A Letter to Pastors on a Biblical Requirement to Vote
Dear Pastor & Leader,
God has given America a uniquely biblical and constitutional foundation which provides us with the liberty and affluence to be the nation with the greatest opportunity to spread the Gospel.
America comprises only 4.2% of the world’s population but sends forth more Christian missionaries and resources than any other nation (35%). I am sure you will agree that our God-given liberty and influence are worth praying for, working for, and fighting to preserve!
Advancing Judeo-Christian values in every arena is not politically partisan or divisive, rather, it is a loving, moral, and a biblical pursuit that benefits Americans and people across the globe.
God created three institutions, each with a distinct purpose – Family, Church, and Civil Government. Each of these institutions functions best when Biblical principles serve as their foundation.
Biblical principles serving as the foundation does not imply a compelled faith perspective. However, the undeniable reality is that wherever true biblical values govern, people of all faiths enjoy security, life, liberty, and happiness.
- Family – The Family is a collective body of persons including parents, children and sometimes extended family members responsible for cultivating Christian character, conscience, and self-control.
- Church – The Church is a body of believers dedicated to the service and worship of God made up of a local and global body of those who believe in Jesus Christ and acknowledge Him as their personal Savior and the Savior of all mankind.
- Civil Government – Civil Government is a system of political and social representation providing direction, regulation, control, and restraint. It establishes a system of rules and principles designed to advance those who do good and punish those who do evil while securing the liberty and safety of all its people (Romans 13:4).
The concept of advancing and promoting biblical values within family and church is a concept familiar to most of us, but how can we also advance biblical principles in civil government?
There are two simple ways we can do this:
1. Pray consistently for all of those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
2. Actively advance biblical values (Luke 19:13) and select God-honoring and fearing leaders (Exodus 18:21).
When we promote biblical values and God-honoring leaders in our cities, states, and nation, all people are blessed (Psalm 33:12, Proverbs 14:34) and liberty is preserved so the Church can freely evangelize, disciple, and thus fulfill the Great Commission.
Pastors and leaders, like yourself, serve as watchmen, exhorting Christians to fulfill their biblically-defined civic duties (including praying for our leaders and electing leaders who honor and fear God), as well as warning of danger and informing Christians of the vital moral and public policy issues of the day, such as protecting life, marriage, and religious freedom.
The teaching and biblical activism of pastors in the decades preceding the American Revolution empowered America’s citizens to defend their God-granted inalienable rights by opposing British tyranny. Had our pulpits in those days not flamed with the biblical principles of liberty and righteousness, America might still be a British colony.
We have a sacred duty to “loan” our God-given sovereignty through our vote to government leaders who will create laws and promote policies that will protect life and America’s biblical foundation. These are unifying biblical principles not divisive political ideas.
Since Jesus is not running for office, there are no perfect candidates. It is therefore our duty to identify and vote for those who most closely represent our Biblical worldview. We are responsible to God and one another to vote according to policy and platform, not personality.
God, in His grace, can work with personalities but depending upon which policies and platforms we endorse, authority is granted to evil or good.
The idea of “Separation of Church and State” has no legal or constitutional authority. Our Constitution protects (via the 1st Amendment) rather than forbids religious freedom even in public arenas, provided the activity does not seek to establish a single federal religious denomination.
Many pastors and churches believe they are prevented from or concerned about teaching or speaking to their congregations about political or social issues for fear of losing their 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.
This false information has been perpetuated as an attempt to threaten and intimidate pastors from acting and impacting their congregations and culture for Christ.
The Liberty Counsel provides the following helpful guidance as to what activities pastors and churches can engage in regarding political, social, and moral matters.
CHURCHES MAY NOT:
- Endorse or oppose a particular candidate.
- Contribute to or raise money for a candidate (including free use of church list)
CHURCHES MAY (among other activities):
- Encourage their members to register to vote
- Pass out Voter Guides
- Invite all candidates in a race to speak (Even if only one of the candidates shows up)
- Speak directly about specific issues and legislation (abortion, marriage, etc.)
Mathew Staver, Esq Chairman of the Liberty Counsel states the following: “Pastors can preach on biblical, moral and social issues such as homosexuality and abortion. Pastors can urge the congregation to become involved in the political process, urge them to register and vote. Pastors can acknowledge visiting candidates. Pastors can personally endorse or oppose political candidates, personally work for political candidates, and personally contribute to them. Also, a pastor’s name may appear in a published ad or letter signifying the pastor’s endorsement of the candidate, and the pastor’s title and affiliation with the church can also be listed with the notation, ‘Title and affiliation for identification purposes.’”
George Barna found in his most recent study from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University that only six percent of Americans hold a biblical worldview (i.e., a view of the world that is informed by Scripture).
It is imperative that Christian pastors and leaders are not delinquent in their responsibility to address their congregations about current political and social issues. This is especially important because 1 out of every 4 Christians in America does not vote. 25 million registered Christians do not vote and there are 15 million Christians who are not even registered to vote.
Please join with us in our shared God-given mandate to encourage all believers to register to vote and to vote according to Biblical values.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” - Edmund Burke
(This letter can be copied and shared with your pastor, bishop, and other church leadership.)
My Faith Votes—is a nonpartisan movement that motivates, equips and activates Christians in America to vote in every election, transforming our communities and influencing our nation with biblical truth. By partnering with national faith leaders, My Faith Votes provides resources to help Christians Pray, Think, and Act to create an America where God is honored in the public square.
CHURCHES MAY NOT: Endorse or oppose a particular candidate? Show me in the Bible where this rule exists, it dose not. If there is any man made law that says this, it is in direct conflict with God's Law. It is because of the silence of many Church leaders that we are in the position we are in now. The Pastor's job is inform us as to who among us are worthy to lead us. That God my Pastor endorses man of God who are worthy to lead.
"Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of ten". Exodus 19:21
The “may not” statements simply identify activities that would jeopardize the non-profit status of a church... based on the current laws that grant it.
Churches may certainly violate it, with the knowledge that they will then lose that status.
However, the article provides suggestions on how pastors can inform the congregation so that they may make Biblically sound decisions without having to specifically endorse a candidate.
Activism by all of us to change those laws is also a good idea.