Questions and Answers about 
the church at Salem 

       It is our desire that the Spirit of God would use this information to acquaint you with us and the particular manner of faith and practice which He has nurtured within us.  Please understand it is not our intent to portray others in a negative light when we promulgate the christian traditions and customs and usage of our local ekklesia that we hold contrary to the beliefs of the institutionalized, corporate State church system here in America.  While prayerfully considering each answer we have tried our best, above all other considerations, to be as true to Scripture in our response as we can be.  If you have a question you would like us to consider adding to those listed here, you may submit your questions to the church at Salem. 

Q.   What is the church at Salem (who are those of the church at Salem)? 

A.  We are a local expression of the world-wide body of Christ, the Government "upon His shoulder" which is Commissioned and dedicated to Promulgating the fundamental doctrine that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and that He is the actual and literal Judge, Lawgiver and King over His body, the church.  (Isaiah 9:6; Luke 10:18-20; John 14:6; Isaiah 33:22)  According to our Lord’s example, we are a pro-peace, non-violent community of believers.     

       United as a body in and under Christ, we are His ekklesia, His Lawful assembly "called out" from among the various secular kingdoms of the world to minister to and serve Christ alone as Sovereign Lord and King.  Individually, we are members in particular of His body and we are His offspring.  We are His royal priesthood, His holy nation and His ambassadors who have been sent forth into the world to Proclaim the actual and literal Lordship of Jesus the Christ.  (Revelation 18:4; II Corinthians 6:17; Acts 17:28; I Peter 2:9; II Corinthians 5:20; Matthew 28:19 & 20; John 17:18).

Q.  How is the church at Salem different from those which are 501(C)(3) so-called “church corporations”?     
A.  We advocate the actual and literal Lordship of Jesus Christ over His church as opposed to a metaphoric and figurative one.  We recognize the current day Kingdom of God having its own autonomous and plenipotentiary government over which He alone presides.  This effectively means that we reject all forms of secular humanist control over the church as it is our God-given Right, recognized and protected by the First Amendment, to do so.  We literally believe "the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; He will save us" - (Isaiah 33:22), and that "no servant can serve two masters" - (Luke 16:13).  To understand more clearly what we mean by the actual and literal Lordship of Jesus Christ we invite you to  read the two essays we have posted here on our website at, “So, who is Lord for real... Jesus or Caesar?” at Podium I and “One Nation under God... but what god?” on Podium II.    
       In obedience to our Lord's command to “come out from among them, and be ye separate,...” - (II Corinthians 6:17)  and “Come out of her, my people..." (Revelation 18:4), the church at Salem has chosen to remain unmingled. Therefore we cannot be joined to any political/religious system of the natural man which is part of the end time secular government described in Scripture as “the Beast” (Revelation 19:19-21; and 20:4).  Likewise neither are we joined with nor obligated to support any other groups, organizations or governments functioning outside of Christ (II Corinthians 6:14-17 & Romans 13:8); for "no man can serve two masters"  (Exodus 20:3 & Matthew 6:24).  In short, our identity is Lawfully fixed in Christ.  In this respect, we are fundamentally different from "church corporations" and "religious organizations" whose identity is legally fixed in the State.

Q. What is the source of your authority?  

A.   Our Sovereign Lord and Saviour, Jesus the Christ and His Organic Law of Scripture (Old and New Testament) is the source of our Authority.  From Scripture is derived nearly 2000 years of Christian tradition, customs and usage from which we draw to Establish our local customs and the procedural law for our local ekklesia; as the maxim of law state, Rerum ordo confunditur, si unicuique jurisdictio non servetur - "The order of things is confounded if everyone preserves not his jurisdiction".  Like other churches who observe various traditions, such as gathering together on the First day of the week for fellowship and worship, we also have similar traditions to which we hold.  Most significantly, the laws of our local ekklesia (our procedural laws) are binding, having upon us the same force and effect of law that local, state and federal laws have upon residents and other civilian members of the secular body politic.  (Luke 10:19; Acts 1:8; II Timothy 3:16)
       While we recognize the authority of the secular government to rule over the affairs of the natural man (those outside of Christ), we do not recognize any secular authority over the ekklesia: for it is Written, "we ought to obey God rather than man"; and, it is also Written, "I am the Lord your God, which have separated you from other people"; and again, it is also Written, "neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.  Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the Lord your God. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord."  (Acts 5:29, Leviticus 20:24b and Leviticus 18:3b - 5)  Or, as the natural man has declared in his maxim of law, Summa ratio est quae pro Religione facet - "If ever the laws of God and man are at variance, the former are to be obeyed in derogation of the latter".  

