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Pastors and Politics

A lot has been written and spoken recently about pastors and politics. Many, if not most people feel that these two things should be like oil and vinegar--never together, never mixed. Some, especially in media circles, believe pastors who engage in political discussions or, even worse, promoting political candidates, should be punished. Some even want their churches to lose their 501C3 tax-exempt status.

But is it really right/good for pastors to be silent on issues being debated in the political realm?

When people ask me about pastors and politics, I usually respond by asking them what they mean by "politics" or being "too political." If they mean that pastors shouldn't endorse political parties or candidates due to their party affiliation, I tend to agree. Still, I've learned that this isn't what most folks object to. They object to pastors speaking out on "hot potato" issues being debated in the media or during campaign season. Issues of note include abortion, taxes, foreign policy questions, problems with our southern border, LBGTQ influence and transgender promotion to our children in schools, restrictions/responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, etc.

Again, do we REALLY want our religious leaders to be mute regarding these things?

I surely hope not! As a pastor and ministry leader, I believe I should ALWAYS speak out on scriptural truth related to the things our culture is debating. To me, it's about policy, not personality or politics. It's about speaking the truth about the value of human life, the importance of supporting Israel, God's purpose and design for sexuality, and more. You see, if we silence our spiritual leaders, we're left with human opinions alone. And isn't that what got us into the trouble we're facing already?

True, pastors shouldn't pitch a political "party line," or stump for candidates in lieu of preaching the gospel. Still, if we can't talk about the biblical basis for positions we as Christians should support, we're often left to vote based on emotion and superficial woke-ness instead of voting based on teachings from God's Word. I firmly believe that we would have a very different political climate in Washington right now had God's people voted on principle and truth.

So, I applaud pastors who speak out on topics which may be popular in political circles, talk shows, or media debates. My only prayer is that they/we do it based on scripture, not a party platform.

To that end,

Pastor Joel


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