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Churches CAN Engage in the Political Struggle to Protect Religious Liberty and Defend Judeo-Christian Morality

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Here are just a few of the many resources (articles and videos) available on the topic of church activities deemed “political,” as well as on the Johnson amendment. So few people know this due to the conservative failure in the information war.

Regardless of the Johnson Amendment, however, two notes…

First, note this quote from Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel has observed:

Pastors can preach on biblical, moral and social issues, such as natural marriage and abortion, can urge the congregation to register and vote, can overview the positions of the candidates, and may personally endorse candidates. Churches may distribute nonpartisan voter guides, register voters, provide transportation to the polls, hold candidate forums, and introduce visiting candidates.

That quote is found in Matt Barber’s article linked below.

Second, note Deacon Keith Fournier’s comment in this first link regarding “get-out-the-vote drives.”

Repeal the Johnson Amendment That Muzzles Pastors
By Deacon Keith Fournier
The Johnson amendment makes exceptions for “certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner … voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives,” provided they do not favor or oppose some candidate or group of candidates. Sounds reasonable, right? In fact, the Johnson amendment has proven to be a dangerous tool, allowing political appointees at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to determine when moral issues become political issues — and effectively censor churches and religious organizations with the threat of crippling penalties and loss of tax exempt status.

Pastors and Churches Must Speak Up
Faith and Freedom with Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver and Holly Meade, and BarbWire’s Matt Barber… An 11-minute weekday radio program discussing hot topics in the area of religious liberty, the sanctity of human life and the family.

From the broadcast:

Mat Staver: Matt, this upcoming election is, we always say it’s the most important election, but really I think this one is the most important election. Each one of these elections in the past couple of cycles have been critical to our future. The 2008 election, the 2012 election. And you see how much damage has been done, at least at the national head of the ticket, with regards to President Barack Obama. Now we’re facing another four years of decision, which way the country’s going to go, not just at the presidential level but at Congress’s level, at the state legislative levels, at the governor level of all the different states, at the local level as well.

These are critical times in America and frankly the identity, the future, the heart and soul of America is hanging in the balance.

Matt Barber: Yea, there’s a…as you know, Mat…a toothless law on the books since 1954 — the Johnson amendment, which presumes to muzzle — intimidate and try to muzzle pastors from the pulpit. And this Johnson amendment has been at the forefront in this election, certainly with one candidate supporting it…

Pastors, Churches and Nonprofits’ Political Activity
Four Resources from Liberty Counsel:

Silence Is Not An Option – Liberty Counsel’s video explanation of the legal restrictions and moral obligations of churches, pastors, and nonprofits to engage in political activity. (Pastors can receive a free DVD.)

Political and Legislative Guidelines for Pastors and Churches –  A One-Page Summary

The Salt & Light Council – Teaching resources on Biblical citizenship for churches

The Lamb’s Agenda – Motivational short video by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez

Church Leaders Refuse to Be Intimidated Regarding Political Activity
A news release from Liberty Counsel.

Four Things Pastors Can Do During Elections
From the National Black Robe Regiment’s website.

Defending the Right to Share the Gospel
Information from Alliance Defending Freedom
The good of our society depends upon the ability of churches to speak freely. When the church is silent, the culture suffers.

Myth Busted: “Separation of Church and State”
By Matt Barber
The American church has a problem. It’s one part fear, one part confusion and one part apathy. Pastors, priests and rabbis have long swallowed the false notion that all things religious and all things political are somehow mutually exclusive – that never the twain shall meet.

Can Churches Legally Get Involved in Politics? The Christian Post Interviews Matt Barber (The video is posted below)
By Napp Nazworth
The U.S. Constitution protects churches that speak out on political issues, Matt Barber, vice president of Liberty Counsel Action, told The Christian Post. No churches have lost their tax exempt status in the United States due to political action, Barber pointed out in a Saturday interview. The reason, he said, is that there is no legal mechanism for the Internal Revenue Service to take away a church’s tax exemption. Churches are “inherently tax exempt” or “tax immune,” Barber said, just by being a church. They do not need permission from the IRS.

How the Johnson Amendment Threatens Churches’ Freedoms
By Michelle Terry
Did you know there’s a little-known amendment that has been restricting the First Amendment rights of churches and faith-based organizations for more than 60 years? Our nation once had a longstanding tradition of church involvement in the political activity of the day. It was previously commonplace for pastors to preach about political issues and candidates.

Repeal the Johnson Amendment That Muzzles Pastors
By Deacon Keith Fournier
The Johnson amendment makes exceptions for “certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner … voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives,” provided they do not favor or oppose some candidate or group of candidates. Sounds reasonable, right? In fact, the Johnson amendment has proven to be a dangerous tool, allowing political appointees at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to determine when moral issues become political issues — and effectively censor churches and religious organizations with the threat of crippling penalties and loss of tax exempt status.

Political Sermons in American History
From Alliance Defending Freedom
There is a long history of American pastors preaching election sermons, bringing biblical truth to bear on the citizenship responsibility of Americans in selecting government leaders. Pastors participating in Pulpit Freedom Sunday are continuing this long tradition and providing muchneeded biblical instruction to their congregations

Religious Freedom Is Not Dangerous, But Losing It Is
By Matthew Cochran
The people who think they’re being moderate by subjugating religious freedom to special-interest groups don’t understand that there’s no reasoning with or safety around a mob.

The History of the Johnson Amendment
From Alliance Defending Freedom
Today, the IRS can use the Johnson amendment to tell pastors what they can and cannot preach. This law aims to censor your sermon if the IRS labels it “political.” Learn more details about the history of the Johnson amendment.

Quotes from the Alliance Defending Freedom’s website:

“Government is asking us to render unto Caesar what properly belongs to God, and we can’t do that.” — Archbishop Charles Chaput

“The Bible says render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. But Caesar is demanding more and more of what was once considered God’s matter.” — Dr. Jim Garlow, Skyline Church, La Mesa, CA

“In order to promote their ideas over ours, they tell us we must stay in our churches, keep our religion to ourselves, and that their idea of separation of the church from the state trumps any ideas we might have.” — Father Richard Perozich, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Escondido, CA

“Our political issues are informed by our theology. There is no such thing as a politician or political issue that is not theological. You cannot do politics without theology.” — Pastor Voddie Baucham, Grace Family Baptist Church, Spring, TX

“Decisions about what is preached from the pulpit of a church should not belong to the government, but to the individual pastor and the church itself.” — Dr. Wayne Grudem, Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary, Phoenix, AZ



 

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