Baptist temple fights IRS - SAVE THIS EMAIL - MUST READ - VERY IMPORTANT
PLEASE FORWARD TO ALL CHRISTIANS
In a message dated 7/17/2004 12:06:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
Baptist temple fights IRS over past-due taxes
|Members of the Indianapolis
Baptist Temple and supporters protest against a federal judge and the Internal Revenue
Service, who have threatened to confiscate the church property for unpaid taxes.
A federal appeals court must deal with an Indiana Baptist church that refuses to hand over past-due taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS says the religious group must adhere to tax law, while the church claims the First Amendment protects it from government intrusion.
The Indianapolis Baptist Temple has refused to pay Social Security, Medicare and income taxes for its employees. Last spring, the U.S. Justice Department sued the church in federal court seeking $6 million in back taxes, interest and penalties. Greg Dixon, the church's pastor, has claimed the church is not an employer and therefore cannot be taxed by the government.
"The Indianapolis Baptist Temple is a New Testament Church," Dixon wrote in a piece that appears on the Web site of the American Coalition of Unregistered Churches, of which he is the chairman. "It is not a religious organization operating as a not-for-profit charity" under the tax code. "A true New Testament Church is not an employer nor does it have employees. Neither is it a taxpayer. Those who serve the church are ministers exercising their gifts by the Holy Spirit. They receive love gifts, not wages."
On June 29, 1999, U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Baker "flatly rejected" Dixon's argument.
"While Defendant, of course, has the right to be a New Testament Church, it does not have the right to foreclose the government from taxing it," Baker wrote in U.S. v. Indianapolis Baptist Temple. "Defendant apparently believes it can evade federal tax law by metamorphosing into various different forms of entity. On this, it is sadly mistaken. The record is clear that Defendant has failed to pay its tax liabilities and owes the United States $5,319,750.27 plus interest and other additions pursuant to law accruing after July 27, 1998."
Baker also concluded that it was "undisputed" that the temple's property is now owned by the federal government and that the "government is entitled to take the necessary and appropriate steps to collect on its judgment."
Dixon and the temple appealed Baker's ruling to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In mid May, a three-judge panel of the court heard arguments in the case. If the church fails in its appeal, the government could start foreclosure proceedings on the property.
Robert Metzler, a D.C.-attorney representing the Justice Department, told the appellate panel that the IRS was not trying to monitor or undermine the temple's religious practices.
Dixon, however, says that if the IRS prevails, an official church would be created "that must totally surrender the sovereignty of the Lord's church to the IRS."
"The Czar of Religion (cults) in Washington, D.C., will replace the Lord Jesus Christ as the Head of His church," Dixon continues in a statement issued last year shortly after Baker's ruling.
The U.S. Supreme Court has held several times that churches' adherence to tax law does not unconstitutionally entangle church and state. In 1982, the high court found that an Amish group in Pennsylvania could not avoid paying Social Security taxes for its employees because it had religious objections to the Social Security system. The Amish argued that it would be sinful for them not to provide for their own elderly and needy, and therefore they opposed having the government do so.
"The tax system could not function if denominations were allowed to challenge the tax system because tax payments were spent in a manner that violates their religious belief," wrote Chief Justice Warren Burger for a unanimous court in U.S. v. Lee. "Because the broad public interest in maintaining a sound tax system is of such high order, religious belief in conflict with the payment of taxes affords no basis for resisting the tax."
George K. Pragovich
NOTE FROM BOB BELOW ARE 30 PAGES OF ARCHIVED ARTICLES RELEVANT TO THE INDIANAPOLIS BAPTIST TEMPLE CHURCH THAT IS BEING ATTACKED BY THE IRS.
FIRST IN THE LIST ARE A COUPLE LETTERS I WROTE TO PASTOR DIXON WHO IS THE HEAD OF THE INDIANAPOLIS BAPTIST CHURCH.
THEN FOLLOWING ARE SOME MUST READ ARTICLES ABOUT THIS SITUATION.
WARNING: SOME OF THE ARTICLES ARE WRITTEN BY THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA AND HAVE AN OBVIOUS BIAS.
PLEASE ARCHIVE THIS EMAIL ON YOUR COMPUTER OR WEBSITE. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION.
THIS IS THE PRIMARY POINT OF BATTLE AGAINST THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN IN AMERICA.
December 06, 2001
Dear Pastor Dixon,
I live in Lansing Michigan. On the Internet I like to be anonymous.
However, Because I admire and respect you greatly, my name is Robert G. Weinert.
I wanted to come to IBT with a firearm and make a stand but just like Jerusalem "you were unwilling."
"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling."
Pastor, I do not believe that Christians should be pacifists or doormats for satan.
Also, I am a very conservative Presbyterian and Postmillenial and I am praying for the destruction of the communist atheist police state known as Israel so that the Dispensationalists will abandon their love of the atheist Jews who run the ACLU and Hollywood and are ruining America.
I believe atheist Jews are the cancer of America.
They have corrupted every aspect of our society.
Do not get me wrong. I am not a Jew hater. I have Jewish friends who are just as conservative as I am and they hate the Hollywood ACLU communist atheist Jews too.
I fight against the irrational Jew haters, just as hard as I fight against the atheist Jews who control America, control the media, control the congress and are pro-abortion, pro-homosexual rights and pro-gun control laws.
It is unfortunate that 90% of American Jews are far left-wing.
Pastor, I hope that you are not dispensational and not premillenial.
If you are I beg you to buy and read GARY DEMAR'S book "LAST DAYS MADNESS."
This book destroys Hal Lindsey, Jack van Impe and dispensational Premillenialism.
I wish you well, Bob from Michigan
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. Romans 16:20
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:1211
Professing to be wise, they became fools, - Romans 1:22
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
PS - BELOW IS A LETTER I WROTE YOU BEFORE THEY STOLE YOUR CHURCH.
Dear Pastor Dixon... I live in Michigan and I have followed the case against your church very closely. I have nearly one hundred pages of articles archived in my word processor regarding the unjust IRS attack upon your church. I am a very conservative Presbyterian.
Probably the FBI is monitoring your email and mine too. We are getting very close to living in a Police State in America.
I have many friends in the Michigan Militia. We will be disappointed if you only resist passively the confiscation of your church, which is the Lord's property, as pacifists. We are ready to be called upon and you have not yet done so. I wish that everyone in your church owned a gun and on Sundays after church went to the range for target practice. I will come, we will come if you call upon us.
What the government is doing to you and your church is totally unjust and tyrannical.
Do you remember the story of the Patriot Colonial Pastor at Concord Green when the British shot down innocent American patriots who did not return a shot?
As I have heard the story told, this patriot Pastor had for years been teaching his congregation Biblical principles of civil government. He had taught that, Biblically speaking, a war could only be fought in self defense.
Thus when the British came to empty the armory and take away all of the guns of the colonists, the American Christian Patriots lined up on the Green at Concord and allowed the British to shoot them down.
