If You Eat The Government Cheese…

Yesterday I spent some time on the phone with a church planter in the “Bible Belt”.  Seems he has been pushing a specific Presidential candidate on his church’s blog (as opposed to his personal blog) and from the pulpit.  Now the Treasury Department is looking into it and have discussed possible action against the church if it doesn’t stop.  He’s pretty ticked at the U.S. government right now and was spouting off some crap over the phone about “freedom of speech”.  I told him…there is no such thing as freedom of speech when you are eating the government cheese.  He hung up pretty pissed at me.

One of the things that really gets under my skin is when pastors or religious “leaders” use their platform and influence to push particular candidates or political parties.  It’s against the law…shut up…quit…stop being a criminal!!!  Here’s the deal…churches have tax exempt status…we don’t pay taxes.  Our congregation gets a tax break for the money they tithe.  Some of us dishonest pastors have even stopped paying Social Security citing some ridiculous crap about it being against the Bible to pay into a government retirement program.  In essence, we are eating the government cheese!!!

If you want freedom of speech…the freedom to push a particular candidate…the freedom to actively support the Communist Wombats Of America party…the freedom to incite people to picket for the “Save The Gay Spotted Whales Society”…then stop eating the government cheese.  Give up your 501c status…become a for-profit business…pay your feakin’ taxes….and say anything that comes to your little pea-sized brain.  Until then…shut up about politics…and preach the Word of God!!!

Rant over…have a nice day!  🙂

If You Eat The Government Cheese…

24 thoughts on “If You Eat The Government Cheese…

  1. on my way to work, i drive past a church that has a mike huckabee for president sign RIGHT UNDER their church sign, on church property.

    not only is that guy not even in the race, it annoys me to see a church breaking the law (or at least the spirit of the law) like that.

    they might as well put up a sign that says “anybody that votes for obama is not welcome here.”

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  2. Chris,

    Thanks for these words. I for one am fed up with the pulpit being used for political purposes. It is no wonder that the gospel is going no where in America.

    The government can not save this country…only Jesus can. Keep ranting.

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  3. Shrop says:

    I really doubt God is even concerend with who wins the next presidential election. Why waste the time with politicis in the church.

    Shrop

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  4. Dude–

    Agree about the pulpit and keeping politics out. I regularly get asked about when I will chime in about our duties as citizens, etc., and I always tell people that we’ve got bigger fish to fry. But, dishonest pastors?? You are certainly referring to pastors who opt out of social security. The tradeoff for it is that they never can get benefits–no social security, no survivor’s benefits for their kids if they kick the bucket young, no MediCare when they are over 65. I don’t see how it’s dishonest. I haven’t done it because I entered the ministry when I was 40. Had already paid into the system for 20 years, and I go on paying today. But, for a young person going into ministry, it’s a reasonable option. And they completely remove themselves from the system. Help me understand where there’s dishonesty there.

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  5. Does this mean I need to take down my “Chris Elrod for President” signs?

    Great, great post. It has become a pet-peeve of mine as well. If only some of us would get as passionate about Jesus and reaching people as we do our favorite political figures.

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  6. Brian – In order to opt out of paying Social Security…and pastor must sign a document that states that it is against his religious beliefs to pay into a national retirement investment. I have combed the Bible and have never seen where it says that. To say that Bible prohibits me…or any other pastor…from contributing to Social Security is…dishonest. Now don’t get me wrong…Social Security is broke…but that’s not the point. The point is integrity!!!

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  7. shrop –

    Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding.
    (Daniel 2:20-21)

    God cares.

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  8. I couldn’t agree more. If there’s one thing I’m happy about, it’s the fact that there are no candidates even worth ‘peddling’, so there is 0 temptation to break this law.
    Though the social security thing is (imo) a different story… it’s an ‘opt out’ situation – not an illegal one.

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  9. Chris,

    I am really sorry I called you today in the hopes that you would join the Communist Wombats Of America party. I think if would have listened more closely you would have seen that this is clearly a government conspiracy to keep christian’s from organizing to support the wombats (a clearly under represented political group). Please rethink your opposition.

    Sincerely

    just kidding (you have to clearly state that these days)

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  10. 100% Agree!

    If God can be glorified with Pagan King Cyrus on the throne to rebuild Jerusalem and other crazy kings following him, he can be glorified with a democrat or a republican.

    As for SS, the Bible does say that is a man’s job to take care of his home, not government. The issue is more who should be responsible for my future. No government in the Bible would have even cared to mandate retirement. So to say the Bible doesn’t speak about shouldn’t make it immoral. It is a “meat of idols” thing. IMO, it is immoral to ask the government to take care of me because it is my job (not government) to provide for me. Again, it is a personal choice.

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  11. Personally, I am all for the churches paying taxes. We get the freedom to gather without being shot and we use government employees (police) if there are problems. If we would pay our taxes, then we could focus on issues (specific to the bible) and not worry about censorship or threats. I think it’s a natural progression for churches. The church I pastor doesn’t do this because we have decided as a group to keep things as they are but I feel someday we will be living in a society that will shut us down, not for presidential races, but for speaking out against such things as homosexuality, saying it’s hate speech!

    I agree with the spirit of the article but as a pastor, I may eat the ‘government cheese’ but it’s only because my pay is so good! *L*

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  12. We are not of this world. Our citizenship is in heaven. I with you Chris. Preach the word and shut your pie hole about the government from the pulpit. By the way, you were a little nicer than I would have been. And oh yes, thanks for following me around on twitter. I’m following you also.
    MAN I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  13. Scott – I Agree with you. I do believe there will come a time…in the near future…where I as a pastor will have to use my pulpit to encourage civil disobedience…but now is not that time.

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  14. Jeremy says:

    I vaguely read somewhere that churches obtain tax exempt status to avoid liability (people suing them left and right.) Anyone hear anything similar?

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  15. Chris–

    Thanks for the follow up. That’s cool, then. Yeah, it’s gonna be rare to find a pastor who is really honestly opposed to Soc Sec on biblical grounds, and they prolly have to do some exegetical gymnastics to get to their position…

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  16. I agree that politics should stay out of the church. Its always interesting when a church has one of these Presidential candidates in their church to speak, and it does….volumes..

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  17. jazzact13 says:

    I do this with some amount of fear and trembling, because I have a lot of respect for Pastor Elrod and what he’s doing, but I’m not sure I can completely agree with him on this.

    For example, can we really say from the Bible that God is not concerned about who are the leaders of any country? Or that God is not concerned that the leaders of a country are righteous or not? How many of the OT prophets spoke about things that were political in nature? Would we tell Isaiah or Jeremiah to not speak of things political?

    The issue of tax exemption is a good one. To my mind, if tax exempt status has become a bribe for silence, then maybe it is time that church chuck that status. Are a few extra bucks worth being forced into silence in regards to things of national importance?

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