Another Post from OrthodoxProphets.blogspot.com
I am disheartened to see our good friends at www.westernorthodox.blogspot.com join the chorus of those who advocate that the Bride of Christ commit adultery with the world by seeking the United States Government's permission to exist. They do so, I believe unwittingly, by promoting the idea that Orthodox churches must be registered by the government by way of 501c 3 non-profit status in order to exist.
In what seems to be a sincere effort to assist churches coming into Orthodoxy by way of the Western Rite, the blog includes the following erroneous and misleading information.
"Getting Your Own Tax Exemption. Talk with your counsel about securing a tax exemption under Internal Revenue Code, Section 501(c)(3), as well as a similar exemption from the state in which you are organized and operate your new parish. This is valuable, since it exempts the church from income tax as well as from most or all state taxes. It also means gifts may be deducted by the donor." [While it is true that 501c 3 non-profit status "exempts" non-profit organizations from taxes and allows donors to deduct contributions, churches are not required to be a 501c 3s. According tho the IRS statutes, churches are natural "EXCEPTIONS" to the law since the government has no right to make any law pertaining to them. In other words, the Church doesn't even need the government to say it is "exempt". The IRS has no say, whatsoever.}
"Keeping Your Tax Exempt Status. Once your parish obtains a tax exemption, you must keep it. [Says who? The government? The IRS says that churches do not have to be 501c 3, so to assert that once you are you must keep it, begs the question.The threat of losing ones 501 c 3 status is the fear that keeps the Church from speaking to the ills of society and bringing salvation to America. Churches are under the mistaken idea that if they lose their 501c 3 status the government can shut them down or donors can't give. False and false.] One of the Internal Revenue Service tests is the “organizational and operational test”. A church must ("Must"? The reason the government can give orders to the church is because it has voluntarily become a government entity through the 501c 3.] demonstrate that it is organized and will be operated exclusively for religious purposes. Statements to this effect should go in both the bylaws and in the Articles of Incorporation, where the corporate purpose is given. The IRS also requires ["Requires "Again an order to the church because they are a government controlled entity through the 501c 3] that religious organizations refrain from lobbying or political campaigning. [ So by voluntarily becoming 501c 3 controlled entities the church must abide by the laws which removes them from any influence to speak to or effect the political spectrum which decides our social, economic and religious freedoms?] Church bylaws and articles of incorporation must also provide that church assets are irrevocably dedicated for religious purposes, and that if the church ever dissolves its assets will be distributed to another tax-exempt religious organization. (See the Antiochian Archdiocesan sample articles of incorporation.) You should consult with your local counsel about these provisions, as well as how your organization ["Organization'? Is the Church an organization now?] can meet these tests [Since when did the United States Government have a right to "test" the church? While an ongoing effort is being made to eliminate the Church from the state, the church is voluntarily allowing the state into the Church through being a 501c 3] to obtain and maintain tax exempt status.
[Sample language to be inserted both in the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, relating to tax exemption under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3):]
No substantial part of the activities of this corporation [Since when is the Church a business incorporation?] shall consist of carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation [Wait! Isn't this what the Church is supposed to do? Yet. in voluntarily committing adultery with the state and agreeing to their rules, the Church's voice in society is limited.] and this corporation shall not participate in or intervene in (including publishing or distributing statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
The property of this corporation is irrevocably dedicated to religious purposes,[Being a 501c3 allows the government to define what "religious purposes" are. The Church is to be defined by the Kingdom of God not the Kingdoms of this world.] as set forth above. No part of the net earnings [And the government tells the Church how it can spend God's money.] of this corporation shall insure to the benefit of its directors, trustees, officers, private shareholders or members, or to any individual.
On the winding up and dissolution of this corporation [Does this not presume that the "gates of hell" WILL prevail against the Church?], after paying or adequately providing for the debts and obligations of the corporation, the remaining assets of this corporation shall be distributed to an organization (or organizations) organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes [And the government gets to have a say] and that is tax exempt under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States of America.
The Antiochian Diocese must lead the rest of the Orthodox Church in the west in a united effort to free ourselves from the entanglement of the State lest we become a State Church as seen in other nations. I call on all Orthodox Prophets and all who operate a blog to look into this matter and sound the trumpet of warning.