As I have heard the story told a woman came running up to the Pastor and said something like Pastor, Pastor, look at what you have done. The Pastor replied "Fear not madam, for from this day shall sound the death knell to tyranny around the world."
Pastor Dixon, I am a Christian Patriot and if you call out the militia, I will be there ready to lay my life on the line for the Glory of God and the liberty of the Church in America.
I know that you are a very wise and Godly man. I will pray for you and your church.
May God Bless you and protect your soul eternally.
Bob from Michigan.
PS - I am BCC emailing this letter to some of my friends. I will send your reply to my friends also. BELOW IS A NEWSPAPER report from 1998 about your situation.
Church says it's indebted only to Almighty, not IRS
By Celeste Williams
INDIANAPOLIS (July 4, 1998) -- An Indianapolis congregation that stands far
from the mainstream has been caught in the roiling crosscurrents of faith
and law, church and state.
At the heart of the maelstrom is a tax case filed in federal court that pits
the Indianapolis Baptist Temple against the Internal Revenue Service.
Photo / Frank espich
FATHER AND SON: The elder Greg Dixon was one of the founding pillars of the
Indianapolis Baptist Temple. Son Greg Dixon, the current pastor, has found
the church to be in trouble with the IRS.
Each side of the dispute seems to speak its own language, and each cites its
own sacred texts.
The IRS argues with the language of law. It quotes the Tax Code as it
pursues the Baptist Temple in U.S. District Court for $5.1 million that the
agency says the church owes.
The Baptist Temple, its ministers and followers counter with the language of
The Rev. Gregory J. Dixon, 66, patriarch of the temple for more than 40
years, quotes the Holy Bible. He says he is indebted only to God, not the
"The church is not an organization, it's an organism," says Dixon. "It is
the literal physical body of Christ. Bone of His bone, flesh of His flesh.
"The Lord's church is not taxable."
But Dixon and his son -- the Rev. Gregory A. Dixon, 42, who now pastors the
temple -- also are just as quick to quote the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The Baptist Temple's stance has put it in a tiny minority of churches
nationwide. But it has also drawn interest from academics and civil
libertarians who sympathize with the First Amendment issues involved.
Now, as both sides gird for court, the outcome is anything but certain.
Church or association?
The United States of America has sued the Baptist Temple as an
"unincorporated association," Dixon as an individual, and their bank, NBD,
because it might have an interest in property the government wants to
You won't find the word "church" anywhere.
According to the lawsuit, filed April 13:
. Baptist Temple did not withhold the required taxes from employees from
1987 to 1993, and "refused or neglected" to pay the liabilities.
. The failure to pay taxes forced the government to place a lien on all of
Baptist Temple's property at 2711 S. East St. and the pastor's residence at
339 W. Cragmont Drive. Including interest and penalties, those bills now
total more than $5million.
. The elder Dixon owes taxes on personal income, due to nonpayment,
"negligence (and) substantial understatement" for 1984-87, totaling about
Baptist Temple responds that it is, indeed, a church.
And its members reject the authority of civil government on what they say is a church created, defined and ruled by divine government: God and His Son, Jesus.
As a result, Baptist Temple:
. Is not part of any other formal religious organizations.
. Has not organized and filed with the government as a tax-exempt
organization under 501(c)(3) of the Tax Code.
. Treats the people who work at the church and its affiliated Indianapolis
Baptist Schools as self-employed ministers, rather than employees. That
means the church does not withhold their taxes.
"The Indianapolis Baptist Temple receives no benefits from the state,
including federal identification numbers, tax exemption, school vouchers or
financial subsidies," says the younger Dixon.
"In return, the Indianapolis Baptist Temple owes absolutely nothing to the state."
The elder Dixon notes that churches are not required by law to register as nonprofit organizations.
"What is the difference between a church and an incorporated church?" the younger Dixon asks.
"Christ is head of one; the IRS is head of the other."
Staff photo / Frank Espich
VIEW FROM ON HIGH: An overall of the interior of The Indianapolis Baptist Temple taken from the balcony during one of the Sunday morning services.
The Bible and Constitution
When Baptist Temple leaders and members assert they owe the government nothing, they quote from the First Amendment nearly as much as 1 Corinthians.
"Not only from a biblical perspective, but from a constitutional perspective, a church has the right to exercise religious freedom in America," says the younger Dixon.
"The First Amendment of the Constitution says, 'Congress shall make no law
establishing religion nor prohibit the free exercise thereof."'
Adds the elder Dixon: "There are no limits to the First Amendment. There are
no limits as to what the church can do."
If the government and Baptist Temple are speaking two languages, the church
believes it has found a bilingual lawyer in Albert Cunningham of the
Biblical Law Center in Redding, Calif.
Cunningham, who shares religious beliefs with the Dixons, is ready to argue
from the Bible and the Constitution.
"We have a very serious constitutional issue here," he says. "The crux is
that the government is not in the position to regulate church ministries."
Cunningham concedes that his position, so far, has not won favor in the
"I have made the argument for the last 15 years in various courts, and I
have not had one yet that's had the courage to say, 'You're right,"' he
"But we are standing very strong on this issue. This is the first time in
the history of America that the government has tried to come in and seize a
"It has very significant ramifications."
Looks like a church
Whatever the government calls it, Baptist Temple certainly looks like a
It stands a stone's throw from Garfield Park on Indianapolis' Southside,
behind a Kmart store on Madison Avenue.
On Sundays, people dressed in their best clothing arrive for worship and
fellowship. Some Sundays, as many as 1,000 gather in the large, balconied
There is Sunday school, where children are taught the basics of fundamental
Baptist belief. A choir sings hymns. There is an offertory, a sermon and an
altar call after the sermon for those who want to pray or be saved.
On Sundays, when they are both present, the Dixons greet the congregants,
many with their families, some who hold Bibles and babies.
Judy Martin is there every Sunday.
A temple member for more than 25 years, she teaches junior high at the
affiliated K-12 school as a self-employed minister.
The school has about 260 students; the high school graduated about a dozen
this year. True to the church's positions, it is unaccredited by any
"I totally believe in the church's stand," says Martin, 48. She did not mind
signing a Christian Service Standards document as part of the conditions of
her work at Baptist Temple.
Those standards include an oath of loyalty to the pastor and the church, and
an understanding that "there may be times when the church might be late with
my love offering."
Love offerings are the pay Baptist Temple teachers receive.
The standards also include prohibitions against smoking, dancing, immodest
dress, drinking alcohol, "mixed swimming parties" and Hollywood movies.
"I felt this is where the Lord wanted me to be," says Martin. "I think we
have taken the right stand, and we should ask the Lord which way He wants
the decision to go now. It's in His hands."
It was the elder Dixon's hands that shaped the direction of Indianapolis Baptist Temple.
Originally from Missouri, he became the church's pastor in 1955 after graduating in 1952 from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Mo. He was 23.
"We had this little piece of land on contract," he says wistfully, "and a little building ... and a little over 200 members."
During the next 20 years, the church grew by about 300 members a year, according to the Polis research center at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.
