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In social media and other forums we have recently observed numerous commentaries from Bishops, Priests, and Protestant Ministers alike, advocating for all ministerial leaders to abstain from delivering messages regarding America or our elected officials.   While the Johnson Amendment of 1954 prohibits churches and other not for profit organizations who enjoy a tax exempt status from actively endorsing political candidates there is no legal prohibition enjoining ministers from such activities when they do not represent a religious organization that is tax exempt. However apparently some ministers feel that regardless of the legal ramifications we should not “preach” on matters of the world, but rather focus exclusively in our ministrations on topics of spirituality.   Ironically some of these same ministers who would never discuss political concerns also never recluse themselves from discussing ideology and or identity politics.

In our context as shepherds or even stewards, we certainly should not tell our congregations who to vote for, but we should provide them with biblical references empowering them to make a just discernment on whom might be the best person for the elected office. In the same respect we have an obligation to educate them in respect to discerning the best position in respect to social issues or contemporary ideology.

The Christian Post recently published an editorial from a Protestant minister outlining our responsibility to our flocks regarding this subject; Pastors: It’s OK Talk to Your Church About America by Pastor Ronnie Floyd [1] and I certainly recommend that everyone reading this take the time to follow the link below to the Christian Post and read Pastor Floyd’s opinions even if you are not a minister; after reading you might be called upon by God to talk to you own minister about this subject.

Pastor Floyd wrote;

Clearly understand that your role is to give biblical light to this time in America. You are not a pundit on a night-time television show or drive time radio, you are a man of God who is helping shepherd your people through the challenges we are facing together in our nation today.[1]

Our church, our country the essence of our very culture is at a very important juncture, if we are not vigilant everything that our parents, our grand parents and all our progenitors—the founders of Western culture and the Judeo-Christian tradition—worked for will be made irrelevant and become a forgotten part of history. Christianity is not an ever changing ideology that evolves with each passing and worldly cultural fad; but rather the word of God is the same today as it was two thousand years or so ago when the word became flesh and walked amongst mankind. As Pastor Floyd said; “…your role is to give biblical light to this time in America.With that thought in mind an apt topic for a sermon or even a series might be to compare the numerous times the Israelites of the Old Testament era, turned away from the path ordained for them by God and adopted cultural practices forbidden to them; each time they suffered as a nation.

In his editorial at the Christian Post, Pastor Floyd out lined “5 Points of Counsel for Every Pastor” while I still seek to enjoin you to visit the Christian Post and read his piece in its entirety I have included these “Five Points” of Pastor Floyd’s with my own commentary in parenthesis.

  1. The Stewardship of Leadership: God has entrusted the stewardship of leadership to each pastor. We are temporary trustees, leading the people of God in a local church. We cannot forfeit our leadership of the church or operate passively about our nation. This would be spiritual negligence.   (We must not operate passively about our nation, our culture and especially about Christianity. Make no mistake forces from diverse angles are circumscribing Christianity in the hopes of wiping it from the face of the Earth; and with it American tradition as we know it.)
  1. The Bible and Spirituality: In all reality, we do not need to be just another voice to our people. We need to become the biblical voice that challenges the church in America to become the spiritual life of our nation. What sets our voice apart is one thing: What God says! Not what we say or think, but what God Himself says in His Word. Our call to the church is always an upward call of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Our call is to become all God wants us to be. (There can be only one Biblical Voice that challenges the people of God.   Everyone must realize the danger of contemporary feeling based ideology; those false concepts that insist that each person has the ability to decide his or her gender—regardless of biology—and even how the word of God relates to the individual leading to eisegesis instead of sound exegesis.)
  1. Giving Honor and Dignity to Our Leaders: Leadership in America is hard and difficult. It is unimaginable for any pastor, business leader, or educator in our nation to even comprehend what presidential candidates and the presidents themselves face when elected.

For as long as I can remember, I have never referred to a president by their last name only, which to me shows disrespect and dishonor. It has always been, for as long as I can remember, President Kennedy, President Johnson, President Nixon, President Ford, President Carter, President Reagan, President Bush, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, and President Trump.

From a youngster in early elementary school when President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas to where I am today while President Trump leads our nation, I am deeply convinced that pastors and spiritual leaders do not need to do anything less than give honor to the leaders in our nation. While we may disagree with someone’s ideology or even lifestyle choices, we should always respect them by referring to them by their proper title. When we do not, it is disrespectful and a horrible example before others. (This is one point that I myself am guilty of; that of using the last name of the present resident of the White House who I respect as well as the past occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, many of which I little respect for. Pastor Floyd is correct, we as ministers should set a positive example in this context even if we vehemently disagree with the setting President of the United Sates.)

  1. Praying for and Supporting our President: As men of God and pastors of local churches, we should always lead our people in praying for our nation and supporting our president in prayer and encouragement. All Americans should support and desire the success of each president in our nation. Our confidence is only found in praying for our president, entrusting him to God and His care. (When I was a Priest, the first liturgy I used had a provision asking God to guide our President; what could be wrong with this? Even when President Obama did things I felt were abominations according to scripture, I still prayed for him. If God touches the heart of the POTUS and leads him to govern in a righteous manner, then perhaps our prayers have been heard. Likewise if a POTUS governs in a manner contrary to scripture, perhaps it is not that our prayers have not been heard but rather God’s way of showing us the unrighteousness of the elected official.)
  1. A Future and a Hope: As a pastor of a local church, I should always lead people to have a future and a hope for their nation. Even in the worst of times, we need to be the type of prophets who, while being honest about where our nation is, also believe that we have a future and a hope in the Lord. ( The entire Christian message is about hope, about faith in God; we must always expound on this message.)

 

Again, please take a moment to read the entire article at the Christian Post by clicking on the link below.
[1] http://www.christianpost.com/news/pastors-its-ok-talk-to-your-church-about-america-175733/

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