Chuck Baldwin: State-Owned Churches Are Killing America

By Chuck Baldwin, Constitution Party 2008 Presidential candidate

America was birthed in the spirit of liberty and baptized in the blood of patriots and tyrants. Leading the charge in America’s fight for independence was a courageous group of patriot-preachers that came to be known as the “Black Regiment.” I have written several columns on this subject. Suffice it to say here that I invite readers to take a look at my Black Regiment web page to learn more about this early American phenomenon. There is little doubt that without these stalwart Christian pastors, this country would not have come into existence. (I extended this call for a modern-day Black Regiment 5 years before Glenn Beck ever mentioned it.)

See my Black Regiment page at:

Plus, to read my column regarding the Black Regiment that was published in The New American magazine in 2009, go to:

So, what did these colonial preachers have that today’s preachers don’t? The better question might be: what did these colonial preachers NOT have that today’s preachers do? The answer? Two things: 1) an IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation status, and 2) a 50-year misinterpretation of Romans chapter 13.

The now infamous 501(c)(3) section of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) goes back to 1936 (the seeds of this Venus Fly Trap date back to 1872). But then-Senator Lyndon Johnson was the Dr. Frankenstein who, in 1954, unleashed this monster upon America. His motivation was: he did not like the way pastors and churches were opposing his liberal agenda, and he wanted to use the power of law to silence them. He, therefore, introduced verbiage to the IRC that churches were prohibited from influencing political legislation and supporting political campaigns, or risk losing their tax-exempt status.

Of course, colonial pastors didn’t have to worry about their churches being “incorporated” as State-created (and controlled) entities, or about IRS agents intimidating them regarding what they could or could not say. In early America, preachers were free men; they could say whatever they darned well pleased. Gasp! Beyond that, virtually everyone regarded preachers as being “God’s men,” not the “servants of men.”

Today, however, the average pastor has become the servant of the State and the church he pastors, more often than not, has become a creature of the State. It is an absolute fact that State-owned churches are killing America!

Dick Greb of the Save-A-Patriot Fellowship in Westminster, Maryland, wrote:

“Many Americans find it disturbing that some of our churches today are little more than milquetoast corporations that fear our federal government more than the great I AM. Moreover, it can even be said that some preachers have the appearance of cringing, ‘politically correct’ cowards, rather than committed Godly men of fortitude with backbone, such as those we read of in the Bible.” (Source: Greb, Dick. “The 501(c)(3) Hallucination: A Bane to Liberty.” Reasonable Action Issue #244 Winter 2003.)

Dear reader, you can take this to the bank: the vast majority of pastors and board members of these 501(c)(3) corporations, when push comes to shove (and it always does), will demonstrate unconditional loyalty to the State. Plus, they will compromise or sacrifice any and every Bible doctrine or principle in order to preserve their tax-exempt status and stay on the smiley side of the IRC. They will also throw anyone under the old proverbial bus who might risk them falling out of favor with the IRS. (I can give painful and personal testimony to that fact!) Greb is right! Many, or most, of today’s pastors and church officers fear the federal government far more than they fear God.

Not only did colonial preachers not have to contend with putting their churches under some State-controlled corporation, they would never have allowed it to happen! Can one imagine John Leland, Jonas Clark, or John Witherspoon being told by any State official what he could or could not say, or what his church could or could not do? What a joke! These men were willing to go to prison or even the grave in order to remain faithful to their spiritual calling and to their political and moral convictions!

The other thing that colonial preachers did not suffer from was a 50-year indoctrination of a misinterpretation of Romans 13.

This “Submit-to-the-government-no-matter-what” doctrine (using Romans 13 as the pretext) is a satanically inspired lie designed to turn free men and women into slaves of the state! Students of history know that Adolf Hitler encouraged German pastors and churches to promote this same fallacious philosophy among the German people. Gee! I wonder why? And according to Erwin Lutzer’s book, “Hitler’s Cross” (must reading, I might add), out of the more than 14,000 evangelical churches and pastors in Germany at the time, only about 800 remained faithful to Scripture and opposed Hitler’s brand of state worship. If my math is correct, that’s about 5%. And it would not surprise me if 5% is about the percentage of pastors and churches in America today that are opposing this modern-day worship of the state.

