If you really want to know the ins and outs of this matter go here: Subpoenaed Sermons
If you want a good, brief take on this controversy, please read my friend, Sean Palmer's blog: The Palmer Perspective
I have a few things that I have thought about this as well and instead of a narrative, I'll just give some numbered points that I thought about:
1. Like Sean, if you want my sermons take them. However, I'm not a manuscript preacher so I doubt my written sermon will do much good. You would be better listening to the podcast. And I would love it, because then it would receive more hits. (that was a joke).
2. Why would these pastors care about turning over sermons to others? I get the freedom of speech, thing, but really you already spoke it in public (for some to 10,000 or more) and it is probably online to listen to or watch. If you are convicted enough to preach it, be convicted enough to willfully hand it over to anyone.
3. The fact that the government would try to subpoena a religious person's communications is bothersome to me. I think about that slippery slope and wonder how quickly we could lose our first amendment right.
4. However, if we thought there were an Islamic terrorist group planning an attack on our country or have already attacked our country, wouldn't we subpoena their communication. Are people of Islam (and don't hear me say that everyone connected to Islam is a terrorist) religious? Shouldn't their freedom of religion be protected as well? We should be careful when we read the 1st amendment not to superimpose Christianity, where it really says Religious. BIG NOTE: I do not condone terrorism! However, I learned in High School government class that if we stand up for freedom of religion we must stand up for all religions. That is the law of our country. I am a Christian and I believe in Jesus as the saving, redeeming power that restores all things back to God.
5. Is this really about freedom of religion or freedom of speech or is this about agendas for or against Homosexuality and equality?
6. As you go to Chron.com (The Houston Chronicle online Newspaper) you will see a plethora of stories. Many of these stories tell of people who are suffering all over our world. Jesus looked into the eyes of Pharisees and chief priests and told stories how God's people who truly follow Him stand up and deliver on behalf of the "least of these". As Sean says Christians can be privileged people. The stories that should get us uncomfortable, irate, "up-in-arms" are those where the minorities and marginalized are being neglected, abused, or mistreated. I don't doubt that these pastors are calling for that kind of action in their churches, but we as Christians should make sure we are careful and balanced in our voice.
7. Complacency and Persecution tell a story. And as I read scripture Persecution tells a more beautiful story of dependence upon God and His mighty arm, than our current form of complacency in U.S. churches. I would imagine Paul the apostle would be talking about the "good ol' days" when Christians were strong and courageous enough to be persecuted as a result of God's call on their life. Just so you know having my sermons subpoenaed wouldn't be defined as persecution on my part. Being imprisoned, tortured, or killed for professing my belief and service to God and His Kingdom work would be defined as persecution. Then again, my sermons are not being subpoenaed.
8. My sermons are not being subpoenaed: Am I preaching Jesus enough? Am I playing it safe?
9. The tradition that I preach in, Churches of Christ, has not been a tradition that preaches its politics from the pulpit.
10. Creating a revolution should occur by the way we live the principles and convictions of our faith out loud in a world that needs to know the light of Jesus Christ. The pulpit should inspire this life, but the real change and revolution occurs when those preaching and those listening gather and combat Satan through faithfully joining God where He is already working in the world. If you want to subpoena something, forget the sermons, subpoena the actions and hearts of those who heard the gospel of Jesus in those churches, or all churches for that matter.
Just a reminder: These are my thoughts and not everything I think can be written down in one blog. People tend to judge and blast someone based on one blog post or thought or sentence in a sermon. If you disagree, I'm fine with that. I'm fine with being wrong. I'm not fine with being judged without someone knowing me for a while and my full character.