Our congregation has been a polling station for several years now. It is a good thing to encourage citizens to vote and to support our government and its regular processes. One of the many blessings of our nation is the relatively peaceful process by which we handle elections. Community and civic centers around the country serve as polling stations. Our congregation is one of those stations.
Last week I asked my “sign guy,” Mr. Bill Dissen to put the above sign up in front of our church. I wanted a sign that clearly was conscious of the upcoming election, but that exhorted parishioners (and others) to do something that was not endorsing a candidate or party. Thus the sign: “Want change? Pray to end abortion.”
This morning our city clerk informed us that the sign needed to be taken down or it would be covered. Apparently it might influence voters on how to vote.
We took the sign down.
But it has raised some very interesting questions for me as a pastor. We are given an opportunity to confess the faith in the midst of an unbelieving world. We can do so in a way that is not bitter or vitriolic. But is it moral for a Church to agree to be used for what is a good, left-hand kingdom purpose (polling station) if it then limits the ability of that same church to be a prophetic voice in the world?
I am supportive of our government and its system. I’m not sure about the wisdom of churches as polling stations, because it may limit the ability of the church to be church in the world.
What do you think? Was the city clerk right or wrong? Should churches agree to be polling stations, if they are told they cannot say certain things?