Pastoring a Nation vs. Paid to be Silent (The 501c3 Dilemma)

Churches Unencumbered by Government Intrusion

The Founding Fathers never regulated or taxed churches, as they considered them “Free Churches,” so they wrote into the US Constitution “congress shall make no law respecting (favoring) or prohibiting (limiting or influencing) the free exercise of religion.”

America’s Founding Fathers developed this nation as an expression of how Christ taught us to pray (and advocate for) “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10).  American society became an example (though not perfect) of how people can live in a society guided by Biblical principles.  Compare how we live in the United States of America relative to the “chaotic-states of the world” where governments control religion.

Is 501c3 a Bowl of Porridge?  

In 1954, politicians conspired to keep churches from influencing government by letting them maintain the tax exemption they already enjoyed in exchange for giving up their first amendment right “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Churches acquiesced the role of being the conscience of government which needs the guidance of Biblical values.

Religion and Politics

This led to government’s proneness toward corruption.  Satan works hard to influence government because with the swish of a pen officials can make laws that put millions of people onto paths that violate God’s plan for our lives.

Jesus paid taxes (Matthew 17:20), and John The Baptist expected government leaders to obey Biblical principles, and he personally challenged Herod (Matthew 14:3, Mark 6:18 and Luke 3:19).  Though John’s death resulted from the pressure he exerted on Herod, Jesus said, “Among those born of women, there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist (Matt 11:11).  John’s motive was for Herod to repent and save his soul.  How then should we pastor America?


Earl C. Wallace is author of

The Three-Dimensional Leader: Negotiating Your Mission, Resources and Context.  

Visit his web page and review other insights on his Three-Dimensional Leadership Blogs.