Scared to Talk Politics in Church?

Sometimes I think that the most powerful and popular denomination in America is a stealth one.

Sometimes I think that the most powerful and popular denomination in America is a stealth one. It’s not the Baptists or the Catholics or the Methodists or the Assemblies of God. It’s "radio-orthodoxy"—the set of beliefs promoted by religious broadcasting. Do you doubt the power of radio-orthodoxy? Just try contradicting it, especially in an election year.

The fact is, it’s hard to be a good pastor any time, but during an election year in a country blanketed by religious broadcasting, it gets even harder. How do we preach to and lead our churches in a year like this—with an important and divisive election underway? Over the years, I have tried three main options (I’m not proud about this):

1. Ignore the election completely.

2. Remind people to vote as their Christian civic duty, and leave it at that.

3. Preach on the moral issues related to the election about which my congregation is already in agreement.

This year, compelled by what’s going on in our country and world, I hope to try a fourth option:

4. Preach and educate on the moral issues related to the election about which my congregation is not already in agreement.

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Sojourners Magazine September 2004
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