Christian Entities Like Samaritan’s Purse Claim They Are Churches to Hide Salaries and Donors. What Else Are They Lying About?

Cosmic Cliffs in the Carina -Nebula-Webb Space Telescope link

“You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.” –C. S. Lewis

“Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” – Isaac Newton


If I asked you, “How do you define what constitutes a church?” what would you say?

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:

church, in Christian doctrine, the Christian religious community as a whole, or a body or organization of Christian believers.

The Greek word ekklēsia, which came to mean church, was originally applied in the Classical period to an official assembly of citizens. In the Septuagint(Greek) translation of the Old Testament (3rd–2nd century BCE), the term ekklēsia is used for the general assembly of the Jewish people, especially when gathered for a religious purpose such as hearing the Law (e.g., Deuteronomy 9:10, 18:16). In the New Testament it is used of the entire body of believing Christians throughout the world (e.g., Matthew 16:18), of the believers in a particular area (e.g., Acts 5:11), and also of the congregation meeting in a particular house—the “house-church” (e.g., Romans 16:5).

According to the SBC IMB:

A New Testament church is a group of believers in Jesus Christ who assemble together regularly and who are committed to one another to be the body of Christ together.

According to The Gospel Coalition, it must involve, get ready for it, discipline! (Are you shocked? 😉 )

Robert Banks expresses this well in his influential book Paul’s Idea of Community: “The ekklesia is not merely a human association, a gathering of like-minded individuals for a religious purpose, but is a divinely created affair.” Here, then, is a simple definition: The local church is a community gathered around Jesus by his Word. Note that it says “a community,” not “any group.” As mentioned above, the community envisaged in Matthew 18:15–20 is one that gathers repeatedly and exercises formal discipline.

According to Focus on the Family in 2009 (There is a reason I include this, so hold on…)

…every Christian needs to be part of regular fellowship and worship. Edification is also a role of the church. It involves edifying believers, but also nurturing, building up or helping believers to mature in Christ. To this end, churches are tasked with a variety of ministries such as Bible study, continuing education in related areas, praying for one another, acts of genuine hospitality and more. Evangelism is also a key role of the church. This means reaching out to a lost world with the Good News about Jesus. Since people often have questions or doubts about Christ and Christianity, knowing the truth and being able to defend it (apologetics) is also part of the role of the church. But beyond evangelism in the sense of reaching out with the gospel, the church must also express compassion and mercy tangibly by helping others. In following Christ’s example to love others, the church, too, must seek to make a real difference in the world while not neglecting to share the message of Christ. If a church fails to fulfill any of these key roles – worship, edification, evangelism – then the church is not functioning as God intends. Granted, there are times when churches face challenges and struggles to one degree or another, but a healthy church seeks to overcome such challenges in a way that honors God and His intentions for His church.

What are the names of some churches?

as did (link)

  • The Family Research Council
  • The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
  • Samaritan’s Purse

as well as (link)

  • Cru,
  • Gideons International
  • Voice of the Martyrs
  • Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) (now defunct)
  • most major televangelists
  • Liberty Counsel
  • the American Family Association
  • Frontiers
  • Ethnos 360/New Tribes Mission
  • The Navigators
  • World Vision

Huh? Are you naive enough to assume this is just a “hole” in the IRS system? Let’s take a look at this.

What is a church as defined by the IRS? The  14 points test or ‘Churches defined.’

The term church is found, but not specifically defined, in the Internal Revenue Code. With the exception of the special rules for church audits, the use of the term church also includes conventions and associations of churches as well as integrated auxiliaries of a church.

Certain characteristics are generally attributed to churches.  These attributes of a church have been developed by the IRS and by court decisions.  They include:

  • Distinct legal existence
  • Recognized creed and form of worship
  • Definite and distinct ecclesiastical government
  • Formal code of doctrine and discipline
  • Distinct religious history
  • Membership not associated with any other church or denomination
  • Organization of ordained ministers
  • Ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of study
  • Literature of its own
  • Established places of worship
  • Regular congregations
  • Regular religious services
  • Sunday schools for the religious instruction of the young
  • Schools for the preparation of its members

The IRS generally uses a combination of these characteristics, together with other facts and circumstances, to determine whether an organization is considered a church for federal tax purposes.

Source:  Publication 1828, Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations PDF.