At this point, instead of embellishing upon Romans 13, I am going to insert a commercial. I began a series of messages on Romans 13 last Sunday at Liberty Fellowship in Kalispell, Montana. In fact, by the time you read this, Part 1 of my message on Romans 13 will be available online.

To view my message, “The Truth About Romans 13, Part 1,” go to:

I will continue my series on Romans 13 this Sunday, February 6, 2011. I invite readers to watch this address live on the Internet. To view this livestreaming broadcast, go to:

“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” So said Edmund Burke. And, unfortunately, the good men that are mostly doing nothing and allowing evil to triumph in our land are the good men (and women) of America’s churches who have either been intimidated by the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation status, or who have been put into a sheepish, servile, Satan-induced coma from an overdose of misapplied Romans
13 poison.

To quote the famous Bible commentator, Matthew Henry, “It is the devil that stirs up his instruments, wicked men [in government or without], to persecute the people of God; tyrants and persecutors are the devil’s tools, though they gratify their own sinful malignity, and know not that they are actuated by a diabolical malice.” (Source: Matthew Henry’s Commentaries on the Bible, notes on Revelation 2:10)

Yes, the Black Regiment preachers of colonial America helped lead America’s fight for freedom and independence. But, they did not have their hands out to the IRS, or their minds and hearts numbed into apathy and indifference by decades of misuse and abuse of Romans chapter 13.

P.S. My son, Timothy Baldwin, who is a historian, author, and constitutional attorney, is in the process of publishing a new book entitled, “Romans 13, The True Meaning of Submission.” I have read it. In the similitude of Tim’s first book, “Freedom For A Change,” this book is an absolutely brilliant and scholarly presentation of the true meaning of Romans 13. Watch my web site, or Tim’s web site, for information regarding this new book’s release.

My web site:

Tim’s web site:

And, if you have not yet ordered Tim’s book, “Freedom For A Change,” I enthusiastically recommend it to you. Order it here:

16 thoughts on “Chuck Baldwin: State-Owned Churches Are Killing America

  1. Jimmy Clifton

    Baldwin should know that churches aren’t required by law to be a 501(c) (3) entity.

  2. Michael H. Wilson

    Mr. Baldwin writes: “America was birthed in the spirit of liberty”.

    I have my doubts about the accuracy of this statement.

    A large segment of the population held as slaves were not free. Women did not enjoy the same level of freedom that male property owners did, male who didn’t own property didn’t get to vote, and last, but not least, native Americans didn’t have much freedom under the laws. I would have to check the records, which I am not going to do tonight, but I’d bet that less than 10% of the population was involved in being able to vote.

    From what I read it was more about control than anything else. Just a different controller.

  3. Joe Keg

    Michael H. Wilson

    Valid point. However, in the directional sense, the revolution was based on ideas of liberty, even if at that time they were only applied to some.

    Perhaps in the future society will decide that children and/or other species of animals also have equal rights with human adults and they will say the same thing about us. Or maybe not.

    So in different ways you and Chuck Baldwin are both right.

  4. Erik G.

    “the revolution was based on ideas of liberty” is also possibly/probably doubtful. That such language was co-opted into the thing had little to do with much – at the end of the day, Americans were only marginally more liberty-oriented than the British were. It was mostly about control.

  5. paulie Post author

    “the revolution was based on ideas of liberty” is also possibly/probably doubtful. That such language was co-opted into the thing had little to do with much – at the end of the day, Americans were only marginally more liberty-oriented than the British were. It was mostly about control.

    In some ways, it actually made Americans less free:

    On the other hand, Roderick Long explains (see original for links), at in what sense the American Revolution was based on the ideas of liberty:

    How should we think about the American Revolution? I suggest we should think of it as an uncompleted project. The Revolution, after all, wasn’t just about separation from Britain; it was about the right of the people to “alter or abolish” any political arrangements destructive of the “inalienable rights” of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” or not resting on the “consent of the governed.”

    Those were the principles on which the Revolution was based. But the political system the founders established never fully embodied those principles in practice; and its present-day successor no longer respects them even in theory. (Slogans, need I add? are not theory.)

    Over the years since 1776, the fortunes of American liberty, and indeed of liberty worldwide, have risen and fallen; most often some aspects have risen while others have fallen. But every increase in liberty has involved the logical carrying-out of the principles of ’76, while every decrease has involved their de facto repudiation. (And if the average American is on balance more free than his or her 18th-century counterpart, this is small reason for complacency when one views the matter counterfactually. To paraphrase my comments in an L&P discussion last year: “For me the point of comparison is not USA 2006 vs. USA 1776, but USA 2006 vs. the USA 2006 we would have had if the USA had stuck consistently to those principles.)

