6 Comments

Survey: Pastors reject pulpit endorsements


NASHVILLE (BP) — Nearly 90 percent of pastors believe they should not endorse candidates for public office from the pulpit, according to a survey by LifeWay Research.

The survey, released Oct. 1, also revealed that 44 percent of pastors personally endorsed candidates, but did so outside of their church role. The survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors found that only 10 percent believe pastors should endorse candidates from the pulpit. Eighty-seven percent believe (71 percent strongly and 16 percent somewhat) pastors should not endorse candidates for public office from the pulpit. Three percent of pastors are not sure.

For comparison, LifeWay Research found in a December 2010 survey that 84 percent of pastors said they should not endorse candidates from the pulpit.

Slight differences emerged between pastors who consider themselves “evangelical” and those who self-identify as “mainline.” Eighty-six percent of evangelical pastors believe pastors should not endorse a candidate from the pulpit, as compared to 91 percent of mainline pastors.

The number of pastors who say they should not endorse candidates from the pulpit also varies according to political affiliation. Among pastors who call themselves Democrats, 98 percent believe political endorsements should not be made from the pulpit compared to 90 percent of Independents and 82 percent of Republicans.

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6 comments on “Survey: Pastors reject pulpit endorsements

  1. You would think that with all those sermons lacked with Jesus and things relating to the kingdom of God there would be no room for politics. Oh wait…never mind.

  2. The IRS grants tax-exemption because the institutions that are 501(c)3 are NOT political or partisan lobbyists but supposedly promote the civic good. The Church pulpit was, in the American tradition, and should be “neutral” to specific partisanship. Because the Church is not of the kingdoms of this world. She has no stake in all this which will burn up one day, but to witness to Christ Who saves people out of it.

    If pastors want to enter the fray of endorsing candidates from the pulpit, then let them forfeit their tax exemption. How arrogant that they want their cake and to eat it, too. If you don’t want to honor the law of the government, just come together as a congregation without the state endorsemnet, which is what the legal incorporation and tax-exempt staus is after all. (That would be too anabaptist for them…)

    The pulpit, called by I think it was Spurgeon, “the Holy Desk,” is abused and defiled when used for wordly politics. I wouldn’t darken the doorstep of a “church” where politics defiles the place from which should be streaming the message of reconciliation through the Cross of Christ–the Gospel! Shame on those pastors.

    The christians who have entered the machinations of the babylon system: culture war, dominionism, and theonomy, are in grievous error. We don’t fight to control Babylon; we flee it and minister as an ark to others to escape it.

    And to have this cutesy little “Freedom” day is in violation of Romans 13 and is a childish attempt to provoke the IRS into a messy fracas of revoking “church” tax exemptions. That very provocation is contrary to the Spirit of Christ. It is bullying and belligerence and self-righteousness–the opposite of peacable, humble, serving, enduring. That wing of the american “church” has lost its power to convict and to portray Jesus as He is, by stepping into the fray and seeking wordly power.

    My rant for the day.
    Victoria

    • If pastors want to enter the fray of endorsing candidates from the pulpit, then let them forfeit their tax exemption.

      Amen Victoria. That’s also been my position from the get-go.

  3. Probably the honest truth is those pulpits that have wealth and power looking at them that support them won’t much care if their status changes with the IRS from a 501C3 to taxable income status taxing the tithes and offerings if push comes to shove. Sadly their push will undoubtedly affect all honest pulpits whether large or small congregations where the Kingdom of God is preached and taught effectively silencing them at the pulpit by some new government regulation because their shove can do that! grrrrrr I don’t think logic has anything to do with this battle line being drawn in the sand.

    Fortunately for those whose line is not drawn in the sand but on the Rock, things will ultimately work for good because of The Rock; He has the last say in it anyway!

    It seems these United States are heading towards some very dark legal days where legislation will silence Truth at the pulpits and public gatherings because of these things being done by ego and not by the Will of God?

    • Sadly their push will undoubtedly affect all honest pulpits whether large or small congregations where the Kingdom of God is preached and taught effectively, silencing them at the pulpit by some new government regulation…

      It won’t surprise me Michael if that happens. These political-pastors don’t give any consideration to small fellowships (churches) which focus only on the preaching of the Gospel; to how these small churches are pastored, in many instances, by Godly men who out of necessity hold down other regular jobs because they take no salary from their churches. The money which comes into these small churches goes to keep the lights on, water bills paid, and to purchase sunday school materials. I know, because i attended one such church for years. If these small but faithful congregations had to pay taxes on the money they receive…well, for many the doors would have to close.

  4. The irony here is that churches are not required to register as 501c3 organizations. Any group that meets the IRS definition of a church is tax exempt by law even without the 501c3 status.

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