Except, there are exceptions. It appears that the entity does not need to meet all 14 points. According to LegalZoom:

However, in some cases, a religious organization may qualify as a church even if it does not appear to be a church in the traditional sense. This is the case with Young Life, a nonprofit organization that the IRS officially recognized as a church following a July 2005 Ruling.

Interestingly, Young Life does not have an established place of worship or church building per se, but it does have weekly meetings at specific locations. In the end, although Young Life did not meet all federal criteria for religious entities, the IRS concluded that it did meet a sufficient number of them to qualify as a church.

The bottom line is that the IRS has created specific guidelines on churches and other religious entities to determine their tax status. However, it is not a requirement that a church meets all the criteria. Instead, the IRS offers flexibility, allowing various religious institutions to qualify for the highly coveted tax-exempt status.

Why would an organization want to be classified as an IRS-recognized church?

The answer to this question and many questions surrounding “why churches do what they do” is related to keeping stuff about money and politics secret. According to the IRS:

Every organization exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code section 501(a) must file an annual information return except:

  1. A church, an interchurch organization of local units of a church, a convention or association of churches
  2. An integrated auxiliary of a church
  3. A church-affiliated organization that is exclusively engaged in managing funds or maintaining retirement programs
  4. A school below college level affiliated with a church or operated by a religious order
  5. Church-affiliated mission societies if more than half of their activities are conducted in, or are directed at persons in, foreign countries
  6. An exclusively religious activity of any religious order

Keeping donors, donations, and salaries a secret

Let’s go back to Focus on the Family, which in 2017 declared itself a church. Guess why they did it, and in so doing, negate their definition of the church in 2009. Christian Post wrote in 2018 Focus on the Family Defends IRS Classification as a ‘Church,’ Says It’s Meant to Protect Donors.

The piece noted that the Colorado-based conservative Christian organization has long identified as a non-church 501(c)(3) nonprofit. By 2015 fiscal year, it had been relabeled a “church.”

…Batura explained that the main reason for the reclassification was to protect the identities of donors to the conservative Christian organization.

“In recent years there have been several occasions on which nonprofit organizations were targeted for information, including the names and personal details of their donors. In order to protect our constituents’ privacy, and because Focus does, in fact, meet the definition of a church under IRS regulations, we applied for and received this designation,” said Batura.

…The organization’s board of directors are its ‘elders.’ It’s president, Jim Daly, is its ‘head deacon and elder.’ Listeners to the organization’s radio programs are ‘an extension of its congregation,'” stated the RWW article, which labeled the reclassification as a church “puzzling.”

…”In a hostile environment, we’re going to do everything we can do within the parameters of the law to ensure our freedom to continue to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, protect and defend the sanctity of life, help couples with their marriages, help parents raise their children, and find forever homes for orphaned children,” said Batura.

Ummm, is this the only reason?

Religion News Services posted an Op-Ed: Religious right groups’ tax-status changes demean both church and state. This was subtitled: “No honest person would call the political organization a church.”

ProPublica, the pro-transparency news nonprofit, reported this week that the FRC and its overtly political arm, FRC Action, no longer have to file Form 990, the standard IRS disclosure that offers basic information about a tax-exempt nonprofit’s key donors, expenditures and staff. It also gives some assurance a group is honoring the limits on political activity Congress has placed on organizations whose donors receive a tax write-off.

Besides “worrying about” key donors and supposedly protecting them, they do not have to disclose expenditures, particularly on staff. In other words, they don’t have to talk about salaries. They also don’t need to divulge if they have gone over the limit of allowable political activity.

This insults real churches.

the FRC’s new designation insults the groups that do conform to the intent of the law. Congregations deserve the social and financial privileges they get. They do the everyday work of building actual religious communities around faith and order, worship and sacraments, and bolstering the social fabric of communities throughout the nation. For these vital social goods, which God alone knows, churches receive special consideration from the IRS.

When even the religion census doesn’t recognize these 990 avoiders

Christianity Today posted When Can a Ministry Count as a Church?

The reclassification might be meaningful for the IRS, but for the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB), it doesn’t count. Literally: The Family Research Council (FRC) will not be included in the US religion census, scheduled for publication this fall.

One reason these groups may be concerned about their donors.

In 2016, an executive at the tech company Mozilla was publicly shamed for a donation he made to a political organization opposing same-sex marriage. He was forced to resign, raising concerns among conservative Christian groups that donors could face stiff social consequences for unpopular associations.