It appears the congregation was at its peak during the 1970s, when Baptist Temple had as many as 8,000 members. Active membership today is 2,500 to 3,000.
Dixon himself also seemed to be at a peak during the '70s.
He was national secretary and Indiana chairman for Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority and was outspoken on many controversial issues, from abortion to gambling.
Then something changed.
At Dixon's behest, the church moved to dissolve its incorporation in 1983.
Baptist Temple had been incorporated since 1955.
Dixon also resigned his Moral Majority post in 1983.
The elder Dixon's divine revelation -- what he calls "the watershed for fundamentalism in America" -- came in an unlikely place: Nebraska.
Dixon's rejection of state control of churches coincided with his association with Faith Baptist Church of Louisville, Neb., led by the Rev. Everett Sileven.
In 1982, a school run by Sileven's church was padlocked by the state because the teachers lacked the required credentials.
Sileven and several members of his congregation were jailed for contempt.
Dixon helped by taking over the ministry of Sileven's church during their incarceration.
Dixon says the judge told Sileven and his followers that "they were 90 percent right and 10 percent wrong" in their defiance of Nebraska law.
The state laws were eventually changed to allow the existence of such "unregistered" schools.
By then, Dixon was convinced that the "10 percent wrong" was the state law,
and that divine intervention helped right the error. "I had to ask myself,
'What happened to the Constitution? ... That was the turning point."
Claiming victory, Sileven and Dixon co-founded the Coalition of Unregistered
Churches, maintaining that incorporated churches, in seeking validation from
the government, were a sin against God.
Dixon brought his divine revelation back to Baptist Temple.
And Michael Herndon was there, on his knees. Herndon, 49, has been a member
of Baptist Temple since 1976. He was a deacon when the elder Dixon came
before the church with the decision to, as he put it, "no longer be a
creation of the state."
"Of course, I voted. I approved of the stance that the pastor and the church
was taking," says Herndon.
The resolution they voted on, in effect, was a confession and renunciation
of the sin of submitting to the state.
Herndon, a production manager at a Beech Grove printing company, says there
was some dissent among members when the church corporation was dissolved.
"Oh, yeah. There were a number of families that didn't like that path we
were going down."
An affable man with a direct demeanor, Herndon says dealing with others'
perceptions of the church "is terribly difficult. I have talked to some
people I have worked with and, of course, I have to speak gently about the
issues, because it is a sensitive thing."
But Herndon says the tax issues cloud the fact that the church is doing
"During the month, there will be several families joining our church," he
says. "I don't see them walking in with picket signs.
"There is something else that is drawing them to our church, and I don't
think it's the tax issues. I think it is something greater."
Lions and lambs
Critics say Baptist Temple has attracted extremist "militia" groups, which
have been known to stockpile weapons, and organizations filled with anti-
government protesters who do not pay their taxes.
All misconceptions, say the Dixons.
"I am sick and tired of being called 'anti-government,"' says the elder Dixon.
While he concedes some of the militant groups share his views on
constitutional issues, Dixon says:
"We don't believe in picking up weapons and going out and shooting people, and killing them and doing harm to them, because the Bible tells us to love our enemies.
"The issue is, can a church have a policy that is against public policy, whether it has to do with race, homosexuality, abortion -- can the church stand against those things that they deem not biblical without being called bigots and racists?"
Adds the younger Dixon: "As a church, the government should not dictate to us our personal beliefs." _
The unregistered-church movement Dixon spawned has since splintered. One notable split was with Nebraska's Sileven.
Sileven changed. He changed his name to Ramsey (but answers to Sileven, too) and changed his religious stripe to that of "Christian Identity" -- a theology that is racist at its core.
Identity followers believe that Jews are offspring of the devil, that white Christians are direct descendants of "the lost tribes of Israel" that settled in northern Europe, and that people of African descent are less than human.
Dixon condemns Sileven's views as "satanic."
But they still consider each other a friend.
Says Sileven: "I think (Dixon) is a great man. He loves the Lord, loves America and wants to do right; I think he is right. I think the IRS is totally wrong."
Dixon's group is now called the Unregistered Baptist Fellowship, which claims as members "several thousand lay people ... but perhaps not more than 100 pastors and churches."
Richard Pierard, a professor at Indiana State University, has studied the history of religion and has occasionally followed Baptist Temple's activities.
"It appears they are trying to maintain some consistency with their separatism. That's interesting," says Pierard, who notes that some right-wing religious groups still insist on the benefits of government assistance.
Pierard also is intrigued with Baptist Temple's constitutional arguments.
"The genius of the First Amendment is this type of free speech is allowed," he says. "You don't need to have Big Brother managing their spiritual lives."
James T. Richardson, professor of social and judicial studies at the University of Reno in Nevada, wrote a book, Money and Power in New Religions.
While Richardson does not know the specifics of the Baptist Temple fight, he
says: "Frankly, it appears (Dixon) has no legal grounds to stand on.
"But one key question would be whether (the issue) would ever be presented
in front of a jury. Because if it would, and there is anti-IRS sentiment,
then he actually might get lucky."
The prospect of the government seizing church property visibly upsets the elder Dixon -- a man who in the past has been unshakable in the midst of controversy.
But his profile is more subdued now as he has entered semi-retirement. He is still the philosophical leader of Baptist Temple and preaches there frequently but lives part time in a mobile home in Rockledge, Fla.
The mantle of Baptist Temple leadership has been clearly passed to the younger Dixon, who has taken over the pastorship and daily operations of the church.
On a recent day, the elder Dixon sits in his son's windowless office, and the two speak of their struggle with the government.
White strands of hair fan like wings at the temples of his otherwise-dark
pate. A stack of papers and notebooks perch on his lap, while his son, a
trim man with swept-back black hair and dark, deep-set eyes, is seated
behind a large desk.
The elder Dixon was served with a notice of the lawsuit at his trailer in
Florida. He says he was "not hiding," even though neither the property nor
the telephone is listed in his name.
He seems stunned that officers found him so easily. "We are literally in an
electronic prison, the American people," he says.
Two federal marshals knocked on the door and asked for Dixon by name. "My wife thought they had come to arrest me. I must say to you that it was one of the most frightening days of my life."
The younger Dixon reacted with anger.
He was out of town when U.S. marshals came to his home in Indianapolis. His wife had left their four daughters with a baby sitter while she ran errands.
Dixon said that after being told by the baby sitter that the couple were not at home, the officer apparently waited hours in his car until Dixon's wife arrived.
"I was angry," says the younger Dixon. "I was angry because they didn't serve me personally; I was angry because he shoved his badge in my kids' faces, and they're crying and they think I'm going to jail." "I wasn't fearful then, and I'm not fearful now. I really don't care what they do. I'm angry."
A graduate of Baptist Temple's High School and his father's alma mater,
Baptist Bible College, the younger Dixon has kept a low profile in the
political arena, preferring to focus on church and school issues.
Yet in the latest controversy with the IRS, the younger Dixon is driving the
discussions -- away from close examinations of the church's philosophy on
peripheral issues, toward the wider issues of the government lawsuit.
