Friday, October 24, 2008

Free Churches

There are very few free churches in America. Most congregations are bound to the government via 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporations. Pastors and preachers are not free to speak their minds about politicians from the pulpit. In fact, a Catholic bishop may be in hot water for publishing a post comparing Obama to King Herrod. Americans United for the Separation of Church and State dropped a 100,000-piece mailing this week to churches, threatening them to stay silent on moral issues-or else.

According to Alliance Defense Fund, this has not always been the case. Here is a long quote from their website.

Historically, churches have emphatically, and with great passion, spoken Scriptural truth from the pulpit about government and culture. Historians have stated that America owes its independence in great degree to the moral force of the pulpit. Pastors have proclaimed Scriptural truth throughout history on great moral issues such as slavery, women’s suffrage, child labor and prostitution. Pastors have also spoken from the pulpit with great frequency for and against various candidates for government office.

All that changed in 1954 with the passage of the “Johnson amendment” which restricted the right of churches and pastors to speak Scriptural truth about candidates for office. The Johnson amendment was proposed by then-Senator Lyndon Johnson, and it changed the Internal Revenue Code to prohibit churches and other non-profit organizations from supporting or opposing a candidate for office. After the Johnson amendment passed, churches faced a choice of either continuing their tradition of speaking out or silencing themselves in order to retain their church’s tax exemption. The Internal Revenue Service, in conjunction with radical organizations like Americans United for Separation of Church and State, have used the Johnson amendment to create an atmosphere of intimidation and fear for any church that dares to speak Scriptural truth about candidates for office or issues.

So I pray for more pastors, preachers, bishops, etc. who are willing to speak out from the pulpit. I also pray for more free churches to form.

As far as free churches go, here are some interesting websites.

All of this free church business also brings me to the FairTax. Under the FairTax there would be no more need for 501(c)(3)'s. If you don't know about the FairTax, go and check it out here.

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