What is a “New Testament” or “Lordship Church”?
Very basically, a “New Testament” church is an autonomous body of Believers who look to the Bible and specifically Jesus / Yeshua the Messiah as sovereign and preeminent; This means that the church has no entanglements that would compromise that position.
What is a 501(c)3 incorporated “church”?
Briefly stated, a 501 (c)3 incorporated church is a “church” that has made league with the United States government to be a recognized form of an incorporation with favored status as a charitable institution with benefits of the IRS including tax exemption and other state subsidies, privileges and associated restrictions.
Many think a Lordship / New Testament (non501(C)3) church is abnormal even though the IRS 501 (C)3 tax code didn’t even exist for the first 300 years of America’s history
Today, most think that in order to be “legitimate” a “church” needs to be registered as a 501(C)3 corporation. However Christian Churches operated in America for over 300 years, as the “Lordship Church” or “Free Church”, before the 501(C)3 system was even created.
Today, a 501(C)3 listing merely duplicates the standing that churches have always been granted here in America. However, along with duplicating what has already been established to BENEFIT Christian churches, when a church accepts a 501(C)3 identity, it also accepts RESTRICTIONS that prevent it from spreading the Gospel unencumbered as Yeshua (Jesus) instructs us to do.
Even though it now seems like churches have always been involved with the 501 (c)3 system; actually, the 501(C)3 entity wasn’t even created until 1954. At that time the 501(C)3 entity was created by the American government to help it control communist organizations that were popping up around the country.
The 501 (C)3 system is completely voluntary and unnecessary
Although never required, when the 501(C)3 system was created, churches were granted by congress the option of being added to the Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)3 list of organizations. However, as granted by the First Amendment (above), this inclusion of “churches” into the 501(C)3 system has always been voluntary; it has never been mandatory.
But unfortunately, as time went by “churches” began to think that they were somehow required to be registered “licensed” as a 501(C)3 entity; and so they began to voluntarily enroll into the system until eventually we arrived at the point we are at today.
As more and more churches accepted the 501(C)3 program and the associated restrictions (which were originally intended to thwart communism), more and more people began to think it was necessary for all churches to enlist into the program.
Amazingly this occurred despite the fact that churches had been operating very nicely for over 300 years before the 501(C)3 entity was created in 1954.
Christian churches were in error and are erring by doing this. As previously mentioned, the founders of the great nation of America had already made a provision for “churches” in the First Amendment of the American Constitution and no other licensing was or is needed.
America was built on the basis of the “Free”, New Testament, Lordship Church” system .
It is very, very important to understand that being an established “Lordship Church” is not in any way an act of rebellion against the government. On the contrary; as explained above, it is a way operating as clearly designed, intended and encouraged by the American government. It is a way to execute A God-given mandate that the founders of America sought to guarantee the ability to fulfill.
The free / Lordship church was one of the most influential, and certainly one of the most common, institutions in American history; both distant and recent. Indeed the “Lordship Church” was the only form of a “church” up until relatively recently.
A “Free” or “Lordship Church” is not some radical, fringe, concept, and it is not anti-government. The fact that a church is not enrolled into the 501(C)3 system in no way infers that it is anti-government. Like the founders of America we very much support the Biblical concept of righteous, Godly, government. As a matter of fact, as evidenced by the number of Pastors involved in early America, it was members of the Lordship Church who were extremely influential in forming the American government.
The “Black Robed Regiment” sacrificed dearly to create and support America
Many of the early American church leaders were part of what King George referred to as “The Black Regiment” or the “Black Robed Regiment”. These men had an uncompromising belief that the church of Jesus Christ is not an underling, a vassal, or in any way subordinate to any king or parliament. This is one of the main reasons that America was founded in the first place; to avoid licensor, to avoid having to submit to King George in England who considered himself to have authority over the church. King George’s abuse of authority over the true church (Christians / God’s people) of England in those days was similar to the abuses practiced by countries like Afghanistan, china, Africa and saudi arabia today.
This is the very reason that so many sacrificed their property, their health, their homes, their families and their lives during The War for American Independence (Revolutionary War). Early American Believers who were faithful to Yahweh, the God of the Bible, personally experienced the control, torture and abuse that they had left behind in England because of their faith and they were determined to not allow that to happen again in the new land of America.
And so today when a “church” voluntarily and unnecessarily places itself under the authority of the 501(c)3 system it abrogates everything the War for American Independence was fought to gain and then places itself back under the authority of the government.
Today the people of God should follow Biblical pattern of Early America regarding the New Testament, “Lordship Church”
In summary, after over 300 years of operating without the 501(C)3 system, churches were not suddenly required to be registered in 1954 and they never have been.
The 501(C)3 entity, originally created in 1954 as a means of controlling anti-American communist organizations, is merely a reflection (or an admission / confirmation) of the established “Law of Charities” (which exists and stands alone separate from the 501(C)3 entity) except with some added restrictions placed upon organizations enrolled in the program.
For a “Church” to enroll in the 501(C)3 program is completely unnecessary, contrary to Biblical instruction, voluntary and very contrary to all that America was founded upon, has fought for and stands for.
More importantly; for a church to enroll into the 501(C)3 program is completely contrary to the fulfilling of the “Great Commission” of which every believer is responsible.
If you are a member of a church that has been established as a 501(c)3 we strongly, strongly urge you to talk to your pastor and tell him about the information you have read here. Strongly encourage the church leadership to remove themselves from those restrictions so that they are free to preach and spread the gospel in it’s entirety, uncensored, as Yeshua (Jesus) intended it to be. Since the response to your request, in effect, will probably be that your “Pastor” places a higher priority on his financial security then the gospel, he will probably refuse to come out from under the restrictions of the 501(C)3 system. If that happens we encourage you to at least remove yourself from unnecessary restrictions so that you might be found blameless.
” Congress shall make no law
respecting an establishment of religion,
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
First Amendment to the American Constitution