“…We Can Certainly Tell You What To Do In The Voting Booth…”

Whatever happened to actually preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ from behind the “sacred desk”? Instead of an expository message about God’s grace and mercy, the gift of salvation, eternal life through Christ, and repentance of sin, many congregations are subjected to blatant political hack jobs and personal attacks/endorsements from the pulpit

Oh well, the saga continues…

Endorsing from the Pulpit

Pastors launch challenge of IRS rules on endorsements.

Click the link to read the article in it’s entirety (and in context) to learn about how some pastors (and priests and rabbi’s) plan on challenging IRS rules about political endorsements in houses of worship.

So this is how John McCain stirs up his “base” (and by “base”, I mean the Christian conservatives that he’s pretending to be like and hide his disdain for them in order for them to vote him into office) ?

Now that Obama’s poll numbers are starting to pull away, McCain’s forces are eager to whip up “the base” so that he can at least stay close to stem the tide of “the ascension”.

None of this political grandstanding, endorsements, and foolishness should be orchestrated from the pulpit of the church assembly. Sure, pastors should encourage their members to vote and participate in their civic responsibilities – but they shouldn’t use the pulpit as another defacto “campaign stop” for a candidate, Democrat or Republican.

God has surely instituted government (Proverbs 8:15-16; Romans 13), and Jesus affirmed governments order and authority in particular matters (Matthew 22:15-22). Likewise, pastors should encourage their members to be aware of the issues and vote accordingly.

But pastors should not tell their members to vote for Obama or McCain – or anyone else.

I guess some pastors are so used to telling you where to put your money (in their pockets), that they feel that you should also be told who to vote for.

So pastors: discuss the issues, apply biblical doctrine to them, and let the sheep make up their own minds.

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13 Responses to ““…We Can Certainly Tell You What To Do In The Voting Booth…””


  1. 1 Brian Foulks September 26, 2008 at 8:27 am

    ST,

    I think some pastors forgot that they were suppose to teach and instruct versus command and dictate. We are slowly but surely falling into a stupor that will cause some of these pastors to bring major chaos.

  2. 2 Brian Foulks September 26, 2008 at 8:36 am

    ST,

    This is almost like church version of Jim Crow. I am missing the entire church culture and it reason for being here. Are we really after the heart of man?

  3. 3 Kayla September 26, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    This article gives results from a poll (plus commentary) on whether pastors should endorse candidates from the pulpit.

    http://blogs.lifeway.com/blog/edstetzer/2008/09/new-research-on-political-endo.html

  4. 4 Pastor Jim September 26, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    I have a strong opinion about this subject!

    Every pastors goal should be to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ found in the Bible and make practical application in regards to politics and every other subject ‘under the sun’

    However, most of the time we pastors are not even-handed in BOTH criticizing and affirming liberals and conservatives (Dems and Reps and every other party included). No party accurately reflects biblical teaching.

    Jesus does not fit in either ‘camp’ – He reigns in ultimate authority over all ‘camps’ – so let’s preach that instead of a partisan position.

    My personal goal is to affirm and criticize from a biblical standpoint so evenly that we have both Dems and Reps in our church (and we do and we don’t argue about it so far) and that NOBODY has a clue as to what party or candidate I would vote for when in the booth. So far my children aren’t even sure who I am voting for for president because I keep an even score of positives and negatives – based on Scripture.

    Oh and I research and vote in every primary, special election and general election and for every office contested. It IS alot of work but that is my duty as a citizen of this country, until such time as that freedom is lost.

    So ST, I know you say you aren’t going to vote for a presidential candidate. I would be curious to hear your reaction in light of my conviction and how you justify not voting. I think you addressed that a week or so ago but its fun to stir this up a little.

  5. 5 speaking truth September 26, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    You just couldn’t let the week just fade into the weekend, huh Pastor Jim :-) ?