During an interview, he gently turns his father's attention -- which has
strayed into searching his stack of papers for a pertinent quote on another
issue -- back to the IRS battle.
"People get off the subject talking about these other things, and they miss
the premise, the foundation," says the younger Dixon.
"This is the most significant church case in the history of America," says
the elder Dixon, "because this is the first time a government agency has
ever moved against the Lord's church."
As for predictions of the outcome:
"We have already won," says the younger Dixon, referring to the Christian
concept of salvation and eternal life.
"But also in the short run, I believe we will have the victory."
The government's guess? A spokeswoman said the Justice Department does not
comment on pending litigation.
Baptist Temple expects guests for upcoming eviction day
Contact Terry Horne at (317) 444-6082 or via e-mail at:
By Terry Horne
Indianapolis Star, October 19, 2000
Alone or hand-in-hand with hundreds of supporters, the pastors of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple say they will meet a federal eviction order next month with prayers and a refusal to budge.
The Rev. Gregory A. Dixon said Wednesday that the church has received hundreds of calls and e-mail messages from sympathizers offering help in resisting the government's pending seizure of the church to satisfy a $6 million tax judgment.
Dixon's response is Bob Barker-like: Come on down. "I tell them to come, 'bring all the friends you can,' " Dixon said.
U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker has ordered Dixon and other church members to leave the Southside church by noon Nov. 14 or face arrest by federal marshals. Anyone remaining in the church after that time could be found in contempt of court and be incarcerated, fined or both, she warned.
The temple will hold a prayer service at noon that day -- in the church, Dixon said.
"They'll have to bodily remove us from the building," he said. "We're going to be here. We're going to take our stand. We're going to practice our faith. And if the federal government is so tyrannical as to shut down a 50-year-old church, then we're in awfully sad condition in this country." A spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service declined to discuss the agency's plans.
U.S. Attorney Timothy Morrison also declined to comment. "Responses to hypothetical situations are not very wise. At this point, I presume the IBT will do what the court has ordered it to do," he said.
There's still an if attached to the church's plans. Dixon said the church will petition the U.S. Supreme Court next week for an emergency stay of the court's order. "But, of course, we have to plan for the worst," he said. Church leaders have begun considering alternative places to hold worship services after Nov. 14. Dixon said the church, 2711 S. East St., has received offers for the use of other facilities.
Also, the church will move its school beforehand, so the 150 students won't be around when the marshals arrive, Dixon said.
The key question is how many supporters will be there. The Indianapolis Baptist Temple's tax feud with the Internal Revenue Service dates to the mid-1980s, when the church decided to stop withholding employee income taxes and paying the church's share of Social Security and Medicare taxes for its employees.
The church has become a celebrated cause to many members of self-described patriot groups, which range from militia groups to other "unregistered" churches. These groups generally share a distrust of the federal government and are linked by short-wave radio broadcasts, fax, e-mail and Internet bulletin boards.
Subject: Fwd: I.B.T. OCT UPDATE
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2000 14:15:41 EST
From: "Becky Whyde" <email@example.com
From: Dr. Greg Dixon
PRESS RELEASE - IRS UPDATE
Telephone - 317-783-6753
Indianapolis Baptist Temple
Fax - 317-781-2775
19th Judicial District
E-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
2711 South East Street
RE: IRS VS. IBT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Judge Sarah Evans Barker, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, entered judgment against Indianapolis Baptist Temple on November 10, 1999, ordering the Church to pay over $5 million for alleged employer taxes, which includes mostly penalties and interest, that the IRS had assessed against the Church. Judge Barker now seeks to enforce that judgment by the seizure and sale of Church properties and has ordered Indianapolis Baptist Temple to surrender the Church properties, including the sanctuary located at 2711 South East Street and the Church parsonage, in which Dr. and Mrs. Greg J. Dixon have lived for 32 years, to the United States Marshal at noon on November 14, 2000. Judge Barker denied Indianapolis Baptist Temple's request that she stay the enforcement of her judgment against Indianapolis Baptist Temple pending a review of a Petition For Certiorari that the church lawyer is filing with the United States Supreme Court.
The Judgment and the Order to surrender the property on November 14, 2000, has placed the Church in a dilemma. The Church must choose whom it will obey: God or Man. Thus the Church has no choice but to obey God.
Contrary to the claims of the government, the press and Judge Barker, the real issue in this case is not taxation. The issue is the right of a Church to exercise and practice its faith in the sovereignty of the Church under the Lord Jesus Christ in America today without government interference or control. This right was intended to be protected by the First and the Ninth Amendments of the United States Constitution by the framers of our Nation.
Identifying the problem: In obedience to the scriptures of the Holy Bible, Indianapolis Baptist Temple is an independent New Testament Baptist Church that adheres to historic Baptist doctrine. The central tenet of the faith of the Church is the absolute sovereignty of the Church under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This teaching requires the complete separation of the New Testament Church from the State. As a historic New Testament Baptist Church, Indianapolis Baptist Temple is a New Testament Church founded pursuant to the scriptures of the Holy Bible upon the sovereign rock of Jesus Christ as His body for which He is the head in all things. The Church is an organism, called lovingly in the scriptures, the "Bride of Christ". The Church founded by Jesus Christ belongs to Him. He purchased it with His blood on Calvary's cross. It is His, and we as members of His Church are admonished to keep it Holy, and to render the things of God only unto Him.
The government, on the other hand, is telling Indianapolis Baptist Temple that they can worship God but they must first recognize that the Church is subject to governmental control. The dilemma is thus stated. If Indianapolis Baptist Temple, which is a body of believers placed into the body by the Lord Jesus Christ, were to pay a tax or comply with the employer tax regulations of the federal government, or surrender the property of the Church to the Marshal on November 14, 2000, the Church would be recognizing a sovereign, i.e. government, over the Church which would be greater than the Lord Jesus Christ. The act of doing so would not only be an act in disobedience to the ordinances and instructions of the Lord Jesus Christ, but would also be a denial of and an attack on the Holiness of the Lord Jesus Christ as God.
This issue is not new. It is the same issue for which the Apostles, disciples and members of the first century churches died. Suffice it to say, the problem Indianapolis Baptist Temple is facing today is the identical problem that its predecessor New Testament Churches faced in Rome in the first Century A.D. immediately after the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the identical problem that its predecessor New Testament Churches faced thereafter throughout the world for centuries as they were hunted down, persecuted and martyred for not obeying the edicts, ordinances and laws of organized state established churches and of the nations. It is the identical problem that its predecessor New Testament Churches faced in the Colonies in America as they came seeking a refuge from worldwide persecution, only to be hunted down and persecuted by being jailed, beaten and martyred by state established churches chartered by the King of England in the Colonies. It is the identical problem that the First Congress intended to eliminate by the adoption of the Religious Liberty Clauses of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution on September 24, 1789.
Why is Indianapolis Baptist Temple and the other New Testament Churches of America faced with this identical problem today?
