In Bob Jones University v. United States (461 U.S. 574), the U.S. Supreme Court noted the following about the governments intended purpose for the 501c3:
IRS Code § 501c3 reads as follows:
While it may be appropriate for many non-profit organizations to waive their right to intervene in political campaigns, or to influence legislation, is this the right thing for a church to do?
Waiving such rights is to waive ones freedom of speech. Waiving ones right to influence legislation is especially problematic. The inevitable result has been that the church has abandoned its responsibility to influence their elected representatives to craft legislation that is biblical and that comports with the Constitution. The unchurched, and even those who are openly hostile to the church, have taken over that influence and are now seeing to it that their legislators craft statutes which are unbiblical, immoral, and unconstitutional.
One need not look far to see that the churchs acceptance of the 501c3, and its significant restrictions, has had devastating consequences to not only the church, but to the entire nation.
When a church accepts the 501c3 status, that church:
The church in America today is, by and large, not speaking to the vital issues of the day. The church has been effectively silenced. There has been a chilling effect upon the churchs freedom of speech for fear of IRS retribution should the church get out of line. The inevitable result is a moral downward spiral in the culture as the church stands mute.
This did not happen by accident, but by design, and it is something of relatively recent design. Churches were added to IRS Code § 501c3 in 1954. All one need do is analyze who is responsible for sponsoring the congressional bill to include churches in § 501c3 and it should become apparent that his agenda was not to empower the church, but to silence the church (hint: the sponsor was a Senator from Texas who later became President).
The church is the moral compass of society.
John Adams stated while he was our President, The church is the moral compass of society. But in order to remain a true and faithful compass, the church must remain separate and independent of the influences of that society, particularly its civil government. It must be a free-church. Should the church become subordinate, or in any way controlled or co-opted by the civil government (a State-Church system), it can no longer effectively serve as that societys moral compass. Unless it is respected, no one will listen to what it has to say.
Indeed, few citizens in any society, at any time in history, in any nation, have ever had any genuine respect for any State-Church system (nor should they). State-Church systems are inevitably compromised and governed by pragmatism, rather than genuine Christian faithfulness. It should surprise no one that the 501c3 church in America has lost its prophetic voice, lost the respect it once held, and is no longer the moral compass of society.
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