Advancing Religious Liberty
3/6/13 at 03:20 PM 9 Comments

The Institution God Created - Pastors Joining Forces on Marriage

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Author: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley

America is in the midst of a debate on the definition of marriage, the foundation for a stable society and a stable home. Americans desperately need to hear from their pastors what God says about marriage, the institution He created.

This year, our country faces one of the most pressing issues in our history as efforts are underway to radically redefine the institution of marriage, the relationship that God established long ago in the Garden of Eden even before the Fall of mankind. The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to hear two cases where plaintiffs are hoping to radically redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. Oral argument on these cases will be in late March and a decision by the Court is expected at the end of June. These are the first cases ever where the Supreme Court will address the definition of marriage directly.

With all this in mind, Pulpit Freedom Sunday 2013 will be a Sunday focused on marriage.

Even though this year is a non-election year, that does not mean it is a non-engagement year for pastors. The heartbeat of Pulpit Freedom Sunday has always been to remove legal restrictions on what a pastor can say from the pulpit and by doing so, to empower pastors to speak boldly and courageously on the pressing issues of our day that are addressed by Scripture.

As many of you know, Alliance Defending Freedom launched Pulpit Freedom Sunday in 2008 as a legal challenge to the Johnson Amendment. The Johnson Amendment is a 1954 law that grants the IRS the power to censor what you as a pastor say from your pulpit about candidates during an election season. The law is hopelessly unconstitutional. Yet despite this fact, no court has ever been presented with a constitutional challenge to the law.

Courageous pastors stood in their pulpits as part of Pulpit Freedom Sunday and proclaimed biblical truth as it relates to candidates and elections. They recorded their sermons and sent them to the IRS in hopes of sparking a legal challenge to the Johnson Amendment to have it declared unconstitutional.

You may be wondering what the IRS response has been. In a word, silence. Not one of the pastors who have participated in Pulpit Freedom Sunday has been censored or punished by the IRS in any way.

Despite this fact, the Johnson Amendment remains in effect and the IRS continues to maintain publicly that it has the power to enforce the law against a pastor’s sermon. Because of this, Pulpit Freedom Sunday is still necessary to keep up the pressure on the IRS and to regain the freedom of America’s pulpits.

  • When is Pulpit Freedom Sunday 2013? 

Pulpit Freedom Sunday will be on Sunday, June 9, 2013. We want every pastor available to speak on that same day, if possible, to declare with one voice God’s design for marriage. If you cannot speak on that day, please pick another day close to that day and sign up to participate.

  • What will pastors do on Pulpit Freedom Sunday? 

Pastors who sign up to participate will preach a sermon on God’s design for marriage. Pastors can also take the opportunity to address the threat to religious freedom posed by same-sex “marriage,” or to call out their elected officials who are on record supporting same-sex “marriage.”

  • What resources are there to help me prepare for Pulpit Freedom Sunday?

There are sermon preparation materials, sample sermons on marriage, resources to help you understand how same-sex “marriage” poses a threat to religious freedom, and information about elected officials that are either supporting or opposing same-sex “marriage.” All of these can be found at www.pulpitfreedom.org 

  • Where can I sign up to participate?

Sign up to participate at www.pulpitfreedom.org The sign up process only takes a minute to complete.

Now, more than ever, Americans must hear from their pastors regarding what God says about marriage. Pastors have always guided the conscience of America through troubled times when the country faced a moral dilemma. Pastors must once again assume that role as the conscience of America, guiding her into biblical truth.

Will you stand with thousands of your fellow pastors on Pulpit Freedom Sunday? Sign up today at www.pulpitfreedom.org.

This post originally appeared here.

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