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