The World Vision controversy, currently being discussed in the News section of the forum, made me want to make an observation. It seems to me that every Christian organization sets itself on a slow spiritual decline from the moment they are linked to the government by being registred as charity or non-profit for the purpose of tax benefits, and the more they accept from them (grants, etc.) the faster the decline. In the light of 2Cor 6:14, as well as Eph 5:7 this is not surprising though it is most often interpreted on a personal level. Good things happen in the short term so people don't see the government connection as negative but the long term reality proves scripture to be true.The Salvation Army is a perfect example of this because they have been around for a long time, so we can observe the gamut of change. Where the saving of souls was once the priority, humanitarian aid is now the focus. Another example is Youth for Christ. In our city they operate several group homes for children, most of them referred by Social Services. Effectively the homes are funded by the government and consequently the Gospel can only be presented if a child specifically asks for this information. It is my prediction that it's only a matter of time until Youth for Christ changes their name to remove barriers to parnerships with government organizations. Why do they go this way? Is it not that they lose working in the power of the Holy Spirit and therefore cling to other means to survive as an organization? What if having tax exempt status is like inviting an unbeliever to sit on your board? The effect is similar, the consequences of ignoring the above scripture warnings, a losing of God's blessing. I believe that this unholy union with a worldly government is part of the spiritual cancer that has befallen our churches and not just the ungodly culture that surrounds us. We see this in the slow death of a majority of the churches that have been around long enough.We are rapidly moving towards a future where our governments are using the finacial benefits they afford us as leverage to impose liberal new laws and surpress biblically sound teaching. It is my conviction that the future of churches and other Christian organizations ought to be free from such government involvement. How this could practically play out could be the subject of an interesting discussion.
It seems that Regardless if an organization is a 501c3 or not. If there is an exchange of money the government seems to have a certain amount of control. Hobby Lobby which is a for profit buisness for instance seems to have much less rights than that of a 501c3 organization.
If you collect payroll taxes for the IRS, you are a federally registered "agent" to collect taxes and forward them on to the IRS. Any company collecting payroll taxes is an agent of the IRS. Of course they (IRS) don't say it in those words. Think of the ramifications of this.So, it's not necessarily when money is exchanged between you and the government that they "own" you (have power over you), but when you register anything with them.Remember these few words. When you register something with the government, you give up your right of outright ownership for a privilege from the government.You now have privileges and they are yours at the whim of the government. These are hard facts, check them out.