Pastors think gov’t should butt out ADF attorney Erik Stanley does not believe pastors and churches should live in fear of being punished or penalized by the government in any way. “Keeping the gospel central to what is preached is not in conflict with addressing the subject of political candidates when that is warranted,” he contends. “These survey results show that the desire to keep the gospel central does not mean that pastors want the IRS to regulate their sermons under the threat of revoking their church’s tax-exempt status.”