Ministry Journey Blog

Thoughts on Ministry

29 Nov

Politics (not the church kind)

Posted in Uncategorized on 29.11.20 by Merlyn

The root word of politics is polite.

You would not know that in the United States.

It’s not just true in culture and on social media, but it is true in the church as well.

Most wise pastors avoid talking politics in the church, especially in worship, preaching and teaching settings. While the separation of church and state is not directly in the constitution, it is in fact a principle of our country. More than that, it is a solid theological principle from most theologians including Martin Luther. When Jesus says ‘give unto Caesar what is Caesars’ he was not just talking about taxes. Jesus himself avoided politics and for that he paid with his life. Talking politics, particularly around who to vote for can endanger your tax exempt status as a church. 

All of this aside, avoiding politics is a wise practice. Chances are you have people of all political opinions and flavors in your church. Politics is divisive and people do not want politics in their church. Many, especially those under 40 come to church to get away from politics. The reality is that while we should live out our faith in our voting and our politics, worldly politics have nothing to do with the Kingdom of God.

So, most wise pastors avoided it all together this year especially given how divisive this election was. Sadly, those same pastors, in doing the right thing took a beating when the election was over. Those that did not like the result took their anger and frustration out on their pastors.

I have heard countless stories of nasty comments, certified letters, shouting in church lobbies, even rude one on one conversations about how pastors had done wrong in not talking more (or more seriously) about the election.

It turns out that for many, they were relying on the government, a party, an election or a particular politician more than Jesus. Maybe that is the lesson God has for those who might be disappointed that their candidate lost. Maybe God wants to show us something.

Being nasty to another human being, including a pastor is generally not right. Going after a pastor for doing the right thing by all their people just because they did not do what you wanted them to do is beyond selfish.

It’s not an easy season for anyone, especially pastors. Rather than go after them for petty things that have nothing to do with the Kingdom of God maybe it’s time to pray for them, love on them and support them. 

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