Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Faith & Politics

Faith & Politics

2 Timothy 4:2(NIV)
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

Apostle Paul gave young preacher Timothy some good advice.  "Preach the Word."  He also goes on in rest of verse telling Timothy how he should preach the Word: prepared, to correct, to rebuke, to encourage.  He also says what his attitude should be in preaching the Word:  great patience and careful instruction.

That is some good advice for us today, not only preachers, but all of us who may share the word of God with others (we all have a responsibility to share the Word of God, not just the preachers).  So, we can' just pull scriptures out of context and change their meaning to fit our denomination, or what we were raised, or taught, or even our agenda because we are passionated about a certain subject and topic.  People do all the time, they preach and push their denominational beliefs, their doctrinal beliefs, and even their preferences they think are gospel, and they talk about God in the mix of it all, but they are missing the point of actually preaching the Word of God.

It sort of reminds me of what we face anytime there is an election year, people want to spout and shout their political beliefs and agendas, yes, even preachers from pulpits want to spew their love or hate of the republican party or the democratic party, or they love or loathing of a certain candidate, or even further a certain issue that they are hot under the collar about you  name it, gun control, taxes, immigrants, gay marriage, abortion, etc.....and we us the pulpit and our faith as a platform to push our opinions and views.

You can disagree with me, I am only stating my convictions and feelings, but I do not feel the pulpit is the place to spew personal politics. It's a place to preach God's word.  There is no mention of political parties in the Bible. There is no authority from God in scripture to tell us to rip apart, disrespect, or put down people or things we don't agree with or dislike.  As a matter fact  Jesus told the jews to give to Caesar what is Caesar when asked about the jews having to pay taxes to the Romans in the gospels and even Paul in His first letter to Timothy encouraged Timothy to pray and not only pray but pray for those in leadership and authority in government.(1 Tim. 2:1-3niv)I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior."

As Christians and even as Preachers we have an obligation to preach, teach, and share the moral and ethical values taught in scripture, but it is not our place to endorse a certain political party, agenda, or candidate.  Nor do I feel according to God's word is it our place to use our position and time as a preacher in a sermon to preach "OUR" feelings or opinions on our president, our government, our political party, or our political agendas.  On a personal level if an someone asks you your opinion or feelings on their own, we are free to share our thoughts as an individual away from the pulpit if we so choose.

People  we are to PREACH the Word and the Word is Jesus Christ.  Not Obama, Not Romney, or George Washington, or JFK.  The Word of God is truth and it's not democratic, or republican, or even Libetarian or Tea Party.  It's not our job to use the church or the pulpit to push any other agenda other than the agenda of God, which is proclaming, sharing, preaching and teaching His Word.

I know some of you will say we have an obligation as Preachers or Christians to speak out and stand up for right and wrong, and I agree when it comes to God's Word, but not politics.  We do need more of God's Word in our governement and Christian leaders, but politics has not place in the body of Christ.  It's about Him, not us, not our agenda, or political views.  

There may be certain issues we are passionate about because of our Christian Faith, and that is fine, we should stand up for our Christian rights and values and I do think each of us should do our own homework and educate ourselves on candidates and their beliefs and views and we should vote our conscience, but we are living in a fantasy world if we think every political party or every candidate will agree with us 100% or support everything we stand for, it and they won't.

As a church we have to stand up for our Christian Values and as Preachers and  Teachers we have an obligation to Preach and Teach God's Word, and I do not think that involves endorsing politics, politicians, political parties, or political agendas.  We preach and teach Christ and let God's Holy Spirit convict and guide each of us who and how to vote on election day.

Just my thoughts, but I  pray I will never use my position or my pulpit to preach garbage, preach personal agenda, my politics, or put down others, or dishonor the calling God has placed on my life by misusing my power or position to preach anthing, but His Word.  I pray you will never use your faith, or pulpit, or positions, to preach, teach, or share anything other than God's Word.

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