Q. Why is Word of His Grace not a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt religious organization?

A. These three points should summarize our position.

1. “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). When an entity applies for tax exempt status from the IRS, it is implicitly seeking government approval and monetary rewards in return for government supervision. I believe that we risk remaining faithful to Jesus Christ and His teachings when we seek government approval and supervision. I have no intention of placing Word of His Grace under restrictions from the IRS concerning what it can and cannot do, and what it can or cannot say. I believe it is very foolish to place any Christian work under such limitations.

2. If there is any relationship between being in good, tax-exempt standing with the government and faithfulness to Christ and His teachings, it is likely an inverse relationship. I believe that this inverse relationship will become more prominent as a larger segment of the population becomes secular and anti-Christian and ministries feel a pressure to conform to the secular world view in order to maintain their tax-exempt status.

3. I do not want to encourage people to give just so they can get a tax write-off. Giving in order to get is not really giving. Give as you are led by the Spirit, cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7). Believe it or not, the word “cheerfully” is translated from the Greek word hilaros. Yes, that’s the word from which we get the English word, “hilarious.”

You might also wonder why Word of His Grace is not accredited by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). The answer is that, according to ECFA Standard 4, “‘Qualified’ organizations are domestic 501(c)(3) organizations.”

Peter Ditzel