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08/29/20 Weekend Grif.Net – Dealing with Political Issues

08/29/20 Weekend Grif.Net – Dealing with Political Issues

4 Types of Churches in Dealing with Political Issues [courtesy of =
Eric Geiger]

 

As =
we approach an election, church leaders will face pressure to overtly or =
subtly bring politics into their messages or into their worship =
services. By preaching politics I do not mean teaching what the Bible =
says on specific topics, but I mean clearly nudging people to vote a =
certain way. Church leaders also face pressure, and not only in this =
time, to not mention anything that can be heard through a political =
filter. Politics is divisive in the country, in families, and in =
churches. In the country, whoever wins the election this year will have =
tens of millions of people vote against them. Whoever emerges as the =
winner won’t emerge with a unified country. In families, there is =
division even among people who love each other very much, which is why =
many people will agree that “we will not talk politics” over =
Thanksgiving dinner this year. When it comes to the people of God, the =
apostle Paul painted a glorious picture – that we would =
“think the same way, have the same love, be united in spirit, and =
intent on one purpose” (Philippians 2:2). Clearly, Paul meant =
sharing the same love and intent for Christ and His mission. We must =
insist that lesser kingdoms not disrupt our shared passion for the =
advancement of His kingdom. We are to be one, and no wise and loving =
person wants the church to be divided.

 

At =
the same time, there are social issues that the Bible clearly addresses. =
When we read our Bibles, we see an ethic that cares for the unborn, =
welcomes the immigrant, champions racial equality and unity, and honors =
marriage and the family. And yet many can read or hear those issues =
through a political filter. Those biblically addressed issues can =
politically offend people even if they are presented without political =
posturing. Because those issues are often heard politically rather than =
biblically, churches will approach those issues in a variety of ways, =
even if they think biblically about them. In my observation there are =
four types of churches with regards to mentioning, teaching, and praying =
for the issues that can be heard through a political filter.

 

1. CHURCH OFFENDING NO ONEIf you want to offend no one, you essentially have to =
decide to not talk about any of these issues at any time. I understand =
the temptation because I don’t want my messages heard or =
interpreted as a political rally, and I have never stepped up to teach =
with the desire to offend. But if we land here as church leaders, we =
will gloss over or completely skip passages in the Scripture. We will =
also completely ignore pain in the culture and fail to address the pain =
and questions in those who are hurting and those who want to come =
alongside those who are hurting. The church who seeks to offend no one =
also comforts no one and provides clarity to no one.
 2. CHURCH OFFENDING THE RED

The=
re are churches that will only bring up biblical issues that can be seen =
as politically progressive and will thus offend the politically =
conservative. These churches will rally people who are politically blue =
and someone who votes “red” or is leans “politically =
red” out of conviction will increasingly feel out of place and =
misrepresented during a political season.

 3. CHURCH OFFENDING THE BLUE

In =
the same way, there are churches that will only bring up biblical issues =
that are seen as politically conservative and thus will offend the =
politically progressive. These churches will rally people who are =
politically red and someone who votes “blue” or leans =
“politically blue” out of conviction will increasingly feel =
out of place and misrepresented during a political season.

 4. CHURCH GRACIOUSLY OFFENDING EVERY ONE

Wor=
ds can be heard through a political filter, so preachers can be accused =
of “being political” when they are simply being biblically =
faithful to what a text teaches. When accused of “being =
political,” it is almost always because the topic or text =
confronted rather than affirmed the person’s personal preference =
or position.

 

I =
heard Tim Keller say in a sermon about the Bible: “If the Bible =
really came from God, and wasn’t the product of any one culture, =
wouldn’t it offend every culture in some way?” He was not =
speaking about the Republican and Democrat parties/culture, but I =
believe the quote applies. If the Bible did not come from either party =
(and it did not), then wouldn’t if offend each party in some way? =
If we treasure and teach the Scripture, we will offend everyone at some =
point, including ourselves. The longer we walk with Jesus the more we =
enjoy the beautiful offense of Scripture because we experience the joy =
of being formed more into the image of Christ.

 

~~

Dr Bob Griffin =

bob@grif.net =
www.grif.net

"Jesus =
Knows Me, This I Love!"