Tuesday, July 07, 2015


Or Do They?

Peter Chin, writing in CT, on "Why Pastors Don't Get Political." He lists five reasons which I will present in bold italics, with my commentary below.

The Separation of Church and State

Chin relies on the lack of clear understanding of the phrase as the reason not to go there. Come on! Every pastor int he word deals with lack of textual clarity on a daily basis. That's pretty much all one studies in seminary, how to figure out what that phrase means. Secondly, the phrase was drafted to protect the church from the government, and yet it has been used by government as an excuse to relegate the church's influence to ever decreasing areas. Chine says this might seem like a "cop out" excuse. It is.

We don’t want to lose a single soul

This has some validity. Jesus did not preach revolt against Rome, but then Rome was a dictatorial empire, we live in a republic. Big difference. Part of being a Christian in this society is participating in the civic forum. That said this is a reason for being judicious about when and how a pastor gets political (certainly not in an evangelical setting), but not an excuse never to do so. Of course, given that the average Evangelical Church now thinks everything the church does in evangelism..., but that is a discussion for a different time.

Criticism from the Outside
Criticism from the Inside

Everything a pastor does is criticized - grow a pair dude.


Well, at least he admits it.

Bottom line is this. The Sunday pulpit should be devoted to the exposition of the Word of God. That may have political implications and it is OK for the pastor to mention such in that context. But beyond that, I cannot help but think that sometimes faith demands political action. Like all who have a job, that has to come first, but as good citizens, political activity is just part of the package. There will be some that hold their politics in a religious fashion that might have an issue, but I cannot help but think that a pastor that practices citizenship and political activity with appropriate humility and gentleness will succeed more than they will fail.


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