Happy new year!
I’d like to start this post with two requests. I’ll first list the requests, and then the reason for the requests. Here are the requests:
- If your church is part of 501c3, that is, listed as a non-profit, please consider unregistering from the 501c3, and if possible, unregister from it.
- Please, also pray for Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist who has recently been threatened to have his license taken away (for, it seems, political reasons). Also please share with others so people know what is happening and can pray.
Here are the reasons:
501c3: About 90% of the churches in the US are registered as 501c3. This means they are tax-exempt. I’d initially (maybe like you) thought of this as no big deal, but after struggling with this for a while, feel that when a church is registered as a 501c3, it means the government has strings on the church. Now, in a place like America, we have (thus far) been enjoying religious freedom. America was founded partially because the people who traveled here wanted to escape the restriction of worship in Britain and Europe (Anglican church, Catholic church). They wanted freedom of worship. When they first came to America, churches were independent of the government. However, for the past few decades, most churches are now registered as 501c3, or tax-exempt. That means you pay no taxes to the government, but the catch is, you are beholden to the government.
This is concerning, because if you are beholden to the government, you can’t preach or say things that might be construed as against the government. Thus far, we have been blessed in America to have freedom of speech and freedom of religion. America has had moral standards and ethics. But, and especially in the past few years, I see this as quickly eroding away. Churches get muzzled in preaching the true gospel, especially when they get tax-free status from the government. If the government starts passing laws that are unbiblical, and unethical (and it already has, or is moving in that direction) the church is in the crosshairs because they either follow the unbiblical laws, or follow Christ. If they get tax-free exemption, that is one way the government can use to pressure the church.
We already see this happening in places where freedom of worship is restricted. America has been ok thus far because the government has been (arguably) non-oppressive to churches and places of worship — thus far. But, unfortunately, and as many people are starting to notice as well — this is changing.
Jordan Peterson: Many of you may not know him, or maybe you’ve just heard his name. He is a clinical psychologist and intellectual who recently became a Christ follower. I’ve only just started reading his books, such as “The 12 Rules of Life”. His books and lectures has helped me tremendously, to deal with anxiety, manage suffering, and make sense of a non-sensical world. Recently, he bravely stood up and told the truth about things that generally the media disagrees with. Many times, I’ve wanted to stand up to them as well, but out of fear, as I usually do, kept quiet and did not make any waves.
Well, recently, he criticized the Canadian government (Dr. Peterson is Canadian), and in particular the prime minister. As a result, the Board of Psychologists, which is tied to the government, has threatened to take away his psychology license, and ordered that he has to attend re-education classes at his own expense. The Board would then decide if Dr. Peterson has learned from these classes. If he doesn’t comply, they would take away his license. You can read more here.
These two cases are tied together. It has to do with control, and freedom — in particular, freedom of religion and freedom of speech. If anything, please consider reaching out to your church leadership to at least consider unregistering from the 501c3, and please pray concerning this. Also, please pray for Jordan Peterson and his family, and share his story. He is one example (of a growing number) of a disturbing trend of canceling and threatening people that don’t align with a government’s (or unseen higher-up’s) ideology and agenda.