In this season of voting and choosing candidates, I want to take a few posts to share some of my biblically political views on the world. You won’t find my personal views here. But you will find the perspective of a preacher and pastor when it comes to Earth’s politics. In each blog post, I will share some of my sermon material and thought process about politics. Enjoy!
I only get to do this once every four years. As you probably know from your Facebook feed or whatever connection you have to the American outside world, it’s voting season. People are sick of ads, opinions, and politics in general.
But in the same breath they tell you that they will present their personal views. As a pastor, whether you think it right or wrong, I refuse to endorse any candidate publicly (especially from the pulpit) or speak about people running for office.
I have several reasons for this policy. The first is most important, that I don’t believe anyone except Jesus can reverse the mess that our world and country have found themselves in. While the Presidential office of the United States is an influential office to hold, and the person chosen will affect the vision and direction of America, there are two other branches of our government that are supposed to hold one another in check.
Beyond this small fact that seems to disappear in the political craze (-iness), is that unless I personally know the candidate well, I will not know, despite his speech and promises (that are always broken because this person is a mere mortal, not an always faithful God) what the person will truly do as president.
Second, when I preach and teach, I wish to speak to everyone, no matter their political affiliations. If I choose one candidate over another, the other side will not be open to the messages I preach, thinking I don’t think they’re godly or something, because we can’t resist bringing God into politics and using politics as some kind of litmus test for whether or not someone is saved.
I’ve watched for years as people have played loose and fast by mixing religion and politics online that they are crushed, or reacting to election results with incredibly unChristlike actions and words.
Since when does the Church allow Satan to so easily distract and divide brothers and sisters in Christ? Don’t unfriend me because I chose differently! Were we truly friends? To maintain a prophetic voice to the whole world, I tried to pick God’s side, not a party.
I only speak about my political views personally, not publicly. I believe every person after prayer and consultation with the Spirit must come to their own political stances
Third, I find my opinions on Scripture are quite influential to the people in my congregation. What happens when I speak authoritatively (or so their minds accept it to be) on other matters and subjects, such as politics?
As with discipleship, I want people to research, be well informed, know the facts and their own convictions, especially in matters where the Bible does not directly speak to an issue in their lives. So also, I believe that we mature through the process of research and learning in politics, of praying and asking God whom we should choose that would best honor Him.
When people come to me asking my opinion about a matter of holiness or conscience, I make sure they have researched for themselves before I add my input. I find sharing my views can be dangerous because I am an influential person as a pastor.
I don’t want people to blindly vote for this person or that person because their pastor does, so I feel my influence is more imperative in spiritual matters rather than politics.
Am I a horrible pastor for not letting my religion inform my political views and the political views of my congregation? What about the issues? What about the Christian presidential candidates?
How could I not join with my “brother in Christ” to vote for that person because he says he is a Christian? Oh man, am I even going to make it to heaven because I don’t spoon feed my congregation’s political choices to them and even begin to insinuate that they need to “vote their values not their wallets” (a coy way of saying vote republican)?
I don’t think so. And here’s why: I do indeed allow my religious inclinations to inform my politics, and I do indeed speak of politics from a religious/biblical view from the pulpit. But I do it in a way that makes my conscience clear before God. I don’t stump for either party. I stump for Jesus.
My spiritual convictions are the very basis for how I vote and how I speak about American politics. My education and understanding of not just the Bible but also history help me to make decisions in the voting booth that I can live with, and I believe will honor God as well as I can in this climate and fallen world.
This is the opening post about how I square earthly politics with godly principles as a pastor. You don’t want to miss three of the kinds of sermons I preach about politics doing this season. Stay tuned as I continue the conversation about God and politics in America. And feel free to leave a comment about my views so far.