Fellow believers holding their church and one another accountable for how we spend ministry money is a good idea. Inviting government to do so is not. Whether I agree with these ministries and churches’ theology or not, what Grassley and the Senate are attempting (“The tall Grass[ley],” May 31) is a massive intrusion into religious freedom and sets a dangerous precedent for government power over the church. It is also morally wrong: The Church Audit Procedures Act was passed in 1984 to stop politically motivated IRS attacks and ensure confidentiality. Dragging churches and ministries into the mud in public and asking them to prove their innocence is morally wrong.
It is also a violation of Scripture for any Christian to promote such a public inquisition. As 1 Corinthians 6 makes clear, exposing Christian conflicts or wrongs in public before a secular audience is a horrible witness and damages the Body of Christ. This public inquisition is wrong morally and biblically, destructive to the Body of Christ, and sets horrible precedent. I assure you that if this government “investigation” is carried out, it will be cited in the future to justify many more incursions into the church. Every believer should demand that it stop before more damage is done.
—Kelly Shackelford, Liberty Legal Institute; Dallas, Texas
Copyright © 2008 WORLD Magazine
September 06, 2008, Vol. 23, No. 18
What are your comments? Is the Grassley investigation good or bad?