Last Sunday was declared "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" by several groups for religious freedoms in our country. You can see the idea here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pvwcfjAF5Pw#!
I wanted to give some brief statements about my perspective of this and why I went about my systematic preaching through Joshua and preached the Gospel as well as Biblical separation of believers, but did not publicly endorse a candidate from the pulpit.
First of all, I believe feverishly in the freedom and responsibility of every Pastor under God to speak the truth of the Word of God without limitation of fear, finances, respect, "separation of state", advantage of tax exemption, etc. It is our duty to Preach the Word without respect to regulation because we know that we serve only one Master who we will stand before one day for account of our ministry. Jehovah God and Jesus the Cornerstone and Head of the church must be our only "speech writer".
However, preaching from my pulpit to vote for Mitt Romney is not "Preaching the Word". It is my responsibility as Pastor to exhort believers to be good stewards of their democratic process and to 1. Vote. It is my responsibility as Pastor to preach to people to 2. Vote Biblically and Morally. - I cannot express to you how far more important voting for Biblical Marriage and "life" are than voting trade and taxes. There certainly are Biblical messages to be preached against socialism, welfare, etc. and the entitlement policies of the present Administration; but as believers, we are in the moment of a terrible attack on Christian belief, bias, immorality, etc. ---- I must preach for every believer to uphold these Biblical truths by their vote. However, I do not feel though that I need to make the verbal application of "Mitt Romney" from the pulpit. I care little for the power of the IRS - we must tithe despite tax exemption - but preachers must teach people "how to fish" by giving them solid Biblical teaching of how to structure their entire life and not only their vote. If I tell people how to vote from year to year, they may do it because I am their pastor. If I teach them Biblical principles of what is godly for a nation - they will vote Biblically because God told them to do it.
We have two candidates that are devoid of any fruit of being born again. By their fruit, they are unbelievers. I do not wish to vote for either of them personally...but I will. I will vote for Mitt Romney because I have only two choices. Believers today do not have the power or influence to put forth a "Biblical candidate". I hate the cliche's of "a don't vote is an Obama vote", but I realize that one of these two men will win. I can only vote for what is the closest to the Scriptural mandates for society in the Bible that is before me.
I don't remember anyone asking the "lesser of two evils" question about Reagan. He spoke good "Christianize", but do the actions of his own morality and the practices of Mrs. Reagan show the fruit of salvation? Until Christ returns is it not always a choice between the "lesser" of the evils?
I like what an acquaintance of mine (Joe Roof) posted last week: "Every Sunday is Pulpit Freedom Sunday". Pastors must keep "Preaching the Word". Some will say that this blog accomplished the same as if I had declared who to vote for from the pulpit. The vital difference is that I am telling you who I am PERSONALLY voting for and why from a laptop, not telling you who to vote for from the position of the sacred desk.
So, if you are among the folks of LBC, do not fear that your Pastor bows to the IRS. I will keep preaching the Word as long as God's grace gives me courage and breath. If we live that Word that I preach, we also will vote according to the will of God. I will give you one thought beyond that to chew on.......God's will for who we should vote for in November may be different than who is His will to put into the USA as President. Figure that riddle out Biblically :)