Faith-Based Election

October 20, 2004 by

With the election only a few weeks away, many churches are struggling with the issue of how they can take part in the political debate. The fact is that as tax exempt organizations, churches are limited in the role they can play.

Republicans have been reaching out to evangelicals, but pastors need to be careful that any endorsement they give doesn’t put their church’s tax exempt status in jeopardy.

The IRS offers the Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations (PDF) that covers some of the common questions (see pages 7-11 for specific questions and examples).

But regardless of which candidate you personally support, it’s important to remember that there’s no God-approved candidate.

Sojourner’s is running a campaign called God is Not a Republican… or a Democrat to educate people that politics is not a simple realm of black and white.

“We’re always dealing with a mixed bag of good and evil,” says author and pastor Brian McLaren. “I hope we have committed Christians who are Democrats and committed Christians who are Republicans, and I hope they’ll be salt and light in their own party.”

If we disagree with fellow Christians about politics, we still need to love and respect them.

“If we take the liberal and conservative, or Democrat and Republican position, each position has strengths and weaknesses,” says McLaren. “Christians who have a greater allegiance to truth and love and justice and peace than they do to a political party would want to affirm strength and wisdom where ever it’s found.”

That diversity is a strength of the church, and when we assume our political stripes must match because of our faith, we’re missing out on that God given diversity.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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