Posted by: Jim Black | October 7, 2008

Can you talk about politics at church?

I can remember one of the first things said to me when I began preaching was, “Just stay out of politics… it’ll only get you into trouble.”  I laughed about it then, but considered it sound advice.  Yet here I am, some years later, facing one of the biggest “political” decisions I’ve ever faced… coming Nov. 4th and another Presidential election.  While this decision may not rank up there with the all time greatest decisions ever, it is still rather significant.  Who am I to vote for… if I vote at all?  I have conflicting opinions.  Neither of the candidates fully represent the platform I would wish that they would.  There are things about both of the candidates that I like… and certainly things about both of them that I don’t like.  I find myself in a quandary.  I’ve even been tempted to follow the way of David Lipscomb and abstain from voting at all… but I’m not sure that’s the best approach.

This has not only already been one of the longest campaigns in history, it has been one of the most interesting.  I can’t think of an election in modern times where religion has played such a dominant role.  Beginning in the primary season when one of the major candidates was an ordained Baptist minister, through the controversies surrounding Barak Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, right up until today as Sarah Palin has faced questions about her roots in a Pentecostal church… the question of faith has been a recurring theme. 

So, I’ve decided that since this is such a major issue in our nation and community today… I can’t ignore it from the pulpit.  Beginning this Sunday I am inviting the congregation to explore with me the intersection of faith and politics.  What is the relationship of our faith to our politics?  What should it be?  I have already recieved more comments than I have ever gotten about a sermon that I haven’t even preached yet… so let me hear from you!  What do you think?

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Responses

  1. I say … why not? People will have opinions about the elections, plus, they could opt out or, not listen if they don’t find it interesting enough. The way I see it, religious faith and political faith don’t have to be *that* far apart. We’ll find ourselves voting for the person that best embodies most of our ideals — or at least, is in alignment with ours.


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