Q.  What are some of the church's fundamental beliefs and what is your principal mission?  

A.  This question can best be answered by reading our Doctrinal and Mission Statements here on our website. 

Q.  Why would anyone be interested in the church at Salem.

A.   Mainly, we have found two or three types of people interested in the church at Salem, and for very different reasons.  In Scripture they are referred to as the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:30).  The "wheat" are those with a pure heart seeking to learn about the Kingdom of God and living in and under His Lawful Authority ("For in Him we live, and move, and have our being;...For we are also his offspring" - Acts 17:28).  Conversely, the "tares" - many of whom are often disguised as believers - as in the days of Christ, see His church as a threat to their strongholds of secular humanist power and therefore seek to destroy it.  Many of the tares openly hate Christ and His church and despise His very Righteousness.  Some are so consumed with that hatred that they have dedicated whole portions of their careers and occupation to suppressing or even in some cases destroying the Kingdom of our God.       

Q.  Why do you use the word ekklesia and what does it mean? 

A.  The word ekklesia is the Greek word translated in most English Bibles as church, assembly and congregation.  Under "Assembly", Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words states the following.  "Ekklesia (Èkkλησĺą), from ek, out of, and klesis, a calling (kaleo, to call), was used among the Greeks of a body of citizens gathered to discuss the affairs of State, Acts 19:39,  In the Septuagint it is used to designate the gathering of Israel, summoned for any definite purpose, or a gathering regarded as representative of the whole nation.  It has two applications to companies of Christians, (a) to the whole company of the redeemed throughout the present era, the company of which Christ said, "I will build My Church," Matt. 16:18, and which is further described as "the Church which is His Body," Eph. 1:22 ; 5:23, (b) in the singular number (e.g., Matt. 18:17, R.V. marg., "congregation"), to a company consisting of professed believers, e.g., Acts 20:28; I Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:13; I Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:1; I Tim 3:5; and in the plural, with reference to churches in a district."

       Black's Law Dictionary, Six Edition states, "Ecclesia /ekliyz(i)ye/. Lat.  An assembly.  A Christian assembly; a church.  A place of religious worship.  In the law, generally, the word is used to denote a place of religious worship, and sometimes a parsonage."

       As so often is the case when words are translated into English from the original Greek, they fail to express the fullness of their meaning.  The words church, assembly and congregation are examples of this.  On the other hand, the word ekklesia embodies and expresses one of the most important functions delegated by Christ to His body: that being, the church in Law.  As it has pleased the Lord to Call and equip the church at Salem to serve the body of Christ in this particular capacity, we often use the word untranslated in its original form to communicate this broader scope of what the word means and how it relates to the purpose and ministry of the church at Salem.  This question is addressed more fully in our documentary video titled, Seized for Refusing to Incorporate which you can view on this web site. 

Q.   Why don't you worship in traditional church buildings like others?

A.   In our case, we believe it would be a misuse of the resources entrusted to us.  We see no reason to take on the responsibilities of an oversized, expensive building that might only be used several times a week.  Plus, we are commanded not to incur debt or obligate ourselves to secular bankers (Romans 13:8 & Proverbs 17:18).  Instead, we prefer to follow the New Testament model for gathering together in Christ as our brothers and sisters of the early church did; in houses.  Generally speaking, we try to stay as true as possible to the spirit of New Testament church practices.  The fact that we gather at our local church/parsonage does not diminish our status as the ekklesia but rather validates it via the Law of Scripture; demonstrating that we are seeking a more biblically accurate expression of faith, worship and fellowship.  Likewise, even under secular civil law the house of the pastor (the parsonage) is equally entitled and recognized as the ekklesia.  Black's Law Dictionary, Six Edition states, "Ecclesia /ekliyz(i)ye/. Lat.  An assembly.  A Christian assembly; a church.  A place of religious worship.  In the law, generally, the word is used to denote a place of religious worship, and sometimes a parsonage."  (bold added)       

Q.   Why don’t you use correct capitalization for certain words: for instance, why are you called "the church at Salem" instead of “The Church at Salem”?  