Because we have gone full circle: from persecution to liberty, now back from liberty to persecution. The concept of a "government controlled church" was untenable in America 200 years ago. As a direct consequence of the recent court decisions, the concept of a "government uncontrolled church" is untenable in America today.
The only church recognized as a lawful church in America is a state-established church that has been organized under the laws and traditions of Man. In 1982 the United States Supreme Court held that the tax exempt gift given to a public charity that is a tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code is a public subsidy. Thus, all the laws, rules and regulations, and the public policies are binding upon the public charity. The government now controls all churches in America by classifying them as public charities through tax laws which give benefits to "public charities", etc. But, a price has been paid. The churches in America have paid the price for these government benefits (tax exemption/not-for-profit gifts) by giving up their right to religious freedom. The government now demands absolute loyalty and obedience of all churches to its laws and public policies. The government does not recognize the existence of a church in America that is not structured as a tax exempt public charity.
Under the laws today, Indianapolis Baptist Temple cannot exist because Indianapolis Baptist Temple is not formed or structured as a human organization called a public charity founded under the teachings and traditions of man.
Indianapolis Baptist Temple has rejected government subsidies and is standing in the gap. Indianapolis Baptist Temple is fighting for the freedom of all Americans to worship their God in accordance to the dictates of their conscience without fear of government intervention. Indianapolis Baptist Temple is not lawless but is standing in the Courts of America as a Mark 13:9 witness for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ as a testimony against them pursuant to the scriptures of the Holy Bible.
Indianapolis Baptist Temple will not bow to demands that they reject God!!!
Jew Controlled IRS attacks Christian Church over tax dispute and confiscates a church building from a congregation that has been owned by the same church for over 50 years
Indianapolis Baptist Temple: http://www.indianapolisbaptisttemple.com
Tuesday February 13 11:40 AM ET
Police Seal Off Indiana Church
By REX W. HUPPKE, Associated Press Writer
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Federal marshals seized a church Tuesday to satisfy a $6 million tax debt, wheeling its former pastor out on a gurney as he protested the move.
The U.S. Supreme Court (news - web sites) last month had cleared the way for the action, which experts believe marks the first time the government has seized a church in a dispute over taxes.
``The purge has started,'' said the Rev. Greg J. Dixon, the church's pastor emeritus, as the marshals wheeled him out.
The Indianapolis Baptist Temple stopped withholding federal income and Social Security taxes from its employees' paychecks in 1984, arguing that the congregation is governed only by God's law and thus not subject to any form of taxation.
Dixon also believes taxing a church is a violation of the First Amendment separation of church and state, and he refused to register for tax-exempt status.
Registered churches are exempt from certain taxes, but still must pay employee withholding taxes.
U.S. marshals rushed into the church, where six or seven people - some who had been holding a vigil there for nearly three months - were gathered in prayer.
``We had a promise from the Bush administration. We had every reason to believe there was a moratorium,'' Dixon said. ``They were going to dismiss the case. We had a deal, and they welshed on the deal.''
No one was arrested and there were no injuries, authorities said.
``I can say personally, this has been as difficult a task as I've had in my 37 years of law enforcement,'' said U.S. Marshal Frank Anderson, who read the order urging those inside to leave. ``We waited 91 days for the safest and most opportune moment to act ... we didn't want anyone from our side or the other side to get hurt.''
The current pastor, Dixon's son, the Rev. Greg A. Dixon, was not at the church when officers arrived but rushed to the scene and sat down in front of the building.
``The fight is still not over,'' the younger Dixon said. ``We are going to continue this fight for religious liberty.''
Police had blocked off streets in a two-block radius around the church. About 50 supporters stood outside the barricades after the seizure.
``I think it is terrible. I think the Lord will come after them,'' said Thelma VanHook, 82. ``This is just a building, but we worshipped God in that building. This should never have happened.''
In September, a federal judge authorized marshals to seize the property, by force if necessary. The Supreme Court on Jan. 16 cleared the way for the action.
A parsonage a few miles from the church was seized on Nov. 14.
The federal government until now had never seized a church for failing to pay taxes, said Richard Hammar, an attorney for the Springfield, Mo.-based Assemblies of God church and an expert on churches and tax law.
``To have the IRS come in and seize the church's property, that is an extraordinary event unparalleled in American history,'' Hammar has said.
Indianapolis Baptist Temple: http://www.indianapolisbaptisttemple.com
Church vs. State
The seizure of Indianapolis Baptist Temple ends a standoff, but the "unregistered churches" movement is still in business
As the minutes ticked away to the deadline to vacate the Indianapolis
Baptist Temple (IBT) at noon last Nov. 14, a crowd of
400 inside the sanctuary held its figurative breath. They had tried to keep
the most volatile elements outside; supporters from
the Ku Klux Klan, for instance, were not allowed in. Still, would the
arrival of federal marshals, seizing the church for unpaid
taxes, trigger violence?
But the marshals didnt showthat day, or the next, or even that week. As
the churchs congregants anxiously waited, their
worst fears were summed up by Charlie Puckett, commander of the Kentucky
State Militia. Probably, he thought, some
"idiot programmed by the cia mind control" would "mistakenly, accidentally,
on purpose" fire a weapon at someone and
"cause an outbreak."
Ominously, he predicted "if that happens, it starts . [P]lans go into
effect and you know what that is. I have no other
choice." Cryptic, but understood by all. In the name of religious freedom,
some were preparing for a showdown with the
government as fatal and tragic as the conflagration at Waco, Texas.
It was not to be. On Feb. 13, 17 years of unpaid taxes, three years of
litigation and a 92-day standoff all ended with a
whimper, not a bang. When hundreds of federal and local officers finally
raided the church, only eight hardy supporters were
found and carried out on stretchers. There was no violence. For Gregory J.
Dixon, Sr., whose public career started when he
tried to ban the musical "Hair" from Indianapolis in the 1960s and has
extended to suggesting that slavery saved blacks from going to hell, this was the culmination of 17 years of promoting so-called "unregistered" churches.
Dixon, who once advocated repealing all civil rights laws, is best known as
pastor emeritus of IBT and a man who has had
numerous flirtations with the antigovernment "Patriot" movement. (His more
politically moderate son, Gregory A. Dixon, Jr.,
is the current IBT pastor.) Yet since 1984, the elder Dixon has also headed
a little-noticed, but nationwide radical church
movement based on the notion that religion should have nothing whatsoever
to do with the state. Churches like IBT refuse to
"register" as charities under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code,
even though that means forsaking the tax and
other advantages that that legal status brings.
The movement, grouped into a confederation of almost 100 congregations that
has met at IBT each October for 16 years,
has been organized since 1994 as the Unregistered Baptist Fellowship (UBF);
earlier, its predecessor organization operated
under a different name. By promoting a "theology of Christian resistance"
to earthly government, the UBF also has attracted
extremists of many stripes, from those advocating hatred of the government,
homosexuals and abortion providers, to a
number of hard-core racists and anti-Semites.
