Question:

Exodus 34:12 reads in the NASB: "Watch yourself that you make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land into which you are going, lest it become a snare in your midst."

Without expending too much on the passage in Exodus 34:12, I am trying to determine the extent that verse 12 covers. By this I mean when God gave this command to the children of Israel was he also looking into the future to the church today? I pose this in the context that the children in Exodus are the same that will be saved as in the church today. If this is true does the command in verse 12 extent to us (the church/congregations) today. If the answer is "yes" does this apply to what the US government "offers" to the congregations as the 501c3 "privilege" of tax exemption. If covenant (IRS form 557) is entered into by the congregations in the form the 501c3 and its regulations is the congregation covenantly bound to obey the government? One last question, who in the Lord's church/congregations today has the authority to authorize said congregation (blood bought body of Christ) to enter into this agreement with the United State Government aka IRS?


Answer:

"Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I am driving out from before you the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it be a snare in your midst. But you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images '(for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they play the harlot with their gods and make sacrifice to their gods, and one of them invites you and you eat of his sacrifice, and you take of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters play the harlot with their gods and make your sons play the harlot with their gods" (Exodus 34:11-16).

I quoted the context of the verse to demonstrate that you are not being honest with the Scriptures. This was a command to the Israelites, not a prophecy to Christians living in the United States. It dealt with idolatry. In particular making covenants with the nations occupying the land of Canaan before Israel conquered it. The reason for the prohibition for making covenants with the people is because a covenant is religious. It is made before ones God. To enter a covenant with an idolator is accepting the false gods he worships.

Of course, you are also ignoring that this was a command to Israel under the Old Testament, which is not the law for the church (Colossians 2:14).

IRS Publication 557 is the terms for an non-profit organization to request and gain exemption from government taxes. No one requires an organization to file for such an exemption. I'm sure the government would love to have the additional tax revenue. However, you demonstrate ignorance when you claim that this set of rules is a covenant. There are no vows made before gods with witnesses in this document. The publication doesn't even have a place to sign! The form is actually Form 1023, but even this is not required. "Some organizations are not required to file Form 1023. These include: Churches, interchurch organizations of local units of a church, conventions or associations of churches, or integrated auxiliaries of a church, such as a men's or women's organization, religious school, mission society, or youth group. ... These organizations are exempt automatically if they meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3)." In other words churches are exempt from taxes whether they file form 1023 or not, so long as the church is not involved in taxable activities. This cannot be a covenant as you cannot be entered into a covenant without your participation.

For further details see: I'm shocked at your stance regarding 501(c)(3) churches.