Open letter to pastors and churches interested in establishing a Bible trust
I receive many inquiries from pastors and other believers requesting help with setting up what I call a “Bible Trust.” See The Only Way a Church Can Organize to Remain a New Testament Church. The ordinary trust, a non-legal entity, is a Bible concept that is recognized and honored in American law. When properly implemented, its use not only corresponds with Bible principles but also is recognized in American law. It allows a church who is careful not to act legally in any way to remain a spiritual entity under the Lord Jesus Christ only without persecution.
Anyone can apply the concepts, but not everyone has the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom to do so. Why? Because they have not taken the time to study it out. One should first have a firm understanding of the Bible principles of church, state, and separation of church and state. If you have not studied those doctrines, you may go to Sections I-III of God Betrayed/Separation of Church and State: The Biblical Principles and the American Application for this author’s study of those precepts; the online version and the PDF are free and one can find ordering information at Order information for books by Jerald Finney. The online version is the preferred source since important modifications to certain matters have been added. The conclusions as to church legal entity status and spiritual entity status have not changed.
The following letter is being sent to those who inquire, usually by e-mail, about help with church organization.
Thanks for your inquiry concerning establishing a Bible trust. Thank the Lord that some of his pastors and other believers are waking up to critical church/state/separation of church and state issues.
I wish to help everyone and every church I can in the matter of church organization. Before I can determine whether I can help someone, I must know more than a name. This is God’s ministry, and I wish to glorify Him first. In order to do that, you must be willing to do more than just send me a simple request. You must be willing to put some time and effort into laying a foundation upon which we may proceed. Let me assure you that you will not have to put in the untold thousands of hours which I have devoted to this cause, but you must be willing to do a little work yourself before we can go forward. This letter will explain further.
First let me say that the ordinary trust is a concept firmly entrenched in American law. This is great because when properly implemented and used by a church, it corresponds with Bible principles. Anyone and any church is free to implement an ordinary trust which is merely a fiduciary relationship with property which is not a legal entity. The Bible trust is not the church and the church is not the Bible trust. The Bible trust does not make a church who places tithes, offerings, gifts, and property into the trust estate a legal entity. As long as the church is careful not to act legally in any way, the church remains a purely spiritual entity under the Lord Jesus Christ only. A church establishes a Bible trust to hold and manage property for the benefit of the true owner of all things, the Lord Jesus Christ. A trustee becomes the legal owner of the property and his obligation is to hold and manage that property for the true, beneficial and equitable owner of the property, the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are two ways of doing a Bible (ordinary) trust. One can go to the law books himself, study it out, and then draft an ordinary trust which honors Bible precepts. Another way is to go to someone who has studied this out. Of course, the latter way is the easiest and fastest way, but the former way is the best way because one then will have a far greater understanding of the relevant Bible doctrines and the law. Therein lies the real problem with the former way— to do it properly, one must have done extensive study of both the relevant law and also the Bible doctrines of church, state, and separation of church and state. It is also advisable to study church history because one finds that many churches deviate from preeminent Bible principles on various matters. Some of those churches have followed Catholic and Protestant perversions. Others have added new perversions. For more on this see The Trail of Blood of the Martyrs of Jesus. That book is at the publishers and will soon be available from amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and other sources.
One is doing a great disservice to the church he is entrusted with if he just takes the Resolution to Adopt the Declaration of Trust, the Declaration of Trust, and the Appendix and fills in the blanks (or gets me to draft the documents and then goes forward on his own thinking that the finished forms are all he needs). This is because one may need guidance in opening a bank account (what about the EIN?), seeking insurance (not on the church, but liability insurance on property in the trust), confronting issues, etc. Should he have questions in the future, he will likely need to consult with someone who has devoted his life to this cause. If one just fills in the blanks on his own, or takes documents which I provide to him and goes forward alone, then he will be on his own in the future.
In order to see if I can be of help to you, will you please permit me tell you a little about the ministry, and then ask you a few questions. The questions are necessary for several reasons, one being that we want to make sure that we agree on New Testament church doctrine which, of course, includes church organization. This is the first step in helping one who is interested in organizing a church under the Bible trust.
