A good friend drafted a Facebook post asking for reactions to the photo inside a church that used an Oval Office set for the pulpit and preached on a series entitled "Hail to the Chief," with the chief being Jesus. Voter registration was being taken in the lobby and a Ronald Reagan bust displayed prominently on the Oval Office set.
Needless to say, my dear Christian friend friends' subsequent reactions centered on the axiom regarding no political preaching from the pulpit.
Sigh. My reaction?
Preach the politics, pastors!!
Here's the deal: political discussions SHOULD be prominent in our churches because being Christian means putting God in every aspect of our lives, not just "at church" or "during worship." So, Oval Office set, preaching politics and voter registration? I find that just fine, thank-you-very-much. The Ronald Reagan bust and endorsing specific politicians? I'm not good with that, even as a former Reaganite.
We need to understand God's view on the political positions of our day so we can vote according to His will, not our own. Too many people exclude God from the voting booth, when He should be front and center. We MUST bring God into the voting booth with us, so the governors of our land will be instated by God not by man.
The whole exclusion of God from politics and politics from churches seems to me to come directly from the enemy. If you can keep the church silent on political issues, then the only voices will come from humans. If you can keep people from thinking about God while they are in the booth, then you can keep them voting with their emotions and feelings rather than God's will. This smacks of enemy stealth to me.
In 1954 an amendment was made to the IRS tax code specifying that tax-exempt organizations were prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for elective office.
It is commonly believed that this amendment prohibits churches from talking about politics. Ask most Christians and they are fervent in their belief that politics and church don't mix.
They couldn't be further from the truth.
I believe that Christians have been duped into believing an enemy lie. To me this passage states that tax-exempt organizations such as churches can't support or oppose any specific candidate, a person not an issue. I believe it provides leeway for churches to talk about political issues that affect our daily lives, just not the behavior of endorsing candidates.
In an event called "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" on October 7, 2012 over 1000 pastors have pledged to talk about and endorse certain candidates. While I can't go as far to agree with their preaching about candidates, I am encouraged that a discussion of politics will enter our churches.
We live in an age where churches have watered-down their messages to attract larger "audiences," and not only have eschewed political issues, but rather any inflammatory Biblical teachings. God's Word has become a cafeteria line of picking and choosing that which mollifies the masses and discarding any prickly subject that would repel church goers.
I hope that Christians as they approach the voting booth on November 6 will study, prepare and pray for God's guidance in their choices.