The American Elections
Prior to the May 2016 Philippine Presidential Elections, the members of the Church of Christ were bombarded week in and week out regarding the importance of unity inside the church. We were warned and frightened into submission that those who do not unite will essentially suffer the same consequences as the early people of Israel – they were swallowed up by the earth or instantly died. It was outlined so meticulously to drive the message across – one who does not unite with the Administration and their choice of candidates for the Philippine elections – would go to hell. Heavy decision making isn’t it?
Well the elections came and went and I’m glad to say that no one was swallowed by the earth. (But there was a sinkhole that opened up in America, but I don’t think there were any INC members around.)
But here we are now October 2016 and I am wondering, as I’m sure that many of you are, what will be the decision of the Church Administration regarding the elections to be held in the United States on November 2016? Will we have the same intense lessons about being united? Will the church members be pressed again that we “vote as one”? We were reminded over and over about how it is important to have that same “mind and same judgment” which equate to agreeing who to vote for, depending on who the Administration has decided, right? So will it be Trump or Clinton?
However the issue is not that simple. Is the administration worried about losing its tax exemption? If you don’t know what I am referring to, please read my earlier posts entitled “Elections“. (you can click on the link). I am specifically referring to the “Johnson Amendment”. Here is a portion…
“Johnson amendment” that was enacted in 1954 to prevent charities, churches and other tax-exempt organizations, from participating in political campaign activity. According to section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code, they “cannot participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.”
Keep in mind, this present Administration likes to emphasize being One and that there is NO Corruption. So I am eager to see how it will deal with the issue of the Johnson Amendment, staying “Tax Exempt” and abiding by the law of the land.
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.
For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.
Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” Romans 13:1-7
What can you notice? Even the Administration must submit themselves to the governing authority – that includes paying taxes! NOT going around it by pretending that it is not involved in brethren’s decision in voting. What is that expression? “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” – – The Administration cannot meddle in the election process in America by telling its members which candidate to vote for and at the same time stay tax exempt. What did Paul say? “If you owe taxes, pay taxes”
If you think I am just trying to stir up trouble, stick around. See how the Church Council decides.
Will they decide on Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? Either way, they will upset almost 50% of the members. (You’d be surprised at what the brethren are thinking)
AND, in doing so, endanger the status of being a tax-exempt religious organisation?
(Oh and please don’t tell us that our numbers don’t count in America because we are still too small. The Church Leaders have been trumpeting how much the Church has grown world-wide in the last 7 years, now you will say that we are still to small to make a difference??)
OR will they stay quiet and say that the Church of Christ does not meddle in politics? But in doing so, expose all the more the inconsistencies in decision making — after all those lessons on Elections last April and May about VOTING as ONE? Then to stay quiet for the American Elections?!? You cannot have it both ways.
This, my friends, is what they call, a conundrum. Let’s wait and see – maybe the earth will open up this time and swallow up certain individuals and their expensive vehicles. You know who they are.