Should Churches Pay Taxes or be Exempt?

Churches tax exempt yes or no

I am not aware of of tax regulations in any country other than the United States. Here in the U.S., churches do not pay taxes because they are exempt. Their 501(c)(3) status prohibits them from paying some federal income taxes, property taxes, and/or sales taxes. Before we answer whether they should pay taxes or be exempt, let’s look at a quick history of tax exemptions.

Ancient History of Church Tax Exemption

The first example i have found of religious tax exemptions is found in Genesis 47:26 when the priests land was exempt from paying the Pharaoh’s tax.

And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt to this day, that Pharaoh should have one-fifth, except for the land of the priests only, which did not become Pharaoh’s

This passage is by no means a biblical mandate to require tax exemption upon any religious institution. This is just an example of tax exemption in world history.

There are many more examples of tax exemption in our ancient history, but let’s move forward into the medieval ages

In the medieval times the Roman Catholic Church and the English throne were in marriage with one another,  so therefore, the Catholic Church was exempt from paying taxes. The Church and the government were essentially one organization, so if the Government were to tax the Church, they would be taxing themselves.

The tax exemption that was imposed upon the Catholic Church would lay the foundation and traditions that we find in our modern laws today.

Modern History of Church Tax Exemption

The marriage of the throne and the Church is one of the main reasons our forefathers declared in our constitution, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. They wanted the Church to operate apart from the state (although the phrase “separation of Church & State” is not found in the Constitution)

Although the Church and the State no longer operate as one entity, these tax exempt laws seem to have been ‘grandfathered’ into our common laws.

David M Andersen in Brigham Young University Law Review writes, “In 1894, Congress passed the first income tax on corporations but exempted from the tax those “corporations, companies, or associations organized and conducted solely for charitable, religious or educational purposes.”

Now we see our government providing a unique status to Churches, but what is their reason for allowing this privilege? Were they afraid God was going to strike them with lightning if they didn’t? The reason for providing tax exempt status may not seem obvious.

Erik Stanley from LaTimes.com says, “In general, governments believed that churches along with other types of community groups enhanced and supplemented government services such as feeding the hungry, housing those in need of shelter and in general using private funds for public good. (Although this is a debate for another time, I note that more and more religious groups are now asking for a government bailout through the “faith-based initiative” and to keep their tax exemptions.)”

The reason why the Church has been privileged with its tax exempt status is because the government expected us to supplement the need for humanitarian services. Basically our responsibility for the welfare of the people relieved this burden off of the backs of government.

Questioning the Church’s Eligibility to be Tax Exempt

I realize that there is no official list of social qualifications that we need to maintain in order to keep our tax exempt status, but one cannot wonder why our eligibility remains as the government takes on more of our social responsibilities? Is there any form of social criteria that we have to meet in order to keep our tax exempt status other than preaching out of some religious book once a week?

If the Church does not provide for the poor, the indigent, the homeless, or the sick  do you think Korea, Japan, U.K., or Canada would want to apply for that responsibility? Of course people run to their own government for help. Listen, somebody has to help these people. I don’t care if you are a democrat, republican, or libertarian, marxist, or an environmentalist, these people need help.

We can debate about whether their situation is their own fault. We can say that they chose their own path. I am not disagreeing with you, but that isn’t an excuse for us to overlook their desperation. Their choices are never, ever an excuse for our negligence for their basic needs.

It sickens me that as the government relishes the opportunity to take on more social responsibilities while the Church gladly passes on the torch. Now that we are free from taking care of people’s needs, we can spend more money on ourselves, on our church buildings, on our programs, on our stage design, and on our sound equipment. We relish the opportunity to beautify our image while the government relishes the more Godly response. While the government is taking on the responsibility of  being a savior, and we spit in our the real Savior’s face who once said, “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.” and also “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Conclusion

I’m going to say it right away – Take away the tax exempt status of the Church!

As the government takes on more and more social responsibilities, i am sick of seeing my taxes go up and up. If churches started paying property taxes, i wouldn’t doubt if my taxes would actually decrease. Believe me, i wish i could say the opposite, the problem is that the Church is extremely ill. We have been sick for a long time. Giving statistics state that the Church spends 85% of the funds it receives on internal operations and only 3% of our money goes towards aiding and ministering towards the unsaved.

Do i blame the poor for crying to the government? No Way! When they come crying to the Church, they get turned away, so where else should they go? Should they get a job? Why don’t you go trying to get a minimum wage job as a single parent. Let’s see how well you survive providing for your family while doing that?

