What is an Information Age Ministry?
The short yet unqualified answer is that an Information Age Ministry is:
A private association of living people whom share a common spiritual creed, which they transmit primarily over the Internet or other digital medium as information messages.
To qualify, clarify, and define the role of a Ministry/Church in light of the information technology advancements which present us with a world in transition; where my 6 year old transcends physicality on a daily basis using the Internet at his school and home – this is a new world.
The word "mission" is derived from the Latin missionem (nom. missio), meaning "act of sending" or mitto, mittere, literally meaning "to send" or "to dispatch," the equivalent of the Greek-derived word "apostle" from apostolos, meaning "messenger". Let us consider some other definitions as we dig deeper.
Ministry: An expressed private association of living people congregating by free will choice under a common name (Ministry “X”) for a specific spiritual purpose. Also sometimes called a Church (Vatican), a Ministry is “separate from the State”; it exists outside Nation States as a Ecclesiastical Body with its own Laws, Tribunals (Courts), Councils, affinity Congregations acting as Auxiliaries, and Ambassadors whom all operate under a common spiritual Flag of the Ministry.
Other Ministry Definitions:
a. The profession, duties, and services of an ecclesiastical minister, as in the long history of ecclesiastical assembly. *ECCLESIASTICAL: Belonging to, or set apart for the church; as, distinguished from civil or secular.
a. A governmental department presided over by a minister.
b. The duties, functions, or term of a governmental minister.
Minister: One who makes an oath to, and then actually does, selflessly attend to the wants and needs of humanity with self-less interest, and within the laws provided under the governance of an ordained Ministry/Church body. [Note: Unincorporated Churches (like the Vatican,) Ministries, and other spiritual associations maintain their own government due to the doctrine of separation of church and state, unincorporated/private Ministries exist as one entity (such as a Nation) “under” God; Incorporated Churches/Ministries are under the State (not God) in which they Register.”]
Missionary: One who is sent on a "mission” to do spiritual or charitable work in a territory outside (foreign to) that of the Ministry, i.e. belonging to (of) a jurisdiction under a Flag other than that of the Ministry.
Ordained: Recognized as an empowered Leader or Agent (Minister or other) of the Ministry by their congregation, or other sovereign foreign bodies such as an independent Church or Ministry, States, Foundations, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s), and fraternal associations.
1: to invest officially with ministerial or priestly authority to officially make someone a spiritual leader or bestow upon them a Title within the sovereign domicile of the Ministry.
2: to establish or order by appointment, decree, or law: enact <we the people…do ordain and establish this Constitution — United States Constitution>
Churches (or Ministry) come in many forms, some have a building where preaching or congregational meetings may be held, some have schools or fund-raisers for charities, other Ministries are formed for educational, spiritual, religious, or other types of outreach through Missionary activities.
Light of Life is a Missionary Ministry, by utilizing the tools of the Information Age we provide outreach to the entire global population interested in our message, and still live a relatively monastic life. Like the monks and clergy who predated the printing press, we write and communicate messages using the medium of our time. Instead of copying a manuscript or book as most clergy did in the Agricultural Age (pre printing press), or writing a book as they did in the Industrial Age, we blog, post articles, share videos and photos, even occasionally play spiritually entertaining games in Virtual Worlds.
Of greater consequence than most Churches can imagine, and at the core of what the “Information Age” changes for the Church is this. The transcendent (non-temporal) realm is available to everyone; aspects of transcendence in life use to be the exclusive jurisdiction of the religious/spiritual ordained; now we must meet our congregation as equals, sovereigns, in a realm more meta-physical (pure information, of Mind) than it is physical/secular. This is a relatively new concept, so if you would please make a new fresh folder in your mind for us, we’re adjusting too.
We define the Information Age a bit different than others, Wikipedia defines it this way: “Information Age is a term that has been used to refer to the present economic era. The name alludes to the global economy's shift in focus away from the production of physical goods (as exemplified by the industrial age) and toward the manipulation of information.” ~ Wikipedia
We believe it is the period of time that humanity will evolve into over the next few years as globalization and technology bring about equal domiciles for peer activities, places where equal rights and equal compensation for sacred labor (all labor) are more than a idea – they are the LAW.
The best way to understand what a “Information Age Ministry” really is, requires comparing (relative meaning) today’s mega-political conditions with the historical conditions that drove the role of the Church (or other Spiritual Institutions) as they changed through Time. For example, in the Agricultural Age the Church spread their “word/message” through individual preachers, then the printing press provided a means for the word to be spread by Books and this caused a cascade of consequences which triggered the Industrial Age, now the Internet and global immediate communications allow the “word/message” of any congregation to be carried to anyone wishing to receive - or Broadcast – any message they wish. In order to be effective, a Minister in the Information Age must learn to meet their congregation in cyberspace to gain their attention, this means blogging, videos, tele-conferences, virtual worlds, and more.
