Ministers Need to take Lead on Religion and Politics

For decades pastors have been timid about preaching about religion and politics from the pulpit. The Old Testament prophets would have been stunned by such apprehension. Many modern-day churches believe that they have some very good biblical reasons for not addressing the subject from the pulpit. Their aversion is contrary to the Bible they claim to believe. Dr. Gary North writes:

“The lawyers of the Old Testament were the prophets, and they had delivered a series of covenant lawsuits against the nation of Israel and the nation of Judah. Their targets were primarily the leaders, but they also included the whole society. These were legal briefs.”

Modern-day ministers who are supposed to fill a prophetic role, believe they are prohibited from doing so because it will jeopardize their tax-exempt status. It won’t, but even if it did, so what? Faithfulness to the Bible is every Christian’s calling regardless of the financial consequences, including the loss of your church’s tax-exemption if it comes to that. Such a development might clear out the “almost Christians.”

Then there are the typical arguments for non-involvement I deal with in my book Myth’s, Lies, and Half-Truths:Myths Lies

  • Jesus didn’t get mixed up in politics. (He didn’t own a house, get married, or have children either).
  • Politics is dirty. (What isn’t?).
  • Religion and Politics don’t mix. (Then why does Paul describe the civil magistrate as a “minister of God”?)
  • Our citizenship is in heaven. (Tell that to Paul: Acts 22:25–30).
  • You can’t legislate morality. (Every law is the legislation of someone’s view of morality).
  • Christians should remain neutral. (Impossible. Not to be involved only gives more power to those who are involved).
  • We’re living in the last days. (How long have we been hearing this excuse?)
  • There’s a separation between church and state. (There is a jurisdictional separation but that’s not what the First Amendment is about.)

Ministers of another era saw it their biblical duty to preach about politics from the pulpit because the Bible addressed every sphere of life, civil government included.

The civil magistrate is described by Paul as a “minister of God” (Rom. 13:4). This makes the civil sphere of government duty-bound to confine its civil duties to a limited sphere of authority. The civil magistrate does not have divine authority to usurp the sovereign jurisdictions of the family, church, and the numerous social spheres (e.g., economics, law, journalism, business, etc.). Politics in the Bible is limited. That’s why liberals despise any talk of mixing religion and politics.

Colonial pastors were well aware of the politics of the day, both in America and in their countries of origin. Many of them made their way to the New World because of the ever growing encroachment of politics in areas that were outside its civil jurisdiction.

It was Old World preaching on the nature and limits of civil government that led the Pilgrims to embark on an effort to create “a city on a hill.” These early founders brought their worldview preaching to an unknown but promising new land. “They hoped — and this was the point of the New World mission — that England would take note of this decentralized but sill coherent ‘nation’ and imitate it. In the meantime, New Englanders would keep the covenant alive in their own corner of the New World and signify that fact on election day.”1

An elite group of liberals is transforming America. The main reason they are getting away with it is that most pulpits are silent. They’ve bought into the lie that religion and politics do not mix. Tell that to liberals. Tell it to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. whose “Dream” has been squandered by political opportunists, wolves in sheep’s clothing. When King stopped looking at his notes and ad libbed the final third of his speech, he looked up to heaven. The racialists who claim they are keeping the Dream alive have their eyes focused on Washington.

The Rev. Martin Luther King ended his speech with “Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.” Today’s racialists don’t want blacks to be truly free, because if they ever get free, liberals will lose their voting base. By 1967, Dr. King had become discouraged. If he had lived long enough to see what his heirs had done to the Dream, he would weep.

  1. Harry S. Stout, The New England Soul: Preaching and Religious Culture in Colonial New England (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 29. []