In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Do you think Pastors should preach politics?


I'd be interested in your comments on this topic.

This subject has come to mind because I read today that on Sunday Choral Ridge Presbyterian church did vote for Tullian Tchividjian to stay.

In case you don't know what I'm talking about, here's the story in a very small nutshell:

James Kennedy was the pastor at Choral Ridge Presbyterian for 50yrs; then he died. In case you're not recognizing Kennedy's name - he's the guy who started that program "Evangelism Explosion" way back when. Six months ago the church brought Tullian Tchividjian to be pastor. Since then six members passed around a petition to get rid of him; their big complaints being that he didn't wear robes when preaching as Kennedy did and that he doesn't preach against political problems in our world. Ends up that on Sunday the church did vote to keep Tchividjian; but it was not a landslide vote.

I believe that Pastors should not explicitly preach about politics.

But, I enjoy differing views. So much that I even have listed on the right side here a blog post worthy of reading that has a different take on homosexual marriage than mine (an extremely well written post). So, please, share your thoughts on this question.

Our faith, our religion, absolutely affects our politics - it's a natural progression. What we believe affects how we live. However, I see the role of pastors as equipping Believers to live lives as disciples/followers of Jesus. Ephesians 4:11-12 (NLT) explains it this way:

Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.

I believe that as a person follows after God and learns to pray, study the Bible for herself, worship God and live a life of love - then the person will make the political decisions that she is supposed to make.

However, politics are important. How can we say we love God and not fight social injustice?

What do you think?

12 comments:

Alice Audrey said...

I'm with you. Render unto Caesar that which is Caesars. Is the pulpit Caesars too?

Peg said...

Hi Tracy,

Thanks for popping by my blog... I'm enjoying reading yours too!

On the issue of politics in church, I am very strongly in favor of keeping pulpit and campaign trail separate. And that's coming from the grand-daughter of a councilwoman and someone who is currently on the ballot as a candidate in my borough for this fall's election.

In my opinion (1) The pulpit should be used to preach God's word and to bring non-believers to faith. Where else are people going to hear His word? Preaching politics may get in the way of someone hearing the Word and giving their lives to Christ. (2) Preaching politics from the pulpit makes it sound like "if you're really a Christian you'll vote for so-and-so" -- and it is totally un-Christian to call someone's salvation into question based on how they vote. (3) Too many Christians act and talk as if God's kingdom will come as soon as Christians get enough votes to vote Him in... they forget Jesus said "my kingdom is not of this world".

I could go on and on (can you tell this is a hot issue for me? :-) ) but those are three of my top reasons for keeping politics out of the church.

In Him,
Peg

jenny said...

I don't really know. catholic teaching says that priests must never interfere with politics at hand. but for some reason, they don't seem to follow this stuff. I guess people couldn't resist to voice out their opinions.

Mikes Sumondong said...

I don't think there can be an issue on that. My take is this: whatever the pastor speaks about is a revelation from the Lord. it's whether about Politics, or anything under the son so long as it is the fresh revelation of the Lord for the church to glorify His name then let His WORD be preached!

Blessings to you!

BTW,

prech in your subject lacked a. it should be preach. God bless!

caveman said...

Hi Tracy,there are times when a pastor has to stand up for what is right,particularly in an oppressed country.Take Desmond Tutu as an example.But normally I would say that a pastor should focus on the pastoral care of his community.You have a great site here!Thanks for the congrats,for Justine.Simon at TheRainbowBank

JD Curtis said...

Faith and politics are intertwined. The church has always spoken out on the social issues of the day. I believe that the IRS tax code states to the effect that, of course the church may speak out on social issues, however they don't want to see preachers endorsing specific candidates from the pulpit. If that is what "ceasar" wants, then I think it's a fair agreement.

Jenn said...

Tracy...

What a thought provoking blog. Here are some of my thoughts.

I heard a news excerpt a while back where a preacher made a point. He said something like, "If I preach against abortion (political issue) in the church, then what happens to the members of the church who may have had one and are now coming to Christ? Will they more clearly hear the message that Christ will forgive them? Probably not, they will just hear, the pastor is against abortion and therefore against me.

It was something profound...because as people we hear what we want to hear, and to an extent he is right. Certain political topics take on sides. Church is not the place for division.

I think if you stick to teaching the Word of God, He will plant his seed in the hearts of those who are willing to listen they will end up making decisions in voting that will reflect much of what they believe in. I trust God to take care of that.

I believe we have a responsibility to pray for those elected into office...whether we voted for them or not. They may not initiate policies to our liking...but I trust that all will be to His Glory in the end.

Thanks for letting me share.

Tracy said...

Interesting phraseology Alice - I like it.

Peg - I totally agree with you and adore the way you've worded what your saying. (BTW - Yesterday I had a free hr and went blog hopping but now I can not remember which blog is yours. I'd be interested in hearing more of what you have to say if you'll share your blog location with me.)

Jenny - my thought is that sure, we all have our opinions, it's just a matter of where the appropriate place to voice them is. I do not think they should be voiced from the pulpit for the very reasons that Jenn so eloquently states (Thanks Jen, I agree and could not have said it better.

I adore the way the internet connects me up with people I most likely wouldn't come in contact with otherwise. You being a case in point Mike. I hadn't thought about it, but you bring up a really valid point. Who am I to question what a pastor believes GOD is telling him to say?! It's really not up to me to say it's not from God (unless it's contrary to scripture) but I can say that I don't want to go to churches like that.

Ok Simon, you got me with the Desmond Tutu example....however, as I think about it, I'm still not sure that the pulpit is the place to talk about these things. I believe that, other places in a pastor's personal lives are the places to act for social justice. I still think, like Jenn said so well, that God will work in people's hearts as we teach His word. However, JD makes an excellent differentiation here when he notes that historically the Christian church has spoken out on social issues of the day but can not go around endorsing specific candidates and specific ways to vote.

It really is a complex issue and, as originally stated, what got me going was the way Choral Ridge was acting toward Tullian Tchividjian. All thoughts provided here are greatly appreciated.

JD Curtis said...

I heard a news excerpt a while back where a preacher made a point. He said something like, "If I preach against abortion (political issue) in the church, then what happens to the members of the church who may have had one and are now coming to Christ? Will they more clearly hear the message that Christ will forgive them? Probably not, they will just hear, the pastor is against abortion and therefore against me.

I find it hard to believe that there are so-called Christian preachers who condone abortion, but there you are. I don't think that it's an issue to be discussed every Sunday. I feel it's important to speak out against it. The sin that is, not the sinner.

Certain political topics take on sides. Church is not the place for division.

"Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." Luke 12:51-54

jeanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jeanne said...

Hi Tracy, I don't believe that preachers should preach about politics; however, if they stick to the basic Biblical teachings, it might actual point fingers at some politicians without calling any names. Enjoyed your post.

Tracy said...

I know what you mean Jeanne. My thought is that teaching about social issues, as long as the pastor doesn't connect the lines to actual politicians or ballot issues but, instead, draws the lines to scripture, is fine.

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