Tuesday, April 3, 2012

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Pastors And Politics

         A pastor who does not have the courage to speak to what the Bible says, and relate these things to everyday life, has chosen the wrong occupation.  If a pastor has undue influence over his pastorate, to the point that he could get them to vote against what they believed to be true, his parishioners have the problem: not the pastor.  From the earliest recorded times, of this country, pastors have been at the forefront of political confrontation.

          The first meetings, of the founders, to plot the revolution were held in Sam Adams church.  The vast majority, of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, were Christians. 

          “The Black Robed Regiment was the name that the British placed on the courageous and patriotic American clergy during the Founding Era (a backhanded reference to the black robes they wore). Significantly, the British blamed the Black Regiment for American Independence, and rightfully so, for modern historians have documented that: There is not a right asserted in the Declaration of Independence which had not been discussed by the New England clergy before 1763. It is strange to today's generation to think that the rights listed in the Declaration of Independence were nothing more than a listing of sermon topics that had been preached from the pulpit in the two decades leading up to the American Revolution, but such was the case. But it was not just the British who saw the American pulpit as largely responsible for American independence and government, our own leaders agreed. For example, John Adams rejoiced that "the pulpits have thundered" and specifically identified several ministers as being among the "characters the most conspicuous, the most ardent, and influential" in the "awakening and a revival of American principles and feelings" that led to American independence.”[1]  These men were targeted, by the British, for extermination.  When they were captured, they were treated much more severely than other prisoners.

“This is a list of clergy in the American Revolution:
          More recent pastors, such as Martin Luther King, Junior, did not let silly governmental regulations keep him from his God given work.

Thomas Jefferson and the 'wall of separation between church and state

Jefferson penned that phrase to reassure the Danbury (CT) Baptist Association that because of separation of church and state, the government would never interfere with their public religious expressions. For the next 150 years, federal courts followed Jefferson's intent and attached his separation metaphor to the Free Expression Clause of the First Amendment, thus consistently upholding public religious expressions. However, in 1947, the Supreme Court reversed itself and began applying the phrase to the Establishment Clause instead, thus causing federal courts to remove rather than preserve public religious expressions.”[3]  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”[4]

          “Those who believed that they knew better than God and our founding fathers didn’t have a hammer to hold over us, until the 1940’s.  A position paper was presented to the Supreme Court by a member of the ACLU misquoting the words and intentions of Thomas Jefferson.  Thus was established the doctrine of  “separation of church and state”.  Our country, and its relationship with God, was never intended to be separated.  Even cursory research into the writings of our founding fathers establishes this fact.  The very foundations of our country were based on God and His principals.”[5] 

          “Modern progressives are the founders of Eugenics, abortion on demand, several forms of segregation, removal of God from our institutions, destruction of the sanctity of marriage, loss of parental rights, destruction of our economy, limiters of the development of our natural resources and energy, and limitations on our God given liberties, among other things.”[6] Why are we not hearing of these things from the pulpit?

          If the 501(c)(3) status of a church is more important than the truth’s of the Bible, there is s real problem with the leadership of that congregation.  Do you really think that St. Paul, St. Peter and the rest of the apostles would have compromised their message; for money?  To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.”[7]  The 501(c)(3) regulations sound like something written to exclude church participation.  The first amendment only applies to you or your church if you don’t sign away your first amendment rights, by applying for things like 501(c)(3) status.  If you don’t sign away your rights, you can say anything you want from the pulpit; or anywhere else, as long as it is biblical.

          Since a house of worship is considered to be Holy ground, it should be tax exempt.  The following is from the IRS web site: “Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible Contributions”  “Types of Qualified Organizations”  “It must be organized and operated only for one or more of the following purposes.   a. Religious.  b. Charitable.  c. Educational.  d. Scientific.  e. Literary.  f. The prevention of cruelty to children, or animals.”[8] “Deductible As Charitable Contributions: Money or property you give to: Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, and other religious organizations. Out-of-pocket expenses when you serve a qualified organization as a Volunteer.”[9]Apparently, donations to churches are tax deductible even if the church is not a 501(c)(3).

