You Can’t Say That In Church: Politics by Tanya Glass
Myth #1: “My political views are my business and the preacher shouldn’t talk about it in church.”
This is a typical mentality among Christian people, and we’ve all encountered it. The question is – are we going to accept it or speak up!
ImpelMinistry.com has decided to take the tape off and encourage church leaders to speak up and engage in the tough conversations. The first topic we want to bring out into the open is politics. We have the right and the ability to get involved and shape the nation. We should be able to talk openly about the political process, even on the smallest level. Today, young leaders are highly engaged in social and political issues. While many of these leaders have become active and vocal on political and social issues, church leaders seem to tip toe around the political realities that face our nation today. Why is that?
Myth #2: “If I talk about politics from the pulpit the government will close my church.”
For years the church has been bullied into thinking that if they discuss politics from the pulpit then serious legal consequences will ensue. The truth is that pastors can discuss openly their political views; they just can’t make them the views of the organization. I would encourage every church leader – volunteer and/or staff – to watch Matt Staver’s DVD, “What Pastors Can and Can’t Do Politically.” As a lawyer, he plainly talks about the political freedom that pastors have and how to engage their church in the political system.
Myth #3: “I don’t have time to get into politics, it’s too overwhelming.”
It does take time to be a responsible voter, but organizations such as Liberty Counsel and Focus on the Family put information together for people to help them make decisions. It’s important for leaders to educate themselves on the current issues to be able to discuss objectively and openly. With the new presidential administration came a new openness with the public. I would encourage you to subscribe to the White House email and blog site. Everyone does not have to be involved in everything, but as ministry leaders, we should all have a basic understanding on a few key things about major issues. It’s okay not have an answer to every issue, but be open to new ideas and hearing from “the other side” before rushing to judgment. We should not persuade people to vote our way, but we should encourage them to take action on their own.
Myth #4: “No one cares what I think, one person can’t make that much difference.”
This is an election year for Congress as they ramp up for November 2010. The laws that govern our nation are created within this body of decision-makers. The same passion we have for the presidential election we need to have for the Congressional elections, they are your voice in Washington. Go to the links provided by Focus on the Family and Liberty Counsel to learn who is running in your district and on Election Day in November, go vote, let your voice be heard.
Before getting involved we must pray for those in authority and take spiritual responsibility for those we place in government. The goal is not to persuade, but to educate. It’s not about parties or policy – it’s about participation. The days of signs, boycotts, and protests are over. Educate yourself on the issues, and be willing to talk openly about them.
Tanya Glass is an editor and market research analyst at ImpelMinistry.com. She attends Angelus Temple/ The LA Dream Center with Pastor Matthew Barnett. Check out her personal blog TanLines. Follow her on Twitter HERE and friend her on Facebook HERE. She resides in Los Angeles, CA. You can email her at Tanya@ImpelMinistry.com.