Christians, Civil Government, The Law, And The Process Of Selecting Our Representatives

During the 20th Century, many Christians vanished from the public policy arena. Post World War II prosperity, along with a desire to avoid becoming “worldly,” lured many Christians into political complacency. Unfortunately, the further Christians removed themselves from the political arena, the more the nation’s institutions, morality and respect for the Laws of God declined. Our nation’s foundation was laid upon the bedrock of Biblical truths, truths clearly evident in our founding documents.

Our Founders gave their lives and sacred honor for out right to participate in choosing our leaders. And although a church’s tax-exempt status does limit the amount of political activity in which it may engage under current law, it does not prohibit a church from encouraging good citizenship. The following information will help guide you as you lead your congregation into the God-given and blood bought duties of good citizenship. As Sir Edmund Burke warned, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

What Churches May Do

  • Conduct non-partisan voter registration drives
  • Distribute non-partisan voter education materials
  • Host candidate and/or issue forums where all viable candidates are invited and allowed to speak
  • Allow candidates and elected officials to speak at church services
  • Educate members about pending legislation
  • Lobby for legislation and spend no more than an insubstantial amount of its budget (5% is considered safe) on direct lobbying activities
  • Pastors, in their capacity as private citizens, can endorse candidates – A pastor does not lose his free speech right to speak because he is an employee of a church
  • Pastors can participate fully in political committees that are independent of the church

What Churches May Not Do

  • Endorse a candidate or candidates directly or indirectly from the pulpit on behalf of the
  • Contribute funds or services such as mailing lists or office equipment directly to candidates, political committees or political parties
  • Distribute materials that clearly favor one candidate or political party
  • Pay fees for partisan political activities from church funds
  • Allow candidates to solicit funds while speaking in church
  • Set up political committees that would contribute funds to political candidates