As those who were at our service on October 7 already know, I did not participate.Others have offered interesting perspectives on whether or not such an event was appropriate (for example, see here). Let me offer just a thought or two (or four).
I believe I legally could have participated if I had thought it right.
From a legal standpoint, I think the pastors are in the right. Their argument is that the IRS stipulation violates freedom of speech and religion. It’s interesting to note that even though the organization has been doing this and participants have been sending videos of their messages to the IRS since 2008, they have yet to be charged with any crime.I think the manner of protest is misguided.
The biblical injunctions to be in submission to our government are ones we must take seriously. To purposefully flaunt IRS regulations, just for the sake of proving you can, seems intentionally antagonistic to me.I’m more comfortable pointing out the flaws in a candidate than praising his opponent.
The recent Democratic Convention featured an embrace of the pro-choice position that I found chilling. Gone was the façade that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” Instead there was a full-throttled defense of abortion-on-demand. As Margaret Carlson noted: "“I hate to bring up abortion during the Democrats’ festivities, which are going so swimmingly, but I have a question. Why has the party removed the sentence ‘Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare’ from its platform? It was in the 2004 document but not in 2008’s or this year’s. Can’t Democrats just throw a crumb to the many millions who are pro-choice but not pro-abortion?”
I have no problem encouraging people to not vote for Democrats who embrace a platform that is openly hostile to life.
Where I get uncomfortable is encouraging people to vote for the opposition. Just as one example, I'm cynical enough to know that some within the Republican party will give lip service to the pro-life agenda while having no intention of advancing the cause of life.
My task is to proclaim Christ not man.
Last Sunday, I noted that my task as a pastor is to proclaim Christ as revealed in His word. Even in a country where I have the right to endorse a candidate, to do so seems like it would be unwise to promote one in most circumstances.
For to do so would deflect attention away from Christ. As important as an election is, it's not as important as Christ. My limited time in the pulpit should be used judiciously to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and prepare people to worship Him forever.
Those are some of my thoughts… what are yours as we near the end of this election season?
By His Grace,