Mark 13:13 “You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.”
Over a thousand pastors took to their pulpits on Sunday to say that Christ controls what they say to their congregations, not the government.
The Pulpit Initiative, part of the Alliance Defending Freedom, organized the 7th Annual Pulpit Freedom Sunday. The goal is to have pastors “speak truth into every area of life from the pulpit.”
“Pastors should decide what they preach from the pulpit, not the IRS,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley, who oversees the observance. “Churches should be allowed to decide for themselves what they want to talk about. The IRS should not be the one making the decision by threatening to revoke a church’s tax-exempt status. There’s a growing chorus of pastors’ voices calling for a solution to this very real constitutional violation.”
The event had pastors participating from all fifty states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
The move is to point out the “Johnson Amendment” of 1954 that says churches cannot “participate in or intervene in” political campaigns.
“The real effect of the Johnson Amendment is that pastors are muzzled for fear of investigation by the IRS,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Christiana Holcomb. “Rather than risk confrontation, many pastors have self-censored their speech—afraid to apply the teachings of Scripture to specific candidates or elections. As in years past, the participants in Pulpit Freedom Sunday 2014 are taking a stand against being intimidated into sacrificing their First Amendment freedoms.”