Look. I am a registered republican. i voted for the Bush’s and McCain. I am a fiscal conservative, but i believe the Church should handle spiritual as well as social responsibilities. But the problem is that we aren’t, so i’m done fighting against social health care, and welfare. Let it happen. Republicans fight and fight about socialism this and socialism that, but we don’t do a stinkin thing about it! Until the Church gets its act together and takes care of our responsibility there’s nothing else for me to say. Right now, I am just furious! We have no right to be tax exempt!

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Jared Bartholomew is the author of www.tithing.com. There are over 300 articles written on research and reviews about tithing information.

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50 comments on “Should Churches Pay Taxes or be Exempt?
  1. Edward Brown says:

    Such simple thoughts. Pretty harsh on His bride.

    • Valencia Howard says:

      I missed this comment, and agree with it in full. The church is His bride, and many of the sentiments are harsh.

  2. Kelly Ray says:

    Sure. Maybe she’ll wise up and realize what her real mission was about.

  3. Valencia Howard says:

    I believe that the true Church of God should be exempt from income tax requirements and other taxes that apply to the world. Number one: our first ten percent belongs to God. Number two: we are not of this world and should not allow ourselves to become subjected to the laws of the land when they conflict with the laws of God. Being mandated (forced) to pay Caesar first is being forced into Caesar’s ways and out of God’s ways. The Jews were taxed in a different kind of way, not directly from their income, which goes back to the first reason I say NO. Number three: the government is not to stand in the gap between the world and God. We are the body of Chirst and none other powers will do, and has no right to replace the mission of the true Church.

    • DeZ says:

      You said it, “our first 10% belongs to God,” not the church. The church is a place where people assemble to talk, learn, sing, and hear the word of God (hopefully). The church is ran by man/woman, not God. All persons in the church are not of God.

      • Valencia Howard says:

        I guess I need you to expound on your point about the church not being God. The church, from the understand I have, is the body of Christ- a group of believers that followig after Him as our head/government. Therefore, we are organized in a fashion to follow God’s requirements on how to distribute the first fruits of our labor/income back into sustaining God’s purpose for the body of Christ in our mission to go into all the world and preach/teach the gospel, etc.

        • catmanbleu says:

          How about “render unto Ceasar”?

          • Valencia Howard says:

            The church is to render unto God what is God’s, and then only after honoring God, should it render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Caesar is not to interfere with the choosen people of God following the way of their Lord. He only afterwards came in to receive what he by law mandated.

          • catmanbleu says:

            I don’t have a “reply” option below what you posted last, Ms. Howard, but still I want to comment. What Bible did this cryptic answer come from? What verse? I do not understand at all what that last statement means. It reads like this is the way you would like to interpret what clearly Jesus did not say. Most would agree that Jesus was saying that his followers should be good citizens. Wiki answers has this: “In a broad sense, Jesus used the question about taxes to teach that Christians are to be responsible citizens of their country as well as being responsible servants of God.” Of course, we are talking about a lot of money should churches decide to be good citizens and pay taxes like other businesses. It is convenient for corporate churches to reason as you have, and the bible is fraught with contradictions so finding some verse that can be twisted to defend their stance is not a problem. What verse were you paraphrasing again?

          • Valencia Howard says:

            I do believe tha we are to be responsible citizens, yet not when Caesar requires us to do what is against God’s mandates. All things are given to mankind, not to use as we will to please our fancy, but to do according to God’s good pleasure. My point is simply that the first ten percent of the firstfruits of what God’s people increase in belong to Jehovah God. First fruits means the first of your pay check, crops, etc. Because many do not depend on farmng and raising livestock, or what have you, we have no need to refer to those things in order to return unto God what he requires. Many depend on money as a means to survive, so that same principle is to be applied to the use of money.

            All things belong to God. Therefore, to support God’s establishment, the family of God is required to give first and foremost to supply the need of the Church. That means that all others do not have priority over the churches responsibility to seek first the kingdom of God which comes down to supplying means to fulfill its mission/purpose to evangelize before supporting any other cause. Christians are living as strangers in this land, and while we have to pay rent (figuratively speaking) for temporarily living any place on earth, we must first live out God’s charge to lay down our lives to spread the gospel. After all, he’s our provider in a world of uncertainty. We are charge to do everything we can to be at peace with all men, but never to compromise our integrity, loyalty, and steadfastness in honoring our God in order to be in favor with the world.

          • Valencia Howard says:

            About that last statement: Goverments did not traditionally confiscate resources that a person used for survival in the way that is done today via the income tax system (e.g. the taking of a percentage of a person livestock would generally happen only after there was failure to comply with the mandate to independently yield a certain type of tax upon receipt of such resouces). Besides many of the tax requirements today seem to be mainly for reasons of vanity, and are unbeneficial in the end according to record and Biblical perspective.

