501(c)(3) and Herbert W. Armstrong

Non-profit status... It's not just for breakfast anymore!
Non-profit status… It’s not just for breakfast anymore!

I don’t have much time to post anything, today, so I thought I would do a quick “post and run.”

Very recently I was talking with someone who had been confronted by a “friend” on Facebook with a number of false statements and accusations. As I have mentioned before, there are many, many out there who have recast Mr. Herbert Armstrong in their own image and have made an idol for themselves out of that image–something Mr. Armstrong, himself, would have taken great umbrage about (and did so while he was alive on a number of occasions). These were such people.

Some who display a particular variety of that idolatry once contacted me and accused our church’s leaders of being “in bed” with the government because they complied with U.S. 501(c)(3) regulations regarding non-profit status. When I explained that Mr. Armstrong did so, as well, they disagreed–passionately and vehemently. When I presented evidence that he did so, they said that was before the receivership crisis, asking for proof that he did so afterwards. So then I provided proof that he still complied with 501(c)(3) status even after the receivership crisis, just as I was asked to do. Did that finally work? No, it did not, and it is my understanding that they still preach the same goofy stuff–both indirectly insulting and condeming the man they claim to honor and demonstrating that evidence doesn’t matter to them. If they need to keep moving the goal posts, apparently they will do just that, so sometimes we simply have to decide we aren’t going to play anymore.

But in talking with this kind person this week, I realized that I’ve been sitting lazily on this document when it might be helpful to others, as well. So, without any further ado, here’s Mr. Armstrong’s signature on a document agreeing that the finances of the WCG would, indeed, be handled in complete compliance with 501(c)(3) regulations. And because the next recorded change in these documents is with his death and the change to Mr. Tkach’s administration, it means that this agreement was in force for the rest of Mr. Armstrong’s life.

So, either Mr. Armstrong was a puppet of the government like we supposedly are (BTW: he wasn’t and we aren’t), or the conspiracy theories regarding 501(c)(3) are a little off. (And by “a little” I mean “completely and absurdly.”) You can’t eat your cake and have it, too.

I’ve actually covered the topic of 501(c)(3) in some depth and, IMHO, rather simply and straightforwardly before (specifically, here: “Should the government have a say in your church’s ministry? (and more 501(c)3 stuff)”), so I won’t go into all of that again. Rather, my point was to provide the document above, which I don’t think I had posted before.

(By the way, I do not presume to pretend that such evidence is sufficient for some. In my experience, there is no rational limit to what some will do to maintain their private beliefs, however irrational, in accordance with Jeremiah 17:9–a warning good for all of us. There are times when we simply have to shake the dust off our feet in the manner of Matt. 10:14-15 and let them say what they will and accuse however they will. But you never know who might be helped by such evidence, even if some refuse to be.)

[EDIT: Actually, it looks as though I have posted these before in my “Nonprofit and non-prophet” post. My apologies! So I suppose there was no need for this post at all. Move along… nothing to see here… 🙂 ]

14 thoughts on “501(c)(3) and Herbert W. Armstrong

  1. John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav)

    “Nothing to see”? Oh, come on. False modesty becometh thee not, Sire. 😉 In fact this was one of the clearest posts by you that I’ve ever read, just in terms of writing style, let alone in content. 😀 But that constitutes thanking the piano, so I’ll just move on myself and wish you the Lord’s blessings for you and yours on this upcoming Sabbath.

  2. John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav)

    You’re welcome, Mr. Piano. 😀 Consider it one of the blessings of knowing an Intuitive Feeler: it doesn’t matter whether his opinions are as highly subjective in the moment as they usually are, used rightly the Pianist can encourage them to encourage other pianos. 😉

  3. Christine Featherston

    I am learning there are times to let these folks float off into whatever windstream that they have caught themselves in. Proverbs 25:23-Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain is a sly tongue – which provokes a horrified look.
    I think I actually spoke to one of them this week, lol. I did state that I don’t think God was to happy with them NOR would Mr. Armstrong be if he were alive. I was accused of the unpardonable sin…………some have not been given ears to hear………..I guess they just hang their sunglasses on em…………… You are a blessing Mr. Smith and we thank God for you and for your willingness to serve Him and His people.

