Our man for 2016

There is a reason I don’t endorse political candidates, and it’s not just for legal reasons. For those who may not know, entities with (501c3) non-profit status are prohibited from endorsing politicians. The 501c3 is the ticket for tax deductions on charitable giving. For this reason churches incorporate under it. There’s also the additional perk of not having to pay property taxes. While the government allows this, it’s with the understanding that charitable organizations will stick to charity and not become a campaign headquarters. Organizations that can’t hang with that may still operate, just not as a tax-exempt corporation.

Some might say that the 501c3 is a muzzle for pastors, not allowing them to promote their “chosen” for political office, thus thwarting God’s divine plan to straighten up our wayward nation. I will respond by saying I have never been shy when it comes to speaking up on issues. Nor has our nonprofit status at Calvary Austin prevented me from speaking up for Israel, the sanctity of life, traditional marriage and religious freedom as in the case of Hobby Lobby when mandated to violate their Christian convictions under Obamacare.

At the present time, I am free to speak on these issues because they are biblical. Furthermore, I encourage folks to look at voting records and know where candidates stand on these important issues. I trust that most are intelligent enough to vote according to their conscience and choose the right person without my two cents worth. Usually, there is more than one candidate who fits the bill. My preference may not be yours and that’s okay.

Even if I were allowed to endorse candidates, I still wouldn’t. Honestly, I’ve never been that far in the tank for anyone. If by some miracle that changes, my lips will remain zipped, at least from the pulpit. The reason being is this: endorsing candidates is divisive for a church. I’m willing to lose a 501c3 if need be, but I’m quite unwilling to divide the body for the sake of a political agenda. Furthermore, endorsing a candidate would require aligning the church with a political party. I’m not willing to do that either.

I view the church like a view family. Members (and visitors) should feel a sense of belonging no matter what their political persuasion might be. No one should ever feel judged or singled out because they don’t tow a certain political line. The beauty of the church is not found in uniformity, but in diversity. Calvary Austin happens to be a very diverse group. We have people of all shades and types from various walks of life. I love this about our church. Where else can a diverse group gather as one, leave their differences aside and have all things in common? This is our testimony to our community. The church is a place of love and acceptance. In Christ we are one. Therefore we exalt Him only. Promoting any other will only divide us. Therefore, we endorse no politicians.

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