          I do not think that church property, used for secular purposes such as for profit trucking companies, should have the tax exemption status.  If something is not directly involved in ministry, it is not a part of that ministry. 

          If you are a pastor, and are having trouble coming up with subjects to speak on, consider the following: the sinful state of mankind, the one way to salvation, abortion, homosexuality, robbery, murder, sexual sin, drunkenness and drug use, giving place to other gods, lying, coveting, disrespect of parents, worshiping graven images, taking the Lords name in vain, the Sabbath as in Jesus is the Sabbath, false witness, Hell and Brimstone, etc.   Preaching through the Bible, page by page and end time prophecy will also make people desire to give their lives to Jesus; as has been the case for almost two thousand years.  Tell them what the Bible says and there can be no charge of hate speech, because of the Supreme Court decision concerning the Westboro Baptist church in 2011; freedom of speech was upheld. 

          Over 98% of our founding citizenry were professing Christians.  Even today, 76% of our citizens are professing Christians.  The percentage of professing Christians has dropped substantially since 1960.  This drop in percentage corresponds directly with the current surge of progressive political activity such as political correctness and multiculturalism.  Because of our heritage of Christianity and our founding Christian principles, those who espouse other religions are allowed to worship as they please.  Despite some of our earlier laws, even those who are anti religious are allowed in our midst.  Anyone who doubts these facts is grossly uneducated.  “Tolerance was an American Christian contribution to the world.  Just as you drop a pebble in the pond, the ripples go out, there was tolerance first for Puritans and then Protestants, the Catholics, then liberal Christians, and then it went out completely to Jews. Then in the early 1900’s tolerance went out to anybody of any faith, monotheistic or polytheistic. Finally, within the last generation, tolerance went out to the Atheist, the secular humanist and the anti-religious.  And the last ones in the boat decided it was too crowded and decided to push the first ones out.   So now we have a unique situation in America, where everybody’s tolerated except for the ones that came up with the idea.  And so when people say Christians are intolerant, we really need to correct them and say, ‘No, we’re the ones that came up with the idea of tolerance.”[10] 

          Now I would like to cover which version of the Bible would be best to use in church services.  There are two basic “original texts” by which we get the translations available today.  There is the Alexandrian text which came out of Egypt and the Antioch text which is the one accepted by the early church fathers.[11]  The King James Version was translated, by a substantial group of scholars, from the Antioch text.  The Geneva and King James versions were the ones used by most of our founding fathers.  So far, I have found no translation equal to these in accuracy to the Antioch text.  The Alexandrian text should not even be considered due to the history of its politically sponsored beginnings.  At this point we can see that the King James Bible should be the standard by which we judge the available new paraphrases and translations.  Be very leery, if the only information you can get about which “original Greek” text was used ,doesn't state which one.

Some quotes from our founding fathers seem appropriate here:

          "To the distinguished Character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian.”[12]

          “I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others.[13]

          I have sometimes thought there could not be a stronger testimony in favor of religion or against temporal enjoyments, even the most rational and manly, than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and [who] are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ; and I wish you may give in your evidence in this way.”[14]

"Religion in a Family is at once its brightest Ornament & its best Security."[15]

          I am not telling you to tell your parishioners who to vote for.  What I am suggesting is that it is a pastor’s responsibility to teach what the founding fathers and the Bible had to do with the foundations of our country and the basis on which it receives the blessings of God.  A properly educated congregation will know who to vote for, based on the facts.

[2] Wikipedia
[4] 1st. Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America 
[5] “Judeo Christian America  Rick Rahn, 12-15-2006
[6] “A New Wall” Rick Rahn, 10-20-2009
[10] Bill Federer Coral Ridge Ministries 2005 (One Nation Under God)
[11] “An Understandable History of the Bible” By Rev. Samuel C. Gipp, Th.D.
[12] George Washington
[13] Thomas Jefferson
[14] James Madison
[15] Samuel Adams



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