"The unregistered church movement," says Leonard Zeskind, a leading analyst
of the extreme right, "is halfway between the
Moral Majority and the Posse Comitatus," a racist and anti-Semitic tax
protest group of the 1980s.
Zip Codes as Sin
The term "unregistered" was originally used to describe underground
churches in the Soviet Union that evaded regulation by
the bureaucracy of a state opposed to religion. Americas "unregistered"
churches, many of which sent Bibles to
unregistered Soviet churches in the 1970s, adopted the term to show they
thought the United States matched the ussr in its
smothering of religious liberty.
The principal goal of unregistered churches is to avoid 501(c)3
incorporation, which is the normal status for charities and
religious groups, because they see accepting that status as caving in to
secular demands that interfere with religion. Most
organizations crave 501(c)3 status because it exempts them from corporate
income taxes and allows donors to deduct gifts
from their taxable incomes. But 501(c)3 organizations, like all
organizations with employees, must make fica (Federal
Insurance Contributions Act) contributions, including Medicare and Social
Security, and must withhold federal income taxes
from their employees paychecks. To unregistered churches, obeying these
laws "would be a sin under the religious
convictions of the Church respecting the sovereignty of the Lordship of
Jesus Christ as the head of the Church in all things."
But thats not all. They say churches should disengage from government in
most every other way. They should not allow fire
or building inspections or heed zoning laws. They should not permit their
pastors or teachers to receive any sort of license.
Newborns should not be issued birth certificates, and weddings should not
involve marriage licenses. Churches may use the
federal mail system, but should not use nonprofit mailing permits or even
IBT claimed that the people who were paid to work in the office and sweep
the floors were not employees, but rather
"ministers" who were paid "cash love gifts only." (Ministers, who are
considered self-employed, are exempt from fica taxes.)
IBT also alleged that it was not a legal corporation or entity. The last
such corporation supposedly ended in 1989 with the
dissolution of Not A Church, Incorporated, which had been established to
handle IBTs legal affairs. Finally, the church
argued, section 501(c)3 is unconstitutional, a violation of the First
Amendment guarantee that Congress will make no law
abridging the free exercise of religion.
IBTs arguments, the federal judge in IBTs tax case ruled in the end, were
"sadly mistaken." But Dixon still doesnt think
so. "Right now, the purge is on to bring churches under government
control," he told the Intelligence Report recently.
Government agents, Dixon added, "consider me one of the most dangerous
enemies in America."
In Nebraska, the Movement Begins
The ideology and structure of todays unregistered churches movement can be
traced to a remarkable conflict in the early
1980s between the state of Nebraska and the Faith Baptist Church (FBC) in
Louisville. FBC, headed by Rev. Everett
Sileven, opened an uncertified school in its basement for 17 students in
August 1977. Nebraska law then required even
private school teachers to be certified by the state, and a judge issued an
injunction to close the school.
Maintaining that "this school represents our right to exercise our
religion," and that "the state is in violation of Gods law,"
Sileven, who as a high school student opposed the senior prom because
dancing supposedly inspires lustful thoughts, began a
long legal battle. While the church appealed the injunction all the way to
the U.S. Supreme Court (which in 1981 refused to
hear the case), a local judge ordered the Nebraska churchs doors padlocked
shut and opened only Sundays and Wednesday
evenings for prayer services. Twice the locks were removed, twice Sileven
began classes again, and twice he was jailed for
contempt of court. The second time he surrendered only after locking
himself and his congregation in the church and
conducting a several-day standoff with authorities.
With Sileven in jail in October 1982, 85 supporters from around the nation
arrived for prayer services and refused to leave.
Among them was the national secretary of Jerry Falwells Moral Majority
Gregory J. Dixon, Sr. Along with many others,
Dixon was arrested the next day when the sheriff raided the church. A few
days later, 450 pastors from around the country
occupied the church, and the padlocking order was rescinded for fear of
violence. When Sileven was released from jail,
Dixon walked with him down the courthouse steps.
The case dragged on. Classes began again, school parents were jailed for
contempt of court and, in November 1983, a
warrant was issued for Silevens arrest. He fled the state, giving speeches
nationwide, but returned dramatically, in a
helicopter, to hole up in the church for another standoff with the sheriff.
Back in court, he was again found in contempt. This
time, he got an eight-month sentence.
But Sileven eventually won. In 1984, a governors panel decided that the Nebraska statute was probably unconstitutional, and the legislature exempted church schools from the certification requirements. Silevens eight-month sentence was overturned on appeal, and a panel of federal judges ruled that the sheriff had acted unconstitutionally by arresting dozens of people in the October 1982 raid on the church.
The White Race, Enslaved
For unregistered churches, the Sileven affair was seminal. Fundamentalists
had come together to fight what they saw as an
overreaching government, and they had won. At the same time, Dixons place
in the Moral Majority was less and less
secure. According to Edgar Towne, professor emeritus at Christian
Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, the Moral Majority
at the time was trying to "slough off the militants like Greg Dixon," who
were hurting the groups mainstream appeal. Dixon
quit the Moral Majority in 1983, and for several months directed the
Coalition for Religious Freedom (CRF) and its protests
against the prosecution of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the Unification
Church for tax fraud.
But soon Dixon left CRF and threw himself into his new organization, the
American Coalition of Unregistered Churches
(ACUC). IBT quit paying taxes in 1984, the same year Sileven won his
Nebraska battle. In 1985, under the aegis of Dixon,
the ACUC held its first national conference in Indianapolis. (The ACUC now
exists only as a Dixon Web site. In 1994, the
Unregistered Baptist Fellowship was created as a successor organization and
took over ACUCs conferences, which have
stayed in Indianapolis, and became the main organization for unregistered
During the mid-1980s, as the radical right spread through the Midwest,
Dixons position hardened. He held a "Court of
Divine Justice" which, according to an article in the Jerusalem Post,
prayed for the death of public officials on a "prayer hit
list." He began to read the infamous anti-Semitic publication The
Spotlight; saying in a 1990 letter to the editor that he
considered it "an excellent publication."
"The Welfare State has enslaved the white race for generations to come," Dixon wrote in a 1993 issue of his newsletter, The Trumpet. "[We should] repeal all Civil Rights Laws. If it were not for the white man, the black man would have starved to death long ago. He would also have gone to Hell long ago. In spite of the wickedness of slavery as an institution, more blacks will probably be in heaven because of slavery than [because of] mission activity."
Dixon and his unregistered church movement have also embraced a litany of hard-liners:
Pete Peters, a leading figure in racist Christian Identity theology,
convened a key 1992 meeting of right-wing
extremists in Estes Park, Colo., which established the contours of the
soon-to-explode militia movement. Dixon was a
featured speaker at this "Gathering of Christian Men," which also
included former Klansman Louis Beam, neo-Nazi
Aryan Nations leader Richard Butler and many other white supremacists.
Dixon, who said Peters "restores [his] faith in preachers," was very clear that day: "Every church in America should have its own militia."
