How The I.R.S. Controls Churches Through 501(c)3 Tax Exempt Status
“Mr. Marrs, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is exploring whether Living Truth Ministries has violated its 501(c)3 tax exempt status.”
Those were the words of the IRS agent conducting an examination of our ministry’s “philosophy and viewpoints” which began some nine months ago. The agent said that we may have violated IRS policies by making disparaging remarks about faith groups and cults that oppose Christianity. We may also be subjected to penalties and fines because we have exposed the “Catholic Pope, the United Nations, the Masonic Order, the Skull and Bones Society, the Illuminati,” and other organizations deemed worthy by the IRS. The IRS also found objectionable our stand against the sexual immorality and pro-abortion views of President Bill Clinton.
The IRS warned us that Christian churches and ministries that identify “threats to Christianity” may be at risk of violating IRS guidelines. We were even told that if anything we publish does not appear reasonable to the IRS we can be punished.
I have enclosed a list of 35 things the IRS contends are prohibited conduct for tax exempt Christian churches and ministries. Do you agree with me that the IRS and the federal thought police have gone horribly off the deep-end in dictating what Bible-believing preachers and Christians can and cannot preach or discuss? Whatever happened to freedom of religion and freedom of speech?
Please pray with us that the IRS and the enemies of Christ will fail in their blatant attempt to silence the true Church of the Living God and our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Does the IRS hate the Gospel and despise Bible-believing Christians? Has the IRS become a police-state agency that regularly persecutes churches, pastors, and ministries that still believe in old-fashioned patriotism? Listed below are 35 things the IRS contends are prohibited of churches and ministries. A pastor or ministry leader who violates the guidelines of the IRS on these 35 prohibitions can have his church or group’s tax exemption revoked and be dealt with harshly by the IRS. These 35 prohibitions on churches and ministries demonstrate how the IRS and the federal government now control churches and insure politically and religiously “correct” behavior. Liberal Christian churches and false religions such as Hunduism, Witchcraft, and Scientology are not affected by these rules—only Bible-believing, Christian ministries and churches. Also, keep in mind: These 35 things are not prohibited by law nor by the Constitution. The IRS considers itself above the law and the Constitution.
|1. Expose conspiracies.||2. Criticize the New World Order.|
|3. Say or publish anything negative about any politician, Republican or Democrat.||4. Criticize government agencies and bureaus—the IRS, FBI, BATF, CIA, EPA, DEA, OSHA, DOJ, etc.|
|5. Criticize an institution of government such as the White House, the Congress, the Federal Reserve Board, or the Supreme Court.||6. Encourage citizens to call or write their congressman, senator, governor, mayor, or other public official.|
|7. Criticize any proposed or pending bill or legislation that would take away the rights and freedoms of the people.||8. Make disparaging remarks about, or criticize, any other faith group, cult, or religion.|
|9. Expose or criticize the New Age Movement.||10. Support or encourage a law-abiding citizen’s militia.|
|11. Support or encourage the Second Amendment, the right of the people to keep and bear arms.||12. Discourage young women from getting an abortion, or endorse the pro-life movement.|
|13. Teach that abortion, especially partial birth abortion, is murder and is the killing of innocent babies.||14. Identify homosexuality as a sin and an abomination to God.|
|15. Express an opinion on any subject or issue.||16. Appeal to peoples’ emotions by employing an evangelization method (such as “fire and brimstone” preaching) not considered a “reasoned approach” by the IRS.|
|17. Discuss or identify threats to Christianity.||18. Discuss subjects or topics the IRS deems “sensationalist.”|
|19. Criticize well-known public figures or institutions the IRS deems “worthy,” such as the super-rich elite, international bankers, the Hollywood movie industry, etc.||20. Publish or broadcast information on any topic without giving credence to the opposing viewpoints of Christ’s enemies.|
|21. Publish and offer books, tapes, or products that expose the elitist plot against humanity and God.||22. Criticize the Pope or the Vatican, or contrast the New Catholic Catechism with the truths found in the Holy Bible. (Note: only liberal churches are permitted by the IRS to criticize the Catholic Church).|
|23. Criticize the United Nations or such globalist groups as the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderbergers, and the Trilateral Commission.||24. Criticize the Masonic Lodge, the Order of Skull & Bones, or other Secret societies.|
|25. Highlight or otherwise bring attention to immorality of public officials or corruption in government.||26. Complain of government wrongdoing or injustice, such as happened at Waco, Ruby Ridge, and elsewhere.|
|27. Criticize the Jewish ADL or other Jewish lobby groups.||28. Say anything positive about the “religious right” or the “patriot movement.”|
|29. Support home schooling, home churches, or unregistered churches.||30. Spend money on missionary projects or charitable causes not approved by the IRS.|
|31. Promote or encourage alternative healthcare (herbs, vitamins, etc.).||32. Expose false teachings of any kind by anyone.|
|33. Support or encourage persecuted Christians suffering under anti-Christian regimes in Red China, Cuba, Russia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United States, and elsewhere.||34. Ordain a pastor whose training or qualifications are not approved by the IRS.|
|35. Advocate or teach any Bible doctrine that is politically or religiously incorrect, or is inconsistent with any “public policy” (abortion, feminism, gay rights, etc.) currently being enforced by the IRS.|
Living Truth Ministries is now under withering attack from the IRS due to our vocal demand for truth and our obedience to God’s Word, the Holy Bible, in exposing evil in the world. But we are not alone. In a recent publication of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), that organization’s Chief Counsel, Jay Sekulow, detailed the shameful campaign by the Internal Revenue to silence pastors, churches, and individual believers. This issue is so important I wanted Flashpoint readers to be appraised of this incredible development.
