Tag Archive: Universal Life Church

I’m Now Ordained Though The Church of the Latter-Day Dude

the church of the latter-day dude

snark and humor ahead!

I believe in having all my bases covered, so I’ve added The Church of the Latter-Day Dude to my collection of ordination certificates. In 1983, I was ordained through Emmanuel Baptist Church in Buckeye Lake, Ohio.

baptist ordination1983

Bruce Gerencser Ordination, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Buckeye Lake, Ohio April 2, 1983

In 2011, I was ordained through the Universal Life Church.

universal life ordination

Bruce Gerencser, Universal Life Ordination, March 15, 2011

And just last week I was ordained by The Church of the Latter-Day Dude.

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Bruce Gerencser, Church of the Latter-Day Dude Ordination, November 28, 2015

Bruce Gerencser, Ohio License to Marry, May 2,1983

Bruce Gerencser, Ohio License to Marry, May 2,1983

ohio license to marry 2

Bruce Gerencser, Ohio License to Marry, March 22, 2011

A local Christian zealot by the name of Daniel Gray has taken issue with the fact that I can still marry people. In a July 2013 letter to the Defiance Crescent-News, Gray wrote:

Bruce Gerencser should use facts in his letters. His latest rant is so full of errors as to make his point completely obtuse. Here are a few examples…

…The fact that Gerencser can marry anyone is laughable. He received his claimed ministerial credentials by professing a faith in a deity and swearing to follow that religions teachings. So unless he does so, then his authority to marry anyone under the same is null and void. Anyone he marries could actually find that they are not and never have been married. And last, the only way to change our Constitution is by a constitutional amendment…

…History and facts yet again destroy the views of Gerencser. He should be used to that by now.

I publicly responded to Gray’s false accusations with a letter of my own. My letter was short and to the point:

For the third time Gray suggests that I am not legally able to marry people and that anyone married by me is in danger of having their marriage invalidated. Gray seems to not understand the legal requirements for being licensed to marry people in Ohio. I meet all the statutory requirements and I am duly licensed to marry people in Ohio. Anyone can verify this by doing a ministerial license search on the Ohio Secretary of state’s website.

Ohio has no statutory requirement as far as what type of ordination is acceptable when applying for a state license to marry people. Knowing that my Baptist ordination might not “technically” fulfill the letter of the law, I decided to seek ordination through the Universal Life Church. Before I submitted my ordination and license application to the state, I called the Secretary of State’s office to find out if I really could use ANY ordination when applying for a license to marry. They assured me that Ohio makes no judgment concerning the suitability of a licensee’s ordination. In other words, I could, if I wanted to, use my The Church of Latter-Day Dude ordination to get a license.  Awesome, right?

Bruce, are you making a mockery of religion? Duh, of course I am.

Did you know that I also have a doctorate in Biblical studies?  Yep, I “earned” my doctorate through God’s University.  Here’s proof:

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Bruce Gerencser, Doctorate of Biblical Studies, 2015

My degree is personally signed by Dr. Jack Hyles and Dr. Tom Malone. Surely, this is proof that my doctorate is the real deal (Even if they had to come back from the dead to sign it). If you’ve not read, IFB Doctorates: Doctor, Doctor, Doctor, Everyone’s a Doctor, please do so.

Not only am I a thrice-ordained, state licensed marrying Sam with a doctorate from God’s University, I’m also Santa Claus. That’s right, I’m Santa Claus. How dare you doubt me, oh skeptic! Here’s proof that I am the one, true Santa Claus:

merry christmas

Take THAT, skeptics!

Notes

You can make your own fake stuff at PhotoFunia. Are you interested in becoming and ordained priest with The Church of the Latter-Day Dude? Click here for further information.

 

 

What is a Church According to the IRS?

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Anyone can start a church. In most cases, the new church will be considered tax exempt by federal, state, and local government.

The IRS lists the following generic (albeit very Christian sounding) characteristics of a church:

The term church is found, but not specifically defined, in the Internal Revenue Code. With the exception of the special rules for church audits, the use of the term church also includes conventions and associations of churches as well as integrated auxiliaries of a church.

Certain characteristics are generally attributed to churches.  These attributes of a church have been developed by the IRS and by court decisions.  They include:

  • Distinct legal existence
  • Recognized creed and form of worship
  • Definite and distinct ecclesiastical government
  • Formal code of doctrine and discipline
  • Distinct religious history
  • Membership not associated with any other church or denomination
  • Organization of ordained ministers
  • Ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of study
  • Literature of its own
  • Established places of worship
  • Regular congregations
  • Regular religious services
  • Sunday schools for the religious instruction of the young
  • Schools for the preparation of its members

If a group of people generally exhibit these characteristics they are considered a Church by the IRS. State laws are different from federals laws and vary from state to state.

A Church is not required to file for 501c3 status to be tax exempt. 501c3 status does grant certain additional benefits to the church, BUT it is not required for tax exemption.

The IRS handbook for churches states:

Congress has enacted special tax laws applicable to churches, religious organizations, and ministers in recognition of their unique status in American society and of their rights guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. Churches and religious organizations are generally exempt from income tax and receive other favorable treatment under the tax law; however, certain income of a church or religious organization may be subject to tax, such as income from an unrelated business.

The IRS church handbook states:

Churches and religious organizations, like many other charitable organizations, qualify for exemption from federal income tax under IRC section 501(c)(3) and are generally eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. To qualify for tax-exempt status, such an organization must meet the following requirements:

■ the organization must be organized and operated exclusively for religious, educational, scientific, or other charitable purposes,
■ net earnings may not inure to the benefit of any private individual or shareholder,
■ no substantial part of its activity may be attempting to influence legislation,
■ the organization may not intervene in political campaigns, and
■ the organization’s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.

Churches that meet the requirements of IRC section 501c3 are automatically considered tax exempt and are not required to apply for and obtain recognition of tax-exempt status from the IRS.

Now, get out there and start a church. You can do it!

If you need ordained, check out the Universal Life Church.

Bruce, surely it is more complicated than that? I assure you, it is not. I’ve thought about starting a new sect, The Church of Bruce Almighty®. Donations would be tax-deductible and my church could buy buildings, property, cars, and other essential ministry tools and not pay tax.

Only in America…