Church & IRS - Will I lose my 501c3?
“Pastors and churches shouldn’t live in fear of being punished or penalized by the government,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. “Churches should be allowed to decide for themselves what they want to talk about. The IRS should not be the one making the decision by threatening to revoke a church’s tax-exempt status. No government-recognized status can be conditioned upon the surrender of a constitutionally protected right. That’s why ADF started Pulpit Freedom Sunday: to get the government out of the pulpits of America.”
Pulpit Freedom Sunday is an event associated with the ADF Pulpit Initiative, a legal effort designed to secure the free speech rights of pastors in the pulpit. ADF hopes to eventually go to court to have the IRS rule known as the Johnson Amendment struck down as unconstitutional for its regulation of sermons, which are protected by the First Amendment.
Church Do's and Don'ts
The Pastor’s Guide to Patriotism and Politics
Each day the news media demonstrates there is an ongoing battle over religious liberties and our ability to live out our faith in our daily lives. The willingness to speak out on issues of the day is critical when it comes to matters of government officials and public policies that impact our faith, our families, and our values on a daily basis.
There is a lot of misinformation about what churches are allowed to do in the political arena – misinformation that is spread by liberals and groups who don’t want to see conservative people of faith speak out nor have an impact. They attempt to scare pastors from participating by claiming that if they get involved, their church will lose its tax-exempt status. A good question to ask someone in the church who disagrees with “political” involvement is, “Where does ‘politics’ start and spiritual life stop?” While some key issues may have been politicized, they are still spiritual.
A man of God is to preach the Word of God; no matter the topic.
Our Founding Fathers recognized our rights are given to us by God alone but sought to create a system of government to protect those rights.
Being a pastor in America does not forfeit your First Amendment protection of free speech. However, being a pastor without First Amendment protection does not negate your responsibility to speak the truth.
In fact in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, free speech is coupled with freedom of religion. Our Founding Fathers were wise in this association that protecting freedom in the pulpit protected all other liberties.
Today in the United States of America, we have the great right, privilege, and responsibility of choosing our lawmakers. It is patriotic to make sure your people are registered to vote. It is patriotic to teach them how to vote using the guideline of Biblical values.
Don’t be intimidated or withdrawn from the arena.
Know the facts and have an impact!