Thursday 11 October 2018

Charitable Tax Exemption - A Pact with The Devil

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Is The Church's Good Works Good Enough?

A Pact with The Devil

In the parable of the rich man found in (Mark 10:17-22), Jesus wanted to teach His disciples an important principle about good stewardship.

“Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” So, Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.  You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.”
“And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”

This man was a Jew living under the Mosaic Law striving to live according to the 613 commandments... go figure. Observing the sacrificial ritual found in the book of Deuteronomy was essential to wash away their failure to follow these commandments.  It was (and still is) impossible to keep the law permanently. We will never be sinless, we can only strive to sin less. Therefore, to be in fellowship with God, the Leviticus priesthood sacrificial ritual was required to wash away (temporarily) the penalty of their sins. 

It is difficult for us to comprehend since the Church era is under grace, which by faith alone is the requirement for our sanctification, cleansing from our sins (once and for all) and inheriting eternal life through Jesus as our Redeemer. He fulfilled this sacrificial ritual on the cross (Heb 7:27, Heb 9:12, John 1:29, Acts 8:32).  No man can be a substitute to forgive our sins, Jesus alone can. Hence, as this rich man shows his act of obedience to the law since his youth, is the Church striving to obey Jesus’ instructions good enough?

Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”

But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”

Jesus' lesson to the disciples is that He didn’t need this man's riches, therefore he instructed him to give them away to the poor. His obedience suffice. At that time, the presence of the Holy Spirit for understanding was not with the disciples. The young man was confused. He probably reasons that he could have been a good financial resource for spreading the gospel, he was rich. He could help in the funding of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus surprised him by telling him that He didn’t need the young man’s money and influence. Remember with wealth comes influence on the church’s committee and an opportunity to contribute to the church programs.  Is it not how wealthy Christians reason? Taken pride in supporting their churches. You see their donation memorial plaques displayed on the congregation’s wall for their generous contribution of time and money. They have their reward (Matt 6:2). Is it not in contrast with Jesus' instruction to His disciples found in (Matt 6:3), which is: “But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing?”

But there is more to learn from Jesus’ encounter with this rich man. Jesus' lesson applies to modern-day North American churches.

Aren’t the modern-day churches equivalent to the rich man statue? Doing good works yet not good enough according to Jesus?  Jesus is admonishing the Church to follow Him. Once again let’s read:

"Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God,” Mark 10:17-25

Jesus didn’t rebuke this man because of his riches but loved him for his compassion toward others and obedience, (John 14:21). He recommended the young man give up everything he had and follow Him among His disciples. For this act of surrender, he would receive a reward in heaven. That was hard to swallow, a mouth full. The young man was fully dependent on his riches to go through life. The idea to give up all his belongings for treasures that he does not see and comprehend is an insecure investment. He didn’t fully grasp what these riches in heaven represent. He missed a great opportunity. What a contrast with Peter a fisherman who had nothing to lose. Peter immediately followed Jesus when commanded to.

We are called beyond being simple believers - our call is to be disciples.

What about the North American Church, (the United States and Canada)? Aren’t we not missing out on a great opportunity to invest in heaven and at the same time benefit from our investment now in our lifetime? Aren’t the churches holding on to dear wealth as much the rich man did – couldn’t imagine going through the ministry without it? What and where are we holding back, you ask?

The following comment is mostly oriented toward the Canadian churches; thus, its principle relates to the U.S. churches also.  Let me explain the consequences of holding on to dear wealth. Yes, the churches strive to live as a good Christian by keeping the commandments, ‘not committing adultery,’ ‘not murdering,’ ‘not stealing,’ ‘not bearing false witness,’ ‘not defrauding,’ ‘honouring father and mother,’ and accomplishing many good deeds such as giving and serving in the communities. But where the churches failed is toward our children. The churches failed to protect our Christian children from our school sex and religion curriculum that teaches sexual behaviour and religious belief that goes against our Christian values. How did this all happen? I believe we brought these conditions on our own for the sake of saving money on tax-exempts. The churches wrote a pact with Satan. The churches agreed in exchange for Tax exemption to waive their right to take part in any partisan political activity which involves direct or indirect support of or opposition to, any political party or candidate for public office? Under the devil pact, a church denomination can not single out the voting pattern on an issue of anyone elected representative or political? What does Jesus have to say about this pact?

“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon,” Luke 16:13

“Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s,” Matt 22:21

Aren't our children worth much more than tax-exempt? Is it not time to get out of this curse that is destroying our Judeo-Christian culture in this once great nation? The churches have lost their salt flavours (purpose) and the light on the lampstand has diminished. It's time we get involved, don't you think?

Since Jesus loved the rich man, Jesus loved the churches. Can you not hear Jesus admonishing the Church with the same instruction He gives to the young man? “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have (your Charitable Tax exemption) and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”

Christians, are you not losing out on the reward reserved for you in heaven as being a disciple of Christ instead of merely being a believer? As it was for the young rich man, is it so hard for ministers, pastors and members to let go of the Tax-exemption status which restricts the church from being an active partisan in the political sphere? 

When a church is registered as a charity organization it becomes non-partisan politically and is obliged to play by the CRA rules.

 In other words, the churches are not allowed to influence the flocks in any way or form politically, can not campaign politically and can not preach behind the pulpit in favour of or against a political party, or party policy. And that my fellow Canadian Christians, is how the churches got snared keeping the Church from being a lamp, and salt. That is how Canadian Christians became doormats trampled underfoot by the federal and provincial governments. That is how we lost our parental sovereignty over our children. 

Please read the book entitled, “Canadian Christian Ministry 2018, The most lukewarm church in the whole western nation.” In that book, I give a detailed account of how and why the churches give up their ‘reason d’être’ for special social privilege.

Christian Christian Ministry 2018 - The Most Lukewarm Church of in the Whole Western Nations 

by Andre Delage 

Free on Scribd

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