My Political Rant!11
There are two approaches pastors typically take when it comes to how they address politics in the church. #1 Use the pulpit as a platform to influence members to vote for a specific party, candidate or issue. #2 Use the pulpit only for the purpose of presenting the Gospel and never share their political opinions.
I certainly don’t agree with the first approach. In the last eight years of ministry at White Flag, I have never shared from the stage who I vote for, nor have I ever encouraged people to vote for a particular candidate. It’s a choice I have made for two reasons: First, I believe you run the risk of alienating the very people you are trying to reach if you start the conversation with politics. If they get hit with a political issue they disagree with on their first Sunday, they may never come back and hear the Gospel. Second, I can’t find anything in scripture that lists politics as a responsibility of the pastor. For those two simple reasons, I just stick to preaching Jesus.
But… One thing I do find interesting. As a pastor, members regularly seek out my input and insight on some of the most important and impactful decisions they will ever make. Not to mention thousands of people call White Flag Church their home and sit under my teaching of the Bible, which again covers the most important issues in life. So here’s an interesting question:
Why are people so open to their pastor’s input on just about everything except politics?
So that brings us to approach #2 and you might be thinking, “Great! This must be where Pastor Paul lands.” Not so fast! Here’s what I have discovered…
We often call issues “political” – when really they are spiritual.
Think about these hotly debated “political” issues; abortion, marriage or illegal immigration. What’s political about these issues? Sure, Republicans have one lens in which they approach these issues and Democrats have another, but that doesn’t make it political. God’s Word weighed in on these subjects long before our political parties were even a thought. It would take you less than 5 minutes to crack open your Bible and discover the following: Abortion is murder and murder is sin. Marriage was created and defined by God as a union between a man and a woman. Christians are to follow the law of the land and currently we have lawful and legal ways for a person to enter our country. Now, how are any of these issues political? They’re not; they’re spiritual!
So here’s the deal: you may hear me address spiritual issues that political parties have adopted as platform positions (for or against), but that doesn’t mean I am straying from the Gospel and getting “political.” The bottom line is I guess I don’t really fit into either approach. Here’s the approach I take as a leader of White Flag:
- I will never use my position as a pastor to try to influence people to vote for a particular candidate.
- I will always use my position to teach people to align their lives with God’s Word (even it if it happens to be a debated “political” issue).
- I will always make it clear that all people are welcome at White Flag, regardless of their political views or past sins.
- If you ask me directly who I vote for or what my opinion is on a particular issue… I’m happy to share.
So, I’m not sure if this really constitutes as a “political rant,” but considering our state’s primary takes place tomorrow and everyone’s talking politics, I thought I should weigh in. I have so much more to share, but the nightly news is coming on and I don’t want to miss all the important “political coverage.”
You know, the highlight reel of Trump cussing and struggling to complete one coherent sentence. What new free stuff will I get if I vote for Bernie? Has Hillary been indicted yet or is she still trying to convince African Americans that she’s down with the struggle? What other insights does Rubio have about Trump’s anatomy? How is Kasich still in the race when he almost always comes in last? Has Cruz told any more lies about other Republicans dropping out of the race? How many poor, innocent protestors will be attacked while sneaking into rallies to start screaming and picking fights?
While the unbiased media is better educating me, check out a few more insights into how I view politics.
- I have zero allegiance to any political party.
- There is not a single candidate in the current race that even slightly piques my interest.
- I believe the Scripture makes it clear that I should pray for the appointed leaders of our land but that doesn’t mean that I have to support them or agree with them.
- I believe our entire government system is corrupt and in need of major reform, but it’s still better than any other system in the world!
- I am so thankful for all the military men and women who have served our country and wish that politicians had the same attitude of service & sacrifice.
- Jesus is our only hope and I hope he comes back soon!
Oh yeah, one more thing… Voting matters! People have died for you to have the right, so get out there and pick the lesser of six evils!
- Paul Wingfield