            Caesar did not interfere with the children of Israel’s ability to yield first to God by taking from their livelihood before they were able to receive and distribute what was needed to support God’s cause according to religious requirements. Therefore, I conclude the the gov’t systems of today are setting themselves up to exact what is not rightfully theirs, and force Christians to distribute their resources not as outlined according Biblical principle. Please, I welcome you to respond to this reply according to how you believe it to be.

    • Aaron says:

      Your reply does not make any sense, and your opinion is flawed because you are close minded and spiritually blind.

      • Valencia Howard says:

        @Aaron

        Flawed, alrighty then…. I see no flaw in my quotes (doesn’t mean there aren’t any), and if you see any, provide opportunity to examine things from your point of view. To so strongly proclaim that someone is spiritually blind would make it the proclaimers responsibility to be even more so spiritually enlightening. So please, share what wisdom or spiritual enlightment that may be open-minded and spiritually sound based upon Bible truth. Thanks, in advance!

    • Alice says:

       QUOTE: Number two: we are not of this world and should not allow ourselves to become subjected to the laws of the land when they conflict with the laws of God.

      And just what world do you come from Ms. Howard? I don’t know about you but I come from Earth,the United States of America where a business pays their taxes. I contend that the church is running  one of the most profitible business in America and like any other business should pay taxes.
      The value of U.S. church and synagogue property has grown to an estimated $102 billion—all
       of it tax exempt.I view this as an indirect subsidy that hikes taxes for other property owners and violates the First Amendment because it amounts to state support of religion.
      Many amass great wealth and vast media empires – all of it off the tax rolls. The point is that religious organizations can and do espouse doctrines of intolerance and hatred, filter
       funds to foreign enemies, and cause far more harm than good in their communities. They are
       nevertheless entirely tax-exempt, their finances never scrutinized, because they qualify as
       “religious organizations.”
       Many are among the wealthiest organizations in the world: by 1971, the amount of real and
       personal property owned by U.S. churches was approx. $110 billion.
      Some church people wrongly believe that churches will lose their tax-exempt status if they
       take a stand on political matters. But the tax code is clear: churches and ministers may
       speak out at will on any issue, so long as they do not engage in partisan politics — that
       is, advocate for one candidate over another.
      I say, the next time Congress is looking for an extra$20 billion a year to finance another war, tell them they need look no further thanan income tax on religious payroll      

  4. John Rykken says:

    Not all are ignoring the poor or the homeless. At Calvary chapel Southeast in Milwaukie, Oregon, we operate a large food bank, a clothing ministry, and referral services that extend beyond our church to include other non-government relief organizations in the area. Perhaps you would like to do the same?

    • Catmanbleu says:

      You are right of course, John, and I personally would like to thank you for your work. My wife and I support organizations that help the homeless. I try to exclude giving money to churches or any organization affiliated with churches because I do not trust them, and you can never know what will actually happen to your money once you give it to a church. My wife still clings to her fable laden childhood, and supports churches, but not directly. I know you do it from the heart though, and that is nice….right.

      • Valencia Howard says:

        I don’t get the gripe against the church! The church (body of Christ) is not a bad thing. It’s what the people in the Church do. We need to be mature enough to know that all those who call themselves members of “the church” are true church members by God’s standards. Just like it is said in the Bible (Romans 9:6-8), all that are of Israel are not all Israel according to the Spiritual implications; but yes, by name only. So know that the wheat must grow up with the tares….

        You cannot through the baby out with the bath. The true church is the body of Christ.

    • Aaron says:

      This make sense, talking about what one does and what one know. This is how we hold a degree in life to qualify us to speak on certain subjects. There are many organizations that provide for the poor. Some of the other reply comments above are really spookie. Sound as though they just wanna have a battle of the brains about who know more about the bible. 10% is a tax that the church collect from its members in order to sustain itself. Why pay a tax on a tax. Churches are helping people locally.

      • DeZ says:

        Aaron, all money received by the church through its members is not taxed, have you ever heard of money laundering? The church receives grants to fund projects for the disenfranchised (who do you think funds such a project?). You stated, “10% is a “tax” that church collect from its members in order to sustain itself.” Really Aaron….all this time I thought I was tithing.
        I don’t see this topic as “a battle of the brains” about who knows more about the bible, because no one does…not even our pastors, reverends, priests, ministers, bishops, etc. They are still finding revelations daily. This is suppose to be a topic open for intelligent discussions on informing and engaging each other. Please do not be some negatively impacted by others experiences.
         
