Why our church is a First Amendment church
Most churches are either incorporated or are unincorporated associations. These are 14th Amendment churches and do not have the full protection of the First Amendment. Let me briefly explain.
When a church files for incorporation, the State in which the corporation is formed is the creator of the corporation. The State has created a fiction for the church, an artificial person, giving it legal existence and thus can sue or be sued and conduct business like any other corporation (This is what the 14th Amendment does, creates artificial persons by which corporations are formed). The church must adhere to all State regulations for corporations and is accountable to the Attorney’s General of that state for any misconduct. The Church, as a corporation, is liable for all federal and state taxes and obedience to all tax laws with or without employees.. Most churches have an employee(s), the Pastor. The Pastor, who is the CEO of the corporation, can be arrested and charged with crimes against the State if the church violates any of the conditions of the Letters of Incorporation, including the public interest of the State (i.e., Your Pastor is preaching against homosexuality, but this is contrary to the interest of the state therefore, your pastor can be charged with, in this case, both a federal and state crime for speaking against a “protected” class of society.) [In the tenor of todays rhetoric and political correctness this may be a very real scenario for churches.]
This is also true of unincorporated associations. If your church is operating under an assumed name, often referred as a D.B.A. (Do Business As). You have, in fact, created a legal entity under the Law. Therefore, you have nearly all the same obligations as a legal entity like a fully incorporated church. Any church that has a bank account, owns property, employs a Pastor is subject to State Law. Your church is a creation of the State.
I have presented a very abbreviated statement of the facts but let me share with you why we are a First Amendment Church under the authority of the Lord Jesus only.
The Living Springs Baptist church has no relationship with the State of Idaho or the U.S Government or any of its branches, including the IRS., no 501 (c)(3) or 508(c)(1)(A) status; we are not a corporation or an unincorporated association, a business trust or a Charitable Trust. We are a 1st Amendment church organized under the headship of Jesus Christ. Therefore, this church does not the give IRS acknowledgment of your offerings and gifts. When you give you are giving to the Lord Jesus who is the sole owner and the beneficiary of that which is entrusted to Him. The Living Springs Baptist Church has no employees, no property, no bank accounts, and no “legal” existence. We are not, as a church, subject to the laws of our State and have no obligation to submit to any of its officers, departments, regulations, courts or authorities. (And NO! We are not a fringe, conspiracy kooks, cult church. We are simply applying the law and our Constitutional Right protected under the Bill of Rights, Amendment 1.)
We are a true church of the Lord Jesus, a spiritual body of assembled and baptized saints, purposed to fulfill the gospel commission of going into the world, preaching the gospel of Christ, baptizing and making disciples for the glory and praise of the Lord Jesus Christ.
To learn more about how your church can become a 1st Amendment Church under Jesus Christ please go to Churches Under Christ.