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Pastor’s Rights

hammer-311342_640The election campaigns are hot had heavy and people are fighting for your votes. I want to weigh in on this today. It is important that we elect the right person as President. My prayer at every election is, Lord, please don’t give us what we deserve, give us what we need. I believe God has been giving us what we deserve. We have become a wicked nation. God’s people have abandoned His precepts in many regards.

The Bible tells us that judgment must begin first in the house of the Lord. We know better, but we have not done better. We have not been the salt an light we are called to be. We have failed on many regards and we have become cowards. We have cowards in the pulpits and cowards in the pew. There are very few with the courage to stand for the truths of God.

As we face this election season and chose those who will govern us at all levels of government we want to chose the right people. The problem is, who are the right people? As children of God we should know the answer to this question. The right person is not the one who will give you everything you want. As a matter of fact, that will be the wrong person. We have been doing too much of that, and that is how we got where we are. The right person is the one who will stand without apology on the Book, the Bible.

We need God fearing people as leaders in our nation. The Bible tells us those who govern us are God’s ministers.

For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. (Romans 13:6)

God instituted government. He uses it to accomplish His purpose.

Putting all that aside for a moment, I want you to understand that we are not going to fix the nation from the White House. No matter who we choose, he will not fix our nation’s troubles. Congress cannot fix what is wrong with America. The courts are not the answer either. A top down fix is not what we need. Our country needs a bottom up fix.

Before we can fix our problem we need to identify what it is. Our problem is ultimately a spiritual problem. The problems we face as a nation are symptoms of a spiritual problem. Our nation has shook its fist in the face of God. We can’t expect, as a nation, to continue in the sin we are committing and expect God to bless us. I really want to sing God Bless America, but what we really need to sing is God have mercy on America.

As we look at the candidates before us, each on trying to persuade us that he is the one to fix all of our problems, we need to realize that they are not going to fix our problems. I hope you will join me in praying that God will have mercy on our nation and not give us what we deserve.

We, as Christians and pastors, have been bullied by the left and by the ungodly into thinking that we cannot speak about political issues from our pulpits. We have  people, both in the Pulpit and in the pew, who are too afraid to take a stand. We have developed a culture of cowards. This has been clearly revealed in some research that was done by the Barna Research Group in August of 2014.

A survey was sent to many pastors across many denominations. It was a very large 2 year study. It asked Pastors, “Does the Bible speak to the controversial political issues of our day; things like abortion, same sex marriage, and so on?” Nine out of ten pastors said, yes it does. The follow up question was, “Do you, then, preach about it in your pulpit?” The response to this question was shocking. Nine out of ten of these pastors said no they did not. This means that 90% of the pastors in our nation are afraid to address the controversial political issues in our nation.

They then asked why they don’t preach on these subjects even though the Bible speaks about them. Here are the results:

  • 32% fear punishment by the IRS.
  • 23% believe that politics and the church should be separate.
  • 16% don’t do it because they are afraid of their deacons or their elders.
  • 13% don’t do it because of denominational strain.
  • 9% said they have a personal distaste for politics.
  • 8% said they were unfamiliar with the issues.

One third of the pastors think that it is illegal for them speak on controversial political issues. They don’t believe they can bring politics into their pulpits. Almost half, the first two answers, of our pastors have a wrong idea concerning politics in the pulpit.

You can see that these pastors fear men more than they fear God. Even though the Bible teaches on these things, they refuse to preach on them in their pulpits. If the people in the pews are not getting the instruction from the pulpits on what God has to say on these issues, it is no wonder we are in the shape we are in.

There is too much fear and too much misunderstanding about what a pastor can and cannot do when it comes to politics.

This all got started in what is called the Linden Johnson amendment. The 84th Congress was about to vote on a tax reform bill, PL-83-591. It was the first overhaul of the IRS tax code since its inception in 1913. Senator Linden Johnson was running for reelection. He was in a battle with two people who were members of a non-profit. They were raising money and publicly working against his election. They were a thorn in his flesh. The bill was passed on July 2nd, 1954. For 166 years, in America, preachers openly endorsed and raised money for political candidates from and in their churches. It was legal from the beginning of our nation. This amendment has been used as a “bully stick” on the pastors.

The bill only deals with publicly endorsing and raising money for political candidates. It has nothing to do with preaching against things like the sin of homosexuality, the sin of abortion, and all of the other political issues that are facing our nation. They are not really political issues in the first place, they are moral issues.

Preachers and their congregations have been duped into believing they can’t speak on these issues because they have listened to the world’s lie that Christians should not be involved in politics.

The Linden Johnson amendment is considered by many lawyers to be completely unconstitutional. This is why there is an organization called the “Alliance Defending Freedom” that has been working to defend our freedoms. No one has ever been prosecuted for breaking this law. The government has never brought anyone to trial because, if it were to go to the courts, it would be found unconstitutional. Although this bill passed and has been used as a bully stick against the pulpits in America to keep Christians quiet concerning the moral issues in America, it would most likely lose in court.

More than 2,000 pastors have publicly endorsed a political candidate on Pulpit Freedom Sunday in October, taped their services, made a transcript, and set them to the IRS, daring them to prosecute them. They want this tested in the courts but the government will not do it because they do not have a winning case.

The reason we have cowards in the pulpits is because we have cowards in the pews. We need to stand up and be salt and light when evil shows up. This is our responsibility before God. We are to speak the truth in love and be compassionate, but we must also be courageous. Had our forefathers not done this, we would not have the freedoms we enjoy today.

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Updated: October 13, 2016 — 8:16 PM
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