Categories: Articles, News, NT Church

THE REAL FACTS IN THE CASE OF US VS IBT

March 2, 2000

Re: US v Indianapolis Baptist Temple Cause # IP 98-0498-C-B/S

  • In this case, the Clinton/Reno Justice Department has targeted and is determined to destroy an orthodox New Testament Baptist church that is celebrating its 50th Anniversary Year.
  •  The Justice Department filed suit in Federal District Court, Indianapolis, on April 13, 1999, for $3.6 million in unpaid and uncollected 941 employment taxes that they claim the church is liable for 1987 to ‘93.
  • Federal Judge Sarah Evans Barker, Chief Judge of the Southern District, Indianapolis, gave Summary Judgment  to the US on January 19, 1999, for nearly $6 million including penalties and interest and other charges.
  • This is not a tax case, but a First Amendment religious liberty issue.  Although the Justice Depatment would have you believe that this is a tax case.  It is not. It is a First Amendment religious liberty case.
  • The Indianapolis Baptist Temple is a New Testament Church. It is not a 501(c)(3) Religious Organization operating as a not-for-profit charity under Title 26 of the Internal Revenue Code. It is not tax-exempt but rather non-taxable as per the U.S. Constituion.   The gifts received by the church are not tax deductible, and the church claims all of its guarantees of religious liberty come from the Constitution of the US.
  • This is the most important case of religious liberty in the history of this country.   This is the first time in the history of the United States of America that any branch of Government has ever brought suit against a New Testament Church. All others have been against State recognized and approved religious organizations.  (e.g. 501(c)(3) organizations)
  • A true New Testament Church is not an employer nor does it have employees. Neither is it a taxpayer.  Those who serve the church are ministers exercising their gifts by the Holy Spirit.  They receive love gifts, not wages.
  • The church operated as a non-profit religious organization under 501(c)(3) prior to 1986. At that time, the 501(c)(30 organization paid employee taxes and met all other requirements of that type of organization.
  • The IRS audited approximately 60 of those who serve as ministers of the church, and found that all had filed their own tax forms and paid all taxes due including the total amount of their FICA taxes. Therefore, the taxes in question had already been paid. The IRS then sent half of the FICA taxes back saying that the church should have collected and remitted them insterad of the individuals who paid them.  The IRS claims that these ministers of the church were picked totally at random without any relation to their church.  We do not believe this to be true.  This is the evidence that this is not a tax issue at all, but a control issue.
  • The IRS filed suit against the corporation which had been dissoved in 1986, the court ignored the fact that IBT, a New Testament Church, is not that orgainzation and proceeded as if  IBT was that defunct corporation.
  • After ruling for the government in this case Judge Barker gave a Stay Order on November 10 last year so that the church could continue to use their facilities during the appeal process. The church agreed to keep the mortgage payments current, keep proper insurance coverage and maintain the buildings in reasonable repair which has been done.
  • On February10 Judge Barker modified the order under pressure from the Justice Department and has made demands that the church cannot comply with. These include remitting  detailed monthly financial reports to the court and depositing withholding taxes on those who presently minister at the church. This would deny the church its right to appeal and also violate the First Amendment clause pertaining to the right of redress of grievances, and the right to practice their faith without government interference.
  • Judge Barker has made statements which we consider to be extra-ordinary concerning the church.  These statements go far beyond the charges of the lawsuit.
  • Judge Barker has implied that our congregation is insincere and delusional. Judge Barker has called us tax evaders. Judge Barker has said that we can believe our faith but cannot practice it. The net effect of Judge Barker ‘s ruling has established that there is now a State recognized, State financed, and State controlled church in the US. By this Judge Barker has said that the Indianapolis Baptist Temple is a fraudulent church beyond the protection of the First Amendment.
  • Judge Barker has said that if the church does not comply with her order by April 10 that she will order the church property to be seized and sold.
  • She has put the church congregation in a position to either obey God or submit  to government.
  • The church pastors and congregation have said very clearly that they will not take up arms, but they cannot voluntarily surrender God’s property which has been bought and paid for with the tithes and offerings of God’s people to do God’s work.
  • The New Testament Church:
    • It is authenticated by the Scriptures of the Holy Bible (KJV 1611). 
    • It recognizes Jesus Christ as its exclusive, sole and sovereign Head. 
    • It was founded by Him while on earth. 
    • It was purchased by Him with His own blood on the cross. 
    • It is composed of many local assemblies, each separate and independent. 
    • It is the body of Christ denoting visibility and structure. 
    • It is perpetual and eternal.