Election Time: Shouldn’t My Congregation Be Doing More?


Every year at election time some people complain that their congregation doesn’t take a more active role in making them aware of political candidates’ views. There are some important facts to keep in mind:

  • The work of your congregation is to share God’s message of salvation. While this is not to be done at the expense of social or civic concerns, it is not to be overshadowed by social and civic concerns.
  • The congregation made a pledge with the government that as a tax-exempt agency it would not endorse any political candidate for office. It is just not allowed! If a church wishes to endorse a particular candidate, it must be honest with the government and relinquish its tax-exempt status.
  • The congregation can provide voting records or opinion surveys on a wide range of positions or votes taken by particular candidates. While this can be done the congregation must be very careful. There must be nothing in the wording of the information or the topics suggesting an active or passive endorsement.
  • While endorsements are instruments to lead others in their voting responsibilities, it is essentially a compensation for the public’s inability to know the facts about candidates and issues. The congregation is in the business of proclaiming God’s word and applying that word to the issues. When that work is done well, a clear and objective statement of a candidate’s position on various issues will suffice. This is because members are rooted in God’s Word.

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