         

  5. Catmanbleu says:

    The tax free status should be repealed for churches, and there are a number of reasons why. Churches are corporations, not unlike any other. They are designed to make a lot of money, pay as little overhead as possible, and make stored profits grow. They bring in an estimated 250 billion dollars a year, and they do not spend 85% on operations as has been reported in the above report, it is more like 25%-30%. Their next great expenditure is outreach. They are not reaching for the poor, but the poor’s money, they are spending money to grow the church, so that profilts can grow weekly. More than half the money is invested, stocks, bonds, land, apartment buildings, commercial property, etc. Every time they buy a peice of property, anyone owning property in that area has an increase in property tax, because the newly owned church property no longer pays taxes. This is just simple math. The writer is dead wrong. If we take away the tax status of churches, all of our taxes would drop by as much as 20%. Further, these forced tithes that President Bush bought the church vote with and called Faith Based Initiatives should be repealed too. If I pay taxes, and choose not to give to a church, the government should not then decide that, yes, I should be supporting a church. This is another example of how “corporate” churches have become. They have lobbyists, just like Exxon, and Halliburton, and AIG, and they make money by buying the votes of our representatives.

    • Freewillgiver says:

      Catmanbleu

      I love your post .All churches might need to use their nonprofit status not just the tithe preachers.
      There is other nonprofit religious institutions you failed to criticize. Public schools. All Public schools, which is because all schools teach values and the lean toward some kind of religious value. Any Christians paid taxes but their tax dollars also pay for public schools which tend to hire teachers who teach against their faith. Can that the school be designed with out the religious bias? No it is impossible. This same can be said for colleges and many psychological programs paid for by the government.

      I agree that there are many problems with the way that nonprofit organizations spend money. I am also in favor of making church organizations pay taxes however I also believe that zero non profit organization are really nonprofit. With any government program someone is getting over on someone else including all non profits organizations. The public is even affected by well meaning good programs. If all homeless shelter opens up in your neighborhood surely property values will go down in that area. Is the church’s lose their nonprofit organizations that as I believe that all non pofit organization should lose that status.

      Catmanbleu
      How were American tax code is so unfair to so many is hard to start with government programs that need not exist or be cut.

      Christ in us!

      • Freewillgiver says:

        Freinds Tithe Preachers imitate Earthly Government systems.
        Sorry Freinds for the typos in the last post I was using speech to text and failed to check it. I would also like to add that all governments are Religious in some degree whether they claim to have no religious bias or not. Politics and religion can not be seaparated because religion is strong beliefs. Any goverment will convey losses to one party at the expence of another party. The very nature of drawing a line in the sand and calling it a country is religious. One cannot scientifically prove that one place is Mexico or the USA. Remember people are getting killed over world borders every day all governments are Religious even Athiest Govenments.
        The Preacher who collects taxes through tithes mearly immitates all govenments on earth.

        All governments make loosers and Winners the beliefe that they have the rights to do so is always partly religious.

  6. Mac says:

    Wow, spoken out of true ignorance. Churches are not perfect, they are run by human beings, but i have seen a hell of alot more good and grace and mercy come through the church than our government. Here’s food for thought for you all. You think preachers have it made? Well consider this. Because a church is tax exempt they do not pay income or social security taxes on preachers. That means it is the preacher’s responsibility to pay both the employer’s portion and their own portion. Also unlike you desk jockeys, a church does not pay into preacher’s social security so if a preacher becomes disabled they are pretty much screwed. Add on top of that the fact that many churches do not provide benefits, like health insurance, etc. Churches get no government assistance whatsoever, that means they are totally dependent on assholes like you to give donations to pay their bills and pay the pastor, etc. But since you are more concerned with buying a Starbucks latte or an apple Ipad than supporting your local church, alot of churches have to shut their doors. Until you have walked a mile in someone’s shoes don’t assume you know anything at all. I hope you read this article author man, you make me completely sick.

    • Mac,
      I am a self employed individual. Every day i wake up wondering why my next paycheck is going to come from. I wonder if God will provide me some business today, and on top of that worry about my competition (unlike a church). If i were to be disabled in any way, probably the only job i could get is at a church. I started my business with no income or contracts, with no customer base or initial converts.

      I do not have a health, nor retirement plan. I pay full state and federal taxes on my sales and income (unlike a church), and also have to pay for social security for myself and as an employer.

      Most of the people in my situation do not have the opportunity to plead at the pulpit for more support (unlike a pastor). If i need some sort of assistance, my church fellowship might provide some temporary relief, but in the end i have to get off my ass and find a job and work like the rest of the world. It’s an enlightening opportunity to actually be a full time servant of God amongst the rest of the world.