  4. Thank you Mr. Smith. You are so right about the wrong things being said. I have had that experience. I go to the source when I want information.
    I began reading the book, Against the Gates of hell by Stanly R. Rader. A church member who’s husband passed gave me the book, it was her husbands and she said I might like to read it. I read the first three chapters when it hit the brain to go back and read The Autobiography of Mr. Armstrong, I am and I began where the questions that plunged him in to the study are..
    I have a dear friend who will give me the truth about anything I ask. This friend has been a great help to me. I also go and dig out all that I can find by Mr. Armstrong for myself. It helps when you know someone who can point you in the right direction.
    I do not know if the other book is good to read, if the man who wrote it is still alive or if he is still with us in God’s work or not.
    I am enjoying again the Autobiography of Mr . Armstrong. I am grateful to God for providing us with that man and for revealing all that He has to him for us to learn and grow from. I do not see the man as an idol or as anything other than God’s instrument. He was from all accounts a fine man.
    My whole point comes down to this. When you need information, go to a source that is trustworthy, the bible, printed materials by those who know the truth, if you first go to the bible you can with God’s help find those who are telling the truth and who are bearing the fruit.
    Thank you for all that you personally do as God’s minister to aid all of us in finding the truth.

  5. Life is boring without a good, juicy conspiracy theory to chew on. We should worry about the Bilderburger Group, the Council of Foreign Relations, and the stuff they’re plotting. There’s a hard hitting “documentary” about them, complete with Alfred Hitchcock music!

  6. As a fellow blogger, I can relate far too well. Facts are only “opinions” it seems when it goes against hardened preconceived notions. Yeah, a lesson in hardness alright, but it really is hardness of the heart. What they don’t seem to realize that it doesn’t matter if you run into the ditch on the left or the ditch on the right, you’re still in the ditch!

  7. Rhoda Johnson Hughes

    Mr Smith I want to thank you for putting this up. Because this has been shoved in my face many time’s probably by the same person/people. And I have not known exactly how to take it. This is how they were proving that all churches using the 501(c)(3) as being in the wrong

  8. Good day, Mr. Smith!

    Much, much thanks for tackling this topic (not issue, with the exception of those knuckle-heads clinging to it). I also ran across someone on FBland who was slandering any and all “splinter groups” that came from idol Armstrong, who are “ran by the government because of some 501 code or what-not. I figured it was probably a bunch of hooey, but didn’t know how to tackle it and hadn’t had the time to look into it.

    Thanks also for the new woyd… never hoida “umbrage” b’fowuh.

    Wow… I was answering a paragraph at a time, but after reading the whole blog, I see I need not go any further… thanks a lot for providing the proof as well… very helpful and pertinent.

    Hope you and the family are doing well!

  9. Thanks for the information. I had missed the earlier posts, so your effort was not wasted. Would like to hear your thoughts on dark matter and dark energy sometime. Francine Prater

  10. Steven Spence

    I remember watching a show where the topic was; it had been shown that people can so internalise their core beliefs that even when shown incontrovertible truth that negated that belief, they would still believe what they originally wanted. The human spirit can be quite amazing in its loyalty to a deception!

  11. 501c Conspiracy? Instead of creating controversy, why not volunteer to tutor children, repair the trails in the National Forest, paint over graffiti, write “the great American novel” or as much as possible live peaceably with all mankind?

  12. There is a another issue connected with the 501(c)(3) issue and that is, God’s work. While there might be some restrictions on what a 501(c)(3) corporation can do and say, such as restrictions against political campaigning, those restrictions are small and do not have much effect, if any, on our job of preaching the gospel and the Ezekiel warning to Israel. But what some opponents of 501(c)(3) and incorporation itself do not see is that it is a powerful tool for enabling Church members to afford larger contributions to finance the work and reach more people with more TV stations. Our problem is not that our speech is restricted. Our problem is that we need to reach more people while there is time. 501(c)(3) helps us do that.

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