming illegal! Mr. Wiesepape: "public policy" includes controlling the churches and silencing them from attempting to influence that same "public policy." Perhaps you are not aware that in the case of the IRS vs. the Indianapolis Baptist Temple, the US attorney for the IRS stated in oral argument on May 11, 2000 before the 7th Circuit, in open court and on the record: "an uncontrolled church is untenable in today's society." "Public policy" is government control of the church, Mr. Wiesepape. And most of the churches, in order to raise revenue and attract tax-deductible gifts, have agreed to that "public policy" by seeking tax exempt status pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. In so doing however they have literally denied Christ's name and ceased to function as true New Testament churches. Please continue reading. A true New Testament church cannot be a "religious organization" within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Have you ever read that section of the IRC? It defines the types of organizations acceptable for tax exemption, and states as follows (emphasis added):
Sec. 501. Exemption from Tax on Corporations, Certain Trusts, etc...
(c). List of Exempt Organizations...
(3). Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.
To begin with, that section says an exempt organization cannot carry on "propaganda," a term which is suspiciously not defined in the IRC, but is defined in case law as advocating social views contrary to prevailing federal "public policy." If you think that is a stretch you need to read the Bob Jones University case, 103 S. Ct. 2017, 461 U.S. 574 (1983). Bob Jones III summarized the holding in that case as follows:
"From 1971 until 1983 Bob Jones University was in controversy with the IRS over its tax-exempt status. The issue culminated in a 1983 ruling against this institution by the U.S. Supreme Court declaring that since we held views that were contrary to prevailing federal public policy we would forfeit our exemption ... the court ruled in our case that tax exemption was a subsidy...and that religious organizations had to yield their religious beliefs in favor of 'overriding government interests."
Please note that BJU did not lose their exempt status because of political activity, but because their policies conflicted with government policies. Does DTS policy conflict with any federal public policy, Mr. Wiesepape? Please note also that the Supreme Court ruled in the Bob Jones University case that tax exemption for non-profit organizations is a government subsidy. What the government subsidizes, it also controls. Tax Exemption is a trap, which has been intentionally baited and sprung by the government to lure and draw the churches outside of Constitutional protection, and thereby to control the churches and pulpits of America and prevent them from speaking out against established government policy. The true Church, protected under the 1st Amendment, is actually non-taxable; it is immune from taxation and needs no exemption, which is only a privileged exception extended to taxable entities at the government's expense. Submission to IRC 501(c)(3) for purposes of tax exemption is public admission that the civil government is in authority over the Lord Jesus and has authority to tax His tithe.
Furthermore, please note that in order to qualify as an exempt organization the IRC sec. 501(c)(3) requires that churches abandon biblical church government structure and adopt a worldly model with corporate officers instead, by organizing as artificial entities such as corporations that can sue and be sued, and which are created by, and therefore controlled by the state. Black's Law Dictionary (6th. Ed.) defines a corporation as "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." Does that sound like a church to you Mr. Wiesepape? By law, corporations are created by the state and are therefore by law under the state's jurisdiction and control. To affirm this point, in the landmark case of Hale v. Hinkle, 201 U.S. 43 (1906), the U.S. Supreme Court made the following very revealing declaration:
"A corporation is a creature of the state. It is presumed to be incorporated for the benefit of the public. It receives certain special privileges and franchises and holds them subject to the laws of the state and the limitations of its charter. Its powers are limited by law. It can make no contract not authorized by its charter. Its right to act as a corporation are only preserved to it so long as it obeys the laws of its creation. There is a reserved right in the legislature to investigate its contracts and ascertain if it has exceeded its power."