We believe that when one is saved, he becomes a part of the family of God. Then, God desires that he be baptized into a local New Testament church. Some believe that everyone who is saved is a part of “the universal church,” and they operate outside the bounds of the local New Testament church in one way or another; other “universal church” believers belong to a church body who believes in the existence of the universal church here and now. We believe that the visible universal church will come into existence at the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Now, let me ask you a few questions:
(1) Are you an ordained pastor?
(2) What is your name, address, and phone number?
(3) What is your salvation and after salvation testimony?
(4) Who baptized you?
(5) Please define baptism-method and purpose.
(4) Who ordained you (name of pastor(s) and church)?
(5) When were you ordained?
(6) Do you now pastor a church?
(7) What church do you wish to establish under the Bible trust?
(8) Do you agree with the eleven earmarks of the New Testament church as laid down by J.M. Carroll. You can see them online at:
Those earmarks are:
The eleven “Marks of a First Amendment Church”:
“1. Its Head and Founder—CHRIST. He is the lawgiver; the Church is only the executive. (Matt. 16:18; Col. 1:18.)
“2. Its only rule of faith and practice—THE BIBLE. (II Tim. 3:15-17.)
“3. Its name—‘CHURCH,’ ‘CHURCHES.’ (Matt. 16:18; Rev. 22:16.)
“4. Its polity—CONGREGATIONAL—all members equal. (Matt. 20:24-28; Matt. 23:5- 12.)
“5. Its members—only saved people. (Eph 2:21-22; I Peter 2:5.)
“6. Its ordinances—BELIEVER’S BAPTISM, FOLLOWED BY THE LORD’S SUPPER. (Matt. 28:19-20.)
“7. Its officers—PASTORS AND DEACONS. (I Tim. 3:1-16.)
“8. Its work—getting folks saved, baptizing them (with a baptism that meets all the requirements of God’s Word), teaching them (‘to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you’). (Matt. 28:16-20.)
“9. Its financial plan—‘Even so (TITHES and OFFERINGS) hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.’ (I Cor. 9.14.)
“10. Its weapons of warfare—spiritual, not carnal. (II Cor. 10:4; Eph. 6:10-20.)
“11. Its independence—separation of Church and State. (Matt. 22:21.)” J. M. Carroll, The Trail of Blood, (Distributed by Ashland Avenue Baptist Church, 163 N. Ashland Avenue, Lexington KY 40502, 606-266-4341), pp. 4-5.
A new book will soon be published and available on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and from other sources. (This paragraph is being added on January 24, 2017). That book explains not only the true history of the First Amendment, but also the ongoing theological warfare between those who support separation of church and state and those who want union of church and state. Any church who utilizes the Bible trust is acting upon the principle of separation of church and state and is free to do so because of the First Amendment and corresponding state constitutional provisions. Get a preview of the book at:
(9) How is the church organized (plurality of elders, one pastor who leads the flock with possibly associate pastors, the roles of the members, etc.)?
(10) What do you believe about tongues?
The following two questions are very important because the standard for all my teaching concerning this legal ministry and for all other matters is the King James Bible. I am totally convinced that the King James Bible is the word of God in English. Should you not use the KJB, you may organize under the Declaration of Trust. However, if issues arise, you must agree, if reference to Bible principle(s) is needed to resolve the issue, that the KJB will be the standard.
(11) Do you use only the King James Bible for your personal study, teaching, and preaching?
(12) Do you believe that the King James Bible is the word of God in English?
(13) Are you willing to educate the church body as you take steps to organize under the Bible trust?
(14) In the process of educating your church body, are you willing to have at least a conference call or calls with me and the men of your church, so that I can answer and ask questions?
(15) Is the church now incorporated?
(16) Is the church now 501(c)(3)?
(17) Is the church legally organized some other way?
(18) Does the church now hold a bank account? If so, how is it held?
(19) Does the church hold insurance? If so, how is it held?
(20) Does the church now hold any property whether real or personal? If so, how is it held?
(21) Does the church have a constitution? By-laws? A church covenant? Any kind of doctrinal statement other than the Bible?
(22) Please let me know any other information which you deem important.
Please understand that I ask these questions to make sure that God is honored and glorified. I hope that we can work together as you seek to please him in the matter of church organization by helping you establish a New Testament church. Once you answer the above questions, we can talk. Your answers may make it possible for me to proceed with further help and advice, or not.
May the Lord richly bless you and your church family as you seek to glorify him.
For His Glory,