W.N. Otwell, pastor of God Said Ministries in Mt. Enterprise, Texas,
has attended UBF conferences and, according
to Dixon, is deeply involved in the movement. Otwell believes that "God uses the white race as leaders," and "the black race is a servitude people." Explaining the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing as "Gods payback" for the deaths of Branch Davidians after a standoff with federal agents in Waco, Texas, Otwell once said: "God did not mind killing a bunch of women and kids. God talks about slaughter! Don't leave one suckling! Don't leave no babies! Don't leave nothing! Kill them! Destroy them!"
Rev. Robert McCurry of Heritage Baptist Church in Georgia, who stood with Dixon in Silevens church in 1983, has
been central to ACUC and UBF since the beginning, often leading
seminars with Dixon at the national conferences.
McCurry has stayed close to Sileven (who has changed his name to
Everett Sileven Ramsey), even as Sileven moved
further to the right, adopting the anti-Semitic Christian Identity
theology. McCurry has spoken at Silevens Identity
conferences and has published at least one article in Silevens
newsletter, America Today.
Rev. Fred Phelps, the infamous gay-basher and vitriolic founder of the
www.godhatesfags.com Web site, was invited
by Dixon to speak at the 1995 UBF conference. Dixon, who has
frequently complained of being portrayed as an
extremist, also wrote a 1999 article defending Phelps in the Citizens
Informer, the publication of the white supremacist
Council of Conservative Citizens.
During the recent standoff at IBT, current pastor Greg Dixon, Jr.,
renounced violence and asked some of IBTs more
extremist supporters to leave, calling them "blowhards." But allowed
to stay was long-time Patriot figure James "Bo"
Gritz, who broadcast his radio show from the sanctuary and who has
been moving toward Christian Identity beliefs
himself. Also permitted to remain was Neal Horsley, whose violently
anti-abortion "Nuremberg Files" Web site long
carried information about doctors families and other details that
many saw as useful only to an assassin. Horsleys
site was shut down after a court levied a multimillion civil judgment
against the individuals and groups that had given
Horsley his information. (In late March, however, a federal appeals
court overturned the civil judgment; see related
story, "Florida Church Leaders Guilty in Scam," in this issues
Intelligence Briefs.) Recently, Horsley decided to take
up the cause of unregistered churches in earnest and began developing
a new Web site,
"Liberty has strange bedfellows," the younger Dixon told a reporter about
these connections. "If your only friends are those
that you agree 100 percent with, youre not going to have many friends."
And the Beat Goes On
Over the last 10 years, UBF conferences (and ACUC conferences before them)
have been well organized, with attendance
in the hundreds and sometimes even approaching a thousand. Seminar topics
have included "What To Do When the
Authorities Come for Your Children" and "Preparing Global Children for the
New World Order." Other activities have
included communal burnings of the United Nations flag and the presentation
of such skits as "Our Lost Culture," performed
"in full antebellum and Confederate dress."
The first Sunday after the seizure, hundreds showed up for IBT services in
the auditorium of a local (tax-supported) high
school. Afterwards, Greg Dixon, Jr., gushed about the enthusiasm of the
Yet today there is a real uneasiness about what will happen, for IBT in
particular and for unregistered churches in general.
Talking to the Intelligence Report, Dixon, Sr., was candid. "I dont know
[where well go from here]. Frankly, Im so
stunned right now over this decision . I think were at a place where
everybodys on their own, so to speak, and its a
Despite the clear isolation of Indianapolis Baptist Church from the
political mainstream and the loss of the church itself, the
unregistered church movement today does not seem to be collapsing. About
200 people, including 50 to 100 ministers, came
from 15 states for the UBF conference in October 2000, with the seizure
imminent. This spring, there are UBF regional
meetings slated for Paducah, Ky., Columbus, Ohio, and Houston. And, once
the organization decides on a suitable
replacement for IBT as host, UBF intends to hold its 17th national
conference this fall.
Issue # 102
Rethinking Romans 13
By Greg A. Dixon ï¿½ 2001 WorldNetDaily.com
In recent years, Christians have interpreted Romans 13 as a command for unlimited submission to government by God. Many proponents of this belief have sat passively by, in the soft pews of their place of worship, while evil has triumphed in most areas of family and church life. In our pacifistic smugness, many have allowed government to become god without even knowing.
Yet, when confronted with the true meaning of Romans 13, absurd accusations are shouted in religious rhetoric toward those who would dare to break an unjust law or even to question the almighty government. The opponents of unlimited submission to government are deemed as rebellious, anarchist and disobedient. However, there is no practical, historical or biblical consistency in the shallow agreements of these simpletons.
First, unlimited submission to government is not practical. For a philosophy to be a valid philosophy, it must be consistent. As a result, it does not make practical sense to blindly obey a tyrant like Adolph Hitler or deem a law such as abortion-on-demand a legitimate law just because one's government says it is public policy. However, if Romans 13 teaches unlimited submission to government, then we must obey and acknowledge all laws, good and bad, as the will of God. If all governments are of God, then all laws are of God. This is not practical from any point of view.
Second, it is not historical. Our founding fathers recognized and understood tyranny and despotism. They perceived the ultimate end of the king's actions. Thus, they besought George III to relent in his persecutions and implored him to uphold his covenant agreement.
In July of 1774, our forefathers met in Fairfax County, Va., and considered ways of forcing Great Britain to redress American grievances. George Washington and George Mason were the instrumental agents in drafting what has come to be known as the "Fairfax Resolves."
Ponder for a moment Resolves five and six:
"Resolved that the claim lately assumed and exercised by the British Parliament, of making all such Laws as they think fit, to govern the people of these colonies, contrary to the first Principles of the Constitution, and the original Compacts by which we are dependent upon the British Crown and Government; but is totally incompatible with the privileges of a free people, and the natural Rights of Mankind; will render our own Legislatures merely nominal and nugatory, and is calculated to reduce us from a state of freedom and happiness to slavery and misery."
"Resolved that Taxation and Representation are in their nature inseparable; that the right of withholding, or of giving and granting their own money is the only effectual security to a free people, against the encroachments of Despotism and Tyranny; and that whenever they yield to one they fall prey to the other."
All of the Resolves are loaded with bullets that explode against a tyrannical and despotic government. The "shot that was heard around the world on Lexington green was loaded in the "Fairfax Resolves." How can one make that statement? After pleading with George III to uphold his covenant agreement and after seeking for a redress of grievances, the "coup de grace" is plainly stated in the 23rd Resolve:
"Resolved that it be recommended to the Deputies of the general Congress to draw up and transmit an humble and dutiful petition and remonstrance to his Majesty, asserting with decent firmness our just and constitutional Rights and Privileges, lamenting the fatal necessity of being compelled to enter into measures disgusting to his Majesty and his Parliament, or injurious to our fellow subjects in Great Britain; declaring the strongest terms of duty and affection to his Majesty's person, family and government, and our desire to continue our dependence upon Great Britain; and must humbly beseeching his Majesty, not to reduce his faithful subjects of America to a state of desperation, and to reflect, that from our Sovereign there can be but one appeal."
