Churches And Elections – What Is The Law?

 

Liberty Legal Institute

Kelly
J Shackelford
Chief Counsel
903 East 18th St., Suite 230
Plano, Texas 75074
972.423.8889 Fax: 972.423.8899
freemrk1@flash.net

CHURCHES AND ELECTIONS-
WHAT IS THE LAW?

Many churches and pastors feel called by scripture
to “equip the saints” to represent Christ in all areas of our society, including
the voting booth. Pastors should
thus be supported in their goal of helping their members be good stewards in
representing Christ in their civic duties.
This is especially important in light of the fact that only 1 out
of every 4 Christians in America is voting.

Unfortunately, many churches and pastors have been given false information
in an attempt to scare them from acting as a pastor and impacting their culture
for Christ. The law is actually
very supportive of pastors and churches in fulfilling their mission to equip
their saints. Even as a non-profit
corporation, there is very little a church may not do.

CHURCHES MAY NOT:

1.
Endorse
or oppose a particular candidate.

2.
Contribute
to or raise $ for a candidate (including free use of church list)

CHURCHES MAY (among other activities):

1.
Register
their members as voters

2.
Pass
out Voter’s Guides

3.
Invite
all candidates in a race to speak (O.K. if only one shows up)

4.
Speak
Directly about specific issues and legislation (abortion, marriage, etc.)

Individually, a pastor can do whatever he feels led to do-endorse, support
a member’s campaign, etc. There
are no limitations. The few limitations
above that exist are only for the Church entity and only if the Church is a
non-profit corporation.

Pastors should not be intimidated from acting as pastors,
calling their people to vote and giving them info so they can best represent
Christ in the voting booth.

Liberty Legal Institute
is the state legal group in Texas associated with Focus
on the Family
. It protects churches
and religious freedoms free of charge. H.R.
235, the “Houses
of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act
,” is currently pending in Congress.
This bill
would amend the IRS Code of 1986
to restore the ability of churches and other houses of worship to freely participate
in political campaigns.

print
By | 2017-07-05T12:34:42+00:00 December 31st, 2016|Categories: Issues and Articles|0 Comments