It should be obvious to every thinking Christian that every statement in the above legal definition of a corporation is diametrically opposed to the Biblical definition of the Church and to the lordship of Christ over His church. Consider these statements one by one:
"A corporation is a creature of the state..." By copyright law a creator always has control of his creation; therefore whatever the state creates, the state controls. A New Testament church cannot be a creature of the state; Jesus founded the church and said He would build His church. "...It is presumed to be incorporated for the benefit of the public..." The Church exists for the benefit of its members (1 Cor. 12) and its head, the Lord Jesus Christ, NOT the public. Jesus promised us that the world (the public) would HATE the Church (John 15:18-19). Corporate churches must by law exist for the benefit of the public, which is exactly why the IRS says they cannot publicly preach any "propaganda" contrary to prevailing federal public policy. "...It receives certain special privileges and franchises..." (the Church exists and functions as a matter of right, not of privilege; by order of the Lord Jesus' commission in Matthew 28:18-20, not by permission from the government) "and holds them subject to the laws of the state and the limitations of its charter [(not the Bible)]. Its powers are limited by law [(not the Bible)]. It can make no contract not authorized by its charter [(not the Bible)]. Its right to act as a corporation are only preserved to it so long as it obeys the laws of its creation." By law the first and final authority for the corporation is the corporation's charter (corporate constitution and by-laws) and corporate statute law, not the Bible.
"There is a reserved right in the legislature to investigate its contracts and ascertain if it has exceeded its power." Regarding this right, the court also said: "the right of visitation [by government] is for the PURPOSE OF CONTROL and to see that the corporation keeps within the limits of it powers." A corporate church has no privacy in its membership, financial or other business records, which may be ordered at any time to be open to public scrutiny and control. Incorporated churches are therefore informants for the government regarding the finances and contributions of its members. Corporate churches are required to conduct regular business meetings and maintain minutes from those meetings, also open to public scrutiny. Under corporate law, Biblical church government is turned on its head as the trustees run the corporation on behalf of the state, and are placed over the pastor or elders in authority. The church is converted to a business, the pastor is reduced to a CEO of the business and is now a mere hireling (John 10:12).
Consider the glaring contrast between the above quote from the Hale v. Hinkle ruling and the 1st Amendment to the Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." That means Congress can neither protect nor restrict the Church's activities. While no church member is free to commit a common law crime, Congress has no jurisdiction to make any law which applies to the Church itself. Conversely, as stated in Hale v. Hinkle, corporations cannot exist or function apart from statute law! When a church voluntarily incorporates, it is then seen in the eyes of the law (by the courts) as a corporation, not a church. As such, incorporated churches are not protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution, but are entities over which the courts and the legislature may take jurisdiction and command to perform according to their orders. That is how the courts can hand down decisions against incorporated churches that seem to violate the First Amendment, when actually the First Amendment does not even apply! Incorporated "churches" have no 1st Amendment rights; they have willingly given up First Amendment protection in exchange for corporate privileges and government subsidies, just as Jacob's older brother Esau traded his birthright for a mess of pottage. Beyond this, however, and by far the most critical issue, is that incorporated tax-exempt churches have taken the lordship over the church away from the Lord Jesus and surrendered it to the state.
There is much more to this issue and much more I could say but in summary, submission to IRS section 501(c)3 requires the churches to acknowledge another head in place of the Lord Jesus, and another authority for faith and practice than the Bible. It requires the churches to reorganize as fictitious legal entities created and controlled by the state, to subjugate their policies and doctrines to public policy and to follow state rules and regulations in order to qualify for tax exemption, which is a government subsidy it never needed in the first place. The true Church of the Lord Jesus Christ cannot acknowledge or recognize ANY authority over the Church beside the Lord Jesus. He alone is "head over all things to the church" (Eph. 1:22); Jesus alone is the "head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence" (Col. 1:18)! Subjugating the Lord's church to the state merely to receive tax exemption, when it is already tax immune, is no less than outright idolatry. For all practical purposes it constitutes the same sin as taking the "mark of the beast" of Rev. 13 upon the churches, in relegating the Lordship of Christ to the authority of the state.
