Church legally defined
The word Church
People use the word Church all the time, but it may mean different things to different people and different things at different times.
When you think of a church are you thinking of a place or building as if it was somewhere that Jesus went to?
Was there a place called a church during Jesus' time here on earth?
At the first synagogue, Jesus went to, they tried to throw Him over a cliff.
Have you ever thought or considered the fact that the Temples were actually government institutions?
What were the actual purposes of the different temples?
What were the functions and services in society were these temples providing?
Why did Jesus drive out the moneychangers from the temple?
Jesus also called men out to be "in the world but not of the world". He appointed those men to be His government, but they were not to be like the governments of the other nations who exercise authority one over the other.
These ministers appointed by Christ worked daily in the temple, providing government services like welfare for the people, by the charity of the people. This was, and still is, the temple of His body ... the body of Christ who continues doing 'greater works than these'. And in Acts 2, it says they went from house to house; they were rightly dividing both bread and the Word in a system of Daily ministration through faith, hope and charity by The Way of the Perfect law of liberty.
The world which these "called out" ministers were "not of" also had ministers, and they called themselves Benefactors, but they exercised authority one over the other. They used force to extract funds from the people to provide another type of welfare that included free bread and provisions. They were able to do this because the state had taken on the role of being the Father of the people in what was called the Roman Imperial cult. Jesus had said that they should call no man Father upon the earth and that the government He appointed was not to operate like the governments of the other nations who exercised authority in their own system of government-provided Corban.
The Church can only be defined by Christ, but a legal definition is available:
- "CHURCH In its most general sense, the religious society founded and established by Jesus Christ, to receive, preserve, and propagate his doctrines and ordinances."
- "A body or community of Christians, united under one form of government by the profession of one faith, and the observance of the same rituals and ceremonies."
Black's Law Dictionary 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th... eds.
The term church may be used in several senses.
While many institutions may call themselves a church, to meet consistent legal definition it must be established by Jesus Christ.
The Church as a body is a corpus or corporate, and it would not include the people, except through charity.
The church as a community does include the people or laity in a communion of that charity.
You cannot get near God without what is sometimes called Sacrifice.
The manner of that sacrifice is where the Christian conflict is seen.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary 1856 Edition
CHRISTIANITY. The religion established by Jesus Christ.
2. Christianity has been judicially declared to be a part of the common law of Pennsylvania; 11 Serg. & Rawle, 394; 5 Binn. R.555; of New York, 8 Johns. R. 291; of Connecticut, 2 Swift's System, 321; of Massachusetts, Dane's Ab. vol. 7, c. 219, a. 2, 19. To write or speak contemptuously and maliciously against it, is an indictable offence. Vide Cooper on the Law of Libel, 59 and 114, et seq.; and generally, 1 Russ. on Cr. 217; 1 Hawk, c. 5; 1 Vent. 293; 3 Keb. 607; 1 Barn. & Cress. 26. S. C. 8 Eng. Com. Law R. 14; Barnard. 162; Fitzgib. 66; Roscoe, Cr. Ev. 524; 2 Str. 834; 3 Barn. & Ald. 161; S. C. 5 Eng. Com. Law R. 249 Jeff. Rep. Appx. See 1 Cro. Jac. 421 Vent. 293; 3 Keb. 607; Cooke on Def. 74; 2 How. S. C. 11-ep. 127, 197 to 201.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary 1856 Edition
CHURCH. In a moral or spiritual sense this word signifies a society of persons who profess the Christian religion; and in a physical or material sense, the place where such persons assemble. The term church is nomen collectivum; it comprehends the chancel, aisles, and body of the church. Ham. N. P. 204.
2. By the English law, the terms church or chapel, and church-yard, are expressly recognized as in themselves correct and technical descriptions of the building and place, even in criminal proceedings. 8 B. & C. *25; 1 Salk. 256; 11 Co. 25 b; 2 Esp. 5, 28.
