- Pathfinder

Reply To: Have you ever consciously or subconsciously used your faith to examine foreign policy? Was it harmful or helpful? Please elaborate.

Christina Sturgeon

Hi Samuel!
Churches that have 501(c)(3) status aren’t legally allowed to preach politics from the pulpit (can’t endorse a candidate or have a “substantial part” of its activities be involved in lobbying/issue advocacy) if they want to maintain that tax exemption. Religious leaders in a church may, however, broadly discuss the relationship between church doctrine and ballot issues (in addition to providing nonpartisan info about issues and hosting candidates…so long as the other “side” has an opportunity too). I think the permitted broad discussions are useful to the congregation and, at their core, are moral problems (eg: abortion)…not so much just political ticket items. Even if a church were to forego 501(c)(3) status, I’m uncomfortable with the idea of a pastor explicitly endorsing a candidate or lobbying. Different Christians land on certain political issues differently for many reasons and to tout there to be one “Christian” way to do politics I believe is misguided. We see many principles in the Bible about how we’re to lead our own lives and respect governing authorities, but to claim Jesus would’ve wanted X agenda to be implemented across the US is an unwarranted reach.