Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Politics And The Church

It's an election year here in the U.S.  Republicans and Democrats are going at it with all their might, in hopes of winning and gaining ground.  And everybody has an opinion on what needs to happen.

As an American citizen, I have my own ideas.  I tend to lean more in one direction, politically speaking.  And I will say that my Christian faith does surely influence the stance I take on issues.

Now as a pastor, I try to keep this in mind:  Jesus is not a Republican or a Democrat.  He is here for everyone, regardless of whether they are conservative, moderate, or liberal.  So I make an effort to avoid endorsing candidates or parties in the church or on social media.  The way I see it, all people need the Lord.  And the mission of the church is not to advance one political party or another.  Far from it!  The mission of the church is to advance the kingdom of God.

I think we churches need to be very careful when it comes to politics.  Let's address issues such as the sanctity of human life, the institution of marriage, and how to handle the poor or suffering.  From a biblical perspective, we can most certainly deal with these (and other) relevant matters.  But we sure don't need to be elevating one party over another.

Some pastors may disagree with me on this, but I don't care.  I want the church to be a place where Republicans, Democrats, or anyone else can feel welcome to come and worship God.  And I sure don't want to alienate any group from hearing the message of the gospel. 

The way I see it, if someone has unbiblical views, God can deal with them and change their minds.  I have that much faith in what He can do through His spirit and word.  Me advancing either party or any candidate will just get in the way of that and turn people off from God's church.  I have no desire whatsoever to be the "politician in residence" here at New Calvary Baptist Church.  I just want to be a pastor who offers God's word and grace to everyone. 

Let's welcome everyone into the church.  And let's share with everyone the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Then let's trust God to work in their hearts and minds.  Ultimately, He can influence what they do in the voting booth or anywhere else they may go in life.        

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