We Now Have The Cold, Hard Evidence That Confirms Our Worst Suspicions! The Internal Revenue Service has conducted an unbelievable campaign against our client, a small church in upstate New York. This campaign included secret photographic surveillance of the church grounds by an IRS agent.
When I first saw the actual IRS documents—obtained in our ongoing court battle with the
IRS—I directed our legal team to do whatever was necessary to stop the IRS right away before other churches and their members become victims.
It is important that we not telegraph our case to the IRS, but I wanted you to see for yourself just how far the IRS has gone to intimidate Christians. I have included on these pages a representation of just a fraction of the evidence we have uncovered so far.
IRS Forced to Reveal Truth
Our case defending Pastor Dan Little and the Church at Pierce Creek against the IRS has tremendous implications for religious freedom. Last year, when the IRS refused to provide us with crucial data during the discovery process, this case took on even greater significance.
So we went back to court and obtained an order forcing the IRS to turn over requested documents dating back to 1980. This precedent-setting court decision has sent shock waves through the legal community. Just weeks ago, the IRS sent the first batch of information to our Washington, D.C., office. As ACLJ attorneys Colby May and Mark Troobnick began sorting through more than 6,000 pages of documents, they uncovered the IRS’s attack campaign against our client. This rare inside look at IRS files also revealed their agenda to monitor churches and censor any speech they deem to be too political.
ACLJ Exposes Ongoing Attack
Over the course of more than two years, the Church at Pierce Creek felt intimidated by the IRS’s continuing requests for more information. First, the IRS issued a “Church Tax Inquiry” letter, followed closely by a “Notice of Church Examination.” Then, church leaders were called to a meeting with officials at IRS offices in Syracuse, New York, which was followed by the IRS’s decision to conduct an “Examination of the Church.”
Within weeks, IRS officials were contemplating their course of action against the Church at Pierce Creek: “revocation of (tax) exemption or proposed assessment of excise taxes…or both.” The IRS then set out to do both, and much more, as the scope of the “investigation” continued to grow.
According to the IRS files, the next phase of the investigation included “additional questions to submit to the church regarding list of contributors.” Then, the Branch Chief authorized surveillance of the church and its pastor. Photographs were taken of the church, the pastor’s house and even the car the pastor drove. The IRS agent also conducted surveillance at the pastor’s private business.
IRS Has Become A Political Weapon
The IRS claims it was simply trying to establish that the Church at Pierce Creek was, in fact, a church. But that alone does not justify the IRS letters, the on-site investigation by an IRS agent, and the photographic surveillance of the pastor’s home.
The IRS was after one thing—to gag “politically incorrect” churches. How else can you explain the fact that the IRS investigated the political activities of the Church at Pierce Creek, requested that the church provide them with names and addresses of church members, and even prepared a summons to obtain a list of contributors to the church!
This attack is not confined to one church. We have uncovered an internal IRS publication that alerts IRS agents to watch for specific code words and phrases (such as “pro-life” or “conservative”) used in connection with statements about the moral requirements for holding public office. This means a pastor speaking from the pulpit about political candidates that support the rights of the unborn could be targeted by the IRS for the same kind of treatment leveled upon the Church at Pierce Creek.
IRS Must Be Stopped
When an agency of the government tells our pastors what to preach, conducts surveillance of churches and then take steps to obtain the names of church members, it is our duty as Christian citizens to take action.
That is why the Center is committed to defending Pastor Little and the church at Pierce Creek—all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. A high-ranking IRS official has called our case “one of the five most important cases” dealing with tax issues. I believe this may be the most significant case in decades concerning the IRS and religious liberty.
Our work thus far has already established new legal precedents protecting the rights of Christians. For the first time since its inception, the IRS is being forced by a court to turn over evidence of its tactics against Christians. Finally, a court has recognized that the IRS may have violated the “equal protection” rights of believers. We have a unique opportunity to create a “safe harbor” that can protect churches from the threat of having their tax status revoked because of what is said from their pulpits.
We Need Your Help
I can’t overstate the importance of this legal battle. Already, we have invested thousands of hours in this case. but there is much more work to be done. In fact, we are back in court this month because the IRS still refuses to answer new discovery requests!
This is a monumental task. After all, we are up against the IRS, the most feared department of government which has amassed more extra-constitutional power than any agency in history.
That is why I am counting on your help. Please pray for our team. Pray that anything hidden will come to light.
And remember: Your continued support of the Center will enable our team of attorneys to fight the IRS while we defend faith and freedom in hundreds of cases across the nation.
Together, I am confident we can win this battle. Thank you for standing with us!