I’m new at this position. It will be a challenge, but not impossible, to fulfill the vision I believe God gave me of seeing over 50 percent of churches in Kansas praying for our state government and addressing the hard issues in our culture from a Biblical perspective. There are probably no more than 15 percent of Kansas pastors who address the Biblical issues of life, sexuality, and religious freedom from the pulpit.
Why is that? After all, there is no political issue that is not first a Biblical issue.
I think part of the reason is fear of losing tax-exempt status.
In 1954, then Texas Senator Johnson got his “Johnson Amendment” passed that prevented 501(c)3 non-profits from endorsing political candidates. He did that because some non-church, non-profits in Texas endorsed his opponent. An unintended consequence was that churches were also included in the law. Well, the IRS has NEVER gone after any church. In fact, in 2008 several thousand pastors exercised their freedom of speech to address the “political” issues of the day and sent their sermons to the IRS. You know what the IRS did? NOTHING! The bottom line is that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees your freedom to speak from truth on every area of life from the pulpit!
But let me be honest. Keeping a tax-exempt status should never motivate our message. We are called to have a prophetic voice in our culture. We are called to be salt and light. We are called to be witnesses in our Jerusalem, our Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Because we have Jesus, we have freedom to speak, or not speak, on any subject. The government cannot tell churches and pastors what to say. Certainly, if we choose to say anything, we should share our love and concern for others, because Jesus has first loved us.
There are significant challenges going on in Kansas. The Kansas Supreme Court somehow found a right to abortion in the right to life clause of the Kansas Bill of Rights. There are LGBTQ activists that are implementing gender identity policies in our schools that directly affect our parishioners who have children and grandchildren. It is time for the church to take back our prophetic voice and embrace the words of Daniel 11:32 (ESV): “but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.”
Will you join me?
Email me at email@example.com to let me know where you stand! I’ll share about upcoming ways you can get involved in praying for our Kansas government and taking action in your community.