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Discussion Forum : News and Current Events : pastors preach politics and challenge irs

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rainydaygirl
Member



Joined: 2008/10/27
Posts: 742


 pastors preach politics and challenge irs

So this was something I read and I just wondered if anyone had any thoughts about pastors sharing their thoughts on whom people should vote for as a challenge to the IRS? What do you think about these pastors who are planing to do this?

rdg
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More than 1,000 pastors are planning to challenge the IRS next month by deliberately preaching politics ahead of the presidential election despite a federal ban on endorsements from the pulpit.

The defiant move, they hope, will prompt the IRS to enforce a 1954 tax code amendment that prohibits tax-exempt organizations, such as churches, from making political endorsements. Alliance Defending Freedom, which is holding the October summit, said it wants the IRS to press the matter so it can be decided in court. The group believes the law violates the First Amendment by “muzzling” preachers.

“The purpose is to make sure that the pastor -- and not the IRS -- decides what is said from the pulpit."

- Erik Stanley, Alliance Defending Freedom

“The purpose is to make sure that the pastor -- and not the IRS -- decides what is said from the pulpit,” Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for the group, told FoxNews.com. “It is a head-on constitutional challenge.”

Stanley said pastors attending the Oct. 7 “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” will “preach sermons that will talk about the candidates running for office” and then “make a specific recommendation.” The sermons will be recorded and sent to the IRS.

“We’re hoping the IRS will respond by doing what they have threatened,” he said. “We have to wait for it to be applied to a particular church or pastor so that we can challenge it in court. We don’t think it’s going to take long for a judge to strike this down as unconstitutional.”

An amendment was made to the IRS tax code in 1954, stating that tax-exempt organizations are “absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”

“Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise tax,” the IRS says in its online guide for churches and religious organizations seeking tax exemption.

Stanley and others, like San Diego pastor Jim Garlow, say the IRS regularly threatens churches that they will lose their tax-exempt status if they preach politics. But Stanley and Garlow claim the government never acts on the threat because it wants to avoid a court battle.

“It is blatantly unconstitutional,” said Stanley. “They just prefer to put out these vague statements and regulations and enforce it through a system of intimidation … Pastors are afraid to address anything political from the pulpit.”

“The IRS will send out notices from time to time and say you crossed the line,” added Garlow, a senior pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego. “But when it’s time to go to court, they close the case.”

A spokeswoman for the IRS did not comment on the matter and instead referred all inquiries to the government’s online handbook.

Garlow and other pastors say their concerns over the code extend well beyond the law.

“I’m very concerned about the spiritual side of this,” Garlow told FoxNews.com. “There’s a phenomenon occurring in America and that’s a loss of religious liberty.”

“If I would have said 50 years that ‘Tearing up a baby in the womb is a bad thing,’ people would have said ‘Of course it is,’” Garlow said. “But If I said that today, people would say ‘Pastor, you’re being too political.”

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/09/19/pastors-pledge-to-defy-irs-preach-politics-from-pulpit-ahead-election/


Editing my post-i should add that i am not looking to argue about who should be the next president cause i think both need prayer big time but i was interested in these pastors saying enough is enough we are going to teach what the Lord is leading us to teach. oh also i was not planing to post to much any more but this was just really intriguing to me and i wondered what others might think about this happening now?

 2012/9/20 15:26Profile









 Re: pastors preach politics and challenge irs

Sister these pastors have forgotten tbeir calling to feed the lambs and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. These pastors are saying jn effect they have no king but whoever their favorite political candidate is.

These pastors need to comply with the IRS rules and stay out of potical pronouncements. Their job us to preach the kingdom of Jesus and not the politics of man.

These are just my thoughts.

Bearnaster.

 2012/9/20 19:46
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4491


 Re:

Hello,

"Political" and "politics" are often relative to those who define it within the limits of their own understanding.

To many Liberals, the "preaching of politics" includes preaching the Biblical view on abortion, homosexuality, drunkenness, dress, etc...

