Politics

Political Preaching

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Every year in January pulpits across America come alive with political preaching. Some churches emphasize the importance (as they see it) of social justice in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Other churches decry the injustice (as they see it) of legalized abortion. At opposite ends of the political spectrum, both sorts of churches seem to agree that they have a right—and perhaps a duty—to address certain kinds of political issues.

Political involvement on the part of churches is not the same thing as political involvement on the part of individual Christians. Granted, Christians have their primary citizenship in the Kingdom of God, and that citizenship relativizes all earthly loyalties. Nevertheless, Christians also remain citizens of the nations that they inhabit. They may, and sometimes should, choose to become involved in the political process. They may campaign, vote, and even hold office without necessarily violating their commitment to Christ and His Kingdom. As they have opportunity to participate in shaping the politics of their nations, they may help to advance a relative and proximate degree of righteousness.

Churches, however, find themselves in a different situation. A church that is rightly ordered will rely upon the explicit teachings of the New Testament in order to define its mission and ministry. While this insistence upon the New Testament may sound suspiciously Dispensationalist to some, it is not. Covenant Theologians find the church in the Old Testament, but they also recognize that the present form and order of the church commences with the death and resurrection of Jesus.

A search of the New Testament yields no indication at all that churches ought to be involved in the political process. On the contrary, the New Testament sees churches as spiritual entities whose ministries focus upon spiritual concerns. Consequently, political preaching and campaigning constitute a distraction from the most important affairs of the church, a renunciation of the church’s commission, and a betrayal of its privileged position in Christ Jesus. Political preaching per se has no place at all in the church of Jesus Christ. Read more about Political Preaching

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