“This was done primarily to protect the confidentiality of our donors,” a Focus on the Family spokesman told Ministry Watch in 2020. “In recent years there have been several occasions on which non-profit organizations—on both the right and the left—were targeted for information, including the names and personal details of their donors.”

It appears that the BGEA was concerned about the following information being made available.

The 990 can require disclosure of other information as well. The BGEA’s last 990, covering 2014, included an explanation of the evangelistic association’s policies on first-class airline tickets. It also had information about Billy Graham’s health care costs, the housing provided to longtime music director Cliff Barrows, and an additional $100,000 above base salary paid to Franklin Graham.

… Most, like the BGEA, have voluntarily shared financial information on their websites, but kept some details, such as salaries and compensation packages, private.

Maybe it’s time for donors to reconsider donating to groups that will not disclose salaries and compensation packages paid for by the hard-earned money of the average donor.

I find it disturbing that the BGEA would want to keep the salary and compensation package for Franklin Graham a secret. Graham is estimated to make around $1 million/year. I would not be surprised if this did not include all sorts of other compensation. He does love those black leather jackets.

A final thought

These Christian organizations knowingly lie when they claim to be churches. Keeping Franklin’s salary a secret is far more important than telling the truth. I wonder what else they are lying about. I do not trust the integrity of any of these named organizations and will make sure I no longer donate to those who would lie and say they are churches when they know it’s not true.

Playing IRS games doesn’t look good to the average church attendee who is taught to tell the truth and pay their taxes based on that truth.


Comments

Christian Entities Like Samaritan’s Purse Claim They Are Churches to Hide Salaries and Donors. What Else Are They Lying About? — 53 Comments

  1. Jeffrey Chalmers:
    True transparency left most of evangelicalism a long time ago … I have seen marketing gimmicks for decades… this is just another of example of “ lying for Jesus”.

    Lying and grifting.

    Donors can set a higher standard, with honesty and transparency. Volunteers need not engage. Employees can find better employment.

    Defellowship and expose. Resist the celebrities and their industry.

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  2. I note that IRS can’t require all 14 of its characteristics of a church without, for instance, making unprogrammed Quaker meetings non-churches (no ordained ministers).

    Admittedly my own view is that religious organizations that want to allow donors to take their donations as a deduction for tax purposes (or ministers to be able to take a parsonage allowance) must file a 990. A second step would be to require a 990 for all institutional tax exemptions; there might be fewer restrictions for churches (e.g., if they want to give their minister a million dollar plus salary, they can do so as long as they are upfront about doing so). I believe most mainline Christian organizations are fairly open about their financial state already.

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  3. Here in the UK we have it the other way round – if a religion wants charitable status and thus avoid tax they must publish accounts, which they wouldn’t otherwise have to do.
    This is still far from perfect, because of course con artists will always find ways to hide money, and I think that’s the real problem. Honestly the current strategy used by several US Catholic dioceses of setting up a separate legal entity and putting the diocese’s assets in there so they’re protected from abuse claims, is one of the most iniquitous scams you could want.
    Even bankruptcy is a way of protecting the organization from claims really.

    (Using my full name because I realized there was another John)

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  4. The thought occurs that these organizations could (don’t know whether they do) argue that “of course we’re not a church in the New Testament theology sense; we’re simply arguing that we qualify for the treatment the IRS grants to entities it calls ‘churches.’ ”

    Perhaps the problem is more in the tax law/regulations itself. Special treatment for religious non-profits might be considered to be in tension with the ‘establishment clause’ of the First Amendment.

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  5. In every church I pastored, each year the church voted on my salary package. Everyone in the pew that cared to know was aware of how much I was paid.

    Just plain common sense.

    Another bit of common sense? If a church or other “evangelistic concern” is not transparent with every dime, why would anyone support them?

    Think about that after Thanksgiving when your church asks you to stuff a shoebox for Graham’s organization. But you say, “It doesn’t matter how much Franklin makes! The shoeboxes help so many people!”

    So where else in one’s life does one idly throw money away without reflection?

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  6. To me there seems to be an issue with IRS regs. As a donor I may not want it to be known that I am giving money to a certain organization.

    However, as a donor, I think I should know exactly what said org is doing with donated money to include how much compensation is being recieved by anyone in the leadership of that org.

