Mike Dobbs, Wiggins, MS – Yes, I do address current social issues from my pulpit when I feel that there needs to be a strong voice against the coming tide of social and political opposition against Biblical values. I feel the church needs to hear the watchmen of their souls and the voice of the pulpit make a clear stand on what the Bible teaches on current issues and that we will not conform or bend to the pressure. I am careful to mix my remarks with the grace of God and that we should love the lost as they are.
As a word of caution, too many pulpits have become political outlets to discuss current events and a social gospel that is not founded upon Biblical soundness and doctrine. As in all things, spiritual temperance should always be exercised and the utterance of our pulpits should come directly from the anointing and unction of God.
Bryant Kitchell, Gilmer, TX – These are Bible issues, and we must realize that these issues have been around for a long time. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of these sins. We should not shy away from addressing these things but rather speak the truth in love. Remember, God loves the sinner but hates the sin.
The New Testament church dealt with these same issues; that is why Paul wrote the letters he did, because these issues were making their way into the church.
In order for the church to be relevant, we must be preaching God’s Word, which is relevant for any generation or time. The church should be dictating the culture, not the culture dictating the church.
Derek Gobert, Atmore, AL – I feel that we live in a world where secularized Christianity is at an all-time high and is winning over many of the true saints of the most high. Pastors [myself included] should address social issues the same way they address or preach holiness to the saints. When we pick up that sword, we should always make sure that we dipped it in love before we begin to swing it. With the right attitude [and scriptures], a man of God should be able to get his point across almost every time regardless of the topic. If done properly, social issues should addressed more often.
Steven W. Hamilton, Albuquerque, NM – Yes, I address social issues but all of this is and should be taught in our Discipleship Class to our new converts. This is the best place because you give your audience a chance to ask questions. This allows everyone attending our church to know where we stand on the issues and how to address the world from the scripture. This also shows that we don’t hate the sinner, just the sin.
We should treat people with respect and kindness even when we disagree with their behavior or lifestyle. Remember, there are souls at stake. Don’t just give quick answers. Pray and give scriptures to support your stand on any social issue. We are a reflection of God, not self.
Tim Milligan, Cookeville, TN – Because our political and social world is trying to dictate and govern what our boundaries should and should not be, we cannot negate our responsibility as the church to be the “clarion call” to speak truth and to reveal light on these very important issues.
Jesus certainly went against the social/religious status quo. At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus wasted no time in what we call the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 dealing with “taboo” subject matter, i.e. responsibility of being salt and light, character assassination of your brother, divorce, adultery, fulfillment of the law, oaths, forgiveness and loving your enemies.
Kevin Allen, Murfreesboro, TN – Yes, I cover social issues on a somewhat regular basis from the pulpit. The social climate today brings about a constant reminder of the challenges against moral absolutes. I feel that being proactive is a much better response than being reactive. Our mission is simple: we are an Apostolic church that grows Apostolic families. In growing the Apostolic family, we are teaching and preaching our lifestyle convictions on a regular basis. This means we are talking about the biblical definition of marriage, sex, gender identity, murder, lying, gossip, and many other lifestyle convictions. The only con that comes to mind is not having an answer. We must remember that most of these issues are settled with obedience to His Word.
Kevin Brown, Madison, WI – We are ministering in a preaching point to several people who have never been exposed to the gospel or have very little biblical knowledge. Before addressing these topics, it is important to introduce people to Jesus and to help them understand Biblical principles and teachings. Often we address these issues one-on-one from a biblical standpoint, not necessarily singling out these issues, but recognizing that sin is any transgression against God’s Word.
It is important to introduce people to salvation before preaching to them about specific issues, allowing God to lead them into repentance and the new birth experience, leading them into conversion in this Apostolic truth. These issues are a reflection of our humanity, and we must address the heart condition first.
Steve Worley, Fayetteville, GA – I believe the church must be the light set on the hill. I am not sure being relevant is the issue. Fulfilling the commission is. Everything we teach must be from a biblical perspective. Man’s wisdom will never measure up to God’s; His Word meets the needs of every generation, so we must use His word to teach our generation. Jesus taught using parables and such addressing the issues. It is constantly stated that He knew what was in their hearts and addressed it. Paul dealt with current issues as the church was growing.
The only caution I would state is to stay in the Bible with what you are teaching. As long as you remain biblically based, there is no room for argument or error. It is when you get into your personal opinions that trouble presents itself.