501c3 Corporation or body of Christ?: Belly of the beast or corpus christi?
GWBush’s unapologetic acknowledgement in the recent ABC News – Barbara Walters interview that Iraq had no Weapons of Mass Destruction is self-admitted culpability in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, Americans and others. Prior to the February 2003 Iraq Attack BushCo spoke with unqualified certainty that Iraq had existent (not potential) WMD’s. GWBush’s proclaimed reality (not likelihood) of Iraqi WMD’s was sufficient, necessary and compelling enough for the US to go to war. For example:
“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.” – Vice President Dick Cheney, Aug. 26, 2002.
“After 11 years during which we have tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more.” – President Bush, Oct. 7, 2002.
“Saddam Hussein is a man who told the world he wouldn’t have weapons of mass destruction, but he’s got them.” – Bush, Nov. 3, 2002.
BushCo, collectively and individually, has lied America into a sandbox version of Vietnam. There are direct parallels to LBJ’s intentional fraud about the North Vietnamese attack on the US Navy in the Gulf of Tonkin, which was another premeditated fabrication. Innocent people have died and are now dying needlessly. As with LBJ, apparently there will be no temporal consequences to GWBush for his baseless war of aggression.
To date the silence of the institutional/corporate church in condemning the human catastrophe wrought by this “supposed fellow Christian” has been deafening.
- What say you, Billy Graham?
- What say you, Greg Laurie?
- What say you, Charles Colson?
- What say you, Franklin Graham?
- What say you, Jerry Falwell?
- What say you, D. James Kennedy?
- What say you, T. D. Jakes?
- What say you, Bishop Franklin Griswold?
- What say you, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger?
Where is the public outrage from America’s pulpits, the supposed seat of moral leadership for the nation?
Nevertheless, two excellent frames-of-reference for this senseless mayhem perpetrated on your behalf by the “supposed leader of the free world” come from the 1996 and 2000 Libertarian nominee for President, Harry Browne,
“In other words, the Butcher of Baghdad was correct; the President of the United States of America was wrong. The Butcher of Baghdad will be put on trial for “war crimes.” The President of the United States of America was reelected to “lead” the country for four more years.”
and from Michael Harris, commentator for the Ottawa Sun…
“Quit his anchor job over a bad story call? I think Dan (Rather) would rather not. But he did. Quit his job over a war launched by a fiction? It wouldn’t cross Dubya’s mind. And he won’t. Accountability in journalism, none in the barnyards of power.“
For this writer, the institutional/corporate church standing mute can be understood in one of two ways. One, that it is perfectly consistent with the teachings of Jesus to kill innocent people without cause or provocation, much less apologize or repent afterwards. Or two, there exists some prior restraint on America’s pulpits from speaking righteous condemnation about the lawlessness of President GWBush. For anyone who has read the Gospels, especially Matthew, the aptness of number one is beneath contempt thus leaving option two for consideration.
Since 1954, the vast majority of America’s churches have needlessly subjected themselves to the authority of the federal government and the IRS as 501c3 non-profit corporations. Regardless of what CPA’s or attorneys (both groups are licensed agents of the State) might say, churches and your contributions to churches automatically qualify as tax exempt [see IRS Publication 526 and IRS Code § 170(c)(2)(B)]. There is no need for a local church to be incorporated (embodied) by the state government for your offerings to qualify as valid tax deductions.
However, if your local church has surrendered its sovereignty to the FedGov and the IRS, then it is subject to certain restrictions. IRS Code § 501c3 reads as follows:
Sec. 501. Exemption from tax on corporations, certain trusts, etc.
(c) List of exempt organizations —
(3) Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation, (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.
Corporations are a type of legal entity/legal fiction/legal person (different from a living being with a soul) whose conception dates back to the Roman Empire and Roman Civil Law. Corporations are the creation of man and are arbitrarily given certain rights and functions within society via the civil law. The construction of a modern corporation typically requires the filing of certain documents through the authorizing governmental branch and only “comes to life” with the deposit of a certain amount of money in a bank account. Similarly, trusts are another type of legal fiction that “come to life” when the corpus or body of the trust (money, land, stock, bonds, personal property, etc.) has been contributed and put under the control of the trustee. Hopefully the theological, moral and political complications of a church (literally – called out ones from the Greek ecclesia) having been incorporated under the authority of the State are becoming evident.
Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians speaks abundantly about …
- What is the Church,
- Who forms it,
- Under Whose authority does it come into being,
- Of What it is comprised,
- Who brings the Church to Life and
- How it is to function.
(All citations are from the New American Standard Bible)
20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,
23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
4There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;
14As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
15but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
16from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.
26 BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.
28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
7 Therefore do not be partakers with them;
8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light
9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),
10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;
12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.
13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.
23 …as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.
24 But as the church is subject to Christ, …
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm
In bowing-the-knee to the embodying and authoritative power of the State-FedGov-IRS, the institutional/corporate church has muzzled itself in order to facilitate and encourage contributions of money (mammon?). Possibly much worse has occurred. When the pulpits of the visible church are silent and not raining ceaseless condemnation on “supposed fellow Christian” GWBush for the unwarranted and illegal savagery caused by his fraudulent war, then willful disobedience to the Word of God is not too strong and apostate is likely more accurate in categorizing the institutional/corporate church.
“Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”