Current Status: -posted

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Pulpit IS Responsible

I received an email recently from the group, NC Tea Party, entitled "CHANGE in our churches". The email lists a number of local churches here in North Carolina who are supporting a 'radical left' group called "CHANGE". While I appreciated NC Tea Party's efforts in creating this list, and I highly recommend you review this list to see if your church might be listed, I also had a few issues with the wording of their message. Here was my reply stating my position when it comes to church participation in the political realm:

NC Tea Party Staff,

Thanks so much for sending out your email concerning churches' involvement with the CHANGE group. I am an avid believer in holding churches accountable for supporting liberty, freedom, and the founding principles of our country.

On this premise, I would like to give some constructive criticism about the formatting of your message. In the following paragraph, you state that "there is no room for ANY political group in our churches." You go on to say, "Any church that knowingly gives money to a political group could be in violation of their tax-exempt status..."

Quoted from NC Tea Party email on 11/30/10:
The NC Tea Party believes that many of these churches are supporting this group without a true understanding of its nature and its political activities. There is no room for ANY political group in our churches, even the Tea Party. Any church that knowingly gives money to a political group could be in violation of their tax-exempt status as CHANGE is a political organization.

My wife and I recently looked up and read IRS forms 1023 and 1024, forms which a church would use to obtain its supposed non-profit status. In these documents the IRS states that:


According to IRS Code § 508(c)(1)(A):

Special rules with respect to section 501(c)(3) organizations.
(a) New organizations must notify secretary that they are applying for recognition of section 501(c)(3)
(c) Exceptions.

(1) Mandatory exceptions. Subsections (a) and (b) shall not apply to—
(A) churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches.

As you can see, the IRS' has a "mandatory exception" rule. So, even the IRS says that it is completely unnecessary for any church to apply for a tax-exempt status. In their own words, a church is "automatically tax-exempt."

Your statement "Any church that knowingly gives..." first assumes that the church in question is held contract to the terms held in the 501(c)3 status. Without the 501c3 status (which is NOT required to be tax-exempt), a church can be involved politically however they like. This is of course assuming that the church body is composed of state citizens, and not subjugated United States citizens created by Reconstruction. However, the point is that churches are not required to have this 'non-profit' (501c3) status; and if they do not have it, they can indeed be involved politically in whatever fashion they choose. They have waived no rights and have contracted with no person or entity.

Over the past two years, I have seen first hand how it is not the churches' INVOLVEMENT in the freedom movement which has been harmful to the restoration of liberty, but indeed its NON-INVOLVEMENT. I have personally witnessed good, Christian groups concerned about liberty and our God-given rights who have met at church buildings, only to have one or two people from a church of hundreds in attendance at such meetings. I have heard about church members throwing away flyers to events or seminars whose aim was to help us get our country back to its Christian origins. There is a huge number of people in this country today who say that those origins are non-existent; when even a simple glance at our original state constitutions will prove otherwise. I also live about five minutes down the road from King, North Carolina, where a Christian flag was removed from a local park, based upon one person's "being offended" and a blatant mis-interpretation of the First Amendment by the ACLU. My wife wrote a blog about the Christian Flag Controversy, here:

We do NOT need to be prohibiting churches from any sort of political involvement, but rather encouraging them to fight for liberty, as did the original Black Regiment preachers:

Again, I really appreciated your email; otherwise I probably wouldn't have said anything. But it was the wording of that single paragraph which I really felt I needed to reply to. Churches should have the freedom to preach what they will, just as you and I have our freedom of speech. Without God, Christianity and a moral people to uphold His laws, this country has little hope for recovery.

"If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discernment, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in Christianity, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it."
~ Rev. Charles Finney

These things being said, I will be re-posting your message on Facebook, blogs, etc., but with a personal footnote, clarifying my stance in regards to the 501(c)3 and the political participation of churches.


Cliff Muncy

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Explaining Liberty to A Jehovah's Witness

I had an interesting visit today with a Jehovah's Witness today that I just have to write about. A short Korean looking lady and a tall black man knocked on my door. Believe it or not, we ended up talking for about an hour and half! It was just a very interesting conversation! Oh how I wish I had had a camera rolling. The conversation started out pretty basic -- with a discussion about sin and "whatever happened to it." I listened quietly as she discussed the topic and pointed out various verses in Romans which discussed sin. I mentioned to her that I was indeed a Christian and that my wife and I attend church together. This of course eventually led her to the question, "So where do you two go to church?"

Ahh, the age old question. I then explained to her that we go to various churches but that we haven't settled on one in particular and are not members anywhere at this time. I then explained that it is difficult today to find a church that teaches some of the deeper Biblical truths and philosophies that we seek. She and her partner seemed interested, so I continued. I then explained that we have not, as of late, been very big participants of the modern day "church membership" philosophy.

"Now this may sound a little kooky to you, but the majorities of churches today are actually corporations."

To my surprise she was actually very receptive to this comment and understood where I was coming from and seemed to agree. At this point, I thought I would throw out a little more truth and mention that most churches are also 501(c)3 organizations as well. This caught her a little off-guard, so I started to explain...

"The problem with churches taking on the 501(c)3 (or non-profit) status is that it is allowing the government to exercise an authority which it does not have. It allows the government to come in and dictate what the church can and cannot preach about."

As the conversation went on, we continued to delve deeper into discussion about the modern day church's lack of involvement with local community, government, and helping people to understand their responsibilities in relation to government.

Much to my surprise, the conversation didn't take the turn to Romans 13 (what many church-goers believe is the "obey the government no matter what" chapter), but rather she began discussing verses in the Bible which she believed indicated that Christians should not be involved in government activities. Her reasoning was that because Satan has such a hold on the world and because sin is so powerful, no matter what we do to ensure that we have a government that abides by God's laws, we will always fail in doing so.