A.   We are called the church at Salem in accordance to the New Testament practice of how local groups of believers were identified - by geographic location.  Since we have no "legal" name or title, "The Church at Salem" is incorrect and is a misnomer (a misnaming).  Since we can find no examples from Scripture or before the time of Constantine where the body of Christ assumed formal names or titles, we see no reason to do so.  Also, there are certain legal ramifications known as indicia and minimum contact which come into play via the use of "legal" names and titles which our Lord has Commanded us to avoid.  Occasionally we use, “the Christ’s Lawful assembly at Salem”, “the local ekklesia” at Salem or some combinations thereof when referring to the church at Salem.  Also we strive to make proper use of upper and lower case lettering which may appear, or perhaps even be, incorrect by colloquial standards. Weather or not certain words are capitalized in Scripture is also a consideration.  In our printed matter, for clarity and distinction, we commonly use bold print when referring to the church at Salem.  Generally speaking, because He has Called us to sojourn at Salem, it is sufficient for us to simply be called the church at Salem, or, since the government seizure of the church in 2005, the church at Salem, in exilium (exile).       

Q.  Why do you seem to be so preoccupied with law?

A.  God's Word, which is His Law, gives us the following clear warning.  "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (the Word and Law of God): because thou hast rejected knowledge I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the Law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." (Hosea 4:6) (parentheses added) Four chapters later we read, "...they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my Law...They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not." (Hosea 8:1 & 4).  And at  II Timothy 2:5 we read, ”And if a man also strive for masteries, yet he is not crowned, except he strive Lawfully."  One should not be deceived.  As in the days of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, today God is still just as much in opposition as He was then to His people paying homage to the strange gods of this world and the strange laws that govern them.  
       All power and authority has been Delegated to the church of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 9:6, Matthew 28:18-20, & Romans 13).  Thus, we have a Lawful Mandate from God to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ...without interference from those outside the ekklesia!  This means it is required of us as ambassadors for Christ to Minister His Word in the form of procedural Law, whenever called by Him to do so (I Corinthians 6:1 - 8).  In the process we must often deal with reprobate civil officials who believe they have the right to force their secular laws upon the ekklesia, even though their laws strictly forbid them from doing so.  This makes it necessary for us to have a basic, working knowledge of their laws as well as our own.  Because we have studied to show ourselves approved, some have wrongly perceived us to be "legalistic" or preoccupied with law.  However, to say we are preoccupied with law is as foolish as to say we are preoccupied with living according to the righteous standards of our God.   
Q.  As New Testament believers, aren't we under God's Grace not His Law?
A.  The Holy Scriptures teach us that God's Word is His Law and His Law is His Word.  They are one and the same and cannot be separated.  That may sound like an over simplification, but it's critical to understand in light of this question.  Although nobody would seriously suggest that living under God's Grace would exempt them from His Word, unless we qualify the question, that's exactly what it implies!  Therefore, we must first determine whether we're talking about God's Law as a standard for living in Christ, or His Law as a method for salvation.  In deed there is a world of difference between the two, as each one poses the question in a very distinct and separate light from the other.          
       In the current dispensation of God's Grace, believers are saved despite their inability to keep the whole law which before Christ was required for salvation.   Hence, we are not obligated to the rigorous requirements of keeping the whole law in order to be born again (saved) into the Kingdom of God (John 3:3), for Christ is the fulfillment of the Law for salvation.  This however does not mean we can selectively ignore the spiritual Laws God has put in His Word as a standard for living in Christ: spiritual Laws that are for our safety and well-being.  We can no more ignore God's spiritual Laws than we can His physical ones.  Ignoring the law of gravity in a dangerous place can get you killed!  Likewise, ignoring certain spiritual Laws can be just as deadly.  Whether for good or evil, how we respond to God's Laws on a daily basis will have consequences in this life as well as the next: "...godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." (I Timothy 4:8b).  God's unmerited favor (Grace) and His Justice (Law) are in perfect harmony with each other, and in His Kingdom neither can operate without the other. 

