- Chapter 1: Analysis of the title and first two paragraphs of Chapter 18 of “Approved by Man” by Wright/Townsend (ELC leaders)
- Chapter 2: Analysis of the first section of chapter 18 “The Propagation of the Declaration”
- Chapter 3: Analysis of the second section of Chapter 18, “Why such a strong stand against the DOT?
- Chapter 4: Analysis of the third section of Chapter 18, “Biblical Law Center Bulletins”
- Chapter 5: Analysis of the fourth section of Chapter 18, “More Exclusivity Statements”
- Chapter 6: Analysis of fifth section of Chapter 18, “We Can’t Give it to Other Churches!”
- Chapter 7: Analysis of the sixth section of Chatper 18, “Has it ever been tested in court?”
- Chapter 8: Analysis of the last section of Chapter 18, “The Questions will keep coming”
- Chapter 9: Ben Townsend Explains Chapter 18 of Approved by Man: He admits that he did not know what he was talking about
- Chapter 10: Reply to Ben Townsend’s Article, “Give and Take”
- Chapter 11: Answer to Ben Townsend’s Article, “It Really Isn’t Personal: “It’s Financial!” (Below)
- Chapter 12: Answer to Ben Townsend’s Article, “God is our Benefactor; He is NOT a Beneficiary”
- Analysis of Ben Townsends Article “A Law, Made by Man, Will be Changed” and Conclusion
- The Only Way a Church Can Organize to Remain a New Testament Church (050616 article which explains that why trust is a Bible concept and why it is the only way a church can organize in accord with New Testament principles and the wisdom of using a properly worded and executed Declaration of Trust with supporting documents.)
- Expose And Reject The Teachings and Methods of Church Organization Con-Artists and Charlatans (050616)
- Why Understanding and Applying Church and State Law Is Important for Believers and Churches (June 3, 2012 article)
- Is the ordinary trust recommended by this “Separation of Church and State Law Ministry” and by the BLC a legal entity?
- See Comparison of Bible Trust (ordinary trust), Incorporation (includes corporation sole), and Ecclesiastical Law Center Trust for a concise chart of the differences each brings to church organization.
- See Spurious rationale for church incorporation: to hold property (Section VI, Chapter 7 of God Betrayed; Chapter 7 of Separation of Church and State) for an explanation of the ordinary trust. That chapter shows how the ordinary trust comports perfectly with Bible principle and why this author now co-labels the ordinary trust a Bible trust.
Chapter 11: Answer to Ben Townsend’s Article, “It Really Isn’t Personal: ‘It’s Financial!'”
Copyright © December 21, 2014
On November 17, 2014 Ben Townsend published online “It Really Isn’t Personal: “It’s Financial!” The article was written after Jerald Finney began to publish this booklet: An analysis of Ecclesiastical Law Center Attacks against the Ordinary Trust Recommended by the Old Paths Baptist Church “Separation of Church and State Law Ministry”.
Townsend’s article demonstrates that Finney’s hope that publication of the booklet would foster a reasoned discussion has not materialized. From Townsend’s article, studied with an understanding of what Finney has published in the above online booklet, one who knows what is going on or who takes the time to study these matters out will readily understand that Townsend is not interested in or is incapable of a reasoned argumentation; understanding, explanation, and defense of the ELC method of church organization; and/or defense of his attacks against the Declaration of Trust and the ordinary trust thereby created which is promoted by the Biblical Law Center (“BLC”) and the ordinary Bible trust of the Old Paths Baptist Church “Separation of Church and State Law Ministry” (SCSLM). Townsend sets up fictitious straw-men and attacks those straw-men instead of confronting the issues raised, incorrectly frames the issues, creates his own reality, cannot engage in any meaningful dialogue, misleads the uneducated, engages in trivialities, and dishonors our Lord Jesus Christ. In this latest of ridiculous publications by Townsend “It Really Isn’t Personal: “It’s Financial!” Townsend proves true to form.
Townsend states in his article:
“There was a certain church we were using to demonstrate the truth that Scripture never wants the pastor to be any legal officer of any legal “instrument,” including an “Ordinary Trust” (Attorney Finney’s term) or a “Declaration of Trust” (BLC’s term). These are not Biblical instruments for Lordship Churches. They attempt to tell us that their “Trust” is not like any other Trusts. And MY dog is not like any OTHER dog! You have your “Business Dogs,” your “Revocable Dogs,” “Living Dogs,” “Charitable Dogs,” and I am sure Attorney Finney has an “Ordinary Dog.” And just because he may call his Ordinary Dog’s tail a leg, it does not make it have five legs. Actually, I would have preferred to use the BLC’s terminology and just say that I have made a “Declaration” that I HAVE a Dog. (Note: I use Dog here not making fun of anyone in the BLC or “whatever the name that other group is” who happens to be Dyslexic.)”
