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May 11, 2005

Pastor Resigns after Political "Misunderstanding"

Chan Chandler, the pastor of the now-famous East Waynesville Baptist Church, has resigned after a closed-door meeting with the church last night.

"I am resigning with gratitude in my heart for all of you, particularly those of you who love me and my family," Chandler said, adding that the dispute was rooted in his strong feelings about abortion.

Chandler was accused of telling members of his congregation

The question then comes in the Baptist Church how do I vote. Let me just say this right now: If you vote for John Kerry this year, you need to repent or resign. You have been holding back God's church way too long. And I know I may get in trouble for saying that, but just pour it on.
IF Chandler endorsed Bush in the pulpit, and IF he forced the resignations of people who didn't agree with him concerning the election, then he needed to go. From the CNN article today, it sounds as if the dispute concerned Chandler's stance on abortion, and his endorsement of candidates who agree with is convictions. You can't endorse a political candidate from the pulpit -- I don't care which party you are a supporting. You can advocate positions on social issues -- that's what churches DO most of the time. You can point out that one party agrees with you, and one doesn't. You cannot endorse a political party or candidate.

The sad thing about this is that there was an easy way around it. Chandler could have held the same positions, said virtually the same things, and kept his job. But he went too far in endorsing a candidate from the pulpit, and expecting everyone in the congregation to do likewise.

Posted by Warren Kelly at May 11, 2005 08:30 AM | TrackBack
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