Q.  Why don’t you vote?

A.    Voting is a so-called right reserved for those who exercise their identity as civilians and members of the body politic.  In America, it is a “right” extended to those in good standing who pledge their sole allegiance to its govern-ment.  When one exercises his so-called “franchise” through the act of voting, he does so under the conditions that as a citizen he will freely and willingly pledge his ”primary and highest allegiance to the general government” rather than Christ, and that he will be ”completely subject to their political jurisdiction, and owing them direct and immediate allegiance” to the exclusion of all others. [see: Hammerstein v Lyne, 200 F. 165 at 170. and Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94 (1884)]  Voting is a process - one among many citizens routinely engage in - which declares and fixes their legal identity as one who officially belongs to the State.  In this regard, voting is a type of minimum contact with the forum state.       

       Conversely, one who is an actual and literal ambassador for the Christ must recognize that his citizenship is in Another Kingdom where the Scriptures say “ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God” - Ephesians 2:19.  Because no servant can serve two masters (Luke 16:13), the ambassador for Christ can never pledge his allegiance to any other kingdom than Christ’s.  Our Sovereign has spoken clearly and repeatedly about that.  The fact that we may be sojourning in America has nothing to do with our citizenship in the Kingdom of our God.  Although the citizens of His Kingdom are scattered throughout all the earth, it is only by the grace of God that we are sojourning here in America - a nation where the church is protected by law.
       By the grace of God, America is a nation which is obligated by law to protect and defend the church of Jesus Christ.  Therefore, because of the First Amendment the government bears a custodial responsibility to the ekklesia.  As the following two maxims of law declare:  

Ecclesia est infra ætatem et in custodia  domini regis, qui tenetur jura et 
hæreditates ejusdem manu tenere et defendere.

The church is under age, and in the custody of the king, who is bound to 
uphold and defend her rights and inheritances.   

Ecclesia fungitur vice minoris; meliorem conditionem suam facere potest, deteriorem nequaquam

The church enjoys the privilege of a minor; she can make her own condition better, but not worse. 

     And so, while the ekklesia bears no so-called civil obligations or “franchise” responsibilities such as voting, those who may be in power at any given time are obligated via the First Amendment and other supporting laws to protect and defend her rights at all times.        

Q.   Are you anti-government?

A.  No.  Although secular government is fundamentally in rebellion against the Government of Christ's Kingdom, and is therefore de facto in nature, it is necessary in the overall plan of God as a vessel of dishonor; serving His Divine purpose in a two fold manner.  One, secular government maintains order on the earth; and two, serves as God's rod of correction persuading men to seek the easy yoke of Christ's Lordship rather than the hard whip of Caesar (Matthew 11:28-30).  Although we are commanded to pray for the salvation of civil leaders, we should never facilitate or reward their rebellion by bowing to their de facto authority when they are in opposition to our Sovereign.  We believe firmly that these rebels presuming authority outside of Christ should be marked as "reprobate" whenever they touch or hinder God's anointed servants (Psalms 105:12-15).  Because we are a righteous advocate [the church in Law] defending the Gospel against these who attack Christ and His holy ekklesia, some have wrongly perceived us as anti-government.    

Q.  Do you support the Second Amendment right to bear arms?

A.   Because of the First Amendment, the Second Amendment and all others thereafter have no force or effect against or within the Venue of the Christ's ekklesia, and are therefore functionally irrelevant to us.  In short, the First Amendment recognizes and reinforces the ekklesia’s God-given, natural Immunity from all secular law, constitutional or otherwise, so long as she honors and walks in the Law of her God.  As it is Written, no bondservant or ambassador can serve two sovereigns (Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13).  

       With regard to the ekklesia defending themselves with firearms; we do not believe in violence as a method for advancing the Kingdom of Christ's Government since those who choose to live by the sword will die in the same manner.  For it is Written, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled." - II Corinthians 10:3 - 6

       On the other hand: as head of the household and spiritual leader of his family, a man is charged with the duty of providing for his family (I Timothy 5:8).  To believe that this mandate would not include protection and safety from harm when harm is present seems inconsistent with Scripture.  As with all matters concerning life in Christ, we must apply God’s Word, in each instance, as led by the Spirit of God and not by the human limitations of our own understanding or preconceived dogmas. 