This paragraph demonstrates that Townsend is unlearned and incapable of honest study and debate. Prior chapters of this booklet point to the law that proves there are different types of trusts. If one does not believe what Jerald Finney writes in those chapters, he can go to the sources cited by Finney to determine whether Finney is telling the truth.
By the way, “ordinary trust” was not termed by Jerald Finney. The law of business trusts, for example, refers to the “ordinary trust,” something entirely different from the business trust.
Finney adopted the use of the term “Bible trust” or “ordinary Bible trust” to apply to the ordinary trust and related documents which he recommends for churches and which mirrors relevant Bible precepts. The pastor or other believer who is truly interested in honoring the Lord Jesus Christ can study these and other writings of Jerald Finney and find that:
- The Ben Townsend and the Ecclesiastical Law Center (“ELC”) method creates a trust which is different from an “ordinary trust.” In other words, Ben Townsend’s method is a “dog” of a different breed.
- Although the Ben Townsend and the Ecclesiastical Law Center (“ELC”) method does not utilize a Declaration of Trust (“DOT”) for each church, the ELC has a DOT which is published in ELC writings.
- The ELC method creates a trust which is a legal entity and sets up the church using that method as a legal entity.
- The Ben Townsend and the ELC method puts the pastor in the position of trustee for the church of a type of trust which is a legal entity.
- The Ben Townsend and the ELC method makes an ELC church a legal entity.
- The Declaration of Trust and ordinary Bible trust thereby created perfectly correspond to biblical principle. The ordinary trust thereby created is not a legal entity.
- The church who places tithes, offerings, and gifts into the trust estate of an ordinary trust does not thereby make herself a legal entity; and she remains a non-legal entity as long as she does not act legally in any way.
- The Declaration of Trust and ordinary trust thereby created does not make the pastor a legal office and the Declaration of Trust is not a legal document.
Townsend also suggests that money is a motivating factor for Finney. This is another ridiculous statement. This is a ministry for Finney into which he has poured a lot of money without any financial reward, and for which he has never asked (or received in gift any but insignificant) remuneration. Furthermore, this argument is another straw man which has nothing to do with the truths Finney has published in this booklet.
Townsend also states in the article:
“We have in our possession the document between the local church and the Pastor/Trustee, with RESOLUTIONS from the church body. Now, I am putting my neck out there and stating this is just paperwork that is done for you, and that NO ACTUAL business meeting was called by the church to pass these “Resolutions.” Let me define “Resolution:” “A corporate action, sometimes in the form of a legal document, that will be voted on or has been voted on at a meeting of the board of directors for a corporation.” I also have the Declaration of Trust from this same church, naming the pastor as “Pastor/Trustee.” I also have the document from an “entity” which rented part of the church’s building, naming the “Pastor/Trustee” as the “LandLORD” This “Pastor/Trustee” (according to the legal lease) “herein known as Landlord, has the right and authority to sub-let any portion of said leased premiseshe so desires.” (UNQUOTE ACTUAL DOCUMENT, emphasis added) And may I add something that Peter said: “Not for filthy lucre…neither as being LORDS over God’s heritage. (1 Peter 5:2-3).” Do you see? There is no need for Christ to be over His own church, the Pastor/Trustee/LandLORD can handle it just fine.”
Again, Townsend refers to a “corporate resolution” as though that were the only type resolution in existence. This author assumes that the reader has enough intelligence to figure this matter out and will not waste his time to show how utterly ridiculous Townsend’s reference is. This author knows that the churches he has worked with in establishing an ordinary trust have presented and explained the Resolution, DOT, and the ordinary trust to the entire church body.
This attorney would be glad to sit down with Townsend and the alleged Pastor/Trustee “LandLORD” and examine the alleged document to which Townsend refers. That is the only way this author or anyone else would be able to honestly evaluate the whole matter since one cannot depend for Townsend for the truth, only for misdirection.
This discourse between Townsend and this believer/attorney will, for those who take the time to study it out, reveal that Townsend and the ELC should not be depended upon for help in the matter of church organization. Those who blindly follow Townsend will continue in their misguided ways and thereby compromise their position as churches under the Lord Jesus Christ only as they proceed according to a chaotic ELC system of organization which is replete with scriptural and legal flaws.