In simple terms, the Resolves offered George III two obvious choices. One was to fulfill his covenant obligations and be the king and ruler to the American Colonies that he had agreed to be or, second, to prepare for war. George III was asked to reflect upon the fact, that if he did not keep his end of the covenant, there could "be but one appeal."
Last --and most important -- it is not biblical. Daniel disobeyed Darius and went to the lions den. The three Hebrew children broke the law for not bowing. The parents hid baby Moses from Pharaoh. Rahab lied to protect the Hebrew spies. The Apostles went to prison for preaching Christ in the authority of Heaven. Paul and his followers in Acts 17 did contrary to all the decrees of Caesar in order to make Jesus the King. Even Jesus lived in direct opposition of the political religious leaders of his day and went to the cross for us.
Romans 13 is a treatise by Paul and the Apostles on the institution of model government. As we rightly divide the word of truth and take this passage in its total context, we will discover seven truths:
1.Good government is ordained by God.
2.Government officials are to be good ministers who represent God.
3.We the people must obey good and godly laws.
4.As we relate Romans 13 to America, our Constitution is the higher power -- not the IRS tax code.
5.Good government is not to be feared.
6.In America, we are to pay honor and custom and constitutional taxes to whom it is due.
7.Government is to protect the righteous and punish the wicked.
As a result, we have a practical, historical and biblical mandate to fervently disobey any unconstitutional laws and all government officials who cease to be good ministers of Jesus Christ. God almighty is the only power that deserves unlimited obedience.
Greg A. Dixon is the senior pastor of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple and has written several columns about the plight of his congregation.
Churches need not be 501(c)(3)
In what was one of the most inspiring presentations about faith and
contemporary life, Peter Kershaw discussed the legal and spiritual fallacy
of 501(c)(3) tax exempt status for churches at Freedom Law School's Health
and Freedom Rally in Irvine, Calif. March 14, 2004.
Aside from the obvious point that churches getting their sanction from God
should never lower themselves to contract with the state for privileges of
existence, the IRS Code even provides churches that fit certain guidelines
with an automatic exemption.
The bottom line is that 501(c)(3) churches either filed for their
tax-exempt status out of ignorance or they are for-profit businesses
operating in commerce with a government exemption. In either case,
501(c)(3) churches are misguided.
Below is merely a legal outline of Kershaw's argument. An audio-taped
recording of Kershaw's presentation in Irvine is available from Freedom Law
School for $8 (760-868-4271). It should be heard by pastors of 501(c)(3)
institutions so the ignorance option may be removed from their churches.
by Peter Kershaw
In order to be considered for tax-exempt status by the IRS, an organization
must fill out and submit IRS Form 1023 and 1024. However, note what the IRS
says regarding churches and church ministries in Publication 557:
Some organizations are not required to file Form 1023. These include:
Churches, interchurch organizations of local units of a church, conventions
or associations of churches, or integrated auxiliaries of a church, such as
a men's or women's organization, religious school, mission society, or
youth group. These organizations are exempt automatically if they meet the
requirements of section 501(c)(3).
Churches Are Automatically Tax-Exempt
According to IRS Code ï¿½ 508(c)(1)(A):
Special rules with respect to section 501(c)(3) organizations.
(a) New organizations must notify secretary that they are applying for
recognition of section 501(c)(3) status.
(1) Mandatory exceptions. Subsections (a) and (b) shall not apply to --
(A) churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations
Thus, we see from the IRS' own publications, and the tax code, that it is
completely unnecessary for any church to apply for tax-exempt status. In
the IRS' own words a church is automatically tax-exempt.
And what about tax-deductibility? Doesn't a church still need to become a
501(c)(3) so that contributions to it can be taken as a tax deduction? The
answer is no! According to IRS Publication 526.
Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible Contributions
You can deduct your contributions only if you make them to a qualified
organization. To become a qualified organization, most organizations other
than churches and governments, as described below, must apply to the IRS.
In the IRS' own words a church is automatically tax-deductible.
Not only is it completely unnecessary for any church to seek 501c3 status,
to do so becomes a grant of jurisdiction to the IRS by any church that
obtains that State favor. In the words of Steve Nestor, IRS Sr. Revenue
I am not the only IRS employee who's wondered why churches go to the
government and seek permission to be exempted from a tax they didn't owe to
begin with, and to seek a tax deductible status that they've always had
anyway. Many of us have marveled at how church leaders want to be regulated
and controlled by an agency of government that most Americans have prayed
would just get out of their lives. Churches are in an amazingly unique
position, but they don't seem to know or appreciate the implications of
what it would mean to be free of government control.
~from the Forward of In Caesar's Grip, by Peter Kershaw
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
BOOKS FOR THE NEXT REFORMATION
RECOMMENDED READING LIST:
Chilton, David. The Days of Vengeance. Ft. Worth, TX.: Dominion
*DeMar, Gary, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church.
Atlanta, GA.: American Vision, 3rd ed., 1997.
DeMar, Gary, End Times Fiction: A Biblical Consideration of the Left Behind Theology. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2001.
Gentry, Jr., Kenneth L. Before Jerusalem Fell. Atlanta, GA.: American Vision, revised ed., 1998.
*Noe, John. Beyond the End Times: The Rest of . . . The Greatest Story Ever Told. Bradford, PA.: IPA, 1999.
Noe, John. Dead In Their Tracks: Stopping the Liberal/Skeptic Attack on the Bible. Bradford, PA.: IPA, 2001.
*Noe, John. Shattering the 'Left Behind' Delusion. Bradford, PA.: IPA, 2000.
*Noe, John. The Israel Illusion: 13 Popular Misconceptions about This Modern-day Nation and Its Role in Bible Prophecy. Fishers, IN.: PRI, 2000.
Noe, John. Top Ten Misconceptions about Jesus' Second Coming and the End Times. Fishers, IN.: PRI, 1998.
Otto, Randell E. Case Dismissed: Rebutting Common Charges Against Preterism. Bradford, PA.: IPA, 2000.
Russell, J. Stuart. The Parousia. Bradford, Pennsylvania: IPA, 2002. Reprint of the second edition originally published by T. Fisher Unwin, in London, England in 1887.
*Sproul, R.C. The Last Days According to Jesus. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998.
Stevens, Edward E. Questions About The Afterlife. Bradford, PA.: IPA, 1999.
Stevens, Edward E. What Happened In A.D. 70? Bradford, PA.: IPA, 6th ed., 2001.
Terry, Milton S. Biblical Hermeneutics. Eugene, OR.: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1890, 1999.
* (top priority-read first)
List recommended by both the Prophecy Reformation Institute (PRI) and the International Preterist Association (IPA).
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
John Noe, President
Prophecy Reformation Institute
9715 Kincaid Drive Suite 1100
Fishers, IN 46038
Ph.# 317-841-7777, Ext. 350
Website: : www.prophecyrefi.org
Edward E. Stevens, President
International Preterist Association
122 Seaward Ave.
Bradford, PA 16701