Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Pastor's Pulpit and Political Agendas

Many pastors across the country (31 pastors in 22 states) officially endorsed a candidate for president this past Sunday from their church pulpits. They are attempting to overthrow current IRS regulations. I'm personally unsettled by this and think it is not the best, and I think Christianity Today Editor Mark Galli should be commended on his recent thoughts (read his thoughts below).

In fact, I will no longer be addressing personalities in the political contest. Issues will still be discussed on this site and principles for proper government. But this will not be a pro-whoever website pandering to relevance at the cost of the centrality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/septemberweb-only/140-41.0.html?start=1

A few quotes I liked:

Both have said — sincerely, I believe — that their highest priority is serving and proclaiming the truth of Jesus Christ. But given the insidious nature of politics (it aims to co-opt everything and everyone into its service), ministers' Christian identity gets swallowed up by their political views. They were ordained to be heralds of the Great King. Instead they end up, like it or not, being seen as marketers for a partisan agenda. What a waste of an ordination.

Do you want to be politically relevant? Then gather your people together each Sunday and lead them to worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Remind your people through hymns and prayers and proclamation that there is a Leader who can do something more significant for the nation than protecting their investments or providing cheap health insurance.

1 comment:

Shane Vander Hart said...

That bothered me as well. I don't think the pulpit is any place to be making an endorsement. I just think about the message it sends to those who may be unbelievers in the congregation... that you have to belong to ____ political party to be a Christian.

If personally on their personal blog or with their friends they want to share who they support - fine, but leave the pulpit for the proclamation of the Word.

Regarding magazines, if that is what Christianity Today wants to do fine, but they aren't a church and magazines endorse candidates all of the time. Not that endorsements are that important.

If you address issues Biblically you are giving people tools they need to prayerfully make their decision.