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"Kissing the Beast"

R.C. Sproul Jr. Incorporates and Seeks IRS 501c3 Status

© 2006 by: Peter Kershaw

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of Peter Kershaw and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Heal Our Land Ministries.

January 25, 2006:

It's just come to my attention that R.C. Sproul Jr incorporated the Highlands Study Center as a nonprofit corporation in Virginia on January 10, 2006. The address reflected on the corporate registration is R.C. Sproul Jr's home address, and also the address of the Highlands Study Center (in R.C.'s basement). Those familiar with what's taking place in the way of pending disciplinary action by the RPCGA against R.C. Sproul Jr and his St. Peter Session can easily see through what is driving R.C. to violate the very "convictions" that he has expressed so strongly for so many years about corporations.

The Highlands Study Center has always stated on its web site that, "The Highlands Study Center is an integrated ministry of Saint Peter Presbyterian Church" that is up until just a few days ago. But given R.C.'s tenuous position with the RPCGA, and therefore the uncertainty of his future as a pastor for St. Peter Presbyterian Church, it would seem that he's uneasy about subordinating HSC to a church that he may not soon control. So instead, he's chosen to subordinate the Highlands Study Center to the State of Virginia.

R.C. Sproul Jr has often spoken against the evils of incorporated churches and incorporated ministries. He knows all too well that a corporation is "a creature of the State." He's held his opinions on the matter for a long time, perhaps even longer than he's known me or read any of my publications.

"Those who have silenced themselves by cutting this deal with the government, I know, often have no idea that such is what they have done. Churches most often incorporate out of ignorance rather than wickedness. But that ignorance is culpable. And it must not be invincible. Before the church can rise up and call the state to task for failing to kiss the Son, the church must stop kissing the beast."
A Prophet In Camel Hair, R.C. Sproul, Jr.

If "ignorance is culpable" then what is the willful violation of your own public teachings?

As if this weren't bad enough, R.C. Sproul Jr has also applied to the IRS for 501c3 tax-exempt recognition.

"When the church asks the state to recognize it as a corporation, legally, whether it intends to or not, it contractually affirms that it is subservient to the state, its maker. Objections after the fact are useless. The state understands well that the clay cannot say to the potter, "why have you made me thus?" And so the church has instead chosen its 501c-3 pottage. What we gave up was not only our birthright, but that which we need in order to create still more births, our manhood. . . It would be bad enough if the church signed onto this deal in exchange for tax advantages. It is true that donations given to 501c-3 corporations are tax deductible. But it is also true that donations given to churches are tax deductible. That is, no church needs to be a 501c-3 in order to get the tax benefits. Granted, Herod doesn't tend to advertise this fact, but it is true nevertheless. (For more information I encourage you to check out Peter Kershaw's website,"
A Prophet In Camel Hair, R.C. Sproul, Jr.

R.C. has been anything but complimentary toward the IRS, or toward those who would form alliances or make obeisance to "the beast":

"Here the government looks like a corporation, trading favors for votes. The reality however, is that it is more like a god, trading grace for absolute power, authority and devotion. Don't kiss the beast."
How May I Hurt You Today? R.C. Sproul Jr.

Perhaps R.C. will now try and prevaricate his way out of what he's published and taught by claiming, "But the Highlands Study Center isn't a church." I see.

And so you're now going to claim that because the Highlands Study Center isn't a church (and from all appearances is no longer "an integrated ministry of Saint Peter Presbyterian Church" or any other church), all of your vociferous objections to "cutting a deal with the government" and a corporation "contractually affirms that it is subservient to the state, its maker" and giving up your "birthright" and your "manhood," really aren't the serious problems that you've so long claimed they were? So it's okay now to "kiss the beast"?

Ordinarily I'd have a great deal to say about that, but quite candidly the whole matter has left me dumbfounded and almost speechless. I'll have to come back and address this some other time when my head isn't reeling.

However, what I will say goes to the issue of character and integrity. Men should be judged not by their words (talk is cheap) but by their deeds. There's a word, a certain word that everyone is familiar with, a word that is used to describe men who preach against things and then turn right around and do those very things themselves. . .

R.C. Sproul Jr. has unofficially stepped down as Pastor of the Mendota parish, allegedly so that he might focus his entire energies on the Highlands Study Center. Given R.C.'s problems with Westminster Presbytery (RPCGA), R.C.'s real motives are rather transparent. Is he thinking that by stepping down as pastor that he can avoid being taken to trial by Presbytery?

I say "unofficially" not because we're uncertain whether it's happened, but because stepping down as pastor would necessitate that R.C. first secure permission from Westminister Presbytery. R.C. has yet to so much as even discuss the matter with Presbytery, let alone obtain their permission. As such, he's in further violation of the RPCGA BCO, as well as his vows to the RPCGA. These latest actions only confirm what some have been alleging for a long time, that R.C. Sproul Jr is an autonomist. He functions as though he's not under any kind of authority at all, thinking he's free to do whatever he wants, while at the same time claiming that he's a Presbyterian and that he's "under authority."

R.C. Sproul Jr. has turned the pastoring duties over to Wayne Hays, a man who was ordained by the RPCGA as "church governor," or what Presbyterians more commonly refer to as "ruling elder." In other words he's not ordained to pastor, although he is permitted to occasionally preach, if needed. Even if Mr. Hays were otherwise qualified to pastor the Mendota parish, he can't just step in and R.C. can't just step down. Presbyterial polity just doesn't work that way. R.C. and his Session are once again in rebellion to the RPCGA BCO, the rules of Presbytery, and the vows they swore to submit to the government of their Presbytery.

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