Friday, September 26, 2008

Brace Yourself for "Pulpit Freedom Sunday"

The Alliance Defense Fund, a legal organization advocating for soi disant "conservative" Christians, has arranged for 35 or more pastors across the country to use their sermon time this week to endorse candidates for office.  

The stated objective is to challenge the IRS rules against electioneering in the pulpit, which the ADF considers to be an unconstitutional limitation upon free speech.  There may in fact be a legal point here worth considering, but we are more interested in the liturgical one.  

Seriously, guys.  God gives you ten minutes to preach the Gospel, and this is how you want to spend it?  Okay, for a lot of these churches, it may clock in at more like 45 minutes, but the principle remains the same.  Every sermon is a precious opportunity to reach people -- jaded oldtimers, spiritually desperate newcomers, the hungry and the heartbroken -- and it seems like a waste to use that opportunity to rehash last week's Olbermann or, more likely, O'Reilly.

Or, to put it another way:  You have a room full of people who have come for no other reason than to hear about Jesus, and you think it is more important for them to hear about Senator Bob and Governor Sam?  Really?

For the record, we at the Egg began blogging in order to help us resist this worldly temptation. We try not to talk about politics in the pulpit, except by way of passing illustrations. And we try not be snarky.  When we fail in these efforts (and we do sometimes fail) it is a mistake, for which church members occasionally, and rightly, chastise us.  Our goal is to use this page to get out most of the current-events-bile during the week, so that on Sunday we are free to talk about the only thing that really matters:  Christ, and him crucified.

And that is Pulpit Freedom Sunday.


Anonymous said...

Hey, that was a great take on this! web

Father said...

Why thank you. And thank St. Paul, who actually came up with the idea.