Today's blog is less of a devotional thought and more of a public service announcement. The election season is quickly heating up, and the rhetoric is increasingly inflammatory. It's natural to want to know where the church stands, so before too many people ask, I decided to go ahead and post this. As one particularly famous deputy once quipped, I want to nip it in the bud.
Churches are not permitted under federal law to endorse specific political candidates. Period. Any endorsement makes us subject to action by the IRS and could potentially cost us our tax-exempt status. In other words, if we get too political, they decide we're not really a church and thus have to start paying up like any other organization. That's why you will never hear me speak about specific politicians from the pulpit, and it's also one reason (of many) I will not invite politicians to speak at our church. The most political I will ever get in my official capacity as senior minister of RSCC is to preach biblical morality, say our first identity is in Christ and our first allegiance is to God, and weep for how badly both major political parties need Jesus.
I have my own opinions I keep to myself and will offer when asked, but never in a "the preacher/church said ___________" kind of way. As in all things, I urge us, saved and lost alike, to approach politics from a biblical perspective under the careful discernment of the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Lay aside your own opinions and build new ones based on the word of God (even if they turn out to be the same as the old). Never demonize those who arrive at different conclusions, but engage them in thoughtful, loving dialogue.
Remember: the world will know us, not by our candidates, but by our love (John 13:35).