Mr. Wiesepape, I am sure you understand that when the Lord Jesus instructed us in John 14 to pray in His name He meant under His authority. When the Sanhedrin asked Peter in Acts 4:7, "By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?" they were asking in whose authority the apostles were acting. When Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them," He meant we are to gather together under His authority. Incorporated, tax-exempt churches are not gathering under the authority of Christ, they have surrendered His authority and gather under the state's authority instead! Try to imagine the Apostle Paul bringing a Roman flag into a 1st century church meeting and reciting a pledge of allegiance to Rome. Revolting isn't it? The Lord Jesus said in Rev. 2:12-13 to the church in Pergamos, "These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth." He said to Philadelphia in 3:8, "I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name." Mr. Wiesepape: to submit to IRC section 501(c)(3) is to literally surrender Jesus' name (his authority) and to deny the faith. Today's so-called churches have done what the martyrs refused to do, they have burnt the incense and said under their collective breath, "Caesar is lord." Therefore your statement, "to disagree with the 501-3-C tax-exempt status because it prevents "Religious Organizations" from professing "true faith is Christ" is just a red herring because there exists no public policy that prevents a "Religious Organization" from professing "true faith in Christ," is one of embarrassing ignorance for one in your position, in that submission to IRC section 501(c) ITSELF prevents the church from professing true faith in Christ. If you have read the foregoing and still think this issue is an irrelevant red herring then you may have to answer for that at the judgment seat of Christ. If you express the policy of Dallas Theological Seminary thereby, then Dallas Theological Seminary is no more than a seedbed and training ground of apostasy and idolatry. Perhaps you should take this issue up with your president Mr. Wiesepape. Perhaps you should take it up with the Lord Jesus in prayer as well.
Pastor Sam Adams
Independence Baptist Church
p.s. - If you will send me your mailing address I will see to it that you get a copy of the essential authoritative textbook on this subject written by Dr. Greg Dixon, Pastor Emeritus of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple, entitled The Trail of Blood Revisited. Please see the attached trailer with synopsis of this great book. And please, for the Lord Jesus' sake, take this matter very seriously.
From: Jason Wiesepape
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2009 3:26 PM
Cc: McGough, John
Subject: RE: 501-C-3 Tax-Exemption
John and Pastor Adams,
I want to make a few comments before we proceed. One, Pastor Adams, I will take the time to read your full response. However, it will most likely be after the holiday season. I appreciate your taking the time to write it.
Also, John, I apologize if my comments came off as smug. You do not know me directly (which always causes a problem in e-mail communication), and I would not attempt to be so arrogant. The reason why I use the term "red herring" is because we are discussing a potential issue not something that is currently an issue. There are currently no Christian organizations (I used "Religious Organizations" in my intial response language of the 501-C-3 IRS tax code that we are discussing, but if it comes across that I am trying to hide behind something then I will change my language) losing their 501-C-3 tax exempt status because they are professing their true faith in Christ. I do not use the term demeaningly.
Also, I wanted to put the matter in perspective. The fact that there are currently millions of people who do not know Christ is a present reality that the church must address now. The matter that we are discussing is not a present issue but one that could potentially become one in the future. So, John, I apologize if any of this came off as "smug" to you, but that was not the intention and I do hope you will accept my sincere apology.
From: Jason Wiesepape
Date: Fri, March 05, 2010 11:56 am
Cc: McGough, John
Subject: RE: 501-C-3 Tax-Exemption
Dear John and Pastor Adams,
I had not received a response from either of you in over a month and I did not think too much about it until I received the following e-mail from our IT department yesterday, "Many of you have experienced at least one of two common problems with email: 1) You occasionally don't receive email that you expect and/or want, or 2) You receive email that is offensive or otherwise undesired." Apparently, we have been experiencing some difficulties with our email filters on campus for some time, so I am resending my response just in case it did not originally come through.
Thank you for taking your time to present me with your understanding of how a Christian organization who obtains and operates under a tax-exempt status as granted to them under the IRC 501-C-3 is idolatrous. We receive several thousand requests each year for our opinions on various matters, and we have taken the time to read your e-mails and materials you have sent to me. However, we remain unchanged on our original position. Romans 13:1-7 states, "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor."
This passage makes it abundantly clear that we are to obey the government God places over us. God created government to establish order, punish evil, and promote justice (Genesis 9:6; 1 Corinthians 14:33; Romans 12:8). We are to obey the government in everything-paying taxes, obeying rules and laws, and showing respect. If we do not, we are ultimately showing disrespect towards God, for He is the One who placed that government over us. When the apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, he was under the government of Rome during the reign of Nero, perhaps the most evil of all the Roman emperors. Paul still recognized the Roman government's rule over him. How can we do any less?
