Renewed efforts are underway in 2019 to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which bans tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, such as churches, from participating in politics. Pastors have argued this limits their free speech and that their congregations depend on them for biblical voting guidance.
Just before Christmas, the House of Representatives passed a year-end tax package that would repeal the Johnson Amendment. It’s now the Senate’s turn to act on the measure.
APN says a repeal would mean freedom to the pulpit and the pews.
“Pastors’ voices had been silent on the most important cultural, societal and political issues of our time,” said APN President Sam Rohrer, “because of a fear of repercussions stemming from the Johnson Amendment.”
A repeal, he said, would return decades of freedom to churches and enables pastors to freely speak truth about social issues from the pulpit. But striking down the law would not remedy all the issues in today’s church, Rohrer added.
“It does not completely solve why pastors have not been preaching the whole counsel of God,” he said. “The path to freedom may have been paved, but it’s now up to pastors and churches to begin preaching boldly. For some, the Johnson Amendment has been a convenient excuse to shy away from the tough issues. The challenge before the pulpit has always been fear, and that’s the challenge of any leader. The Johnson Amendment has been the fear factor.”
To watch an interview by Sam Rohrer on KDOV TV with Perry Atkinson on this topic, please click HERE.