Would Jesus Have Been Incorporated?

by Golf 13 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Golf

    This is the question I asked on Terry's excellent post. If Jesus and his apostles we're preaching in this and age, would they have been incorporated?

    I had this question on my mind for years. Your interesting thoughts please.


  • Xena
  • LittleToe

    (Daggum, I got caught out with the two UserIDs in the house, syndrome)

    But to repeat my original answer:

    Incorporated or incarcerated?

  • garybuss

    Jesus and company would have had to be incorporated to do cash business in the United States because it's the only way to achieve non-profit status and avoid paying tax.

    I heard an old song on the radio this week and it was about Jesus, and if he came to your town where would you take him. Where would he want to go? Would he be more likely to go to a Kingdom Hall or to a Synagog?

  • Golf

    Hi garybuss, OK, but Jesus was a miracle worker and he interfered with the money-changers (Pharisees)schemes and it cost him his life.


  • garybuss

    Hi Golf, You wrote: "Hi garybuss, OK, but Jesus was a miracle worker and he interfered with the money-changers (Pharisees)schemes and it cost him his life."

    None of that matters since we now know God only works through legal publishing corporations and leaders come and leaders go but ink and paper seems to flow.

    Money is important and checks should be made out to Watch Tower (two words).

    The fact that MUST be true and that you seem to forget here is that Gentiles benefit from God only through Jews and by association with Jews. There was no benefit directly to Gentiles from God.

  • codeblue

    I doubt very much that Jesus would be running a business. His motto was: "you received free, give free".

  • Golf

    Thanks codeblue, good quote.


  • garybuss

    I read the appendix B of Ron Frye's new book this morning. The appendix is titled The Covenant God and Ron makes the good argument that Gentiles had God's blessings independent of the Jews. That principle wouldn't square very well with the current Watch Tower Society thesis that the Society are "spiritual Jews" and the Society controls all blessings to the "spiritual Gentiles", aka, the "other sheep".

  • acadian
    Assuming you are meaning incorporated with the State as the WTS is? Short answer... No.

    Excerpt from article: "The Truth About Church Incorporation" no author listed but I believe it's by a Richard Anthony


    "Also, the word "Church" does not refer to any physical building, but refers to the whole body of believers in Christ. The word "church" is translated from the Greek word ekklesia, which literally means "assembly" or "congregation" of people; it does not refer to any physical building. Keep that in mind. Here's a few thought's.... what exactly is incorporation?
    What really happens to a church that becomes incorporated?
    Are there biblical principles against incorporation?

    First of all, let's define the word "corporation." In the strict everyday definition of the word, a corporation is "a group of people combined into or acting as one body." This word is derived from the Latin word "corpus," which means "body." In this sense, the Christ's Church is indeed a corporation. It is the "corpus Christi," the "Body of Christ." It derives its existence and authority from its Head, the risen and victorious Son of God. It is comprised of individual members who have covenanted together to further Christ's Kingdom by the preaching of the Gospel and the discipling of the nations (Matthew 28:19-20).

    The Church's "corporate status" is well-established in Scripture: Matthew 16:18, 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27, Ephesians 1:22; 5:23b, 30, Colossians 1:18; 2:19 teach that Christ is clearly the head of the church, and we are all members of his body.

    The Church is the visible manifestation of Christ's Kingdom on earth. However, as Jesus Himself stated, "My Kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). Many follower's of Christ have misunderstood this verse to mean that neither the Church nor individual follower's should involve themselves with the affairs of the world. In what is known as "pietism," a false dichotomy is erected between the "spiritual" Kingdom and the "carnal" world.

    Of course, this is not what Jesus had in mind at all. He very explicitly stated elsewhere that his follower's are to act as the "salt" of the earth and as a "light" in the world by permeating society and working to change it from within each and everyone of us (Mat.5:13-16). This task of dominion is accomplished through the work of evangelism and discipleship, as Jesus commanded in the Great Commission. His follower's purpose is indeed "worldly," insofar as it is involved in bringing the world into subjection to the Word of God (2 Cor.10:5).

    Thus, the true meaning of Jesus' declaration that His Kingdom is "not of this world," is that it does not derive its authority and power from the world or its institutions. The Church is indeed a spiritual organization, but this simply means that it is "of the Spirit"-- it relies upon the Holy Spirit and the inspired Word for its existence, not upon the efforts or laws of men. This important detail should be kept in mind when considering the subject of church incorporation.

