Sunday, February 03, 2008

The IRS, the Church and politics

My understanding may be inaccurate here, so I invite correction if I’m wrong. As I understand it, in the past, the IRS has threatened churches with removal of their tax exempt status if churches support particular candidates from the pulpit. Whether that is true or not, I know that many pastors are afraid of supporting particular candidates from the pulpit for just this reason.

If churches are in danger of loosing their tax exempt status for supporting a presidential candidate, why are so many churches allowing candidates--Obama, Clinton, Huckabee, etc.-- or their representatives (like Bill Clinton) to openly campaign from the pulpits of so many churches?

I think churches need to be very, very careful about endorsing a particular candidate or political party, but on the other hand, I think they also need to stop being so intimidated by the IRS and start preaching on the important political social issues of our day when those issues are directly addressed in the Bible.

I also think that unless a church is preaching violent overthrow of the government (I've never heard of a church doing that), the IRS needs to be prohibited by law from interfering in what is preached from the pulpit.

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