    From an establishment perspective, the Fourth of July is a day to celebrate the existing American system. But that approach to the Fourth is, I suggest, profoundly counter-revolutionary. Far better to regard Independence Day as a day to rededicate ourselves to forwarding the ongoing Revolution whose true completion, as Voltairine de Cleyre and Rose Wilder Lane argued here and here, will be libertarian anarchy.

  6. FYI! [More Don Lake]

    Typical, good ole Pastor Baldwin: making majors out of minors, and making minors out of majors.

    Like, but not nearly as badly as Doctor Grundman and or Cody Quirk, just making it up as he goes along.

    What next, Christ was born in the Roman Year Zero?

  7. Don Grundmann

    ” Like, but not nearly as badly as Doctor Grundman and or Cody Quirk, just making it up as he goes along.”

    Response – Lake – You are the quintessential person, actually a sub-human, who ” makes it up as he goes along;” i.e.; you are an outright liar. You have lied endlessly about Chelene ( as just ONE example ) and then you make the above attack against Pastor Baldwin much less myself and Cody. Additionally I have never seen your apology for your endless series of lies about Chelene. When you finally apologize then perhaps you can make a legitimate complaint against others for exaggeration much less lying. But until then you are simply a rodent who attacks people while doing what he claims that they do only worse by 1,000 times at least.

    Don J. Grundmann, D.C. Chairman American Independent Party, California branch of the Constitution Party

  8. Kimberly Wilder

    I am not sure I agree with everything in this article. Though, it has some really good points. And, overall, I think that Libertarians should look at how the 501c3 and nonprofit system tend to suppress free speech, shape the public discourse, and boost up the power of incumbent parties and incumbent politicians.

    There are many churches and other community organizations who are genuinely excluded from a lot of political activity because of their 501c3 status, or who are so frightened of losing their status, mixed in with a little ignorance of the law, that they squash any support or attachments for political ideas. And, that truly hurts the ability of people to associate politically, or reach people in church communities.

    In Long Island, when the Green Party tries to have a venue for a meeting or fundraiser, there are schools, churches, community groups, etc. who will tell us that they can’t let us meet because of their 501c3 status. They are probably wrong, but you can’t fight it every time. And, you wonder how many groups have been turned away, and can never find a meeting place.

    Also, on Long Island, a friend of mine once did a study of campaign donations, and discovered something interesting, that probably happens everywhere. A lot of these nonprofits, alternately, do not realize they cannot donate in politics. And, a lot of money flows back and forth between the political campaigns of incumbents, and the treasuries of such groups as Boy Scouts, veterans groups, beautification societies, etc. Civic leaders should know the laws and rules, but they don’t. And, local politicians trade favors back and forth with groups like these all the time.

    Of course, there are the technically legal ways this back and forth happens, such as an elected official getting a grant for a library or nonprofit, and that organization putting a photo of them on the front of their newsletter. Probably, technically legal, but really pushing the envelope of fairness, ethics, and good taste.

    In addition, in many states (all states?) you gain nonprofit status by applying to the Attorney General. So, there could always be some political motivation behind how the rules are created, upheld, and applied by an Attorney General’s office. That could lead to direct influence, or the indirect influence of people writing mission statements with a certain audience in mind.

    I think looking at how the nonprofit world interacts with the political world – especially with the campaigns of incumbents – is a great angle for anyone to take who demands integrity in government.

    For a more expansive, cultured meditation on this subject, you could read the book “Shirely” by Charlotte Bronte. Her book has some very cool insights into why business people and the upper class do charity, and how that affects political relationships. Shirley is an English, social novel from 1894. Many interesting thoughts for today.

  9. Hmmm ...

    In Jesus’ name, in so far as it is allowed under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, we pray …

  10. paulie Post author

    In Long Island, when the Green Party tries to have a venue for a meeting or fundraiser, there are schools, churches, community groups, etc. who will tell us that they can’t let us meet because of their 501c3 status. They are probably wrong, but you can’t fight it every time. And, you wonder how many groups have been turned away, and can never find a meeting place.

    Libraries usually have meeting rooms if you prefer not to meet at a restaurant.

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