Preachers and Politics, What do you think?


Last week, I asked if preachers ought to pick a fight with the IRS. Today, I want to revisit the issue and ask for morepreachers irs pulpit freedom feedback. I have linked here an article from Baptist Press, which explains why an overwhelming majority of pastors support the IRS code forbidding pastors from endorsing candidates for political office. As the chart to the right shows, a whopping 87% of pastors surveyed think pastors should not endorse political candidates.

However, a small (but growing) number of pastors are challenging that thinking.  Sunday, October 7, 2012, has been declared “Pulpit Freedom Sunday.”  Below is a video from Jim Garlow of Skyline Church, speaking about why he is leading the charge to free pulpits from the IRS muzzle-code.

For my part, I am torn between freedom and wisdom. On the one hand, I am with the 87% who think pastors should not endorse candidates from the pulpit. Pastors have such a limited window that for the sake of maximum impact they ought to stick to the gospel and focus their energies on clearly proclaiming the penal substitutionary atonement of our Lord Jesus.

Yet, the point Garlow makes in this video is undeniable. The IRS code functions like the nose of a camel. If the nose is allowed in the tent, it won’t be long before the camel overruns the tent.  The most pressing moral issues of our day are inherently political issues (abortion, gay marriage).  The IRS code does more than place endorsements off-limit; it also could be interpreted to forbid speaking against party platforms of candidates–even if party platforms call for abortion on demand and the dissolution of traditional marriage.

Where is the line between a free pulpit and a muzzled pulpit? Congress shall make no law restricting the free exercise of religion, according to the Constitution. Even more important, pastors are called to obey God rather than men and to preach the Word in season and out of season. It’s too simple to think that preaching means only calling sinners to be saved.  John the Baptist preached against Herod’s infidelity (Luke 3); Paul called civil magistrates to account when they failed to follow Roman law (Acts 16:39ff); and Peter with the rest of the Apostles were beaten and ordered not to speak any more in the name of Jesus, but they “never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah” (Acts 5:42).

There is a very long history in the Christian faith of running afoul of governing authorities. Though I have no desire to endorse a candidate from the pulpit, I am not sure I want the government to have the power to tell me that I cannot do that. I should be free to persuade Christians to cling to everything that is good (like marriage) and to abhor everything that is evil (like abortion on demand), right?

7 thoughts on “Preachers and Politics, What do you think?

  1. I am not torn on this issue, when a person hears his or her Pastors speak, we do so, looking for guidance from someone who studies the word more than we the public does. The Pastor does not need to openly endorse any person; however by the teachings of the gospel he will guide us to make an informed decision on any vote.

    So I feel any leader of any Church needs to inform his flock on any person running for office, if they are best suited to the ideas and beliefs of that person’s faith. Speak away, I say, I want to know.

    Like

  2. It is sad to think that this is even an issue in “These United States”. The country in which people came to escape these kinds of issues, and now every liberty that we as Americans hold dear are attacked and vilified by our government and media. Nothing seems to be out of bounds for the government. Freedom of religion, speech, family values and especially our children are used as leverage against us to gain more power and political control.

    So many people have no idea as to what is going on around them, they are sheep needing to be led by a shepherd. That’s where Pastors preaching the unfiltered, unbiased Gospel of Jesus Christ come in. So many religious and moral issues come into play in politics and a lot of what has degraded this country I feel is Pastors afraid to speak out against it. Roe vs Wade should have not, and I feel would have not turned out the way it did if the Church would have been more vocal about it. And of course now we have the definition of marriage being manipulated by our so called representatives, and the the way we correct our children is under attack in Delaware. Delaware in this case is the camels nose.

    We the people, are to blame for the shape our country is in. Especially those of us who proclaim we are Christians. Matthew 5:13-16. As Christians we are to be the light, if we will not even stand up for what God holds dear, then who will.

    Like

  3. Pingback: Pulpit Freedom Sunday: Some Links | JoshuaRhone.com

  4. Pingback: Two Examples of Preaching Politics | Gregory C. Cochran

  5. Pingback: 3 Simple Ways to Stand for Religious Liberty without Falling for a Political Agenda | Gregory C. Cochran

  6. I have noticed you don’t monetize your website,
    don’t waste your traffic, you can earn extra cash every month because you’ve got high quality
    content. If you want to know how to make
    extra bucks, search for: Boorfe’s tips best adsense alternative

    Like

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s