If you were to preach against abortion or homosexual marriage or uphold Biblical standards of righteousness -- including proclaiming that salvation is found in no one other than Jesus Christ -- loud members of the Far Left will accuse you of spreading "hate speech."

Remember: John the Baptist was thrown in prison (and ultimately beheaded) after he said that it was unlawful for King Herod to marry his brother's wife. In other words, John Baptist was jailed because he told the truth.

We are to comply with the laws of the land as long as those laws do not violate the Truth of the Word of God. However, the IRS must also comply with the Constitution too. The First Amendment says that Congress cannot make a law that prohibits the free exercise of religion.

Yes, a church could theoretically lose its tax exemption status over "political views" -- but other organizations are touted by the Far Left BECAUSE of those political views.

Remember: Planned Parenthood and NPR are both "tax exempt" as well. Both of them actually RECEIVE taxpayers' money as a result of the efforts of the same politicians who get angry if a pastor preaches against homosexuality or abortion (or rebukes individuals who push such things).

Ministers of the Gospel should not worry about such things. They should simply teach, proclaim and admonish as God leads them. If a government worker or politician -- who is employed by taxpayers -- makes an issue of it, I suggest that the church "appeal unto," well, the Constitution if the Lord leads them.

Often, we shrink back from "politics" because we feel it to be "unspiritual." However, we often must approach a ruler, judge, city council, school board, representative, zoning board, tax representative, etc... in order to find remedy when we are having our earthly rights violated. The persistent widow went to an "unjust judge" -- over and over again -- until she received an affirmative answer.

So, while I don't think that people should be "political" for "politics'" sake, there is nothing wrong with telling the truth as directed by God and His Word.


_________________
Christopher

 2012/9/20 20:19Profile
rainydaygirl
Member



Joined: 2008/10/27
Posts: 742


 Re:

do you think though since the government has made some topics like abortion, and gay marriage political topics that it might some day make it more difficult for pastors? i mean how much longer before they won't be allowed to speak on these two topics because the government will deem them to political and threaten churches with the IRS?

just wondering?

rdg

 2012/9/20 20:20Profile
rainydaygirl
Member



Joined: 2008/10/27
Posts: 742


 Re:

by ccchhhrrriiisss on 2012/9/20 17:19:03

Hello,

"Political" and "politics" are often relative to those who define it within the limits of their own understanding.

To many Liberals, the "preaching of politics" includes preaching the Biblical view on abortion, homosexuality, drunkenness, dress, etc...

If you were to preach against abortion or homosexual marriage or uphold Biblical standards of righteousness -- including proclaiming that salvation is found in no one other than Jesus Christ -- loud members of the Far Left will accuse you of spreading "hate speech."

----------------------------

this was my thinking too! you must posted around the same time as i did. some great insights thanks.

rdg

 2012/9/20 20:29Profile









 Re:

Chris the opening article said these pastors were going to talk about candidates running for office and make recommendations who to vote for. Also these pastors are deliberateky provoking a showdown with the IRS.

If these are true men of God. Then their call is to preach Jesus and not political rhetoric. Their calling is to advance the kingdom of Christ and not a political ideology.. It seems to me these pastors have lost sight of Jesus..

Bearmaster

 2012/9/20 22:21









 Re: pastors preach politics and challenge irs

Quote:
If you were to preach against abortion or homosexual marriage or uphold Biblical standards of righteousness -- including proclaiming that salvation is found in no one other than Jesus Christ -- loud members of the Far Left will accuse you of spreading "hate speech." Chris.



Let them accuse! What of it if we are accused falsely!

“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you".

We should as you say brother preach as we are led of the Lord. What is happening however in many places and not just in the USA amounts to leading the flock in party political directions. It would be better if believers simply stayed out of politics altogether. As to the opening comment that political ignorance informs those who make political comments, it amounts to an encouragement to gain political insight or else be silent. Which one is it brother?

