Quote from Chuck Baldwin’s lastest column which you can read in its entirety here:
Nowhere in Scripture is the church seen as a denomination or corporation. It is not even described as an organization. Yet, ask the average so-called Christian today, and they will tell you unless a church has a denomination, a building, and an incorporation status, it is not a church. I have actually heard professing Christians say that if a church did not have the IRS 501c3 government incorporation status, it was not a real church. Can you imagine that? Unless the church is not officially approved and sanctioned by the state, it is not a real church.
But what were churches before 1954, when then-Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson introduced and successfully passed the 501c3 government corporation law in the United States? Think of it: over 1900 years of Church history, and there was never any such thing as a church being incorporated by the government; but since 1954, if a church does not have the 501c3 government corporation status, it is not a real church? Holy Cow, Margaret!
Ladies and gentlemen, the churches in the Book of Acts were not government corporations; the early churches that followed the apostles were not government corporations; the independent churches of the Dark Ages were not government corporations. The Reformation churches were not government corporations; the Pilgrim churches were not government corporations; the colonial churches were not government corporations; and the independent churches in oppressed countries today are not government corporations.
The Church can have only one Head, and it is not the government. It is Christ! To put the Lord’s Church into a place of subjugation and submission to the state is nothing short of heresy and blasphemy. And by accepting the 501c3 government corporation status, that is exactly what these modern pastors and churches in America are committing.
As a result, pastors and churches are afraid to do anything that might offend the IRS or jeopardize their tax-exempt incorporation status. This has left the Church in America impotent and silent. And, yes, I know, for some pastors it doesn’t take anything as monstrous as the IRS to keep them quiet; the threat of offending the donor base is all the intimidation many pastors need. Geez!
My study of history teaches me that when God’s people sought true independence and freedom, a spiritual awakening usually accompanied such a movement. The Church in Acts refused to be controlled or intimidated by Judaism; the Reformation Church refused to be controlled or intimidated by Romanism; the Pilgrim Church refused to be controlled or intimidated by European statism; the colonial church refused to be controlled or intimidated by British imperialism; the Confessing Church in Germany refused to be controlled or intimidated by Nazism; the true Church in China today refuses to be controlled or intimidated by communism, etc.
But what are most churches doing in America today? They are being controlled and intimidated by incorporationism–specifically, the 501c3 section of the Internal Revenue Code of the IRS.