What Should Seventh Day Adventists Think of the Johnson Amendment?

It wasn’t until just prior to the 2016 Presidential election that I ever remember hearing the term, “The Johnson Amendment.” I was discussing the future of the Country with a Conservative Seventh Day Adventist friend, and he proceeded to tell me that if Donald Trump was elected, he would do away with the Johnson Amendment, thereby uniting Church & State and our Religious Freedoms would “go out the window.” So, I decided to do a little research and learn what this Johnson Amendment was all about! I’m a very big believer in religious freedom and the last thing I wanted to do was help elect a President who would continue the 8-year run to diminish our Religious Freedoms (exactly one reason I knew I could not vote for Clinton) that we were currently experiencing.

What I found was very enlightening! Yes, TRUMP did say he would repeal the Johnson Amendment according to [The Washington Post] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/08/11/whats-the-johnson-amendment-that-donald-trump-wants-to-get-rid-of/
So what exactly is the Johnson Amendment? It is a tax rule that Democrat Lyndon Johnson introduced into law in 1954. ““The rule bars tax-exempt charitable groups, which the Internal Revenue Service calls “section 501(c)(3) organizations,” from endorsing candidates and getting involved in political campaigns. Because churches fall under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code, the ban applies to them as well.

““Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office,” according to the tax code.”” (Ibid.)

This tax rule stops churches and organizations from getting involved in politics. Had politics stayed in the Government and morals stayed in the churches, this would not have been the worst thing in the world, but since they have not, this is a VERY bad rule and has enabled sin to win over righteousness many times. Years ago, ABORTION & HOMOSEXUALITY were not POLITICAL ISSUES, rather they were MORAL ISSUES… The LEFT knew they would never be able to make laws favoring ABORTION & HOMOSEXUALITY UNLESS they first moved the issues OUT of the MORAL field INTO the POLITICAL field, where it could be VOTED ON, which is what they did. And then, to seal the deal, the LEFT came out with a TAX LAW that SILENCED the churches from speaking out against such things and from endorsing candidates who would promote LIFE and MARRIAGE. The Johnson Amendment is not about keeping Church & State separate ~ rather it is all about enable sin to win.

Now, you might be thinking, “I’m sure Ellen White would NOT have been for the Johnson Amendment!” Well, this is what she said regarding the issue of Pastors using the Pulpit to influence the thinking and the voting of their congregation! (The following is in regards to the Temperance Movement – the legalization of Alcohol, but the principle is the same):

“Note: In the early summer of 1881 at the Des Moines, Iowa, camp meeting, a resolution was placed before the delegates which read:

“Resolved, That we express our deep interest in the temperance movement now going forward in this state; and that we instruct all our ministers to use their influence among our churches and with the people at large to induce them to put forth every consistent effort, by personal labor, and at the ballot box, in favor of the prohibitory amendment of the Constitution, which the friends of temperance are seeking to secure.”—The Review and Herald, July 5, 1881. { Ellen White, Temperance, 255 }

If Ellen White were alive today, she would 100% support Donald Trump in doing away with the Johnson Amendment, thereby giving the VOICE back to the Church’s and Organizations who are supposed to be influencing the moral fabric of America. This Amendment has done enough damage in the last 60+ years! It’s time that American Churches and Organizations be allowed to speak the truth without being punished by the Government!

Doing away with the Johnson Amendment is not going to cause our religious liberties to “go out the window,” quite the contrary! It is going to enable us to speak freely of important moral issues facing our Country, and it will enable us to elect people into office who hold the same moral standards that we do. So, instead of being fearful that President TRUMP is going to take away your religious freedoms, be THANKFUL that he is instead taking the tape off our mouths so that we can speak the truth and not be considered law breakers! This is a time to rejoice! “…and who knoweth whether…” Donald Trump has “come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (King James Bible, Esther 4:14).

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