Thursday, October 11, 2012

Texas Pastor Joins over 1000 Pastors In Act Of Civil Disobedience by Preaching Politics from Pulpit

Brother Dykes is the Pastor at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler.

October 7, 2012

Today, I’m joining over 1,500 pastors in America to speak truthfully and plainly about moral and
spiritual issues that have also become political issues. We’re calling this day Pulpit Freedom
Sunday. We’re humbly committing an act of civil disobedience in violating the IRS regulation
that dictates that churches should not speak about political issues. I have not made this decision
rashly or alone. I have been in consultation with leading pastors around the nation and I have
given full disclosure of my intent to our church leaders and I’m taking personal responsibility for
my statements today. Please allow me to take five minutes to give you the background behind
this action.

Since our nation’s founding, pastors had the freedom to speak boldly on any and every subject—
including politics. The fervor for rebellion against King George was sounded in the pulpits, and
the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired in front of a church whose members had
assembled at the direction of their pastor, Rev. Jonas Clarke. For two hundred years pastors were
free to speak the truth without restriction, but this changed in 1954. What happened? It started
right here in Texas with a famous politician named Lyndon Baines Johnson. He was elected as a
U.S. Senator in 1948 by a whopping 87 votes. That gained him the humorous nickname,
“Landslide Johnson.”

When LBJ was running for reelection in 1954 there were two powerful men who thought he was
soft on communism so they endorsed his opponent. These two men were Texas Oil Man H.L.
Hunt who had a non-profit organization called Facts Forum. The other was the media mogul
Frank E. Gannett who had a non-profit organization called The Committee for Constitutional
Government. LBJ didn’t like their support of his opponent, so he decided to muzzle them. He
went to the floor of the Senate on July 2, 1954 and he added an amendment to a large tax
overhaul bill. His now infamous amendment read: “Non-profit tax-exempt entities cannot
participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any
political campaign on behalf of—or in opposition to—any candidate for public office.”

This amendment was never debated in committee or on the floor of the Senate, and the entire bill
passed with a voice vote. LBJ smiled, knowing he had silenced his opponents. What he never
realized was that churches are tax-exempt entities, and his amendment effectively muzzled
pastors from speaking out on political issues. I believe one of the reasons our nation is in such a
moral mess is because pastors have been afraid of the government coming in and shutting us
down if we said anything that smacked of politics. I believe the Johnson amendment is
unconstitutional because it violates the freedom granted by an earlier amendment—the First
Amendment—that says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” Speaking as a pastor, I can testify that the
Johnson amendment has muzzled the free exercise of religion and the freedom of speech in the
pulpit. So I’m one of those pastors who prefer the First Amendment. And there is an ever higher
calling than the First Amendment. God Almighty has called us to speak the truth in love.

Now I hate politics. I’ve said before the word politics comes from two words, “poly” meaning
“many” and “ticks” meaning, “blood sucking pests.” So I’m not talking politics today. I’m
talking about MORAL issues that have become politicized. When it comes to moral issues like
abortion and the definition of marriage, we’re facing an election where the choices have never
been clearer. Even President Obama pointed this out when he accepted the Democratic
nomination on September 6, 2012. He said, “When you pick up that ballot to vote—you will
face the clearest choice of any time in a generation. On every issue, the choice you face
won’t be just between two candidates or two parties. It will be a choice between two
different paths for America.”

He is exactly right. And as I think of the words of Joel, one pathway will take us further away
from God and His Word and the other pathway will return us to God’s standard of morality. I
challenge each of you to go online and simply Google “DNC platform” and “RNC platform.”
You can read for yourself the position of the two parties on these two biblical issues. The
Democratic platform recommits itself to Roe v. Wade and pledges to continue the killing of
unborn babies. For the first time in American history they have gone on record as saying they are
committed to overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union
between a man and a woman. They pledge to replace it with what they are calling the Respect for
Marriage Act, which will force every state to accept same-sex unions as marriage. Then you read
that the Republican platform pledges to protect life in the womb and protect the definition of
marriage as the union of a one man and a woman. These moral issues that the Bible addresses
have become politicized and for that reason many pastors have been too intimidated to speak
clearly about them. Are they Biblical or Political? 40 years ago if I had preached from Jeremiah
1 and said that ripping a baby from its mother’s womb is murder, no one would have disagreed.

Today, people say, “Pastor you’re too political!” 30 years ago if I had said in a message from
Romans 1 that homosexual behavior is sin, no one would have disagreed. Today, people say,
“Pastor you’re too political!” 20 years ago if I had taught that Jesus said in Matthew 19 that
marriage is between one man and one woman no one would have disagreed. Today, people say,
“Pastor you’re too political!”

I can’t tell you how to vote, and our church can’t endorse a candidate. But I’m going to tell you
how I’m voting. And in the interest of respect for all people, I’m asking that after I make the next
statement that there be no outburst of response—whether it’s applause or booing. Because of the
position of the Republican party in regard to these two moral and political issues, on November
6, I’m going to vote for Governor Romney … And since I’ve gone that far, I’ll go ahead and tell
you that I’m voting for Louie Gohmert as well.


  1. Good for him!! May God continue to bless him.

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