Churches should learn about converting to 508c1a

The founding of the United States is a mixed bag in terms of whether it was founded “as a Christian nation” or not.


The Founders were a LOT less Christian than the history books told my generation in schools in the 1960s. They’ve pulled back in more recent years from that idea I’m sure, as they try to expunge God from all things financed by extorted taxation.
That said there are two documents that represent two stages in the founding and formation of the “nation”.

The Declaration of Independence does indeed have attributes more in line with God the Creator and God the shepherd than the Constitution, that much is obvious from the reading. The Declaration invokes “the God of Nature and of Nature’s God”. It is widely known that the members of the Continental Congress compelled Thomas Jefferson to rewrite it because it had too little reference to God as the one to invoke for such an action. Is it not true that most of the signers of the Declaration were clergy?

In contrast to the Declaration, the Constitution invokes “We the people” instead of God. That the Congress came up with a new Constitution to remake the federation into a stronger central government was a surprise to a lot of people. While they were in session, Patrick Henry (not there) said, “I smell a rat”. He was one of the influences that made the Bill of Rights a condition of ratification in the states.

But yes, the Constitution was not godly. Alexander Hamilton was a snake in the grass and almost derailed it into another French Republic but with the central bank to enrich himself and other associates.

But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. The Bill of Rights is a fairly good statement for those times anyway of some of the God-given natural individual rights of all people.


According to tThe Church under the Constitution were never “taxable” until President Lyndon Johnson added “religious organizations” to the 501c(3) section of the tax code as a way to subjugate churches to the whims of the growing power of the federal government and its runaway tax bureaucracy. His problem was that fire and brimstone churches in Texas were speaking boldly about him, his sins, his corruption, and all and ANY political issue they wanted to preach about.

Some of the history is found here:

After Senator Lyndon Johnson put that wording in the law, and lawyers and accountants started getting the message across the land, it was like saying “sic’ em” to a dog. They fanned out warning pastors everywhere about the dangers they faced from the law if they didn’t get a 501c3 exemption from taxes from the Internal Revenue Service. New seminary graduates who started taking over existing churches got the message. And without checking the history, I am sure that over time they started getting cautions in their pastors’ conferences from attorneys and accountants (always looking for business). They started incorporating under state laws so they could get that tax exemption so their members could deduct donations from their taxes.

Meantime, Virginia still did not allow incorporation of religious organizations in the state, due to a constitutional prohibition that Thomas Jefferson made sure was there to protect churches against government interference. Jerry Fallwell Sr. sued in federal court to demand the “right” to incorporate. Probably because their team of lawyers told him it would make it easier for donors to reduce their taxes. And certainly there may be some speed bumps along the way that make it more difficult, but some web sites point to the places in the tax code and in the IRS’ own publications that can be checked.

NOTE that I am neither a lawyer and I am not making these assertions with any pretense of knowing what this means or how to approach a change in status for any existing churches. I strongly recommended fully researching this issue and finding someone who has real experience in this. And as the saying goes, “buyer beware”. When it comes to taxation issues, remember that the IRS is a brutal and merciless monster that believes its cause is righteous.

However, it is also true that there is an increasing number of churches that have ended their 501c3 incorporation and converted to a 508c1a, and have been more free to preach the entire Gospel without holding back just because they might get in trouble for condemning things like sodomy, transexual surgery, and the like.


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