3. It is not within the plan of this work to give an account of the different local regulations in the United States respecting churches. References are here given to enable the inquirer to ascertain what they are, where such regulations are known to exist. 2 Mass. 500; 3 Mass. 166; 8 Mass. 96; 9 Mass. 277; Id. 254; 10 Mass. 323; 15 Mass. 296 16 Mass. 488; 6 Mass. 401; 10 Pick. 172 4 Day, C. 361; 1 Root 3, 440; Kirby, 45; 2 Caines' Cas. 336; 10 John. 217; 6 John. 85; 7 John. 112; 8 John. 464; 9 John. 147; 4 Desaus. 578; 5 Serg. & Rawle, 510; 11 Serg. & Rawle, 35; Metc. & Perk. Dig. h. t.; 4 Whart. 531.
The Church Defined in the World
The acceptable definition of the Church offered in the world is found in Black’s Law Dictionary:
- “In its most general sense the religious society founded and established by Jesus Christ, to receive, preserve, and propagate His doctrines and ordinances.”
- “A body or community of Christians, united under one form of government by the profession of one faith, and the observance of the same rituals and ceremonies.”
This “one form of government” has been a predominant form of government for society. It is a unique form of government in that it maintains freedom of the individual by placing the responsibilities upon the people and ministers as individuals, and recognizes offices of service only, dependent on the way of Christ.
The Church can only be as generous as the hearts and minds of the people in the exercise of the charity of the people. This is the thanksgiving of Christ. This is done by the practice of charity in the granting of the substance needed for maintaining the daily ministration. This is a system based on hope not entitlements. This giving to Christ through ministers of the Church creates sacred purpose trust between the People and God. The gift given upon the living altars literally belongs to God. It is important that the overseers of such trust also belong to God to maintain its exclusive nature. Of the Levites, who could own no property in their own name, God said they are mine. Also, the apostles and other ordained ministers were called bondservants. They were also required to sell all they have as a personal estate and own all things in common. This is called today a vow of poverty.
The Church is “not of the world” although it is “in the world”. The ordained ministers cannot be “citizens entitled” (to social benefits) of any other government. The Church is one form of government and it is separate from other forms of government, especially authoritarian benefactors. It is literally separate, even foreign, to other forms of authoritarian benefactors. This doctrine is magnified in the statement by our founder, Jesus the Christ, that we are to be in the world but not of it.
The ordained Church is established by Christ the king and not by any other power of incorporation. As an example, according to the Oregon Department of Justice, “All corporations organized under the laws of the state of Oregon for charitable purposes must register. This includes, but is not limited to, any corporation registered with the Oregon Secretary of State as a nonprofit, public benefit corporation.” 
This clearly allows for the presumption that a body corporate organized under the laws of God and the authority of Jesus Christ and not of the State, as a nonprofit, public benefit corporation, does not have this same registration requirement.
The same source goes onto say, “Charities operating in Oregon will likely maintain relationships with at least three government entities: the Internal Revenue Service, the Corporation Division of the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office, and the Charitable Activities Section of the Oregon Department of Justice. The Internal Revenue Service will provide an initial determination of tax exemption, and require the filing of informational returns each year.”
Many Churches assume that this is the case with them because they are to be charitable institutions but the question arises who may determine who the Church is, or is not?
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- Luke 22:53 When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.
- Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
- Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
- John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
- NOMEN COLLECTIVUM. This expression is used to signify that a word in the singular number is to be understood in the plural in certain cases.
- the part of a church near the altar, reserved for the clergy and choir, and typically separated from the nave by steps or a screen.
The term nave is from navis, the Latin word for ship, an early Christian symbol of the Church as a whole, with a possible connection to the "ship of St. Peter" or the Ark of Noah.]
- Black's Law Dictionary 3rd ed. Page 325. also 4th, 5th 6th Ed.
- The Greek word for thanksgiving is Eucharist http://www.hisholychurch.net/sermon/eucharist3.PDF
- John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
- John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.