I want to start by addressing something Donald Trump said in his speech last night. This is not the first time he has said this, so it is not just a passing thought. He was talking about the Lyndon Johnson amendment. He said:
An amendment, pushed by Lyndon Johnson, many years ago, threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exempt status if they openly advocate their political views. I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and protect free speech for all Americans.
This amendment has been a thorn in the flesh of us Christians and to preachers for many years now. Let me give you some background on this.
When Lyndon Johnson was running for re-election for US Senate, preachers and some non-profit groups became problematic to his campaign. The 83rd Congress was just about to vote a tax reform bill (P.L. 83-591) which was the first overhaul of the IRS tax code since its inception in 1913. Senator Johnson slipped an amendment (known as the Johnson amendment) into the bill prohibiting non-profits 501 (c) 3 types (which include registered churches) from endorsing a political candidate or raising funds to support a political candidate. The bill passed on July 2nd, 1954.
A lot of churches are misinformed. They think they can’t preach on political issues because it is against the law. This is false. They cannot publicly endorse a particular candidate in the name of the church, nor can they raise funds for that candidate. This is all the law prohibits.
Out of fear for how the law would be interpreted in our court system, many preachers stay away from anything they think could be a problem. There is a movement where thousands of pastors have publicly endorsed a candidate in the hope that it will come before the courts. We believe this amendment is unconstitutional. No one has ever been taken to court over this. Their hope is to take this through the court system and get the amendment struck down by the Supreme Court.
I want to look at how Christians should vote in the light of the serious issues facing us today. A lot of the political issues of the day are not really political, they are moral issues. Every preacher has the right to speak on them. They have the right, and the responsibility, to speak out for God’s righteousness. Issues like the killing of the unborn (abortion) is a moral issue. Just because it has been brought into the political realm does not take away the responsibility of preachers to stand against it.
The Bible tells us that we are wonderfully and fearfully made, and that God knows us even in the womb. Life doesn’t begin at birth, it begins at conception.
What about sodomy? This is certainly a biblical issues. God has a lot to say about it. It is called a perversion, a sin, and abomination.
Marriage is another moral issue. It is to be between a man and a woman. It is a holy institution given by God for having and raising children in a safe environment.
All of these are biblical and moral issues. Preachers should have the boldness to speak out on them. If they are truly God’s preachers, they have the obligation to do so. If we don’t take a stand against these things, lawmakers will pass laws supporting them.
In Canada the Supreme Court has ruled that biblical speech against homosexuality, including in written form, is a hate crime. If Christians don’t get involved in the political process and voting for righteous people that fear God, the world will put forth ungodly who don’t fear God and who will make laws supporting all kinds of debauchery and limiting the speech of Christians.
At Wimbledon, a street preacher was arrested and charged with using “homophobic speech” that could cause people anxiety, stress, alarm or insult. It will not stop here. If we tell people that God’s Word says they are a sinner, and if they don’t repent God’s wrath will be upon them, it will become a hate crime. Just think about that! The Gospel of Jesus Christ could be considered hate speech! We must get involved if we hope to stop this.
Dale McAlpine was charged for speaking against homosexuality and causing harassment, alarm, and distress. A baker in Oregon was sued, a photographer in New Mexico, was sued, a florist in Washington was sued by the State Attorney General. All of these were because they opposed same-sex marriage. We could give many more examples of this kind of thing.
The following is something David Jeremiah said on July 4th:
So what is before us now is not about one election. It’s about the heart and soul of our nation,” he continued. “We are a nation of laws, not a nation of dictators, but rest assured these Supreme Court Justices who sit on the bench for life wield more power than most of the kings and dictators in this world. In just 128 days we will elect the 45th president of the United States of America, and that President will appoint at least two, and possibly as many as four, justices. My decision – your decision – will affect our nation in ways that are more profound than any of us can imagine. That is why I must vote. That is why you must vote. It is your Christian responsibility. It is your American responsibility.
Understand this; what is so important about this election is the choice of the next Supreme Court Justices. We know there will be at least one appointed by the next President, but there is a possibility of up to four. Whoever is appointed to these posts will be around for a long time. This may be the most important issue in this election.
In the 2012 Presidential election, Romney lost by 5,000,000 votes. The sad thing is that 25,000,000 evangelicals, who were registered to vote, chose not to do so. This is what is so sad about the condition of our country. There are enough evangelical Christians who don’t vote to sway any election.
The Pew Initiative said that on average, up to 50% of church members are not even registered to vote. In the 2012 election, of those who were registered, only 40% bothered to cast their vote.
There is a lot of discussion among evangelicals about their conscience. They say they are tired of voting for the lesser of two evils. Let me remind you, you will not find perfect men and women. Also let me remind you that the answer is not in the White House. It doesn’t matter who is elected, the politicians cannot solve our problems.
It is wonderful that we have the choice in our country to choose our leaders. Many countries don’t. The Bible teaches that to whom much is given, much is required. I believe that the right to choose is an awesome responsibility. Far too many Americans, especially American Christians, neglect it.
It is believed the evangelical Christians are the largest voting block in America. If they chose to do so, they could determine who will be the President in every election. To do so they have to get involved in the primaries and select godly candidates. We can’t vote for godly leaders if they are not on the ballot.
Christians have a huge amount of power in this country, and they neglect, even refuse, to use it. They have believed the lie that Christians are not supposed to get involved in politics. It is the fault of preachers for not informing them of their responsibility. This nation was founded in the pulpits of America, and it is being lost because the pulpits are not standing against the depravity that is spreading in our nation.
Let me get back to the issue of the lesser of two evils. You may say I can’t vote for Trump, and I can’t vote for Hillary, so I am not going to vote, or I am going to vote for a candidate that doesn’t have a chance of winning. Let me say it this way; your vote may not be so much about who you are for, but what you are against. Your conscience can be clear if your vote is designed to stop the one who will do the most to take away our freedoms. This is really what this election is all about.
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