White Stone Ministries as part of the New Testament Church is a "Private Family", a "called out assembly" (the Body of Christ as defined by Jesus Christ himself) of baptized believers who congregate as a community to praise, worship, fellowship, preach the Word, exhort, care for and love each other, pray, observe the Lord's Supper and practice Believer's Baptism.
We meet in a specific locality to teach all things which He commanded. The Lord's Church is "private" because only selected people can be involved and we only receive tithes, offerings and gifts from members, we do not solicit funds from outsiders. If some outsider is invited to our Church, they are a guest.
The Lord's Church is a living organism. To further exibit that we are a private family the Lord says, He will be, "a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters..." II Cor. 6:18
You will see by reading our "Statement of Faith" that we are a protestant church and that our beliefs are very conservative. What makes us different than the main line denominations? Basically, we have no relationship with the government. We are not Incorporated, registered as a Nonprofit Organization or a 501c3 ministry. We are a private organization, by invitation only.
In their article entitled, "The Rights of Churches and Political Involvement" the Rutherford Institute writes: "Tax exemptions for churches and religious organizations are a privilege and not a constitutional right. In fact, to acquire and maintain this privilege, churches and religious organizations may have to forsake heretofore protected constitutional rights under the First Amendment." The use of the word "privilege" here means that it is given by government and can be taken away by the same. When we refer to our "Constitutional rights" we are referring to our "Unalienable Rights" which are given by God alone and can't be taken away by any government of any kind.
The Rutherford Institute reminds us that Jesus Christ challenged us as his followers (who make up the church) to be "the salt of the earth" and "the light of the world." Today that means the Church should address the deteriorating state of the Judeo-Christian moral structure in our society. To address these subjects is hard without getting involved in the ongoing political and legislative debate on critical issues affecting our country, such as abortion, education, marriage and parental rights.
We like many other churches who desire to impact our society have come to question "whether the dollars saved as a result of the tax-exempt "privilege" are worth the price of becoming culturally irrelevant."
I have questioned for a long time why churches seem to be so controlled by the State. People cry, "separation of Church and State" at the State House, and at the School House and yet we allow the State to control the Church House. It is true that what the State creates the State is Sovereign over.
We believe there is only one LORD (Sovereign) over the Church and that is Jesus Christ.
Some people may say, "big deal, what difference does it make?" We say, "It matters to God and if it matters to Him it should matter to us." That is what makes us different: we will recognize Jesus Christ as LORD and Sovereign Head of His Church and Him alone. Therefore we practice the "separation of church and state" in the Church House.
Sincerely, Keeping the Faith
Rev. Wm. Thomas Howie
Contact Rev. Howie by: writing 641 W. Franklin Rd. PMB # 26, Meridian, Idaho 83642 or
by phone: 208-490-0052