We believe in being open, honest, and direct — all qualified by the admonition of Jesus that one's intentions remain on the narrow way. Being truly honest is to have proper intentions. Being open for the sake of accolades is not a proper motive.
Consider the following and the wisdom it requires:
That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:4.
This is to avoid doing things to satisfy one's ego. To do things for an ego-boost is to detract from doing things purely because they are right. It allows for further distraction. It doesn't lead to perfect righteousness that is God and the highest heaven.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:6.
Corporate worship turns bad when it is done for being esteemed by one's fellow human beings.
That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:18.
For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. Mark 4:22.
God sees everything, and all the reasons for everything will unfold for us to see. God sees all the evil, yet God can still forgive repenting and atoning souls. It's truly the most astonishing thing. God's patience is infinite.
No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. Luke 11:33.
Here is where the seeming balance enters in. One must learn to give, pray, fast, and the like, all without ego in mind but rather with others in mind. One must then openly manifest fruits consistent with all of this. Then, it will be no secret that one gives, shares, prays, fasts, and follows Jesus's New Commandment, which has the right motives built into it. The right motives are the basis of the law.
For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. John 7:4.
One must reconcile a mundane paradox (a false paradox). One may simultaneously do the same thing in secret and in the open. It is all about prime motives. A pat on the back may be reinforcing, but it must never become the reward. Righteousness in and of itself must be the reward for only in that way will one avoid wandering off the narrow way.
But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. John 7:10.
One may rightly pick and choose when and where to be open. There are different contexts for openness — when and where it is proper. It is divine semantics.
Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. John 18:20
In the end, Jesus hid none of his teachings. Surely we can see that.
Therefore, we understand and acknowledge the reasons that so many entities push for financial transparency. There have been so many people who have abused the generosity of others. At the same time, those who are for financial transparency must design their systems around allowing donors to give to the righteous cause in anonymity as much as is necessary for such donors to avoid the temptations to swell their egos on account of a confused, astray, admiring populace.
It is with all of this in mind that we explain the loan indicated (as of the date of this post) is from Tom Usher to the Church. To clarify, this is an accounting procedure only. Everything that is mine is the Church's. The loan is interest free. The Church will repay it, but I, Tom Usher, will not make any private, personal mammmon profit or gain in the process. The loan is simply to allow the Church to continue on monies I have borrowed personally to that end.
That said, we want also to be clear that we favor open-book accounting in as much as it is consistent with communal (Godly) ownership of everything. We believe it is all in the family in the end, and therefore, it is all in the family as the means.
We've been for open-book accounting from the beginning.
Only those who believe and share will partake eternally.
So, help us to help yet others the help yet others still. This is how the real Gospel will be spread and lived out.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)