Sunday, January 24, 2010

Calgary church loses charitable status for its "non-partisan political activities"

A Calgary church has lost its charitable status in part because it spends too much of its time advocating on social issues such as abortion and marriage.

In October, the Kings Glory Fellowship Association, a non-denominational Protestant group, was told by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that for several reasons, including a lack of clarity on how it spends it money, they could no longer issue charitable receipts.

But the letter highlighted that the group spent more than 10% of its time on “non-partisan political activities and therefore strayed into activities “outside its stated purpose.” (Source)

God bless those folks for their dedication to proclaiming the Truth.  It's also nice to hear that Bishop Fred Henry came to the defense of this church. You
can read about it towards the end of the article.  

I know that they must be feeling discouraged by this loss of charitable status, but I think that this is probably the best thing that could've happened to that church.  Having sat on the board of directors of a registered charity myself, I am aware of the limitations that the charitable status can impose on the activities you wish to pursue. It binds you like a straitjacket and does not allow you to take the most effective means to achieve your goals. The loss of charitable status for this church means that it is now completely free to do and say whatever it wants without having to worry that the taxman will be on their case.  This will make their ministry more effective.  

The only downside is the risk that the congregation will reduce their donations because they won't be getting a tax receipt anymore. That would be very unfortunate.  Christ taught us in to give generously and not expect anything in return. If we only make donations when we can expect a tax receipt, we're falling short of His expectations.

I wonder if some Catholic churches are holding back on proclaiming the Truth out of fear of the taxman.  Maybe our churches need to lose their charitable status too.