To which I replied...

"I agree that sin is at the bottom of all things evil with our society and our government. But wouldn't that be all the more reason for us as Christians to be involved in that area so that we can be a positive influence and bring good wherever we can?" (I'm reminded that we are to be the light of the world.)

As I continued to talk with the Jehovah's Witness lady about how I believed we should all be involved in various aspects of our society, including government, it seemed along the way to be more of a battle of wits than anything else. She was very kind and soft spoken as was I; but the conversation seemed to go in a loop.

She would tell me how Jesus chose to be a minister rather than being involved in government. I would remind her of Romans 13:4, where the Bible says that the government is actually to be a MINISTER of good. She would tell me that we should concentrate on what affects people's lives together, to teach them Biblical principles. I would remind her of how the public school system (controlled by the government) is a giant indoctrination camp with the absence of morality and no Biblical teaching whatsoever. When discussing gun rights, she said that Jesus told Peter to put away his sword. So I asked her if someone came to her door and threatened her family, what is her first obligation?

There were many memorable parts of the conversation, but one that was particularly interesting was when I proposed a hypothetical scenario with her. Now keep in mind while reading our conversation that I only advocate participation in LAWFUL and constitutional government as we had prior to Reconstruction (,, but I think this would have been even MORE over her head. So I continued with my scenario...

"You've stated that you don't believe it is the job of the Christian to get involved in government. Yet, you have also said that you believe we need laws to govern us. Indulge me for a moment in a hypothetical scenario in which your door to door witnessing is so incredibly effective that every person you meet accepts Christ and eventually the entire world is full of Christians. Now we all know that that's probably not going to happen right?" Her partner chuckled a bit and shook his head. "So if the entire world is full of Christians, none of which believe they should be involved in government, does that then mean that all of us Christians would succeed in governing ourselves?"

To this scenario she stuttered a bit and if memory serves me I believe she eventually said "no" or maybe "well yes and no" (she answered this way a few times). I believe at this point she again went back to sin as being the reason that we should not be involved. She kept repeating that because of sin, we can never have a perfect government.

Many of the situations she brought up with government I would rebut by comparing them to other aspects of life. For example, she said that because of sin we can never have a perfect government -- so therefore we shouldn't get involved with it. She also made some comparisons of Bible characters who failed at abiding by the law, proving the sufficiency of God's grace over works.

I would reply, "I agree that God's grace is more than sufficient to cover ALL of our sins. However, does this mean that perhaps as a parent we should say, 'oh well, God's grace is sufficient, my child will raise himself' -- or perhaps, 'me oh me, because of sin I will NEVER be able to raise my child as good as God could raise my child directly, so what's the use of trying?' In essence my illustration was this -- yes, of course sin causes government corruption. But America still started out with a Christian government and Christian values were the cornerstone of this country. Christian involvement in law making and serving in the government was an essential part of America's history and is in fact part of what made us so prosperous.

Believe it or not, the entire conversation was fairly polite and courteous. I rather enjoyed talking to her, but I still just don't think the message got through. Obviously she knew her stuff and I knew mine pretty good as well. We both agreed on many things, but unfortunately I don't think we agreed on the seriousness, necessity and obligation we all have in taking a stand for liberty, truth and right in this morality-depraved country. We did not agree on the church's (and Christians') need to be more involved in government and the assertion of God-given rights.

I told my wife Sara about this conversation and she was amazed that at the end of this conversation, it was actually the Jehovah's Witnesses who said they had to go. Apparently there is some big joke about how hard it is to get a Jehovah's Witness to leave? That was really not my intention. Nevertheless, the car that was with them had pulled in and out of the driveway several times, going to the surrounding houses and neighborhoods. And the man that was there with the lady speaking to me mentioned that the driver needed to use the bathroom.

As they started walking toward the edge of the sidewalk I said, "Hey guys, I appreciate you coming by and I hope I didn't take up too much of your time. But I would really like to give you a few things before you go if you would wait right here for a moment." I went inside and grabbed a pocket version of the Constitution, a John Ainsworth DVD and one of the little Covenant Wedding booklets Sara and I handed out at our wedding. I took them outside, explained what they were and gave them to the lady. She declined the DVD stating that she wouldn't have time to watch it on her computer and so I told her she could actually play it back on the television. "Oh, well I don't watch much television"..."Well that's okay, we don't even have TV reception!," I replied. Obviously she didn't really want the DVD, so I handed her a marriage booklet. She took it, gave it a glance and mentioned to me that I should read Ephesians for some good stuff on marriage. I told her thank you.

I could tell in the end that they were a little frustrated with me and were ready to go. I apologized once more for taking up so much of their time and told them to have a great day. They said thank you as they quickly got in their car and then drove away.

So was it a futile conversation? Perhaps. But I learned a lot. When it comes to liberty and standing up for the freedoms which men have fought and died for, I've learned not to waiver too much. Why? It is because of those very freedoms that people like the Jehovah's Witness can go door to door in the first place. It is because of that God-given liberty that I keep the fruits of my labor and not waste it on a corrupt, immoral government who refuses to be obedient to God's laws. Our law in this country is the Constitution. It was created by Christian men as an attempt to uphold God's laws and to keep greed, selfishness and the love of money and power from taking over our government and civil servants. It is not just our job, but our DUTY to know it and to keep our servants accountable. After all, if Christians aren't involved in upholding morality and law in society, who will be?

"For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil." -Romans 13:4

"To be a Christian in America and believe that only the spreading of the gospel, without challenging or making accountable the existing leadership, whether Christian or not, is the only way for us to have good leadership, you must first altogether denounce the very fashion in which the remaining freedoms you enjoy were first established." -Cliff Muncy