      My wife and I own 2 cars over 10 years old, and have worked hard to pay them off. I have a silverado loaded with nothing(nope not even power windows), and a toyota camry with over 190,000 miles (praying that it will go to at least 250,000). I have a 32″ old school box TV, and i do not pay for cable. I have 1000 sq ft home with 1 child now and 1 on the way.

      I have worked for a church doing administrative work for about a year, and was let go because of budget cuts.

      I say all this not for a pat on the back or some applause, because it really is not as hard as you or I make it sound. Mac, i’ve walked miles in these shoes. Did i blame my clients because they didn’t choose my services? Did i blame God during the hard times because i was frustrated? Did i get mad at people in the Church for not giving?

      All-in-all Mac, i think you just need to calm down. I’ve never seen a man of God without his needs taken care of.

      I couldn’t agree more with your statement about the church and government. The church is where grace should be coming from. Instead most churches are willing to pass the torch off to our government. It’s ludicrous to watch the pulpit being used to make social demands from the government. It’s also bizarre to me that people expect to see Jesus more from our government than from our Church – just look at hurricane katrina.

      There’s only one way to stop the insanity, and that’s to purify the church of greed and corruption. We’re not going to stop all this mess at the polls or at the next tea party rally. Political rally’s are just band-aids on gunshot wounds. It has to come from God’s people and within the family of God.

      I do not apologize if the blog article offended you or if it seemed too radical.

      Malachi 3:3-4
      He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem Will be pleasant to the LORD, As in the days of old, As in former years.

      • Valencia Howard says:

        I don’t believe tax exempt according to my understanding is about asking the gov’t for a cut or break. It’s about being separate from the world as the true church should be. Any gov’t should steps in when the needs of the people are not being met in ordinarily caring ways through family/community support (considering that the world does need a system in place for times of crises). Natural families are not taking care of their own, so the gov’t steps in (and what head doesn’t take care of it’s own). The church cannot solve the problems of the world in full- the world will not have it any other way but theirs. This world is not the home of God’s children, we are but pilgrims passing through as strangers. Yet, it is God’s earth (he made it, and will make new one).

        I am simply putting forth the fact that we should be separate and independent from the world’s system. Taxes covers a lawfully proclaimed need or problem (army, public service, etc). Taxes supports the gov’t itself also. Therefore, I uphold my point, in that taxes are an enforced thing that don’t leave the true church (body) of Christ the ability to distribute it’s wages from labor in the order directed by God; first to God’s establishment of gov’t throughout his body of believers according to NEED, and then to meet the needs of the world in the commission to go into all the world.

        However, there is never a need to force others to give contributions to the world’s system against their religious convictions, when the US is a country that’s suppose to stand by the right to exercise freedom of religion. It seems that many who profess to be the so called church have compromised too often, and too much, to assert any rights to exemption, being too busy holding hands with the world in the first place for the sake of benefiting from the overrated convenieces that don’t do much to improve the conditions of the general population.

      • Aaron says:

        Yeah that happened a long time ago, what about now. You don’t have no present day bible stories to tell. You must not be doing anything. Usually those who aren’t doing anything, cry the most, and know the least. Sounds like your mad because you made some mistakes or bad decisions in life. There is a difference in needing help and wanting help and being sound in mind and angry about something. Are you still angry about being fired?

        • Shob says:

          I am confused. Most times people pay tithe off of their gross income so they use what is left from their net to pay for their living expenses. So when they include in their budget  tithe money that has already been taxed, does that give the government the right to tax churches on monies already that has been taxed on. Also in the IRC there are other taxes the the church is not exempt from, besides the Pastor salary the church is required to pay certain taxes on other laborers of the church? Help me someone.

          • taxpayer says:

            Shob, Seriously?
            Based on your assumption that churches shouldn’t be taxed because the money we will give has already been taxed, then we also cannot tax any corporation.
            The money I give to Kraft for my Mac & Cheese has already been taxed.
            The money I give to Toyota for my Prius has already been taxed.
            Even Wal Mart should not be taxed because their profits come from markups I pay with money that has already been taxed.
            I needn’t go on. To make the argument that churches deserve their tax free status simply because we are taxed is just plain ridiculous.

  7. Mac says:

    So you think the church doesn’t have any competition? Have you ever noticed 10 churches within a 1 mile radius of each other? Thats called competition. Congratulations on starting your business. Plenty of people have also started churches without any “income or contracts, with no customer base or initial converts.”

