The National Association of Christian Ministers is not a denomination. Rather it is a professional Christian ministerial association. While we have members associated with denominations, our objective is to move beyond the spiritual limitations of division in pursuit of advancing the gospel by uniting the body of Christ (John 17:20-23). That is our mission.
For this reason, our members enjoy the freedom to independently govern their ministries according to the vision and callings directed by the Holy Spirit.
It is our purpose as a religious organization to recognize the calling of God to ministry upon the lives of Christian believers. This is for the sole purpose of advancing the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We have no objective in the assistance of ministers to pass through the financial stipulations of governments in the hopes of not having to “render unto Caesar” (Mark 12:17). These matters move beyond the scope of anything outlined in scripture as a means by which to fund ministry or churches.
We have no objections to ministers seeking an exempt status from paying taxes. However, those must do so under the privileges afforded to independent ministers.
The NACM does not solicit donations. This decision was made at the very beginning of the organization’s establishment on March 26, 2009. We refuse to be brought into moral judgment for sake of tax deductions.
- This rational is to protect our organization from any accusation as a tax shelter,
- While upholding our vision and policies devoid of the politics often accompanied by a dependence upon funding by donations.
For this reason, the NACM continues to have no necessity to seek tax exempt status with the IRS. Therefore, ministers seeking tax exemptions must do so independently.
While the NACM has an IRS issued EIN, it also pays taxes to the IRS.
The request for our EIN often comes from a misunderstanding in the 501c3 application as it pertains to that of denominational affiliation. However, we are not an association of “churches”, but rather an association of “independent ministers.” The truth is that ordination is not a requirement in order to file for exempt status.
For this reason, the organization’s EIN is of no benefit to its members for pursuit of tax-exempt status. Furthermore, adding it to a 501c3 application could result in the IRS rejecting the request for exemption.
Ministers, ministries, and church directors must consider if it is necessary to file for exemption in the first place. The IRS states that churches meeting the criteria of tax exemption are automatically exempt and are not required to file.
Additionally, they must consider the work which God has given them to do, and how much control they are willing to give the government in exchange for tax exemptions. For many, this is becoming a serious concern -all the more as we see the recent changes in legislation making provisions for homosexual marriages, etc.
1) The church is the Body of Christ.
Article 13 in our Statement of Faith states, “We believe that Christ is the Head of the church, which should be governed by Him (Eph.5:23).”
Christ governs the Church by means of His Body –the children of God who are led by the Spirit (Romans 8:9;16). Whenever the church subjects itself to the governance of the IRS, it has bound its hands and feet to secular regulations in order to maintain its “tax exempt status.”
Why is this status important? For two reasons:
1) to escape the requirements of taxation, and
2) To guaranteed financial donors the “personal benefits” of deductions from their responsibilities to pay taxes.
Apart from the obvious quote to “render unto Caesar,” Jesus said in Mat. 6:3-4:
(3). But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, (4). so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (ESV).
There is nothing secret about churches issuing “contribution statements” at the end of the year…
As an organization, we have no position against filing for tax exemptions. However, we have an obligation to God above every other authority. As US citizens we enjoy freedoms which most of the World could not dream of having. At the top of our constitutional rights is our freedom of religion.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. …”
If for no other freedom, this one alone makes America a great country. However, this amendment of the constitution also makes it clear that we are not ruled by a “Christian government.” Today the greatest political opposition the church is battling is its position regarding the acceptance of homosexuality. Should homosexuals be permitted holy matrimony? Even worse, should they be installed as pastors in the Body of Christ? The word of God makes the answer to these questions very clear, which is “no!” However, the same government which decides upon tax exempt statuses is now protecting homosexual marriages.
Despite the moral implications which follow, there are legal implications for the church in respect to this decision. Will a tax-exempt status be challenged by churches who:
Refuse to officiate over homosexual weddings?
Refuse to employ homosexual pastors?
These are just a few of the implications which follow. At the very least, it seems realistic to project that the “tax exempt status” will soon be brought into question over such matters. As demonstrated, the whole matter is complicated to no end. But the truth of the complication stands in one factor alone: “can I claim a deduction on my taxes?” What would Jesus say?