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  7. From the Christianity Today article: “And while the ministry’s lawyer acknowledged that all its employee-ministers were encouraged to participate in other churches besides Focus on the Family, he wrote that ‘participation in more than one congregation is integral to the idea of Christian fellowship.’”

    Cue major eye-roll. I wonder how pastors (of actual churches) feel about the idea of members participating in more than one congregation.

    When our now-defunct former church became almost financially insolvent, the pastor said from the pulpit that he’d talked to some members who were giving their tithes to the church they grew up in instead of to the church they were currently attending / his church. He was (obviously) less-than-pleased about this arrangement.

    And at the more authoritarian churches I’ve attended, your tush was expected to be there every time the doors were open unless you were sick or traveling. Participation in parachurch ministries was certainly encouraged (like anyone realistically had the time), but NEVER in place of church. Then you couldn’t be considered a “real” Christian.

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  8. IMHO they just need to stop treating churches with special rules altogether. Treat them like any other non-profit, assuming they meet the rules of being a non-profit. If a non-profit of a given size needs to fill out a form 990, then a church of the same size should also have to fill out a form 990 (I think below a certain size or level of cash flow, non-profits can currently do some kind of simplified form 990).

    I see zero that churches do that would automatically entitle them to special treatment under laws, that a secular soup kitchen for the homeless shouldn’t be even more entitled to.

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  9. Rich,

    You speak my language Rich. I’ve long advocated that sure, let ‘churches’ keep their tax exemptions, but adjust the law so that they (churches) have to go on public record as to where all that moolah is going. Just like any other ‘non-profit’, no ‘special exemptions’ for ‘churches’.

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  10. Re Focus on the Family: James Dobson was at the time he founded the group, and I have not checked but likely still is, member of a local Church of the Nazarene. OOPS, back then at least the Manual (rule book for CotN) stated clearly one could not hold membership in more than one church. Only when he claimed FotF was a “church” he was not bounced from membership in the local church. Although many less well know Nazarenes have been dismissed from church membership for the same reason. But he was “our” famous guy, so he got a free pass.

    It did not sit well with some of the rank and file.

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  11. Luckyforward,

    “If a church or other “evangelistic concern” is not transparent with every dime, why would anyone support them?”
    +++++++++++++++++

    seems to me church leaders manipulate people with the God card, and faith card (they may be one in the same).

    “faith is the evidence of things not seen”…

    one way or another, people are groomed to second-guess their faith unless it’s blind faith- scrutiny is a faith compromise and only 2nd class citizens would be interested in such a raunchy thing.

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  12. Am I missing something here?

    Is a tax-exempt organization required to disclose the names or addresses of its contributors?

    A tax-exempt organization is generally not required to disclose publicly the names or addresses of its contributors set forth on its annual return, including Schedule B (Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-PF)PDF. The regulations specifically exclude the name and address of any contributor to the organization from the definition of disclosable documents. Contributor names and addresses listed on an exempt organization’s exemption application are subject to disclosure, however.

    https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/public-disclosure-and-availability-of-exempt-organizations-returns-and-applications-contributors-identities-not-subject-to-disclosure#:~:text=Is%20a%20tax%2Dexempt%20organization,or%20990%2DPF)PDF.

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  13. R: It seems to me that if they want to keep donor identities secret and that’s the real reason they’re doing this, then they could still make the bigwigs’ salaries public.

    question is, who is donating to whom and why?
    do politicians on-the-take receive funds to lobby for the inclusion of these ‘fake churches’ to excuse them of tax responsibilities?

    do the ‘fake churches’ receive monies (‘donations’) from suspect entities who want to hide large sums of money and pass it on to a political entity?

    follow the money – IF you can 🙂

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  14. linda: But he was “our” famous guy, so he got a free pass.

    Thx for this information regarding Dobson.

    It seems once a Christian celebrity status is achieved, anything goes. Too big and famous to be held accountable. Because, of course, power & money & anything goes vice. The trifecta. The motivation: rise to the top where power, money, and vice are without limits. Christian privilege.

    Were these the leaders that crucified Jesus? Then these may be the leaders that in the end, persecute the remnant. Warning.

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  15. Wild Honey: There’s already a way for donors to give anonymously who are concerned about being fired. It’s called “cash.”

    (At least in the amounts that I am able to afford. But then, I’m not the one wandering around with a million dollar salary.)

    Yeah, but anonymous donations without the all-important receipt for taxes are *no good* for rich people!