    As i stated before, all employees of churches are required to pay self employment taxes, not only the employer’s portion, but also their own, so you are not alone in that.

    As a business owner, you do have the opportunity to “plead” as you say. You can get corporate sponsors, government grants, etc. Check out this website: http://www.sba.gov/

    By the way, this is not offered in any way for churches.

    So you think that being a pastor is not a “real job”? So a real job is only measured based on what you can produce? I would agree a being a pastor is not a “job” rather it is a way of life. You can’t come home and turn off your profession. You have to be available 24/7. Until you have led a church, been with people who are ill and dying, balanced a budget, prayed for enough money that the bank will not foreclose on the church, written a sermon every single week, dealt with the never ending criticism from not only your church members, but the outside world such as yourself, come under personal attack, etc, then you really have no idea what it’s like.

    The point here is that no one can understand what someone else has or is going through unless they are the ones going through it.

    You said it well in your later comments, people need to stop sitting on the sidelines and complaining, and instead actually getting involved and being the change they want to see in the world. We live in an age of information but no action.

    I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity;
    Philippians 4:11

  8. Mac,
    you have just confirmed that a pastor and myself are even more alike than i anticipated, so i will just ignore your statement, “Until you have walked a mile in someone’s shoes don’t assume you know anything at all”

    - jared

  9. Mac says:

    Sorry for my harsh words. Please pray for me that the Lord continues to work in my heart and I am content.

  10. catmanbleu says:

    Mac, think about this today. You called me an asshole because I do not want to support an organization that operates on voluntary gifts, and uses fear and lies to entice such gifts. You apologized for the harsh words, to me or someone anyway, and I accept that…I no doubt provoked that anger in you, I admit, and I say things sometimes too I would retract. But the last is the essence of religion as I see it. “Please pray for me that the Lord continues to work in my heart and I am content.” Your excuse is that God has not made enough progress in your heart. It wasn’t your fault, it was God’s. You are not responsible. That is however another can of worms, not germaine to the topic.

    Competition? Plenty of competition in the god-game. All you have to do it open a phone book, any phone book, to the yellow pages. You will see a lot of doctors, lawyers, apartments, all sorts of businesses. But you will see more churches than any other type of listing. I could open a church too. I have been ordained since 1978, but have never tried anything like that. I dreamed about it, plenty. I used to watch Oral Roberts, who would heal people by phone for most of an hour, then ask for money for the ORU hospital he was building. See any incongruities here?

    Thanks for the comments, guys. Yes, I read them all. Let me close with a couple of jokes. This nurse went back to where the doctor was, and said, “Doctor, there is a man in the waiting room that thinks he is invisible!” The doctor looked up and said, “Well, tell him I can’t see him today.” A set of jumper cables walks into a bar and orders a beer. The bartender looks at him and says, “Okay, I will serve you, but don’t start anything.”

  11. DeZ says:

    I read everyone’s blog, and personally I believe churches should lose their tax exempt status for more reasons than one. They need to pay their fair share of tax, “case in point.” Their burden of tax should not be distrubuted to world in which receives no benefit from them.

  12. DeZ says:

    By the way Catmanbleu, those jokes were pretty good.

  13. Mac says:

    Catmanbleu, if you are ordained you sure as he’ll don’t act very pastorally and sensitive. I was not blaming anything on God, I was saying I am still a work in progress as we all are, and the only hope we have is that God would work in us by the holy spirit to make us more Christ-like. You sure are twisting things around to fit your own biases.

    D

    DeZ

    • catmanbleu says:

      The Universal Life Church will ordain anyone willing to swear they will try to be good. The Revered Kirby Hensley started the Church in the 70′s because he was irked that he had to pay taxes, but churches didn’t. He saw preachers, who’s criteria for ordaination was nothing more than a love of fried chicken, get restaurant and clothing discounts, go the to front of the line, etc. He was angry and so he started a church in his living room, and discounted his tax liability as allowed for any church, paid himself a tax free salary, and so the great Church was formed. One problem, though. The IRS disagreed with him about his conviction, and threatened to throw him in jail. His litigation went all the way to the Supreme Court, who said, “Thou shalt not mess with a man’s religion.” God bless America.

      In 1978, I called the Church in Modesto, California, from UNCW in Wilmington, NC, where I was going to school, and they said they would ordain me for a $2 love gift, or if I wanted to be a preist, $5, or a Cardinal, $20. I could have opted for Pope for $50, but as I said, I was a student, working for a little more than minimum wages at New Hanover Memorial Hospital. I am an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church, and have sworn to Kirby J. Hensley (RIP) that I will try to do good. It can be done online nowadays, and it is FREE, but the important thing is, the Church lives on! What a blessing.