        With regard to hunting for food: we find no prohibition from Scripture for using firearms for that purpose.

Q.   Aren't you disobeying "the law of the land" by preferring God's Law over mans? 

A.  No.  To the contrary!  The United States Constitution commonly called "the highest law of the land" protects the church’s God-given Right to make that choice.  It says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...".  This is commonly known as the Establishment clause of the First Amendment.  Here the government recognizes that the church of Jesus Christ exists under the Authority and Creation of God, not under the authority and creation of man, and that for this reason government cannot appoint leaders or lords over the church or regulate her in any manner whatsoever.  However, as stated previously this intrinsic Immunity is waived whenever churches incorporate, thereby re-creating themselves in the image of Caesar under the State.  Therefore, since the Constitution protects the Sovereignty of God and Our Right to Christ’s autonomous Lordship, we are in harmony with the laws of man while, at the same time, not obligated to them.  However, even if this were not the case and we were sojourning in a land that did not afford us the protections of the First Amendment, our official position as the ekklesia would be according to the Law of our Sovereign wherein it is Written, "We ought to obey God rather than man" (Acts 5:29) for He has also Commanded us, "no servant can serve two masters".  In addition, it is commonly understood that no one can be held accountable to, or found in violation of, any law which they are not subject to.      

Q.  If you are not subject to secular law, why do you quote the First Amendment and other laws of man?

A.   The  so-called Establishment Clause of the First Amendment is a man made (secular) law created for the specific purposes of prohibiting government from establishing churches or religions, and to keep government from controlling or regulating the church in any manner whatsoever.  Never was the First Amendment intended, nor should it ever be applied in reverse, to control the church.  

     In this regard the First Amendment is foreign law to the ekklesia having no actual force or effect within the Righteous Venue of Christ.  Therefore, we assume no right to plead or invoke it as we do Scripture and the traditions, customs and usage of the ekklesia.  All references we make to the Constitution or to any other secular law is purely to remind those who are subject to them that they have certain fixed restrictions which prohibit them from trespassing into the Kingdom of our Sovereign and the Righteous Venue of His Christ’s holy ekklesia.             

Q.  Why do you call one another by your christian names?  

A.   Because we are christian!   If we can answer a question with a question - Why shouldn't a christian be called by his or her christian name?  Of all the traditions in common practice among the church for nearly the entire 2000 years of it's history, that of christians using their christian name is one of the most important and meaningful.  Yet in modern day America, the God-given Right to use ones christian name is largely ignored.  Only in recent times is it considered strange to find christians who prefers to use their christian appellation without their family name added.  Using ones christian name demonstrates to the world that their identity is in Christ not in the world.  However, the reality is that the more connected one is to the world and the secular society in which they live, the more difficult it is to conduct their daily “business” without a legal name instead of their given christian name.  Trying to purchase most anything these days without a credit card is a perfect example of this.  Just the same, for many of us who live, move and have our being in Christ alone, we have found our christian name alone is sufficient.  

       It is not that we are ashamed in any way of our family name.  The simple truth is that we have received a better name in Christ.  As christians we have all been baptized into one body - one family, whose name is Christ.  "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature old things are passed away behold all things are become new" - II Corinthians 5:17.  

       Understand, it is the gods of commerce, those in seculo (the secular world) who minister power outside of Christ who would say, "your christian name is not enough, we need something more to identity you".  And so by usurpation the artificial gods of this world system have made legal slaves of men by assigning and forcing upon them names which resemble their true name but which are in fact not their own.  These misnomers generally include a variation of ones first name, a single letter, and another variation of their family name.  Generally, but not always, they are depicted using all upper case or capital lettering.  All so-called legal names follow these forms, are instantly recognized by the courts, and are an abomination and insult to our Holy God as it is their intended purpose to take that which He created in His Righteous Image - a living breathing man - and make him over into the image of Caesar as a legal fiction - one classified under law specifically as an “artificial person” who is now legally subservient in all ways to the laws of the natural man.      

Submit your questions to the church at Salem here. mailto:WilliamRaymond@thechurchatSalem.info?subject=Questionsmailto:WilliamRaymond@thechurchatSalem.info?subject=Questionsshapeimage_2_link_0shapeimage_2_link_1