Just as Churches were forced to change how they functioned with the advent of the printing press, so will religious and spiritual associations change how they share their message in the new age; the information age congregation (generally speaking) spends more time social networking, playing games, and being entertained online than they do in community action.
Part of the reason for this has been that community action required the participants to show-up physically. Council or Auxiliary meetings required physical presence. Now, factor this, for the first time in history a congregation of like-minded spirits may be formed from people who are not in the same physical geographic location, and they can manage legal documents, see each other on a screen, talk, have a Board Meeting, even electronically sign a document - even if each participant is physically separated by continents. These mega-political conditions brought on by technology innovations are what drive an “Information Age Ministry.”
What distinguishes a Ministry from all other legal people (fictions in commerce) such as Foundations, Trusts, Corporations, Sole Propietorships (Citizens) and from public Government is the fact that a true Ministry is outside of commerce, “in the world but not off it”; Ministries exis to SERVE. A Ministry is by default un-incoporated, there is a presumed “separation of church and state,” it must be so otherwise the Ministry would be required to “serve two masters” (God and State) and that would be a conflict of interest as well as “impair the obligation of a contract” – the most significant contract a person (Soul) has – the one with their God.
This does not mean a Ministry has no Government, it provides it’s own form of government in the form of Minutes, By-Laws, Tenants, Creeds, and the foundational Declaration of Charter. The laws of a Minstry work best when in alignment with the belief systems of the individual congregants whom freely choose to contract with the Ministry, the Ministers, and Missionaries who act as Agents of the Ministry.
“Major forms of church government include hierarchical (Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodoxy), presbyterian (rule by elders), and independent (Baptist, charismatic, other forms of independency). Prior to the Protestant Reformation, clergy were understood to gain their authority through apostolic succession, an understanding still affirmed in the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic churches and Anglican churches.” ~ wiki
It should be noted that there are some churches which have chosen not to say separate from the State; the corporation a Church may contract in to is the State, a governmental jurisdiction which replaces the Laws as expressed in the Church Charter and By-Laws, with the operational authority of the State or Nation-State within which the Church registers or incorporates itself.
Should your church incorporate, or should it remain unincorporated? Should it become public, or should it remain private? Really the choice is the congregations to make and depends on the specific goals of the Ministry and the personal convictions of the Ministry or Church Directors involved.
If we subscribe to the doctrine of "Separation of Church and State", we should sincerely give the question on this matter our full attention. Should a State control a church/ministry's affairs? or should a church/ministry be "set up" and "controlled" by a servant to God free of fiduciary duties to a State (and therefore both it's Creditors and Citizens/Debtors) operating in admiralty commerce?
God gave us the Right to make a choice on how a church/ministry is set up, that right (more a inherent characteristic called “free-will” than a Right) to decide for ourselves whom we wish to contract with. Our inherent absolute right to self-determination is upheld in the International Declaration of Human Rights (and all countries signatories are bound lawfully by it,) even the United State Supreme Court agrees with this concept. Not only do we have the freedom of religion, but also we have the freedom from religion should we choose it.
The first amendment of the United States of America's Constitution reads as follows: "Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievance."
Some people use the 14th Amendment in their argument for religions freedom, but the truth of the matter is that the 14th Amendment does not add anything to the first ten. Since a "natural right" only comes from God, and "privileges" come from man, and since "person" can mean an artificial entity, (not a human), then the 14 Amendment should have no bearing on our natural right for religious freedom. In all reality, the 14th Amendment deals with "persons", not "we the people". It also only deals with "privileges"-- NOT with "natural God given rights". Including the right to keep the Church separate, outside the jurisdiction and control of, the State.
This is a critical element of what a Ministry is and does, which is to serve people without allegiance to any State, fiction, or political ideology – Ministers Serve without economic or political interest once they accept their calling into the Ministry. To serve God (spirit, source, Self, Father, Brahmin, Void, etc…) is to serve humanity equally, allegiance to a State is mutually exclusive to achieving the Wholistic mission of any Ministry in service to Life – one cannot serve two masters.
“Church" and its auxiliaries (an "organization") are recognized as outside of and exempt from the general economic model; in the United States they are even listed as tax exempt in Title 26, USC (IRS Code,) which means the government agrees it has no claim on the Church. The Code expounds on what the IRS has held concerning the Code taking into consideration court cases, rulings, and precedent.
IRS Code Section 501 (c) (3) - List of exempt organizations, foundations and establishment organization, etc.; organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes (the Church and it's auxiliaries). Restrictions - No part of the net earnings of which insures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
From the above we can see that a Ministry or Church is a exempt and separate body legally from those in the public Nation-State system, although to maintain their sovereign status a Ministry must not get involved in the politics or affairs of the State governments - those affairs are the sovereign affairs of the State and not the Churches business. A Ministry must be "about the Fathers/Mothers business" otherwise they are not Being a Ministry, it would be a fraud.
So, an Information Age Ministry is an exempt (sovereign) state-separated spiritual association serving people without prejudice to nationality/citizenship, by transmitting spiritual messages through cyberspace. See you on the net.