      Sooooo, this ham sandwich walks into a bar, sits down and orders a beer. The bartender says, “Hey, Pal ! We don’t serve food in this bar.”

    • Valencia Howard says:

      I see where Catambleu was coming from, and Mac also.

      Some people do not know how to read between the lines, and subsequently decide to take things for what was intended instead of what they appear as to benefit their purpose. Yes, Mac’s statement did sound to be blaming God, but only after Catmanbleu asserted his point of view, which I instantly knew Mac did not mean to imply. However, we should choose ours words wisely, say what we mean, and mean what we say.

      Yes God is responsible for providing us the power to withstand the temptations to act carnal minded, but not without giving us the desire to do so. However, he will not overcome us to force us against our will at any moment. So, we must first, by His workings, desire his way/will, then allow him to reign over us as we are willing. So, it’s not that God didn’t do as he would; it’s that Mac was not open to him completing his will in him at those moments of outburst, which he obviously recognizes, and seemingly intended to show humility about.

  14. Mac says:

    DeZ,

    I think it is very sad you dong think churches benefit the world. Shy don’t you actually talk to some if the people there and ask them how their church has helped them through various life difficulties? Divorce, depression, death, etc. I bet they would disagree with you.

  15. DeZ says:

    Mac,

    Your’e entitled to your opinion and so am I. What’s sad is, “alot of money is being laundered within the church;” what’s sad is, “the church takes money from the masses and doesn’t do their fare share of reaching out to the less fortunate;” what’s sad is, “preachers, priests, pastors, reverends, etc., “hiding behind the word of God while doing wicked acts;” what’s sad is, “taxpayers property taxes going up to pay for the exempt status of such an organization.”

    The moral of this story…..THE CHURCH needs to pay taxes.

    • Valencia Howard says:

      The world is ripping themselves off in my opinion. Constantly setting up laws and legislation that contradict intended purpose of another. The world’s system is dumbing down it’s civilians/citizens to take greater advantage of them, and causing them to become incapable of untangling themselves. Once in, always in- that’s the game of being a citiizen-the strings are not easily broken. No wonder why friendship with the world is enmity with God. The world’s ways lead to destruction in the end. Churches were not meant to merge with the world, only be an example of what it means to follow Christ, and thereby leading others into the kingdom of God. If any church fall short of that they have to answer to God, but no world system can replace God’s. Many will fail to understand the importance of being separate from the world, and not conform to it’s ways. It’s nonsense to those who are carnal minded, and therefore, not well taken.

      • catmanbleu says:

        Ms. Howard, you are being naive if you think that the church is not worldly. I know the church you are a member of, and I feel like I know you. Your little church is filled with wonderful, hard working people that you dearly love. Who could not love a group like this? They are for the most part, however, a part of a corporation that is just as evil as Satan himself. They lobby our congress for votes for an agenda which promotes their interests. They influence foreign policy, and that, as you might guess, is a war against Islam. Is it not the duty of each and every Christian to save a soul who does not know Jesus Christ as their personal savior? Can that not be described as an agenda for the eradication of the Islamic religion?

        Without going into a speil on the murderous history of the Church, let me point out one episode in our recent history. In 2004, Christians voted overwhlemingly for George W. Bush. This was after it was obvious that he had duped America into a war with Iraq. It was being pointed out that every time GWB spoke about the Iraqi threart, he spoke of 9/11. If you didn’t see it on TV, you didn’t want to see it. It was after the Downing Street Memo, a British memorandum that documented that GWB was embellishing facts so that Iraq appeared to be the threat it really was not. We were losing 3.5 kids a day, and we were killing women and babies in the re-taking of Fallujah for the third time. We didn’t see it so much, but Al Jazeera posted pictures each day…dead burnt women and children on the streets.

        What was the election about in 2004? GWB made a deal with organized religion to enhance his new faith based initiatives and in return, this election would be about gays and the sanctity of marraige. Hundreds of people were dying each day in Iraq, where we had 150,000 troops; we had only 20,000 troops in Afghanistan at the time (NYC has 26,000 policemen). Corporate churches had their pastors politicking each and every Sunday on the evils of homosexuality, the importance of the family unit, and how it all relates to the next election. Christians, more than any other group, re-elected GWB to another four years, and another hundred thousand people, people just like the ones who attend your church each Sunday, died….for absolutely no good reason. Not paying taxes is a political football, and the Church is in neck deep in politics. Yes, the Church is worldly…and they were somewhat angry in 2008 as GWB never lived up to his promise for a family rights bill, or an enhancement of the faith based initiatives.

