Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Should Churches Stay Out of Politics?

Although I don't agree with the atheist telling folks what to do, I do agree in 'principle' with pastors weighing in on political matters. Pastors, like politicians, have certain roles, and the church and state are best-kept separate. The reason for religious exemption is for the function of religious freedom. Freedom of religion isn't unlimited freedom, but for the freedom of the purpose authorized.
However, when pastors are requested to observe the legal parameters conditioned by the tax-exempt status, many see it as an attack on their religious liberty when in fact, it's not an attack on their faith, but upholding the rule of law. Now, is the law constitutional? That, I am sure people can argue. Is it legal for the government to tell churches what they can or cannot say, most certainly, not. However, again, we must adhere to the laws as best we can. If the law goes against our faith then in good conscious we should stay true to our faith. Also understand the law, just in case we ever need to explain ourselves. I know many people fear the government censoring the church, and it's a good idea to remain vigilant; but also know it is best to do what's wise.

The truth is when discussing politics many pastors don't know what they're talking about, or their view is to impose misguided political beliefs onto their perfectly able-minded congregation, and this becomes a problem.
I know a church that constantly speaks against President Obama, calling him everything, but a child of God, in fact, they insist he's not an American and that he is Kenyan born. The pastor of this church is manipulating the minds of these naive folks. Either knowingly or unknowing pastors make a mess of people's foreign policy world view.
There's a difference between talking about state of affairs and connecting political views to a sermon.So, I will say some pastors have a way to mesh current events into their sermons, which is different than giving political commentary during the church service.
I, for one, don't need my pastor to expound on anything except the word of God; especially, the extremist pastors political positions aren't any more radical than right wing political ideology. Thus, there's a turn from God's word into an extremist position that have little to do with the 'word of God.' Some Christians have no problem listening to their pastor or minister speaking against the government or blaming the world's woes onto one man. If people listen to political nonsense in service, they're less likely to receive God's word without faulty preconceived notions, and I don't believe that is fair to the congregants.
Now, a lot of Churches have a men's groups during the week or special meetings for political conversation that is perfectly fine.

In conclusion, although I disagree with atheists telling churches how to conduct business, I do see a spiritual benefit in keeping politics out of religion and religion out of policy. Principle should guide our policy and the rule of law; our Christian beliefs and spiritual truth should sustain our principles. Your pastor is entitled to be wrong, but he's not entitled manipulate facts.

Nigel Boys. (3 August 2014). Atheists push the IRS to penalize churches for speaking on politics

No comments:

Post a Comment