There is currently much to do about government restrictions on the activities of the church in North America.
Is it lawful? Is it legal? Are these two options synonymous?
In general, I use the term lawful as pertains to God's Law specifically that we are to do no harm to another man and we are to fulfil our promises. Man (a term of species not gender, Genesis 1:27) was created by God to be subject to God.
As a long-established rule in law, that which is created is subject to, or under the authority of, its creator.
The term legal pertains to the rules and regulations government places upon those over which it has authority, specifically, corporations.
With those definitions in mind, we will evaluate the restrictions that government has placed upon churches.
From its inception, the Ekklesia (inappropriately translated 'church,' read The Mysterious Word "Church") referred to people called to assemble to govern—under the Lordship and direction of Jesus. It was governed by all things lawful and motivated by love.
In more recent times a new entity arose ‘out of the sea,’ a beast if you will, or better known as a corporation. By 'out of sea' I mean it was created to address the growing sea trade of the 15-1700’s. Corporations such as the Dutch East India Company of 1602, the Hudsons Bay Company, the South Sea Company, and many others since then have been created. In 1844 legislators in Britain granted corporations 'personhood,' and so too in 1886 for those in America.
Man is a term of nature, person of the civil law. a maxim of law.
Corporations, created by government, are under the authority of government.
Jesus had established his assembly, the Ekklesia, under His Lordship. This Ekklesia grew to be a large, politically influential group of people outside of the control of those seeking to dominate politics.
To end Ekklesia’s influence it was devised to offer each body of believers an opportunity to incorporate so that the members could receive a pseudo-benefit—a tax-deductible receipt for their givings. This offer had a hook.
By accepting their contract the Ekklesia traded masters and were now subject to the dictates of the government, the creator their corporate status. No longer could church leaders give official support to any political party.
Things lawful including their freedom were exchanged for things legal and rights that are granted and directed by the government. The Law still applied, namely, to do no harm to others and that we are to fulfil our promises—the promise to obey government in exchange for the promise of tax money.
Every corporation is obligated to obey whatever government rules were issued or they face dis-incorporation including the forfeiture of all the corporation’s assets.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20 (NASB)
The understanding gives new meaning to Jesus’ words to the church in Laodicea—often considered to symbolize the church of the latter days.
The solution? Dis-incorporate, give all your assets to another charity and walk away from it all, and meet in homes until you able rebuild—avoiding incorporating—and remaining under the Lordship of Jesus. It's the only safe haven.
©2020, Dr Steven Bydeley, a man.
All publishing rights reserved. Permission is herewith granted to reprint this article for personal use and to link or refer to it; however, no commercial re-publishing of the material in this article is permitted without prior written consent.
Steven is the author of Fathered by God and with his wife Dianne, co-author of Dream Dreams and Dreams the Heal and Counsel. He has been a guest on the Miracle Channel, Trinity Television, and Crossroads Communication, and have taught internationally on various topics.
Without Prejudice. © 2023, Steven., house of bij de Leij., of man.