Well, it looks like some pastors spiced up their sermons a little yesterday by endorsing (or disparaging) a candidate for President of the United States. The pastors are part of an attempt to challenge the IRS rules on what non-profits can do regarding a political campaign. Is that really smart? I mean, the IRS has a gadzillion lawyers and, of course, unlimited resources to enforce their regulations. Talk about David and Goliath, and I’m not sure this David even has a slingshot.
So, I won’t be endorsing anybody for president this year (or any year) because I think it’s a really dumb thing to do. First, you alienate all of the members who are not voting for the candidate you endorse. Awkward at best. Secondly, the IRS yanks your tax-exempt, and charitable contribution ticket. That means that your members can no longer deduct their tithes and offerings from their income tax. While I realize that is not why we give, it can impact how much people give. So, big disadvantage if you’re in a building program or have a healthy-size budget.
Finally, we’re pastors, not politicians. Don’t we read in the New Testament that some of the religious leaders in Jesus’ day forgot they were pastors, priests, and prophets, and became politicians? And, finally, finally, I’m tired of pastors who are so naive that they get used by somebody’s political machine, which is exactly what happens everytime.
So, I won’t be endorsing anybody for anything this year. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with the actions of this group of pastors? Why or why not? Should be interesting….