Photo: Jeff Adams’ Twitter, July 2014
Pastor Jeff Adams weekly Religious column “Finding Reason” was put on-notice by this blogger and others about his using his Paramount Christian Church’s tax-exempt status to endorse candidates in elections. In last Friday’s edition of the NVN, a savvy reader again put Adams on-notice in clear and concise language.
– From the Paramount Christian Church website:
“Paramount Christian Church exists to evangelize the lost, and to encourage and equip the saved in order to impact the community.”
The definition of “lost” and “saved” is solely at the discretion of Pastor Adams. If you are not “saved” according to how he interprets the New Testament, he considers you “lost” and “impact(s) the community” by denigrating “the lost” with that myopic vision. Such attitudes correlate to Stanley Jones, a missionary who met with Mahatma Gandhi, and heard him say:
“Oh, I don’t reject Christ. I love Christ.
“It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ.”
Pastor Adams, who are you to denigrate fellow human beings who drink from the same river of life as you, and especially folks you have never met and refuse to meet? Seeing divine teachings through the lends of what profits you, what empowers you, and what individualizes you is why you “are so unlike Christ.”
– From Phyllis Farrell, Letter to the Editor, Nisqually Valley News
Used with permission of the author:
Are you kidding?
I was astounded to read the “Finding Reason” religious column by Pastor Jeff Adams in the Oct. 21 Nisqually Valley News. Citing vague accusations about a presidential candidate “getting away with federal and international crimes” without substantiated evidence of criminal wrongdoing or convictions, is not applying sound reasoning. It’s inflammatory and undermines our democracy and confidence in our judicial system.
Adams advises readers to consider if Jesus would be pleased with their votes and then names three candidates that to him are “a no-brainer” to support. Might Jesus be displeased if voters chose candidates other than Adams’ recommendations? That jeopardizes the trust and regard people in his congregation may have for him. It may be insulting to Christians who are blessed with God-given reason and judgment and have come to different conclusions about the candidates.
Adams names and recommends three candidates saying they are “proven advocates for the people in our area” and “community leaders.” By not mentioning opponents of his recommendations, he slights Marilyn Rasmussen, a devout Christian, with a longer, more extensive, proven record as a community leader and effective legislator. He slights Amy Pivetta Hoffman, a school board member advocating for 19,000 students in the Bethel School District. He slights two county commissioner candidates, Jim Cooper and Kelsey Hulse, who are proven community leaders with a history and record of service in nonprofit organizations — organizations that advocate for and care for the most vulnerable people in our area.
Applying Adams’ reasoning, these candidates are proven advocates and community leaders.
Adams violates the practice and standard of nonpartisanship, which allows churches a tax-exempt status. IRS Revenue Ruling 2007-41 says a church pastor or minister may mention a candidate or a near future election, but may not speak in favor of or encourage the congregation to vote for or against a particular candidate. Examples of prohibited activities include publicly endorsing or opposing a particular candidate or political party in any written or verbal publication or correspondence.
His column clearly exhibits “evidence of bias that favors one candidate over another” and violates the restriction of political campaign intervention by Sec. 501 (c)(3) tax exempt organizations. When Pastor Adams writes a weekly column in the NVN identifying him as the pastor of the Paramount Christian Church, it conveys the impression he is not speaking as an individual, but as a church spokesperson and therefore reflects church policy.
Instead of trying to influence people to his own partisan thinking, Adams should exhort readers and his congregation to use their own God-given best judgment and conscience to examine the facts, as well as the values, goals and records of the candidates. They should pray for God’s guidance and vote accordingly.
Unincorporated Thurston County
– UPDATE: November 3, 2016
This blog entry caused Pastor Adams to change his “refrain” from writing about what he calls the “local cult” because on Thursday, September 8, 2016, NVN columnist Pastor Jeff Adams wrote:
“However, as I refrain from responding to the attacks on me in this paper, I will refrain from speaking further in this column on the deceit of people from our local cult.”
This statement was widely regarded to be on shifting sands, with many expressing in the community, “How long will that last?”
Now we know that “refrain” was a pause for just 2 months, as he wrote another diatribe in his Finding Reason column today against what he calls the “local cult,” Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment (RSE). Read more