Pastors Must Speak Prophetically and Biblically Into the Political Sphere
A pulpit silent about abortion, religious liberty and other pressing political issues caters to the secularists' agenda.
I’m a pastor. With all that is going on in the world, my church doesn’t need to be entertained. They need to be trained. We are not in a time of peace. While we creatively plan the stage design for our next sermon series, another group is setting the stage for our removal from society.
Certainly it’s right and good to be creative in church. I’m not saying otherwise. But the pulpit doesn’t belong to entertainers. Pastors are not merely MCs. They are watchmen. And when the enemy is before us, and the people are being attacked, the watchman had better not be blinded by his own stage lights. We dare not be caught defenseless.
Pastors must equip their people to engage a culture that is becoming increasingly hostile toward Christianity. And so, the pulpit must, in a sense, speak to politics. Yes, I know that Christ’s kingdom is not of this world. Let’s get that out of the way. I hear your objection: We should care more about salvation than society. Sure, I agree. It’s better to lose the world than your soul. But if you think that society can go to hell as long as people go to heaven, you’ve fallen for an old trick and you’ve misunderstood the nature of the gospel.
A politically silent pulpit caters to the secularists’ agenda: Keep your religious beliefs private. They are not wanted in society. They are no good to us. Somehow we’ve bought into that propaganda from activists who want to fashion society after their own values. They have convinced us that the only valid beliefs for society are atheistic beliefs. But beliefs that are true are true for all and are good for all. It doesn’t matter where they come from. And if the Christian message contains truth, the application of that truth is far reaching. It does not end as one approaches the Capitol steps.
Christianity is an all-encompassing worldview, meaning, it is a set of true beliefs that affect all of life. The gospel itself has implications that go beyond one’s eternal destination. We see this truth in Paul’s ethics, which might be summed up this way: because Christ humbled himself and died on a cross, so should you be humble and willfully offer up your life for the good of others (see Phil 2:1-11). If our faith is real it manifests itself in ways that benefit others. To keep it private is to repress your hope in God. I doubt you disagree with this.
So why are politics off limits? Why is it right for us to sit back and allow harmful policies to be legislated? Why shouldn’t we call out those candidates who seek to preserve the right to kill babies? Why do we think we have to let atheists run our country? Are Christian teachings not good? Do they not promote human flourishing? Why do we think Christian influence equals theocracy? How have we become so simple-minded about our civil responsibility?
Pastors, we have failed our people. If it is not our job to instruct the people of God on these things, whose job is it?
Ignore politics in the pulpit and your message to your church and the world is clear: Christianity is irrelevant. We care about our little club, and those in the club need not worry about what goes on outside. This hurts the church: many find it impossible to find fulfillment in life outside the four walls of the church, because life outside those four walls is apparently not worth redeeming. We turn inward upon ourselves, becoming self-indulgent. We go “church shopping.” We use the church as a commodity to meet our needs. We consume the church rather than being the church. And the body of Christ becomes a glutton for the work of others instead of being a vessel passing out the common grace of our Lord.
The only way to find life is to give it away. We know that, but we’ve sold a product that says otherwise. Our job as leaders is to seek the good of others. We know that Christ did not redeem us for irrelevance, but to be agents of renewal. Therefore, let’s utilize all the tools at our disposal, and turn our attention again to society. As we eagerly await the Kingdom to come, let us not neglect the land we have be given. Let us speak prophetically and biblically into the political sphere.
This article originally appeared at MichaelCSherrard.com. Used by permission.