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May 09, 2008

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okie preacher

Bill: I agree...I heard Chuck say years ago that our cause is Christ. Period. I couldn't agree more.

jason berggren

I'm not saying to start rallying for Hillary, but don't you think Christians aren't involved and aware enough on political/current events and trends in government?

Don't you think we have a responsibility to train Christians in their world-view?

It seems like so many Christians (and maybe the media has been part of promoting this culture) take "separation of church & state" to mean that they should just stay out of it.

I know for me, when I'm talking to someone I've just met I actually get embarrassed when talking about my political views. Why is that?

I think in some ways we need to be more proactive and promote a Biblical world-view when it comes to politics, too.

Just a thought from a mildly insane person...

Bill LaMorey

Okie,

I agree, the church has been commissioned with the task of advancing the kingdom of God, not any kingdom of man.

Jason,

As I said, on an individual level, yes, Christians s/b involved w/ the political process. However, a church exists for the above-stated mission. So, if I begin to use the pulpit to promote politics, I am losing focus. This can distract from my core pastoral responsibilities of leading the church and feeding them the word of God. It can also alienate people who may be brand new to faith, but are now turned off because they happen to be on the other political aisle as me.

As for training in a Christian worldview...absolutely! That is why I if I proclaim God's word it will hit their minds, sink down to their hearts and ultimately their feet as they consider their candidate from a biblical worldview. But teaching a Christian worldview and telling them who to vote are not necessarily the same thing in my mind.

jason berggren

So who did you say you were voting for? Was it Obama then?

It is "change we can believe in" and hope and stuff, too...

jason berggren

Just kidding with ya'.

I actually think this is an interesting subject for the mere fact that the IRS limiting churches to what they can talk about is really a First Amendment violation (free speech), if you ask me.

I know it is done under the guise of a church being able to maintain a non-profit status. But there are plenty of non-profits that are not churches that are certainly very political.

What say you? Regardless or your particular approach (which I highly respect and agree with/just trying to get us all thinking), do you think it is a limitation on speech?

Bill LaMorey

BTW: Since you brought up Obama, his pastor is a perfect example of why the church should not use the pulpit for politics. I've heard all the defenses for his "sermons" and I still have a very hard time aligning his rants to the redemptive work of the gospel; he's off course whether he knows it or not.

re: The IRS issue, I do know that I won't be using my church service to fight a legal battle as Alliance and the pastors committed to this cause are doing. I do get what you're saying about free speech, and I think the battle s/b fought in the courtroom. Or even better...in legislation.

jason berggren

Of course, I understand what you're saying, especially when considering Mr. Wright. And I understand that you won't use your pulpit for that very reason (and I agree).

But my question remains. With all things being equal:

Is the IRS's limitations on what a church can say in regard to politics a violation of free speech?

Luke Layow

In Bill's defense, as a member of his church, and a resident of the non-evangelical area in which we live - when people in this area identify you as an evangelical Christian, it implies that you are a member of the Republican party, you lean far right with the likes of the late Jerry Falwell, you oppose abortion (and are probably tied to some nut-job organization that blows up abortion clinics), you support the NRA, you listen to Rush Limbaugh non-stop, and drive a huge SUV. The problem with that is simple. None of these things have anything to do with Jesus Christ and his redemptive gift of salvation. It is wise for us, especially in the community we serve, to have nothing to do with politics and do the best we can to present Jesus in a fresh and intriguing way.

jason berggren

Luke, I have no argument and I agree with the approach. I am simply wondering, regardless of your particular strategy, is it a violation of free speech as defined on the Constitution? Considering there are plenty of non-profits (other than churches) that are allowed to endorse their political leanings?

jason berggren

Bueller? Bueller? No answers?

Well Luke, I was thinking about what you said and your description of certain evangelicals. I can't help but say that it sounds pretty condescending. It's not exactly a politically 'neutral' approach or opinion.

I hope that if you ever run into anyone that fits that description, evangelical or not, that you'll be able step out of your own preconceptions in order to build a bridge.

Bill LaMorey

J,

Regarding your lingering question about whether or not its a violation of free speech. Maybe. However, a church is not forced to operate under a 501c3 status, so if political speech is really that important they have options; they don't have to accept the government's benefits and they can do whatever they want.

My issue is I am not a fan of legislation from the bench which is what this group is attempting to do. Left, right or inbetween I think people should not legislate from the bench. So even if if it supports a cause I'm in favor of it does sort of fowl up the process. In fact, many laws I am opposed to came about via thr courtrooms not legislation.

Having said all of that, you have to pick your battles. And I won't, as the group mentioned is doing, use the pulpits to force a battle inthe courtrooms. I don't really have a burning desire to write any of the following sermons:

"The Desolation of Obama-Nation"
"Heaven & Hill"
"McCain & Abel"

So, to go back to square one, I will do what I am called to do and let others fight these battles...

Luke Layow

Jason -

Bueller here. Sorry for the delay. Although I love, cling to, and crave the writings of William Huntington LaMorey, I do not visit the site every day. It would swell his ego and Rebecca likes having me as his friend to do just the opposite.

You have a good point that I am convicted on. Thank you. I maintain that the general view of an evangelical Christian in our community is not a favorable one, I did however probably go too far in my description.

Luke

Bill LaMorey

Luke,

I am outraged; I thought billlamorey.com was everybody's homepage on their browser!

Bill LaMorey

J,

Here is a fresh & powerful example of legislation from the bench that subverts the will of voters:
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=080515174435.xgo31cvp&show_article=1

jason berggren

I'm considering making it my homepage...

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