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Discussion Forum : News and Current Events : 'China-level' persecution coming to US?

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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37633
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 'China-level' persecution coming to US?


A few more court decisions like this week's over a display of a Bible in Houston and the United States will be approaching the "China-level" for Christian persecution, according to a leader in the midst of that battle.
The ruling from the Fifth Court of Appeals said the display of a Bible on public ground in Houston to honor the founder of a mission has to go, not because it was unconstitutional itself, but because it became unconstitutional when a Christian group rallied around it.

The pastor's group said that means any monument, building, or even feature of nature is an illegal "establishment of religion" if a church ceremony is held there. ...

more info:

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2006/8/19 14:49Profile

Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re: 'China-level' persecution coming to US?


The ruling from the Fifth Court of Appeals said the display of a Bible on public ground in Houston to honor the founder of a mission has to go, not because it was unconstitutional itself, but because it became unconstitutional when a Christian group rallied around it.

I've shared this before but I think it is worth repeating. According to this short paper I got from Coral Ridge Ministries

on September 25, 1789, the [b]same day[/b] that [b]Congress[/b] approved the language of the "Bill of Rights" which includes the first ammendment, [b][u]Congress[/b][/u] unanimously voted to ask President Washington to declare a national "[i]day of thanksgiving and prayer[/i]."

And here is an excerpt from that proclamation as it is recorded in [i]Christianity and the American Commonwealth[/i] by Charles B. Galloway

"Whereas it is the [b][color=000000]duty[/color][/b] of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of [b]Almighty God[/b], to [b][color=000000]obey his will[/color][/b], to be gratefull for his benefits, and [i][b][color=000000]humbly implore his protection and favor[/color][/b][/i], and whereas [u]both Houses of Congress[/u] have by their joint Committee requested me 'to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public [b]thanksgiving and prayer[/b] to be observed by acknowledging with gratefull hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by [u]affording tham[sic] an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government[/u] for their saftey and happiness.'"

This, appearantly, was not unconstitutional, back then.

It could almost make one wonder what it would be like to belong to a very much pious and religous family, that, in an effort to honor and respect the freedom and dignity of those who did not belong to their own household and had no certain dwelling place of their own, took in many strangers and foreigners into their home. And after some time, the newest of these guests, having become very comfortable in their surroundings, forgetting that they were only guests, and that the privileges they enjoyed were by the grace and generosity of their benefactors, to let them dwell in peace and safety as they did, that these ungrateful guests went so far as to despise the householders by despoiling them of their goods and ejecting them from their home.

One could almost wonder.

Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2006/8/19 17:53Profile

Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732

 Re: ...preceded by China level control of churches?

I recently heard some concern over growing government control over churches through [url=]Executive Order 13397[/url]. Apparently, this order opens the door in certain situations for requiring the pastor to make reports of the activities of his flock.

This Exec order was signed by President Bush a year ago. It basically ties the department of Homeland Security to 'faith-based and community initiatives." Apparently, if your 501c non-profit church or ministry recieves some type of financial benifit from the US government, the government expects cooperation from your church leadership.

Does anyone have any informed perspective on this? Is concern over this just more last days hand-wringing :-) or is this an important new precedent with possibly sad ramifications?

Are we seeing the very beginning of state approval of churches in America?


Mike Compton

 2006/8/25 0:25Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 1519
Santa Cruz California


If you look into the language of the 501c3 guidelines, it seems that if the government deems anything said as wrong or inappropriate, they can revoke your tax free status. The sad part of all this is that churches do not need to be registered as a 501c3 to be free from taxes. Have a look at this site.
The following is taken from this site -

For a 501c3 church to openly speak out, or organize in opposition to, anything that the government declares "legal," even if it is immoral (e.g. abortion, homosexuality, etc.), that church will jeopardize its tax exempt status. The 501c3 has had a "chilling effect" upon the free speech rights of the church. LBJ was a shrewd and cunning politician who seemed to well-appreciate how easily many of the clergy would sell out.
Did the church ever need to seek permission from the government to be exempt from taxes? Were churches prior to 1954 taxable? No, churches have never been taxable. To be taxable a church would first need to be under the jurisdiction, and therefore under the taxing authority, of the government. The First Amendment clearly places the church outside the jurisdiction of the civil government: "Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
Religion cannot be free if you have to pay the government, through taxation, to exercise it. Since churches aren't taxable in the first place, why do so many of them go to the IRS and seek permission to be tax-exempt? It occurs out of:
Ignorance ("We didn't know any better")
Bandwagon logic ("Everyone else is doing it")
Professional advice (many attorneys and CPAs recommend it)
[url= ]Hush Money[/url]

patrick heaviside

 2006/8/25 1:22Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 1519
Santa Cruz California


I thought I'd post a couple more excerpts from a helpful site.
[b]Churches Need Not Apply[/b]
In order to be considered for tax-exempt status by the IRS an organization must fill out and submit IRS Form 1023 and 1024. However, note what the IRS says regarding churches and church ministries, in Publication 557:

Some organizations are not required to file Form 1023. These include:
Churches, interchurch organizations of local units of a church, conventions or associations of churches, or integrated auxiliaries of a church, such as a men’s or women’s organization, religious school, mission society, or youth group. These organizations are exempt automatically if they meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3).

[b]Churches Are “Automatically Tax-Exempt”[/b]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) status.
(c) Exceptions.
(1) Mandatory exceptions. Subsections (a) and (b) shall not apply to—
(A) churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches.
This is referred to as the "mandatory exception" rule. Thus, we see from the IRS’ own publications, and the tax code, that it is completely unnecessary for any church to apply for tax-exempt status. In the IRS’ own words a church “is automatically tax-exempt.”

[b]Churches Are Automatically Tax Deductible[/b]
And what about tax-deductibility? Doesn’t a church still need to become a 501c3 so that contributions to it can be taken as a tax deduction? The answer is no! According to IRS Publication 526:

Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible Contributions
You can deduct your contributions only if you make them to a qualified organization. To become a qualified organization, most organizations other than churches and governments, as described below, must apply to the IRS.
In the IRS’ own words a church “is automatically tax-deductible.”

[b]Churches Have a Mandatory Exception To Filing Tax Returns[/b]
Not only is it completely unnecessary for any church to seek 501c3 status, to do so becomes a grant of jurisdiction to the IRS by any church that obtains that State favor. In the words of Steve Nestor, IRS Sr. Revenue Officer (ret.):

"I am not the only IRS employee who’s wondered why churches go to the government and seek permission to be exempted from a tax they didn’t owe to begin with, and to seek a tax deductible status that they’ve always had anyway. Many of us have marveled at how church leaders want to be regulated and controlled by an agency of government that most Americans have prayed would just get out of their lives. Churches are in an amazingly unique position, but they don’t seem to know or appreciate the implications of what it would mean to be free of government control."
from the Foreward of In Caesar's Grip, by Peter Kershaw

These are very interesting things to ponder. Recently I listened to a Ravenhill message where he spoke of persecution coming upon the American Church, and how many would be upset to lose their tax free status. I cannot remember the message though :(.
Maybe this is it - Other gods' Dominion Over Us

patrick heaviside

 2006/8/25 1:34Profile

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