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Comparison of Three Methods of Church Organization: Bible Trust (ordinary trust), Incorporation (includes corporation sole), and Ecclesiastical Law Center Trust

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Comparison of Bible Trust (ordinary trust),[i] Incorporation (includes corporation sole),[ii] and Ecclesiastical Law Center Trust[iii]

See the links at bottom for more details.

By Jerald Finney
Copyright © February 8, 2015

Bible Trust (ordinary trust) Incorporation (includes corporate sole) Ecclesiastical Law Center Trust
Is the method of organization Biblical? Yes No No
Does the organizational method leave Christ as the only head of the church? Yes No No
Is the church who uses the method a spiritual entity only? Yes. If the church understands what she is doing and does not act legally in any other way. No. An incorporated church (includes corporation sole church) is a legal entity, an artificial person. No. An Ecclesiastical Law Center church is a legal entity since she holds or can hold property through a pastor. Only a legal entity can hold property.
Is the church who uses the method a legal entity? No. Nor is the Bible trust used by the church a legal entity. Yes. Yes, the use of the method by a church makes the church a legal entity. In addition, the type trust used by the ELC church is also a legal entity.
Does it give the state authority over God’s church? No Yes. Yes.
Is the church who uses the method under the First Amendment (statement of a biblical principle) only? Yes No No
Does the use of the method place a church under the Fourteenth Amendment? No. Yes (The church is an artificial person (a legal fiction)). Yes (The church is an artificial person (a legal fiction)).
Is the church who uses the method under IRC § 501c3? No (If the Bible Trust church claims 501c3 or 508 status, she is no longer a church organized according to the principles of the New Testament). Depends: If the church so chooses, she is under 501c3. Since she has already compromised her New Testament status, she may as well get 501c3 or 508 status. -both place a church under the 501c3 rules Depends: If the church so chooses, she is under 501c3. Since she has already compromised her New Testament status, she may as well get 501c3 or 508 status-both place a church under the 501c3 rules.
Is the church who uses the method under IRC § 508? No (If the Bible Trust church claims 501c3 or 508 status, she is no longer a church organized according to the principles of the New Testament). Depends: If the church so chooses, she can claim 508 status. Since she has already compromised her New Testament status, she may as well get 501c3 or 508 status. Depends: If the church so chooses, she can claim 508. Since she has already compromised her New Testament status, she may as well get 501c3 or 508 status.
How is a bank account held? The trust holds the bank account, not the church. For the church to open a bank account makes the church a legal entity. The corporation holds the bank account. E.g., First Baptist Church, Inc. The Ecclesiastical Law Center Trust does not believe in church bank accounts even though the ECL church is already a legal entity.
How is insurance held? The trust holds the insurance, not the church. For a church to hold insurance makes a church a legal enity. The corporate church holds the insurance. ?
Who signs the checks? The pastor/trustee of the trust signs the trust account checks. A corporate office signs the incorporated church checks. NA
Who signs deeds to real property? The pastor/trustee of the trust signs deeds. A corporate officer signs deeds. The pastor/trustee of the trust signs the deeds.
Who owns the real property? The beneficiary of the trust (the Lord Jesus Christ) is the true owner of the property in the trust estate. The pastor/trustee is the legal owner. The corporation (the church, inc.) is the legal and real owner of the property. The church through the pastor is the legal owner and the Lord Jesus Christ is the true owner of real property in the trust estate.
Who holds title to personal property? The pastor/trustee of the trust holds the title as the legal owner of the property. The Lord Jesus Christ is the real or true owner of the property. The corporation (the church, inc.) holds the title as the legal and real owner of the property. The pastor/trustee of the trust holds the title for the church who is the legal owner of the property. The Lord Jesus Christ is the real or true owner of the property.

[i] See, Spurious rationale for church incorporation: to hold property. This article compares the Bible Trust (not called that in the article) to church incorporation and explains how the use by a church of a Bible Trust comports with both New Testament and legal principles.

[ii] See Critique of Church Freedom and Corporation Sole for full explanation of the church incorporation sole methodology.

[iii] See Ecclesiastical Law Center Exposed for full explanation of the Ecclesiastical Law Center methods and obvious blatant misrepresentations of the ordinary (Bible) trust.


2 Comments

  1. Dr Ken Romeo says:

    Excellent work. Thanks

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