Red and Blue Churches

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by gb93433, May 10, 2005.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    In the following article it mentions red and blue churches. Does anybody know what they are?


    Associated Baptist Press

    May 10, 2005 (05-44)


    Politics in pulpit spark church feud,

    members' ouster in North Carolina

    Editor's note: This story replaces one issued May 6.

    By Steve DeVane and Greg Warner

    WAYNESVILLE, N.C. (ABP) -- Nine members of a Baptist church in North Carolina say they were removed from membership because they disagree with the pastor's political views.

    Frank Lowe, one of the nine, said he had been a member of the 400-member East Waynesville Baptist Church for 43 years before he and the others were voted out May 3 for not agreeing with the conservative political views of pastor Chan Chandler.

    Chandler denied that any members had been ejected for political reasons and called for a church meeting May 10 to clear up the "misunderstanding."

    Meanwhile, religious-liberty experts -- both conservative and liberal -- denounced the church's action and warned the congregation could lose its tax-exemption because of the pastor's political statements.

    In an audiotape of a sermon preached by Chandler in October, one month prior to the November 2004 presidential election, the pastor said: "If you vote for John Kerry this year, you need to repent or resign. You have been holding back God's church way too long. And I know I may get in trouble for saying that, but just pour it on."

    The pastor's apparent endorsement of a candidate for president prior to an election could violate federal laws that prevent churches and other charities organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code from officially endorsing political candidates or parties.

    The political controversy at the Southern Baptist church reached a climax during a meeting May 2. One person present asked if all church members could come to the altar, pray together, forgive each other and get on with the Lord's business, according to Bill Rash, a church member for about 29 years. Chandler said if those who disagreed with him would repent, then they could get on with the Lord's work, and if they weren't going to repent they should leave, Rash said. Nine people reportedly left.

    The pastor then called the church into a business session and the congregation voted to terminate the memberships of those who left, witnesses said. Rash said everyone voted for the measure except he and his wife, who didn't vote. The remaining members agreed that if another church asked to transfer the membership of any of those who left, the congregation would reply they left in bad standing, said Rash, who said he stayed through the meeting but has since decided to leave the church.

    Janet Webb, a church member who also was at the meeting, declined to say what happened but said Chandler is "a man of God who only preaches against sin and to win people to Jesus Christ."

    Chandler could not be reached for comment but told a TV reporter "the actions were not politically motivated."

    News of the church ouster was reported on CNN and other national and local media.

    The next Sunday, May 8, the four men and five women who were voted out went to East Waynesville Baptist to worship, accompanied by their lawyer, dozens of supporters and media.

    After the service, the pastor issued a prepared statement through his attorney. "This church fellowships openly with all who embrace the authority and application of the Bible regardless of political affiliation, including current members who align themselves with both major political parties, as well as those who affiliate with no political party," the statement said in part. "No one has ever been voted from the membership of this church due to an individual's support or lack of support for a political party or candidate. All matters of the church are internal in nature and are resolved accordingly."

    Chandler, 33, announced another meeting of the church May 10, which he said would be open only to members but would include the nine reportedly dismissed.

    Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, defended the church's right to determine its membership, but added "it would never -- never -- be appropriate or acceptable for a local Baptist church to decide membership based upon how a person votes."

    Brent Walker, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, said if Chandler's pulpit statement about John Kerry was made before the November election and did not indicate he was speaking only for himself, it would be a "pretty clear" violation of Internal Revenue Service rules against political endorsements by churches.

    Barry Lynn, executive director for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, called for the IRS to investigate the Waynesville church.

    Ralph Neas, president of the People for the American Way Foundation, called the report about the church's actions "terribly sad." "What have we come to when the doors of a church are closed to longtime members because of their political beliefs, when a pastor equates political support for the 'wrong' candidate with a sin before God?" he asked in a statement.

    "Men and women of faith have every right to advocate for their political beliefs," Neas continued. "While churches, of course, can set their own membership standards, no one should punish people of faith for their political beliefs."

    Meanwhile, a North Carolina congressman has introduced legislation that would lift restrictions on political speech in churches. The Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act, introduced by Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), is supported by many conservative Christian groups but opposed by supporters of church-state separation.

    Walker of the Baptist Joint Committee said the Waynesville church controversy "is why so many organizations are opposed to the Jones bill, because it would be so divisive -- our churches becoming 'red' churches and 'blue' churches and dividing along party lines," referring to the color designations used for political parties.

    According to Lowe, one of three ousted deacons, he was voted out because Chandler "says my political views support abortion and homosexuality" "I am not -- positively not -- for either one,"

    said Lowe, noting he usually votes Democratic while his wife votes Republican.

    Lowe said he and his wife have been invited to other churches since the May 2 meeting. He expects they'll start attending somewhere else but wouldn't rule out an effort to "retake" the church.

    Chandler has been pastor of the church in western North Carolina for about three years. The congregation is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention and Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.

    Selma Morris, another church member, said she believes the vote to remove the members isn't valid because the church bylaws weren't followed. The bylaws say a called meeting should be announced on Sunday morning. The meeting Monday was announced at the Sunday evening service, she said.

    The bylaws also say a called meeting should be held two weeks after the announcement, according to Morris. The meeting was held the next night.


    -- Robert Marus of ABP contributed to this story.
     
  2. Marcia

    Marcia
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    The red and blue refers to the red and blue states used in the last election. Red is for the states that voted Republican and Blue for the states that went Democrat -- or the other way around. I don't really remember as I don't really like either party.
     
  3. exscentric

    exscentric
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    "I don't really like either party."

    WHAT? YOU AREN'T RED? YOU NEED TO REPENT AND GET OFF THIS BOARD ..... :) JOKE!

    I've been repub for years but not feeling real comfy with what is going on right now for sure :-(

    One has to wonder if the red for repubs was meant to imply a slam relating to communism red since the Demos have painted the rebubs as Nazi's and commies in the last election.

    Actually "demos" might be a good term for them - they work fine when running for election, but they stop working for you when the trial period is up. :)
     
  4. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Red, Blue? Why not just go Greens? [​IMG]
     
  5. Gib

    Gib
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    How about some pretty pastels?
     
  6. exscentric

    exscentric
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    Now, this is getting out of hand, this is the media of the united states you are fooling with, how dare you suggest they should change their minds! Never! Never will they change what they have set in place it is red and blue and that is that, they have spoken :)
     
  7. BillyMac

    BillyMac
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    As a moderate who votes my conscience and for who I deem to be the right (as in correct) person for the job, I suppose that I must be PURPLE.

    Purple, as you know, is a cross between red and blue. I think everyone should be purple.

    Of course, some would rather be red than dead.
     
  8. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Well Billy, Purple is the international sign of womens sufferage!
     
  9. Bro. James Reed

    Bro. James Reed
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    From the looks of it, the pastor was not endorsing Bush, but rather bashing Kerry.

    I know one Elder at our church voted for Kerry simply because he didn't trust Bush. That hardly classifies him as a pro-abortion, pro-homosexual person. It simply shows that he was fed up with Bush, because he lied to us, according to the Elder, about the war, and he wanted to "punish" Bush.

    That said, I would never vote to remove someone from the membership because of the way they vote in secular elections. For all we know, people might vote for the National Gay Nazi Abortion Party as a joke.

    Now, if someone in the congregation was actually advocating that homosexuality is not a sin, or something to that effect, then I would say the church has the right to exclude the member on biblical grounds.

    Personally, I don't see why the subject was brought up in the church, or especially in the pulpit, at all. That is a place reserved for the gospel and should not be tarnished by talk of secular, worldly politics.
     

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