    Your approach is exactley as it should be done – weigh the pros and cons of each party’s candidate in light of scripture and let the hearer make up their own minds. I agree – the Gospel is relevant and applicable to every situation in life, and pastors do a disservice when they don’t aplly the totality of scripture to “everyday life”.

    That said, I’ve seen (and been present to hear) pastors advocate for a specific candidate because that candidate will “help us” (the “us” being church, congregation, race, etc.). It can be a slippery slope – and many pastors end up sliding down it.

    And like you, I do extensive research on candidates running for office – at every level (from county commission to the presidency), and cast my votes accordingly, and across party lines. Although I’m not voting for a presidential candidate, I’m still casting my vote for the remainder of the ballot – and I am very comfortable about my decision. I still don’t feel as though I’m “wasting my vote” or “missing out on a history making event” – I’m simply following my convictions.

    There – how was that tempered and sober reaction to your attempt to “stir this up a little” :-) ?

  6. 6 speaking truth September 26, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Brian,

    I agree with your comments – it seems harder and harder to hear an actual sermon about Christ crucified in a church today. I believe that it is important to discuss current events in church – especially as they relate to scripture and God’s solutions to life’s “ills”, but when more and more of that sacred time is used for man’s agenda, the more I want to remain in my living room and reading my bible alone.

  7. 7 Brian Foulks September 27, 2008 at 6:28 am

    ST,

    Truth be told brother we really do not have enough time to really chop up the word of God during a service and cats want to waste it so they can plud candidates that could care less about a godly lifestyle.

  8. 8 GaryV September 27, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    I’m with ST as to likely not casting a vote for President for the first time in ages (both options this political season nauseate me), or else write in a candidate in keeping with my convictions.

    That said, the pulpit is no place to drag out political endorsements. Paul’s exhortation was to “PREACH THE GOSPEL”, not “Pimp your candidate.”

  9. 9 speaking truth September 27, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Brian,

    You’re absolutely right – we barely have enough time to exegete the word during a normal service, let alone here a political speech or admonition.

    As I stated previously in this blog, my family and I don’t have a “formal” church assembly that we call home, so we visit assemblies and study at home. The church that I visit most regularly has just finished walking through the minor prophets (after the entire Spring and Summer), yet my old pimps were getting “new revelation” every week and threw out 1 bible verse out of context and their personal philosophy.

    GarvyV you’re right…”pimp my candidate” seems to be the mantra these days…

  10. 10 Pastor Jim September 29, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Well said ST. So much for cranking you up 8-) I’ll *try* harder next time I can find something to disagree with

    btw, there are more than two presidential candidates from many parties much smaller. You might find one worthy of a vote.

  11. 11 speaking truth September 29, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Pastor Jim,

    I agree – there are “other” running for the presidency as well, but I’m not to fond of Bob Barr…I might write your name down. Just send your presidential salary to your church :lol:

  12. 12 tithing & stewardship September 29, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Is the pulpit and sanctuary a sacred place that is only reserved for spiritually relevant topics? Should the pastor’s sermon be earmarked with biblical eloquence? What is the pulipit? What is the sanctuary? In the Old Testament weren’t God’s prophets used to influence kings? Should it be different now? I ask these questions, but I do agree that the people should be able to make up their own minds.

    Side note: The Church assembly is not a place to preach about salvation and eternal life. For example you wouldn’t give a lecture to a bunch of doctors to encourage them to become a doctor. The Church assembly is not a hospital to heal the sick people, it is a school to train doctors of discipleship.

    -Jared

  13. 13 speaking truth October 2, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Is the pulpit and sanctuary a sacred place that is only reserved for spiritually relevant topics? Should the pastor’s sermon be earmarked with biblical eloquence? What is the pulipit? What is the sanctuary?

    I see your larger point Jared – I still believe that time spen in the Lord’s house should not be wasted schilling for the pastor’s candidate of choice. Preach about the Gospel as relevant to the prevailing culture (even if the prevailing culture denies it), but leave it up to the congregation to choose their own candidate.


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