Deacon Franklin called me and by the tone of his voice I knew he was at his wits’ end. When I calmed him down enough to where I could understand his concerns, I knew he and his Church had fallen victim to Treasury Regulation 53.4958. It seemed that the Pastor and Board had mistakenly misused Church funds and someone reported them to the IRS.
Although that is a horrible regulation to violate, it would not have been so bad if the IRS had only penalized the Church to a fine. Unfortunately the latest amendment to that regulation allows further penalties. Each Board Member and their spouses (including the Pastor and his spouse) were being fined $10,000.00. Imagine the shock of the Board Members’ spouses when they discovered they too were targets of the IRS.
Should the money have been misused? No, but it seems the Government has vastly extended its reach into the areas of Christianity and Churches. There used to be a time in recent Church history when people attended Church without worries of intrusion from the Federal Government and especially the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Church members were eager to serve on Church Boards and during Church activities. Those days are gone!