Monday, September 29, 2008

Did You Participate in Pulpit Freedom Sunday?

Pastor Ray Pritchard has an excellent blog article on the hot topic of Pulpit Freedom Sunday and pastors endorsing political candidates from the pulpit. Here is an excerpt--read the remainder of his post by clicking here.

Should Pastors Endorse Candidates from the Pulpit?

This Sunday was Pulpit Freedom Sunday, a fact you may have missed in the avalanche of news about the Wall Street bailout and the presidential campaign.

If you went to church this morning, chances are you didn’t hear anything about Pulpit Freedom Sunday. You probably heard a sermon on a biblical text that related in some way or another to your life. Your pastor may have had something to say about the current economic woes.

It’s more likely that the sermon contained no political references at all. Most sermons aren’t overtly political, even in the midst of a hotly-contested political race.

But today, in a handful of churches across America, pastors used their pulpits to offer an endorsement for president. They are challenging a 1954 law that prohibits religious organizations that receive tax-deductible donations from endorsing specific candidates. These pastors have decided to frontally attack the law because they say it impinges upon their freedom of religion. They hope to force a legal challenge that will end up invalidating the law.

What should we think about this? Is it a good idea for pastors to endorse specific candidates?

I personally wouldn’t attend a church where the pastor spent his valuable time giving political advice from the pulpit. Pastors can and should teach biblical principles, showing how the Word of God applies to every area of life. They ought to teach about the sanctity of life, the biblical definition of marriage, the responsibility of Christians to be good citizens, the limits of human government from God’s point of view, and the sovereignty of God over every election.

More than that, churches should encourage their people to pray for our national leaders. This week a pastor from New Jersey sent me the titles for a six-part sermon series that starts today and runs through November 2:

9/28 Judgment – America: Has America Gone too far?
10/5 America - The Way Things Used To Be
10/12 The World is Ready for the Anti-Christ
10/19 The Church is Ready for the Anti-Christ
10/26 How Abortion Corrupts America’s Conscience
11/2 A Positive Outlook and God’s Promised Reward

My friend added this note:
We will end the series with a day of fasting on Monday, Nov 3, and a two hour prayer session Monday night, election eve. We’ve placed a ¼ page ad promoting the sermon series. I believe that people will respond because they are concerned over the financial crisis in Washington, and looking for God’s answer in these troubled times.


Anonymous Dave Mitchell said...

I personally agree with Pastor Ray that the pulpit is not the place to endorse political candidates and the tragic thing is, churches all over the nation do this regardless of the law and get away with it. High profile preachers speak in a number of churches where the Word of God takes a back seat to politics, if any seat at all, and no one does anything about it..... The silent majority today is alive .

9:55 PM  

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