The Wake-up Herald
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. Romans 13:11-14
Robert McCurry, Editor & Publisher
June 14, 2013
Government to Pulpit:
The relationship between the throne and the pulpit has always been a tenuous one at best. Since the days of Melchisedec, God intended that the office of priest and king be separate. Old Testament kings learned the hard way not to intrude into the priest's office. God clearly intended that His prophets be free and independent men who possessed as much courage as they did faith. Reading the scriptural record of the Old Testament reveals that the prophecies and warnings of the prophets were aimed as much at the throne as at the village. And, more often than not, these prophecies were not well received (putting it mildly) by ancient Israel's equivalent to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
King Amaziah commanded the prophet Amos to "prophesy not." King Jeroboam I attempted to seize, with the intent to kill, the prophet. Fortunately, God miraculously protected His man. King Ahab looked everywhere for Elijah with the intent to kill him. Queen Jezebel tried to kill Elijah, as well. Ahab's last act was to imprison the prophet Micaiah. Ahab's son, King Ahaziah, tried to arrest Elijah three times and lost over 100 men in the process. Ahab's second son, King Jehoram, tried to kill the prophet Elisha. King Joash killed Zechariah. King Amaziah beat God's prophet into silence. King Jehoiakim killed Uriah. The prophet Jeremiah spent more time in prison than he did out. Israel's kings falsely accused him, hated him, mocked him, persecuted him, and repeatedly imprisoned him. They even attempted to murder him, and without divine protection, would no doubt have succeeded. The prophets Amos, Micah, and Isaiah all record Israel's kings as telling them to "prophesy not," or in modern parlance, to "shut up."
So egregious were the persecutions against God's prophets by Israel's kings that Jesus stood outside the capital city of Jerusalem and declared, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee." (Matthew 23:37 KJV)
Likewise, the early church was birthed in a baptism of persecution. And the story of the church throughout history has, for the most part, been one of governmental persecution, oppression, and tyranny against believers. Some of them were unable to defend themselves and were led away as sheep to the slaughter. Others resisted with force. Of these, some prevailed, threw off the oppressor, and lived in peace; while some fell on the battlefield, choosing to die as free men than live as slaves.
The history of America reflects the struggle of religious men to live free of the king's tyranny. First, the pilgrims came to these shores fleeing persecution. Then, the patriots bled and died on these shores fighting persecution. The result was a land of liberty in whose founding documents are enshrined the eternal principles of liberty. Chief among those principles was the divine principle that the throne must stay out of the pulpit, that no more could the king tell the prophet to shut up.
But there is more than one way to silence a man. If coercion and intimidation won't work, bribery is always an option. Back in the 1950s, then Texas US Senator Lyndon Johnson cleverly employed both tactics when he introduced and helped pass what we now know as the 501c3 non-profit, tax-exempt corporation status for churches. Suddenly, free and independent church bodies became creatures of the state. Pastors, elders, deacons, etc., were no longer offices of the church; they were now corporate officers, authorized and sanctioned by the state.
Just as Ahab had his gaggle of bought-and-paid-for prophets, so, too, now Lyndon Johnson and his fellow would-be kings had successfully bought and paid for the silence of the pulpit. And the perks were good. These state-owned preachers were able to launch radio and television programs, build schools and universities, and enjoy the approbation of heads of state. Wealthy corporate heads were happy to provide vast sums of money to these state-approved "ministries." The state even generously provided faith-based taxpayer money to their approved churches. Compliant pastors were called to the White House for lavish banquets and private meetings. The marriage between throne and pulpit was complete. It was a small price to pay: all the prophets had to do was "shut up."
Brothers and sisters, that's why your pastor will not "Cry aloud, spare not, [and] lift up [his] voice like a trumpet." (Isaiah 58:1). That's why he will not rebuke Ahab or Herod. That's why he will not talk about "politics." That's why he will not preach the hard sermons. That's why he rolls his eyes at the mere mention of the word "conspiracy." He is a hireling of Caesar. He is bought and paid for by the government's 501c3 tax-exempt bribe.
Just as Pharaoh had the religious wizards Jannes and Jambres to withstand Moses, modern heads of state have their religious wizards to stand against those patriot-pastors who dare to oppose them. These hireling-wizards even dare to proclaim that America's Founding Fathers were sinful when they resisted the tyranny of King George. They mingle the magic potion of pacifism by twisting Romans 13 and other scriptures to promote the damnable doctrine of submission to oppression. If they mention the great Swiss reformer Zwingli at all, they fail to mention that he died on the battlefield--sword in hand--defending religious liberty. They condemn the heroic efforts of courageous preachers such as Germany's Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Niemoller. They cast aspersion upon the sacrifices of American patriot-pastors such as Jonas Clark, James Caldwell, John Peter Muhlenberg, Joab Houghton, John Witherspoon, and John Leland. Yes, they are willing to sacrifice the lives and liberties of their own offspring in order to eat well at the king's table. And eat well they do.