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  16. This quote seems designed to frighten people. “Give only to us… unless you want to be harassed.”

    “In recent years there have been several occasions on which nonprofit organizations were targeted for information, including the names and personal details of their donors. In order to protect our constituents’ privacy, and because Focus does, in fact, meet the definition of a church under IRS regulations, we applied for and received this designation,” said Batura.

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  17. elastigirl,

    “one way or another, people are groomed to second-guess their faith unless it’s blind faith- scrutiny is a faith compromise and only 2nd class citizens would be interested in such a raunchy thing.”
    ++++++++++++

    to be clear, *I* don’t think scrutiny is a faith compromise. It would be behoove all faithers with a brain to sport the scrutiny hat.

    (maybe take it off when sleeping)

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  18. While I agree with most things published on this blog and have been reading it for years, I am very disappointed to read a blanket statement like this “I do not trust the integrity of any of these named organizations and will make sure I no longer donate to those who would lie and say they are churches when they know it’s not true.” applied to every single organization on your list without going into detail on any other organization except Focus on the Family and Samaritan’s Purse. Sometimes, organizations make legal and tax decisions for complex reasons, but that does not mean they have lost all integrity or do not deserve the support of donors.

    In the case of World Vision, since most of your issue with the church classification seems to center around the submission of Form 990, I wish you had also included this statement from the article you linked: “World Vision has voluntarily continued to submit 990 forms to the IRS, though it is classified as a church.” That would have given your readers a little more information to decide if World Vision deserves to be included in your blanket condemnation. I’m personally not sure why World Vision decided to pursue this classification but based on the reasoning that you shared from the other orgs and the fact that they still do submit a 990, I’m inclined to believe that it is to protect the privacy of donors.

    More research would uncover the facts that World Vision has the Top-Rated Seal from CharityWatch, the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, meets all 20 standards for charitable accountability with the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, complies with all 7 standards of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and has earned 4 out of 4 stars from Charity Navigator. Financial records and top leadership salaries are also publicly available. I hope these credentials will help your readers feel more confident in supporting the life-changing work that is World Vision’s mission.

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  19. Rich: I see zero that churches do that would automatically entitle them to special treatment under laws, that a secular soup kitchen for the homeless shouldn’t be even more entitled to.

    Great comment, Rich! At one time churches were de facto social services. Those days are long gone and looking at what happened in Canada’s residential schools debatable about how good a job they did.

    Churches have become parasitic, bleeding not only their adherents but the wider society.

    It’s past time they paid their share

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  20. Muff Potter: Well dang!
    With all the info up-top, I could conceivably start the First Church of Muff the Magnificent in Nevada. Complete with resort amenities and brothel.
    And pay no taxes to boot

    I’ll skip the brothel, but I definitely support Muffism. Would your adherents be called “muffins” ?

    The first great schism would likely involve a dispute over blueberry or bran.

    Oh, why can’t we just put blueberries in the bran?

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  21. Sophie: do not trust the integrity of any of these named organizations and will make sure I no longer donate to those who would lie and say they are churches when they know it’s not true

    Sophie
    You may have misunderstood what I said. No one should trust any organization on their name alone, even if you like the guy running it. In fact, you proved my point in your comment.

    Sophie: More research would uncover the facts that World Vision has the Top-Rated Seal from CharityWatch, the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, meets all 20 standards for charitable accountability with the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, complies with all 7 standards of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and has earned 4 out of 4 stars from Charity Navigator.

    You proved my point. You did not trust World Vision on their name alone. You did research into the group and came up with a reason why you. trust them. Most people do not go through this process. I did not join my church for two years. I watched, read and listened and when I saw that they were trustworthy, I joined.

    I no longer “trust” any group or church on their name or on the celebrity status of their leader. Ravi Zacharias is a prime example. how many people trusted him and his group. More research should have been done. I became suspicious of him in 2015 when I found he was lying on his bio. Some people were angry with me for not trusting this “man of God.” I was right to be suspicious.

    I hope this clears up when I’m saying.

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  22. Jack: The first great schism would likely involve a dispute over blueberry or bran.

    Like Big-Enders in Lilliput and Little-Enders in Blefescu?
    (Or was that Little-Enders in Lilliput and Big-Enders in Blefescu? Theology was never my thing…”

    Oh, why can’t we just put blueberries in the bran?