    Having briefly examined the biblical definition of a corporation, now look at the legal definition of a corporation. According to the U.S. Supreme Court:

    1. "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 limitation of its charter. Its powers are limited by law. It can make no contract not authorized by its charter. Its rights 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 powers" ( Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43).

    2. "[A corporation is] 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.... The corporation is distinct from the individuals who comprise it (shareholders).... Such an entity subsists as a body politic under a special denomination, which is regarded in law as having a personality and existence distinct from that of its several members." Black's Law Dictionary West Publishing Company, 1991; 6th Edition, page 340.

    3. "A corporation derives its existence and all of its powers from the State and, therefore, has only such powers as the State has conferred upon it. Power is used here to mean the legal capacity to execute and fulfill the objects and purposes for which the corporation was created, and the source of this power is the charter and the statute under which the corporation was organized." Len Young Smith and G. Gale Roberson, Smith and Roberson's Business Law, West Publishing Company, 1966, page 796.

    Note: A corporation is created by, and derives its existence from, the State. In contrast, the church is created by, a creature of, derives its existence from, subject to, and obeys the Law of, Jesus Christ.

    4. "Corporate existence is a privilege granted by the sovereign upon compliance with specified conditions" Len Young Smith and G. Gale Roberson, Smith and Roberson's Business Law, West Publishing Company, 1966, page 931. .

    5. "Corporations are not citizens.... The term citizen... applies only to natural persons... not to artificial persons created by the legislature" Paul v. Virginia, 8 Wall. 168, 177; see also the Opinion of Field, J., in the Slaughterhouse Cases, 16 Wall.36,99.

    Note: God teaches that Christians, his church, are citizens of the household of God (Eph.2:19, Phil.3:10).

    6. Every corporation has obtained a charter from the State of Incorporation. This charter is simply permission to exist given to the corporation, without which, its operations would be considered illegal. In addition to the charter are the articles of incorporation: "The objects or purposes for which a corporation is formed are expressly stated in its articles of incorporation, which delineate in general language the type of business activities in which the corporation proposes to engage" Smith and Roberson's Business Law, West Publishing Company, 1966, page 798.

    Note: Is the church of God involved in any type of business activities? (Matthew 21:12, John 2:16).

    7. "Instances of non-profit corporations are educational institutions, athletic clubs, library clubs, fraternities, sororities, hospitals, and organizations which have exclusively a charitable purpose" Smith and Roberson's Business Law, West Publishing Company, 1966, page 789.

    Notice that "churches" are conspicuously absent from this list of non-profit corporations. That is because our law-makers are fully aware that incorporation involves creation, and the Church simply cannot be created by the State. Furthermore, the Church's ordained purpose of preaching the Gospel can never be illegal, so no special license is required from the State to do so.

    Though not all of our founding fathers were genuine follower's of Christ, they nevertheless understood that the Church of Christ is under the sole jurisdiction of its Lord, and that the civil magistrate therefore should not dare to encroach upon that authority. Because of this healthy respect for the Church, the very first sentence of the Bill of Rights reads as follows:

    "Congress shall make no law regarding an establishment of religion , or prohibiting the free exercise thereof " (U.S. Constitution, First Amendment).

    According to Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black: "The establishment clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the federal government can set up a church" Everson v. Board of Education, 1947).

    It was one of the principles of the sixteenth-century Reformation that the Church and the State are separate governments, and that, although they are to work together for the furtherance of God's Kingdom, they are not to either merge with one another or usurp the sphere of authority of one another (Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXIII:3) The Church is forbidden by Scripture to take up the State's "sword" (Romans 13:4), and the State is likewise forbidden to assume the Church's "keys" (Matthew 16:19). However, as we will see, the latter is precisely what occurs whenever a church seeks incorporation at the hands of the State.

    Is a Church required to Incorporate under the Government?

    According to the Internal Revenue Code, "a church, its integrated auxiliaries, and conventions and associations of the church are excluded from taxation." United States Code, Title 26, ยง 508(c)(1)(A).

