Pastors and Politics?

Being a pastor comes with many very important responsibilities. Of top concern is the good of the sheep in the congregation God has placed him in. I recognize this responsibility and I want you to know that I take it very seriously. I also know that I will one day have to stand before the Lord and I will be held to an even greater standard as a teacher of God’s Word. This reality bears heavily on my mind in each and every decision I make and each and every time I stand up to minister.

There are differing opinions from good and Godly men as to whether or not a pastor should be involved in the political process. Some say that the risk of alienating some of your congregation is too great so pastors should not get entangled with politics. Others disagree and say that pastors should lead the way in engaging the political realm, while of course never forcing a political position on anybody.

I am sensitive to both sides of this debate. There is nothing that I would ever do to purposely alienate any member of my congregation, no matter how different our views were. To me, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the central, most important thing that we must focus on like a laser beam. Christ is THE answer to this world’s ills, and there is no other. I also believe that the way to NOT alienate people is to honestly communicate with them, as I am doing here.

Having said that, I also recognize from Scripture an imperative that we not only should take seriously, but I believe has been sorely neglected today due to the controversial nature of politics in general. The imperative I speak of here is our call to be salt and light in the world (Matthew 5:13-16). It is because of this call, and because I know that God does, indeed, care about government and has given it an ordained place in our society (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Timothy 2:1-4) that I disagree with the notion that pastors should not be engaged in the political process. Politics is a part of our culture, and we are called to affect our culture in each of it realms. If believers don’t influence the political realm of our culture for whatever reason, then who does that leave that influence to? The ungodly. And the church will have shirked its calling to be salt and light in that realm of culture.

Now let me be abundantly clear. I do not now, nor will I ever, advocate for partisan politics. For many years I have been registered Unaffiliated. I do not support any party, and you have never, nor will you ever, see me advocating for any party. As a matter of fact, and this might shock you, I am not a so-called “political” person. What I am concerned with is righteousness and the believers’ call to obey Jesus Christ in our world. I am also very concerned with truth and I feel a heavy call to proclaim truth to the world.

Now in this election cycle, I have endorsed a candidate. There’s no secret there. The choice is mine and mine alone and does NOT in any way necessarily reflect any position, stated or implied, of the local church that I serve. The church I serve does not and should not be in the business of endorsing candidates. Nor should it allow anyone to preach anything but the sacred Word of God from the pulpit. But I want you to know that while I did do my homework and put in my due diligence toward my choice in who to vote for, I do NOT expect you to necessarily agree with me. However, I DO expect you as a Christian to obey Christ, do your own homework, look at each candidate, and choose for yourself. You and I don’t have to agree, but we can and we should still love one another and still be persuaded by our own convictions of how we view each candidate according to the Bible.

As a pastor, I do challenge you to vote Biblically, though. While issues such as economics and gun control and even government’s role
in immigration aren’t as clearly laid out in Scripture, other issues such as the sanctity of all human life and God’s design for marriage and sexuality are abundantly clear. These are issues which I believe we need to care about and to add our voice in the public square and seek to elect candidates that solidly represent those Biblical values. Beyond that, however, I will not engage publicly.

I will close with these thoughts from God’s Word:
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with
brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in
spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Romans
Let all that you do be done in love. (1 Corinthians 16:14)

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One Response to Pastors and Politics?

  1. Thank you for this post. I am also a pastor at a small church in Jersey, and this discussion has been floating around many members of the congregation, and your thoughts here is a wonderful summary of (where I think) the pastor should be concerning politics. We’re Christians first, a part of his Kingdom first, and that is our identity first before “republican” or “democratic” or (fill in the blank). I may actually direct some folks to take a read of your post here in our church.

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