Jan. 6, 2017

Tax Exempt Status

I have no interest, nor do I have nearly enough education, to discuss the legal ramifications for our country’s stand on the separation of church and state. Because of my education, I do know why the founding fathers believed it was important and enacted it. And, yes, I do agree that we’ve taken it to a level they never intended. But I’d like to discuss my own personal feelings about why our founding fathers MIGHT have addressed this issue: 

* As citizens of England, they were forced to be members of the Church of England. Anyone unwilling to yield to this law was persecuted and oppressed. Differing beliefs were not allowed. This is why they came to America in the first place.  It is a myth that our founding fathers “found” America. Citizens were already here – mainly Native Americans – and we took their land.  You don’t have to like that I am that blunt about it, but I’m being historically accurate. Our founding fathers founded our democracy and physically took over the country. 

* I believe it is an “abuse of power” for someone in leadership to endorse a candidate as part of their role or as a representative for a church or a faith-based organization. All people have a right to pray and decide to vote for whomever they so choose. That is not up for debate. If leaders are asked for their input during private conversations, they certainly have the right to respond. Spiritual leaders who use their name, their pulpit or their organizations/churches to push an agenda is a form of spiritual abuse. Why you ask? It’s simple – newer, weaker Christians are manipulated because they trust, support, and look up to their leader. This isn’t my opinion. This is law. It is a law established by our founding fathers. Churches and faith-based non-profits are tax-exempt. They do not answer to the government financially and they shouldn’t speak for the government. Doing so is not only illegal putting the faith-based organization or church at risk of penalty, it just isn’t right.  We are all fallible and we all need to find our answers through prayer, research and more prayer.  

* Why can someone as opinionated as me blog about candidates, elected officials, and issues?  Because YOU, the tax-payer or church attendee, are not paying me.  I do not charge for speaking engagements or leadership consultations for this reason. I answer to God and God alone. I am free to be me – the me He created without a formal organization. The minute YOU pay me, I am obligated to abide by federal laws and church stipulations. I realize I miss out on LOTS of speaking and ministering possibilities because I am unconventional.  You know what? That’s fine by me. 

* Most of you have encouraged me to let this last election go, unite with the majority and move on. Many people I love deeply, including family members, voted for our soon-to-be President. Please allow me to clarify – I am not trying to make a political statement. I am saying (and doing so for free) that Christian America FAILED to uphold Christian values by jumping onto a political bandwagon while overlooking the moral and spiritual implications to follow. I keep hearing, “We didn’t have a choice.” In case you haven’t noticed, Jesus did not depend on the government to do His work and uphold His values. NEITHER SHOULD CHRIST’S FOLLOWERS!  Yes, I am yelling. I’m Baptist. We yell. 

Here is my point: we should never allow ourselves and our country to get into this predicament again.  Can God forgive all sin?  You betcha.  Should we excuse, rationalize or justify anyone’s sin? Absolutely not.  We must pray for them (and I do and will continue); however, praying for someone and protecting them from accountability are two totally different concepts. 

So, regardless of what happens over the course of the next 8 years, I encourage Christian America to humble ourselves and not become proud. WE have nothing to be proud of, my friends. Let’s do better next time by upholding the teaching that we are to “choose this day who to serve. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” 

If we continue to allow and protect spiritual leaders who are not standing by our Constitution, we really have no ground to stand on when we claim we want to return to the true intent of our founding fathers. 

PS If anyone gossips to you that I blocked them on Facebook simply because they disagree with me, call me.  The only people I blocked are blockheads whose sole goal is to argue having no desire to learn, grow, respect others, or change.  If you know me, you know I listen to everyone. In the end I will follow God’s lead and will do so without any payment whatsoever. <smile>