This may appear to be an article describing how pastors are afraid of the federal government, more specifically the Internal Revenue Service, the fear of having their tax-exempt status yanked should they speak out about certain issues, or their fear of criticizing certain people and agencies. The answer is no, it is not about fear of the IRS, because that fact has already been aptly demonstrated ever since President Lyndon Johnson painted the church into that tax-exempt corner several decades ago. Besides, if a church very simply drops the tax-exempt status and pays the taxes on church contributions it could solve that problem. It would honor God by showing that we fear Him more than man, and then possibly God would honor the pastor and his congregation by providing extra revenue to pay the IRS. He is a big God, right? I wonder if the “Word of Faith” people ever preach on that topic.
There is one common thread between what I wrote above and what is to follow below; the fear of man rather than God. Pastors fear those who sit in the pews, fear that people might close their wallets when certain topics are breached, specifically public schools and the harm they do to our children. And I am not talking about closing the wallets on a given sermon; it could be that some people would leave the congregation permanently and go look for a church congregation that is more seeker-friendly…where have I heard that term before?
Oh, now I remember, seeker-friendly means something like this: people (some Christian, some not) are seeking a congregation that will give them what they want to hear… the Bible calls it itchy ears. I plead guilty to that charge; I’ve done it multiple times. There is one concept worth noting at this point. Truth never changes while lies have to be told in an attempt to cover previous lies. Another way to put it is that truth-tellers have one message while liars have multiple stories, building lie upon lie.
Let me point out two truthful things at this point:
1. A pastor who tells the truth (all, not part) will drive some people away because for some reason they do not wish to hear it.
2. A pastor who drives many people away will likely encounter reduced income into the church coffers.
I could just stop here and say, “There you have it folks, preachers do what they do to keep the money flowing into the church collection vessels (when I was a kid they were plates whereas today’s big men of faith use buckets). Of course coins won’t roll out of a bucket as they could from a plate.
I hesitate to call half-truths a lie, but that is one definition of half-truths. No pastor can preach on every single verse or topic in the Bible, although meeting and doing nothing but reading the Scriptures would at the very least be the Truth. I am more than a bit troubled (irritated is more accurate), that so many topics clearly shown in the Bible are all but ignored as I have witnessed while listening to thousands of sermons over seven decades. My wife will verify that I get irritated when I hear half-truths from the pulpit. I tell her it is “tweaking the Scriptures.” It is one thing to tweak the Scripture to make a valid truthful point, and yet quite another to use the tweaks of truth to tell a lie…I have seen it happen from the pulpits.
Public schools are not specifically mentioned in the Bible. Neither are hand held mobile phones. God did not institute public schools. I do feel confident that God did not institute the church and then expect her to put her children in public schools that reject all things Christian. I tell in all honesty, that I have NEVER heard a message from the pulpit about Christian schooling…NEVER.
I am lead to believe by my own observation and the testimony of many others that the primary reason pastors do not preach about the merits (mandate might be better) of Christian schooling versus the dangers of public schooling is because most of the adults in the pews are a part of public schools as parents and/or teachers. Such messages could offend people and reduce church income.