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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Dale-c, Jun 22, 2006.
This is a quote from D. James Kennedy:
Greg Dixon of Indianapolis Baptist Temple has written (or compiled) a book called the Trail of Blood Revisited. He recounts the events leading up to the siezure of the IBT property, and documents other churches and pastors that have found themselves on the wrong side of the IRS code. I don't think we can expect to have a free pulpit for much longer, if we still do at all.
The Catholic church has been threatened with this because abortion has been declared a political argument and not a moral one.
BTW, if you are a church of particular demographics, you can permit certain democratic candidates to stump from the pulpit with little fear of reprisal.
The thing is that they could probably do a lot more than they do so far.
As Montesquieu said, giving favors is the best way to shut people up.
For most people, they don't want to bite the hand that feeds them.
... forget it.
I posted a reply, but withdrew it. I don't see how a man of God would keep silent for fear of losing tax exemption. We are called to preach. But then, one might say we shouldn't endorse candidates from the puplit, which I understand.
I DO NOT expect my preacher to be endorsing candidates from the pulpit. What I do expect him to do it preach the Word of God so I'll be properly prepared to make my own decisions in the voting booth.
It is my job to get to know the candidates and what they stand for, not my preacher's. This country and the the churches in particular need to practice a little personal responsibility and quit letting others do their thinking for them.
The preacher's job is to deal with spiritual issues (things that will keep me from God) not politcal issues. If he does his job, then I can do mine. Nothing will turn me off a candidate faster than for some preacher to tell me that I MUST vote for such and such or I'm not a good Christian!
Whereas, if he preaches on why abortion is wrong, from scripture, then I am able to look at the candidates and decide for myself which most closely follows my ideals. Change hearts, politics will take care of itself.
I do not endorse candidates/parties from the pulpit, but I will speak on issues, and encourage my church not to vote for those who support certain issues, esp. abortion. In fact, I encourage them not to even vote for a dog-cacther (if we ever voted on one) who supports abotrion on demand.
Privately, I don't mind discussing who I vote for and why, but not publically. I don't believe the pulpit is the place for that.
Let me add one more thing that "bothers" me. You don't hear much about the government taking on some of our Africian American churches when they have some of the leaders of a certain political party speak at their church during one of their regularly scheduled services. Why is that?
The thing is, most TV preacher (perhaps all) would be out of business if they lost the ability to give tax receipts.
In the early days of our country, it was common for preachers to preach "election day sermons" usually the Sunday before the election day, they would preach and often even candidates themselves would attend.
We still practice that at our church, though no politicians ever attend.
A particular candidate is never endorsed but the political issues of the day are discussed from a biblical manner. ALL issues, not just ones deemed appropriate and politically correct.
I hate to say it but if you look at what they are saying..the ones in question tend to be pushing the proper liberal agenda.
Also, blacks seem to be able to enforce segregation and if they can't, it is racism.
I am not at all racist but I do believe that it is a manipulative tool that is used to harm blacks and whites.
BTW, our church is not tax exempt so it keeps us small since no one can take off gifts from their taxes, they are unable to give as much.
But we still have a healthy church of about 70.
Mark it on the calendar, Dale. You and I almost agree on something!
Discussing issues from a Biblical perspective is a good thing.
We don't agree on TV preachers. Tax exempt status or out of business my foot. Most of 'em are in it for the money and don't deserve tax exempt status! Then again, you won't catch me sending money to them anyhow.
Editted to say:
If God supports a ministry, tv or not, the God will support the ministry--tax exempt or not.
I agree with you, but...
Spiritual issues have now been declared to be political issues. Abortion, homosexuality, etc. How long until he cannot preach on that without losing tax exempt status?
Then, when he preaches on it and pays the taxes, how long until they jail him for preaching on it? An acquaintance of mine in Europe did jail time for preaching against homosexuality from the pulpit (not in the streets).
Oh, but we're not in Europe, you say? That's what they said when Swededn first legalized abortion. "It can't happen here; we're not Europe." It only took a few years (10-12). Then, voluntary euthenasia. Now, they are advocating euthenasia for minors (which can be decided by the minor or the parent), jailing people for preaching against homosexuality, etc.
I agree with your sentiment, but it won't be long until he won't be able to preach on it.
Isn't it interesting that the SBC, which endorses separation of church and state, does not ask Congress to axe the authority of the IRS, and state legistlatures to axe those government bodies that license pastors? As an SBCer I bring it up, but nothing gets done by our Ethics & Religious Liberty Committee. You'd think that we would have lawyers on the front line in this battle against secular governmental entities.
I highly agree. THe reason that you get a tax exempt status is that you are doing something for the public good, like the Red Cross or goodwill etc.
Most TV preachers certianly aren't in it for the public good.
THey are in it totally for the money.
AS far as being in or out of business, the point is that there is a conlfict of interest when you benefit from the federal government.
Most churches will be silent on many issues because of this.
Again, I do agree that God will provide. There are many churches that are alive and well without tax exemption. But they aren't the big time minstries either.
I am sure many smaller churches just do so because that is the "way it is done" and since no one is censoring their sermons, they often don't see any long term consequesnces.
Speaking of agreeing for once!
THat is exactly right. The point is that too many churches have been to silent on many issues and that has lead us to where we are today.
I am not a basher of the SBC but neither am I a memeber.
I think the SBC is probably the best of the large denomination out there but they would lose way too much if they tried to oppsose the hand that feeds them.
If people could no longer write off their tithes from their taxes, they couldn't afford to build their buildings and their large ministeries.
that is the point of this post.
God's role as provider has been encroached upon.
Just a question-not looking for a fight at all. Which "government bodies" license pastors? I was licensed and ordained by the local church.
You are exactly right, however, there is a darker side to this issue that is just now becoming an issue in Canada.
Let's forget politics a minutes.
What if I am a preacher and I say that "homosexuality is a sin"? This will be our next issue and it will also involve taxation. Mark my words, in the very near future, if a pastor wishes to talk about the sin of homosexuality or the sin of abortion, they WILL risk their tax exemption status. The homosexuality law has already been passed in Canada, although they have not forced it yet (from my understanding of some Canadian pastors I know), but the law is in place.
This WILL occur in America.
If preaching the whole Word of God will cause churches to loose their tax status, then so be it. That won't kill the church of God. Unless my memory fails me (and it does quite often), the church seems to grow the greatest unders persecution. Maybe this is what the Bible referrs to as being "persecuted for righteousness' sake" (Matthew 5:10).
We'll just have to train all of these pew sitters that expect their big tax receipt at the end of the year to understand that they are giving to further God's work, not to get a bigger refund.:laugh:
This is exactly right. What we need is for the Churches TO lose their status so they are not encumbered by the chains of political correctness.
Right! It could already happen if they wanted to enforce "hate crimes"