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Pulpit Freedom Sunday

In previous blogs I have repeatedly stressed the need for pastors to bring moral clarity to public policy issues. This is why I enthusiastically participated in the first Pulpit Freedom Sunday initiative, in September of 2008,  sponsored by the Alliance Defense Fund.

Through my involvement, I have had the pleasure of meeting Erik Stanley, Senior Legal Counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund. Erik recently explained the purpose of this important initiative in The Ministry Today Report:

“Pastors have a right to speak about biblical truths from the pulpit without fear of punishment. No one should be able to use the government to intimidate pastors into giving up their constitutional rights. [The Alliance Defense Fund] is not trying to get politics into the pulpit. On the contrary, the whole point is that 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. We need the government to get out of the pulpit.” —Erik Stanley, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, which this past weekend held its second annual “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” in which at least 80 pastors across the nation again challenged IRS rules by preaching on the biblical alignment of various political candidates and government officials. With the urging of such organizations as Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the IRS has investigated multiple cases of pastors supporting or speaking out against particular candidates from the pulpit, yet only one has resulted in a church losing its tax-exempt status. [wnd.com, 9/26/09]

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In the words of the Alliance Defense Fund, “The First Amendment of the United States Constitution is unwavering in its affirmation of our religious liberty. Our Founding Fathers knew it was the most basic and unalienable of human rights. It is, in fact, Our First Liberty.”

I am encouraging all pastors to learn more about this important initiative by going directly to the Alliance Defense Fund website. The coming year, 2010, is a big election year and pastors need to be speaking out from the pulpit on the moral issues impacting our nation. Let’s protect freedom of speech in the pulpit while being a prophetic voice of righteousness in our nation!

  
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