 2012/9/20 22:40
rainydaygirl
Member



Joined: 2008/10/27
Posts: 742


 Re:

i get what your saying to bear about preaching to further the Kingdom of Jesus. i was just thinking about where some of this could or might lead if the government decided that any speech on abortion, or gay marriage or any sin really was a political topic then they could use the IRS to silence church pastors in speaking about these things.

i don't know if they have lost sight of Jesus, maybe like you they see some of this as a precursor to persecution and are afraid. not saying that they should be but it is possible.

of course you are right they are directly challenging the IRS and i think that is why it got my attention.

rdg

 2012/9/20 23:17Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4491


 Re:

Quote:

Chris the opening article said these pastors were going to talk about candidates running for office and make recommendations who to vote for. Also these pastors are deliberateky provoking a showdown with the IRS.

If these are true men of God. Then their call is to preach Jesus and not political rhetoric. Their calling is to advance the kingdom of Christ and not a political ideology.. It seems to me these pastors have lost sight of Jesus..

Bearmaster



Actually, the opening paragraph was not a quote. The journalist suggested that there is a "federal ban" on endorsements from the pulpit. This is an error. Why? Because the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution strongly prohibits it.

They are not "deliberately provoking a showdown" any more than John the Baptist preaching the truth was "deliberately provoking a showdown" with the leaders of his day.

The truth provokes the people of this world. Many Biblical teachings about things mentioned earlier is considered "abrasive," "political" and/or "partisan" to certain people in this world -- particularly on the Liberal Left. Even a proclamation of Jesus Christ as the ONLY way to God is considered "political" and extremely "offensive."

You cannot make a determination whether or not these men are teaching Jesus. The Left will loudly tell you that Jesus is a "political" issue or full of "political rhetoric" because of what He and His Word stands for. You should not suggest that these men have "lost sight of Jesus" when you haven't heard what they have preached and what they preach may very well be straight from God's Word.

I once attended a Church where the pastor -- who was very apolitical -- taught the congregation about "politics" and what is often called "political" issues. He didn't endorse any candidate or tell anyone that they should or shouldn't vote. He tried to make sure that the congregation understood that there is a difference between Biblical issues about righteousness and unrighteousness and legislation.

He pointed out that ANYTHING can be considered "political" simply because the state brings up issues that are also brought up in the Church. While he didn't endorse a party or politician, the pastor did mention a few anecdotes that are often referred to as "political." When he mentioned that he did not understand how any Christian could endorse or vote for a person who fights to continue abortion. At this, a few people in the congregation walked out and were never seen again.

There are churches and ministries that have been targeted by government officials. We have been reading about a home Bible study leader who was thrown in jail for holding Bible studies without a permit in his home. At this point, a Bible study became a "political" issue. In Colorado, tracts about sin were considered "political" because they spoke out against abortion and homosexuality and churches were accused of "endorsing" a position on the matter.

The world doesn't understand that God takes a clear position on many "political" issues. Consequently, a church has the Constitutional right to proclaim such things without fear or elected or appointed officials cracking down on them.


_________________
Christopher

 2012/9/20 23:49Profile









 Re: pastors preach politics and challenge irs

I find it difficult to believe that the stated aims of the pastors to not only preach about the candidates in the US election, but to make recommendations does not amount to a deliberate provocation. The article states that the pastors are going to record the October 7th event and send it to the IRS. This is a bit like John the Baptist sending Herod a scroll challenging him in writing that he was going to preach against him John simply preached the truth as he was led to do, as he was bound to do. The 1954 Tax Amendment is law and has been sighted in many instances by the IRS as the article states. Given that we should render to Caesar that which is due to Caesar this exemption status was already a compromise at the time it was negotiated in 1953/4. It amounted then to an agreement by churches to keep candidature statements out of the pulpit at a time of elections for public office. The church has used and abused this law, just as the state has used it as a more general lever to silence pastors when it has suited some candidate or other or else the IRS itself. Claiming ones rights under the 1st Amendment does not amount to preaching the Truth. The Amendments of the USA are not Truth they are politics. (from the Greek…to live in a city).

 2012/9/21 6:07





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