  16. Clay says:

    Taxing a Church is NOT taxing a religion. There is nothing in the Bible that says you have to go to Church. The Church is providing a service (A place of worship). How would you believers like it if your taxes went up just to support a place of congregation for Atheists? The argument that Churches should get Tax free status because of the good they do for the Community is bogus. I am an Atheist and I donate my time to helping out my Community as well but I don’t go looking for any loophole in the constitution to alleviate myself from paying for services that my Community and Government supply to me. I say if they want to be exempt from paying taxes then no firefighters are called out to save a burning Church, no police sent out to investigate a crime done to a Church.

  17. jeff says:

    pay up , or shut up , there is no god

  18. Zkana says:

    All churches and pastors should pay taxes, just look at all these big time churches , they are run like a bussiness, I was part of that many years. Funny with the economy the way it is not on church or pastor and tried to help. And look at all the changes in what the U.S belives and has changed in the belief of God, but why have they not changed all these rich pastors and churches from paying tax.
      Time to open your eyes too cause i believe that there is no god, all the pastor i talk too about the series Ancient Aliens, can’t answer anything lol, and the way the bible was made, god didn’t do it man did…lol. 
      Wonder why all these big churches and pastor never las, is cause there all ripping you off in false hope. Time too have them explain everything which they can’t cause all they want is your money lol.

  19. Tim Santos says:

    A church is does not have to use the 501(C)3 exemption to be exempt.  Without filing at all it qualify’s for tax exemption.   The 501 thingy just means that you are now connected to the world and can be told what you can and can not say in your church or loose your exemption.   You can get out but I hear it takes renaming your church as if you are starting over from scratch which you are not.
         That being said, what part of render unto Cesar did we not get?    This in it’s self would have the country in a better place and keep the greed of the clergy in check.   Now for what I really wanted to say… 
          When men teach/preach, it is incumbent on them to have the facts about the issue before misleading the flock. Though there may be some that teach in error, for most it is a convenient error. I recently confronted my old church teachers after leaving the church about this false teaching and the frequency at which it was spoken of. I gave the facts to which they could not refute. They have been preaching and in the church since before I was born but did not believe the father had given me the truth in this matter. How could I (an old heathen that had been in the world) know more about tithing than they did since they were born in the Church. God uses the foolish to confound the self professed wise though. Problem is, they still teach it knowing that they could not stand in my rebuke. What I heard is “Well how are we to pay our bills if we dont tithe” Which shows a TOTAL lack of faith from the leaders. Commanding 10% takes no faith. I dont think I need to give the definition of faith in this blog so you know where I am coming from. With out faith, it is impossible to please YHWH. So that church is not a church but one of Satans deceptions. Still milling out the fleecing so they dont have to do a 9 to 5 like all else. And most of the advocates of tithing either live by the tithe or give to get back like they are buying their way to the Kingdom. My salvation is a free gift from the master and I accept it. I give but not to a command but by the grace given me. Please people, read your word! not just about this but all matters. This one just goes to show you that many teach that YHWH did not ordain and anoint with his truth. Seminary means they were taught what the seminary teaches. A parrot teaching a parrot. Not good. Your Bible is your weapon against false teachings. Show your selves approved. Read it and read it GOOd!

  20. Sam Mendelow says:

    I agree completely that religious organizations should be taxed in everyway as in any BUSINESS.  They operate with the same strategies as any organization paying taxes.  Our country needs all the help possible from anywhere available. 

  21. Sam says:

    I am a Pastor in Tennessee who has just started a new church plant. We are exploring the idea of NOT becoming tax exempt. I have found no data or information as to whether or not we even have that choice. Do you know if churches are allowed to opt into to paying taxes? Of course, our view on it is that we would have more freedom in the people/organizations we support without worrying about our tax exempt status being pulled. If you have any information on this, I would GLADLY appreciate it!

  22. Gregory says:

    God also rules the goverment and I truly believe that the tax-exempt status is man made like the names man has placed on the multitude of churches. The majority of churches are controlled by men that are looking for a paycheck, I know, the truth hurts, but that is the truth.

    Churches need to pay taxes just like the people do. By the way, the Church is the people, not a building or a name. II Corinthians 3:16.

  23. DeZ says:

    Gregory, I totally agree with you!

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  1. [...] The reason why the Church has been privileged with its tax exempt status is because the government expected us to supplement the need for humanitarian services. Basically our responsibility for the welfare of the people relieved this burden off of the backs of government . Should Churches Pay Taxes or be Exempt | Tithing & Stewardship [...]

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