Over the years I have heard many priests and ministers argue that one of the reasons they do not speak about elections or particular candidates is that to do so would be a violation of their tax status. In other words, legal minds have advised these men of God that there is a price to be paid for preaching the truth when it involves the direct references that must be made to particular campaigns or political questions such as ballot initiatives and the like. What this fear of the IRS has created is a sea of ignorance as people who go to church are not hearing the facts in these critical matters.
Matt Staver of Liberty Counsel has chosen to do something about this. Matt is an outstanding attorney who has worked on many pro-life and pro-family cases over the years. The reputation of Liberty Counsel is undeniably one of unquestionable loyalty to the Lord and Biblical teaching.
Recently Matt wrote a letter for Pastors and Christian ministry leaders in which he said, "Liberty Counsel provides free information about what pastors and churches may do with respect to political candidates and lobbying." In the letter he noted that a free DVD is available and that documents are also available on the Liberty Counsel website.
Matt has taken such an intense interest in the plight of pastors who feel hog-tied by the IRS that his every word is weighed and his advice is prudent. As an example of what he shares with pastors, I quote the following:
Outside of express endorsement of or opposition to candidates for political offices, pastors and churches may engage in many other permissible activities. Churches may host voter registration drives, be a host site for balloting or host a forum where candidates address the congregation or answer questions from a moderator. Candidates visiting the church may be introduced, and political candidates may even preach in the pulpit so long as the pulpit is not used as a political forum to urge the members to vote in favor of the candidate. Churches may also distribute objective voter guides that address the candidates' views on a broad range of issues.
The above quote is taken from Matt's article, "Pastors, Churches and Politics: What May Pastors and Churches Do?"
If you are a member of a church that is wrestling with these questions, I cannot recommend Liberty Counsel highly enough. The legal opinions this organization produces are impeccable, and at this critical time in the history of our nation it is clear that we must use every tool at our disposal to fend off the advancing culture of death!
Hoping this material helps you, I promise to remember you in my daily prayers.