Dennis Breland, Perryville, MO – I don’t address any political or controversial issues from the pulpit. In dealing with current events or political issues, particularly moral issues, we have to be careful. There may be someone sitting in the congregation who is affected by that, and we don’t want them to feel like a spectacle. We have to deal with moral issues because they’re Biblical, but we must do so in a way that doesn’t offend. I only preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified. If questions on certain issues are asked during Bible studies, we just deal with it the best we can.
The lines sometimes are difficult to separate in certain moral or political issues, but they can affect a person’s outlook. For example, in America, it is legal to have an abortion, but morally speaking, I feel that is wrong, so it has to be addressed. I don’t deal with areas like liberalism versus conservatism, or a Republican versus a Democrat, or a free economic system versus Socialism, etc. And I’ve really not had to deal with divisive political issues or any negative feedback.
Daniel Judy, Somerset, PA – I rarely address current events or politics from the pulpit unless there is a major decision that could affect our community in a devastating way. Jesus said in John 8:12 “. . . he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Paul told us that perilous times would come in the last days, but we’re the city that cannot be hid. Let’s live that life, and when they’re in confusion, they’ll be looking for peace. I’m cautious about getting political. We need to stay with preaching a Savior that still saves.
The con sides of politics can create bigger walls. The pro sides give us an opportunity to display our values. When the world is changing, we need to remain consistent with the Word. I don’t have a problem with endorsing candidates that are consistent in areas of pro-life, pro-Second Amendment or pro-religious freedom. When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were forced to make a decision, displayed for everyone to see, they stood for what was right. Personally, rather than criticizing I have chosen to allow my actions and choices to speak their volumes to those watching.
Kelly McGuire, Lakeland, FL – I do address current and world events, but I don’t get into politics that much. We have a mixed congregation of southern and northern folks. Most in our congregation are conservative, but the political persuasion of some may swing a different direction because of something related to their job or their culture.
I’m not divisive, but I do feel I can stand on Biblical values and establish my views. I do instruct my ministry team not to get into politics while teaching. We don’t have a Republican church; we have an Apostolic church. Yet there’s no denying our values line up with conservative views. I talk about our values and encourage the people to pray for our leaders, and I don’t have a problem with endorsing candidates that are pro-life, etc., from the pulpit. Also, I do discuss what President Trump may propose and what he’s done in disaster relief, etc., but we can’t be complete Christians and draw our swords over political differences.
John Bernardini II, Mont Belvieu, TX – Occasionally, I address current events and politics from the pulpit by implementing them into a sermon. We have a multi-cultural congregation, so I don’t get involved in anyone’s choices, but I talk, teach and preach principles. I do have people who have different political views, so I have to use wisdom in that area.
I don’t have a problem endorsing candidates from the pulpit if they are pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and pro-religious freedom. I’ve never had negative feedback in this area.
Kenny Childers, Starkville, MS – I don’t address current events or politics from the pulpit. I pastor both parties in my church, so I stay away from politics. I think it’s an ethical issue and possibly a legal issue not to endorse a particular candidate. To some, it’s a personal matter. But I encourage people to vote their moral convictions and vote for those who line up as closely as possible to what we believe.
Outside the pulpit, in the midst of friends and those around me, I do endorse my beliefs through sharing what I feel about a particular candidate.
David Luechtefeld, Gerald, MO – I address current events and/or politics from the pulpit, but I draw the line at actually endorsing a candidate. I just try to get people to research the candidates’ records for themselves, so they don’t just take my word.
While there are pros and cons of dealing with political topics from the pulpit, the pros allow us to address issues people need to think about when casting their vote for a candidate. We can address Biblical standards on family, marriage, abortion and how they’re affected by politicians we choose. The cons are that it will offend some people, but that will happen no matter what you do. I have only gotten positive feedback. Those people were thankful for the information I provided.
Stephen Burns, Poplar Bluff, MO – I do address current events from the pulpit. However, when it comes to politics, I try not to divide my congregation. The cons of dealing with political topics from the pulpit are obvious. The pros would be prayer, especially when anti-Christian, cultural issues are before our legislature or our seats of government.
I do endorse candidates in writing but not from the pulpit. I have received positive and negative feedback when addressing current events from the pulpit, but negative feedback does not influence my decisions.