Everyone now seems concerned about the way the IRS sought to intimidate and punish "conservative" non-profits groups. But why should this surprise us? The IRS has been the chief instrument of coercion against America's churches for over a half-century. And where is the outrage among America's Christians for the way their pastors have been intimidated and bribed into silence by this monstrous agency? If America's churches had any guts, they would stand up now and demand that the IRS, along with its infernal 501c3 code, be forever abolished.
Jesus said that a man cannot serve two masters--neither can a church. The church cannot be the property of the state and the property of Christ at the same time. Its loyalty is to one or the other. A pastor cannot be the prophet of God and the hireling of men at the same time. And the scripture is clear: "Be not ye the servants of men." (I Corinthians 7:23)
There was a time in America when we had pastors and preachers in the similitude of Old Testament prophets. They were men who helped forge a land of freedom. Furthermore, they helped insure that in the United States there was "No king but Jesus." They feared no one but God, and they loved liberty from the depths of their souls. And they made sure that in this country no civil magistrate could ever tell the pulpit to "shut up." Whatever happened to those men?
By Chuck Baldwin, June 6, 2013, NewsWithViews.com
Huckabee: Churches Should Drop Tax-Exempt Status
Churches should consider giving up their tax-exempt status if keeping it means allowing the government to tell them what to say, says Mike Huckabee.
The former Arkansas governor, GOP presidential candidate, and current Fox News talk show host also is an ordained Baptist minister. He made the comment on Monday during a minister's conference in Houston, Texas, ahead of the annual Southern Baptist Convention meeting.
Huckabee said it may be time for churches to say: “Keep your deductions. Keep the exemptions. We stand more faithful with what God would have us to say, and we choose our freedom more than our financial benefit”.
Recent revelations that the Internal Revenue Service has been targeting groups that are conservative and pro-Israel should be an alert to people of faith, Huckabee said. The Thomas More Society has complained that IRS officials asked anti-abortion groups in Texas and Iowa about the content of their prayers when the groups sought tax-exempt status.
"You may not clap real loud for this, but at least hear me out and think about it and pray about it," Huckabee told the pastors. "I think we need to recognize that it may be time to quit worrying so much about the tax code and start thinking more about the truth of the living God."
If that means giving up tax-exempt status and tax deductions for charitable contributions, Huckabee said he chooses freedom to say whatever he wants.
"I have never given a dime to God that I gave solely because it was a tax decision," Huckabee said. "And if you've got people in your church who are giving because it's a tax decision, then they ought to keep their money. They need it more than God does."
Huckabee reiterated the sentiment with two tweets:
"Christians give out of love for God; not 4 tax benefits. If we lose a deduction, we gain more freedom to spk without govt threatening us," one of them read.
But it's not just the federal government who wants to tell Christian groups what to say, Huckabee said.
"Of late, the Republican Party has tried to tell those of us who are evangelicals that maybe we need to dial it back a little bit when it comes to issues like the sanctity of life and the holiness of marriage and maybe just ease off."
Saying he had a "news flash" for the GOP, Huckabee told the pastors, "I plan to take my last ride in life on a white horse, not on an elephant and not on a donkey, and I will stick with the Word of God, and if the party, any party, goes a different way, I stick with Jesus. I believe He is forever." Associated Baptist Press
By Greg Richter, June 12, 2013, Newsmax
Editor’s comment: The Bible is clear; the Lord Jesus Christ is the sole Head and Lord of His Church; an incorporated, 501(c)(3) tax exempt church is a multi-head state church; anything with more than one head is a freak. I have been thundering this truth for fifty years, warning that the IRS is an anti-Biblical, anti-Christianity beast. I am encouraged by these two articles. ~Pastor Robert McCurry
Wake-up, Pastors! Wake-up, Christians!
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The Wake-Up Herald is published by Robert McCurry. The publication is designed to exalt the true God of the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ, and inform, inspire, and challenge its readers regarding biblical truth and real-life issues. The contents are the sole responsibility of Robert McCurry and do not represent or speak for or on behalf of any other person or group. There is no subscription charge. The publication is a ministry of faith dependent on the contributions of its readers. Contributions are not tax-deductible. Send all correspondence to: Robert McCurry, 605 Moore Rd, Newnan, GA 30263 or firstname.lastname@example.org Remove? Send reply with “remove” in Subject line