The next question is "Is there a time when we should intentionally disobey the laws of the land?" The answer to that question may be found in Acts 5:27-29, "Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 'We gave you strict orders not to teach in this Name,' he said. 'Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood.' Peter and the other apostles replied: 'We must obey God rather than men!'" From this, it is clear that as long as the law of the land does not contradict the law of God, we are bound to obey the law of the land. As soon as the law of the land contradicts God's command, we are to disobey the law of the land and obey God's law. However, even in that instance, we are to accept the government's authority over us. This is demonstrated by the fact that Peter and John did not protest being flogged, but instead rejoiced that they suffered for obeying God (Acts 5:40-42).
We and other institutions like ours can adhere to the guidelines of IRC 501-C-3 since there is currently no public policy in place which makes it illegal to profess John 14:6. It is extremely important to understand that the IRC 501-C-3 is not evil or good by itself; that rests in the men who enforce it (Bob Jones University is perfect example of this point. I don't know how you feel about Bob Jones, but I consider them a wonderful Christian institution. When they lost their 501-C-3 status for the university they simply created other 501-C-3 organizations so that people could continue to give money to the university tax-exempt (i.e. – their scholarship foundation). They wisely understood that it was not the 501-C-3 that was the problem, but the people who enforced it. If this ever became a public policy and we could not openly live out and profess our faith, then we would let go of our tax-exempt status. There has never been a public policy in the history of the United States that has not allowed a "Religious Organization" to confess "true faith in Christ." Thus the issue you raise is beside the point because it is an issue that does not exist, and if it did (or eventually does) then we would happily let go of our tax-exempt status (and so would the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Campus Crusade for Christ, Bob Jones University and many other wonderful Christian organization who are actively living out and proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ) and rejoice in the loss for obeying God.
Thank you for contacting Dallas Theological Seminary and allowing us the opportunity to comment on this matter. I have discussed this matter with Dr. Bailey, the President of Dallas Theological Seminary, he has discussed the matter with Dr. Swindoll, and we feel resolute on our position on this matter. You can continue to think of us as idolatrous for maintaining our 501-C-3 status, and that is okay (I have read the 501-C-3 as was asked earlier. My undergraduate degree is in Finance and Accounting, so I am more familiar many IRS codes than I care to be : ). I do look forward to rejoicing with both you one day as we kneel before our Savior.
May the Lord continue to bless your future ministry endeavors for Him.
Give Him the glory!
Jason R. Wiesepape
Research Assistant to the President
Dallas Theological Seminary
From: Pastor Sam Adams
Date: Saturday, March 6, 2010, 3:05 AM
To: Jason Wiesepape
Dear Mr. Weispape:
Thank you for finally responding as you said you would do last December. Your response, though common, is nonetheless very shallow and disappointing coming from one in your position. Mr. Weispape: THIS IS NOT A ROMANS 13 ISSUE. This is not an issue of to obey civil government or not to; THERE IS NO LAW requiring churches to organize as state-controlled corporations to seek tax exemption. That is done VOLUNTARILY, and doing so unequivicolly makes the state the head of the church. Perhaps you did not read my email in its entirety, or perhaps you simply refuse to see the gravity of the issue. While you said you discussed this with Dr. Bailey and Dr. Swindoll I would like to know if they read my email or Dr. Boys' treatise that was sent to you, or if they just heard your reduction of it. Your position as stated is a denial of Christ's exclusive authority over His church, which is a denial of His name. In effect you are going beyond the position taken by the German Christians who used Romans 13 to justify submission to Hitler; you are taking the same position as those who were asked, "shall I crucify your king?" Their response was essentially the same as yours: "We have no king but Caesar." I hope you will prayerfully reconsider this issue at least for yourself if not for Dallas Theological Seminary.
Pastor Sam Adams
Independence Baptist Church
(Editors Note: The IRS does not require churches to be incorporated for tax-exemption but they strongly encourage it. However, most churches in America are either incorporated or are organized and operate as corporations and are treated as such by the IRS.)
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