The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

Don’t Be Intimidated Into Silence

Posted by thelamp on October 18, 2006

Some people think it’s wrong for churches to be involved politics. These people want to keep Christians silent, so they’re trying to intimidate pastors who may be unfamiliar with Internal Revenue Service regulations.

Churches must follow IRS rules in order to keep their tax-exempt status. Of course that’s important, because it means churches will have more money to do their good work in communities across the country.

Pastors do need to know what they can and cannot do – or say – from the pulpit.

Churches are permitted to conduct voter registration drives – the deadline for the Nov. 7 election has passed in most states, but not all. They can also conduct get-out-the-vote drives.

Churches and their pastors can take positions on issues, like the marriage amendments in eight states, the abortion issue in South Dakota and so on. In Ohio, CMC is working to defeat a ballot issue that would expand legalized gambling.

What churches cannot do is speak for or against candidates for office, or do anything that reflects positively or negatively against candidates. The IRS hasn’t made the distinctions crystal clear about what is and is not permitted, but in general a church that doesn’t mention candidates in the pulpit is in good shape.

The Center for Moral Clarity encourages church leaders to guide their flock as required by Scripture. Don’t be intimidated by anyone who wants to silence Bible-believers. Instead, know the federal regulations governing and abide by them (click here to download the 2006 Fact Sheet on political activities permitted by the IRS).


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