    “DIE, HERETIC!!!!!!!”

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  23. Headless Unicorn Guy: Anything and Everything?

    When you get a reputation as a Liar, nobody (except your True Believers/easy marks) will believe you. (Including this weird-ass thing about some guy rising from the dead some 1990 years ago…)

    “What is the cost of lies?
    It’s not that we’ll mistake them for the truth.
    The real danger is that if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognize the truth at all.”
    — Opening monologue, Chernobyl (HBO miniseries)

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  24. Sophie,

    I should have added this to my response. The church of our Lord is quite distinct. I don’t like playing games with that distinction. There is no way that World Vision and other groups like that fit the description of the church. That is why they have been called parachurches. If we are willing to give up the definition of the church to save some money from the IRS, I am wondering what else we will give up.

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  25. dee: There is no way that World Vision and other groups like that fit the description of the church. That is why they have been called parachurches. If we are willing to give up the definition of the church to save some money from the IRS, I am wondering what else we will give up.

    Yes.

    Where God guides, He provides, seems to be lost on orgs masquerading as “churches”. As well as other things – lost on these orgs & org people.

    Where the name is too big to fail, they probably have. Failed. In their mission. Name of org and/or individual.

    God help the big names. They are going to need it come Eternity. Oy vey. Uff dah. Oh my stars. Good golly hot tamale. Blimey.

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  26. Headless Unicorn Guy: And a lot of later cults founded so the cult leader can get laid. A lot.

    Can the word “church” be substituted here, for some of these leaders? Living their best lives with the best gig in town?

    It’s really weird to see how after they dug their fingers into the pewsitters’ pockets, they reached even further to put their member in the pewsitters’ wives and daughters (sometimes their sons). Reference: the Houston Chronicles’ database as published in their series, “Abuse of Faith”. Evidenced via LE and the DOJ. Criminal cases, no less.

    Who would have ever imagined? The new normal?
    Billy Graham’s grandson? (Another name too big to fail?)
    It seems like once it’s all about money, fame, & power (Hybels comes to mind), all of the other vices follow.

    The fruit of the Spirit, versus the fruit of the flesh. Each is a complete package. From Galatians 5:

    “The deeds of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, idolatry, witchcraft, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these; those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

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  27. dee: The church of our Lord is quite distinct. I don’t like playing games with that distinction. There is no way that World Vision and other groups like that fit the description of the church. That is why they have been called parachurches. If we are willing to give up the definition of the church to save some money from the IRS, I am wondering what else we will give up.

    The parachurch non-profits that masquerade as a “church”:

    Honest? No.
    Transparent? No.
    Lawful? No.
    Lawless? Yes.
    Lying? Yes.
    Deception? Yes.

    Ever grateful that our Lord Jesus’ and his disciples’ practices were the OPPOSITE. Jesus was transparent, honest, free of trickery, free of greed, free of desperation.

    The orgs & individuals who do not follow Jesus but practice deception… ’nuff said. Nothing to do with Jesus.

    If a ministry is dishonest in their home office, their paperwork, their filings, the ministry has disqualified itself from exporting anything.

    Howard Hendricks used to advise that if your Christianity doesn’t work at home, it doesn’t work. At all. Don’t export it.

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  28. dee: The church of our Lord is quite distinct. I don’t like playing games with that distinction. There is no way that World Vision and other groups like that fit the description of the church. That is why they have been called parachurches. If we are willing to give up the definition of the church to save some money from the IRS, I am wondering what else we will give up.

    We were not aware of this parachurch as church deception by these orgs.

    However, we have personally worked with orgs, including WV, both domestically and overseas. We’ve seen practices, both in terms of money and how they treat people (fellow workers), that we do not support. We no longer donate time/money where we are aware of unJesuslike practices.

    So we are surprised but actually not surprised by the information in your post.

    Thx again, Dee, for a wonderful important post.

    (It doesn’t take politics to figure this out. But Jesus. Jesus makes this type of deception wrong in our freedom of information society. We are not situated like the ten Boom family during a holocaust, for example.)

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  29. Ava Aaronson: It’s really weird to see how after they dug their fingers into the pewsitters’ pockets, they reached even further to put their member in the pewsitters’ wives and daughters (sometimes their sons).

    “Most Cults are founded so the Cult Leader can (1) Get Rich, (2) Get Laid, or (3) both.”
    — the full quote

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