Brother Ron Barnes
Founder and Pastor

Statement of Faith
About Brother Ron
Weekly Sermon
Daily Devotional
Devotional Archive

Our Ministries

Ask Brother Ron
Brother Ron answers your questions about religion, spirituality and ministry

Gatebuilder Ministry
A ministry to ministries. We want to help you become a more effective servant of our Father and your community.

Living Smart
Outreach Ministry

Equipping people to be positive,  productive members of the community.

Prayer Ministry
Prayers and prayer resources for Baha'i, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Native Americans, New Age, Pagans and other faiths.

Please submit your Personal Prayer

Religious Education
Resources to expand your knowledge and understanding of the world's major religions

Music Ministry
Ron's original gospel songs and links to Christian music web sites.

Resource Directory
Where to find help for medical problems, abuse, finances and other issues.

Career Planning
How to identify the right career, locate potential employers and get the job you want.

for visiting our ministry!

May the Lord continue to bless and preserve you.


Federal Money for Faith-based Organizations

Dear Brother Ron

Having prayed very, very hard, I now put on my helmet, faceguard and chest protector and venture into an area in which I was deemed knowledgeable in a former life. In my new life, I try and avoid legal and political work like the bubonic plague.

It seems to me that, if an organization accepts federal funds, it must therefore be open to all. That is a great idea and I wish that it were so, truly I do. Based on my understanding of the program which provides federal funds for faith- based social service agencies, there is no obligation for them to cease their religious activities which "assist" those the organization deems undesirable in finding a more appropriate place to live. Is this right? No. Is it legal? No. But can they do it? More than likely. Will they loose their funding? No.

The true idea behind this act was to allow religious organizations to help out with the huge burden that has social services agencies floundering in piles of cases. This has a price and the price may not be monetary. The faith-based organization would probably insist on including some theological input into the program. To me, this violates the principle of separation of church and state.

What do you think?


Dear Mack

I am a strong supporter of the separation of church and state. But I am also a strong fiscal conservative who believes the government should practice good stewardship. While there is much which is wrong about the conduct of faith-based programs, let me take a moment to tell you what is right with them.

Let's say my family is starving to death and needs $100 worth of groceries. If the church provides the groceries, their administrative overhead will be $7 (secretary's salary, light bills, etc.). If  the groceries come from a United Way agency, their administrative cost will be $20. Most of the difference is fund-raising expenses. For the government to provide $100 worth of food, they will spend over $300 in administrative costs. This is a very conservative estimate. Obviously, the church is able to deliver more bang for the buck.

As far as the church using social welfare programs to promote an ideology or a political agenda, your only hope there is a first amendment lawsuit which would have to be heard by the Supreme Court. Your only other hope is, believe it or not, the IRS. In order to be recognized as a church by the IRS, the church must refrain from political activities. You can find out more by downloading IRS Publication 1828, "IRS Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations". If you could prove the church was conducting political activities, their tax-exempt status would be threatened.

Given the lax interpretation of this statute, I don't hold out much hope for you. If the churches can let presidential candidates into the pulpit, they can probably enforce their housing policies.

Best always
Brother Ron