    Section 508(c) of the Internal Revenue Code provides that churches are not required to apply for recognition of Section 501(c)(3) status in order to be exempt from federal taxation or to receive tax deductible contributions. Churches are automatically exempt from Federal income tax, and contributions to churches are deductible by donors under section 170.

    Elsewhere, the IRS states: "Although a church, its integrated auxiliaries, or a convention of churches is not required to file Form 1023 to be exempt from federal income tax or to receive tax deductible contributions, such an organization may find it advantageous to obtain recognition of exemption (Tax Exempt Status for Your Organization, IRS Publication 557).

    Just what "advantage" is there for a church in obtaining 501(c)(3) recognition and thereby exchanging its sovereignty for a subordinate status in relation to the federal government? Most people would answer that such grants the church exemption from taxation. However, we have already seen that the federal government has never been able to tax the Church of Christ; the Church is not exempt from taxation, it is immune. The "advantage" is something else entirely:

    "By establishing its exemption, potential contributors are assured by the [Internal Revenue] Service that contributions will be deductible" Tax Exempt Status for Your Organization, IRS Publication 557.

    The tragic irony of all this is that, according to the Internal Revenue Code, financial donations to an unregistered, unincorporated church are automatically tax-deductible (26 USC 170-B)! But is this biblical?

    "God loveth a cheerful giver." (2 Corinthians 9:7). But the government promises, "Incorporate, and I will return to you up to thirty-five percent of your tithes and offerings!" And the Bridegroom wept. Now Jesus knows that His bride "purposeth in [her] heart . . . grudgingly, or of necessity." (2 Corinthians 9:7). God had no respect towards Cain's offering because he did not give from the heart (Gen.4:3-6).

    The IRS, of course, knows very well that it has no constitutional authority over the Church, and that it may not violate the First Amendment protection against government interference with the Church. In fact, the IRS may not violate the constitutionally secured rights of any American Citizen or group of Citizens, and is able to gain jurisdiction only when such is given to it voluntarily. Thus, the IRS holds out the unbiblical "advantage" of 501(c)(3) corporate status as bait to clergy ignorant of the law in hopes that these men will "bite," thereby placing themselves and their congregations firmly on its jurisdictional hook.

    Once the bait has been taken, and the catch is reeled in, another church has been transformed into a "legal fiction" subject to the tyrannical control of the federal government. The truth is that "incorporated churches" are not, by definition, churches at all! They are merely "non-profit organizations" (or should I say "non-prophet organizations"). The truth is, any "church" that is incorporated has deposed Jesus Christ from His rightful position as Head over His own Body and has surrendered that Body to the dominion of the State.

    The truth is, "incorporated churches" are subject to total governmental control -- whom they may hire, what they may and may not teach and preach, they cannot conflict with "public policy" nor assault the hearer's sense of mental well-being, self esteem, sexual orientation, etc. The IRS prohibits such organizations from "carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation" (26 USC 501-C-3). This prohibition extends, not only to the endorsement of a political candidate, but also any other attempts to "influence legislation," including taking a public stand against such government-protected abominations as abortion or homosexuality. Now, the church is discovering that favors from Washington, DC have strings attached. In this case, the string is a rope that is being used to throttle her once-powerful voice, to squeeze out her very life and, eventually, to hang her by the neck until dead!

    Should the Bible itself one day be ruled by the government to be "politically incorrect," incorporated churches will find themselves on the horns of a very serious dilemma. After all, in a civil suit, a corporation's defense is limited to the terms specifically enumerated in its charter and articles of incorporation. All other "extrinsic evidence," including the Bible or any historical Christian creeds or standards, will be disallowed in a State court case, because they are "not contained in the body of [the] contract." (Black's Law Dictionary, p. 588). Outside of its own walls, the incorporated church may not stand on the authority of the Scriptures regarding any political or civil issue, because it is bound by the "higher laws" of the State. Consequently, the Christian Church in America, little by little, ceases to be the "salt" and "light" to society that it was commanded to be (Mat.5:13-16). And all this for a simple tax deduction! Because of money! This directly contradicts Jesus' teaching, "make not my Father's house an house of merchandise" (John 2:16). "
    (end of excerpt)


    So if Christ incorporated with the State, Christ would be giving up his Authority over his church (his follower's) to the State.

    And Christ would also, come under the authority of the State.


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