Will People Leave Your Church Over Politics?

"Yes, there has always been the reality of churches mixing in too much politics, but this is different. It’s not necessarily about the pastor being too political, as would be the common claim before our current political climate. Today’s criticism is more focused on what the pastor is not. This usually takes form in two different outrages..." - F&T

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Ed Vasicek's picture

The idea of bundling politics with faith makes for a bad combinaiton.  Good article.

"The Midrash Detective"

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

From this article, it looks like we'd take a 1-2 punch on this one.  We're neither a "God and country" church nor a "woke" church, so I guess we're in trouble if one of those is what people are looking for.

From my point of view, anyone who would leave for either of those reasons...well, good riddance.  That might sound a little harsh, but once thing a church does NOT need is division over politics.

Dave Barnhart

TylerR's picture

Editor

I am meeting with a church member this afternoon who wants to know why I don't preach about politics more, why I don't praise God for having a President like Trump (who this man, I suspect, holds in equal esteem with Jesus Christ), and why I don't try to copy Robert Jeffress' idolatrous 4th of July events in our congregation.

I'm looking forward to it ...

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Ed Vasicek's picture

Tyler wrote:

 

I am meeting with a church member this afternoon 

You can print out this article for him as a take-home paper.  At least he will know you are not alone!

"The Midrash Detective"

TylerR's picture

Editor

I'm sure I don't know what you mean! I was just quoting our Vice President ...

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Mike Harding's picture

Our church has an American Flag and a Christian Flag in the auditorium.  Both have been displayed for my 36 year tenure at FBCT.  We have an American Flag on a flagpole outside the front of the church.  Since we have a Christian School we have American flags and Christian flags inside the classrooms where children say the pledge of allegiance (one nation "under God") at the beginning of the school day. In my 42 years of pastoral ministry, I have never had one person offended by the display of the American flag or the Christian flag.  We educate our students to be good and godly Christians first, equipped to do the work of the ministry for the glory of God.  We also believe in good Christian citizenship in the community and the state.  Stand for the Flag, but kneel at the Cross.

Pastor Mike Harding

TylerR's picture

Editor

We have a Christian flag on the platform. I've tried to get rid of it, but have encountered polite opposition every time. I have settled for the Christian flag higher than the American one, with both on the platform. I like the Christian flag, and think its colors and symbolism are good teaching tools - especially for kids.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

T Howard's picture

I can see it now at the next Dove awards. The Southern Gospel Recorded Song of the Year is ... "Stand for the flag, but kneel at the cross."

On another note, I do stand for the national anthem, but I only put my hand over my heart for the doxology.

TylerR's picture

Editor

I must admit that, even as I do not like the President, he has accomplished some amazing coups in the Middle East lately. See the news from this morning. Perhaps those of us who likely won't vote for him should be willing to acknowledge that.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Mark_Smith's picture

Are you guys saying it is wrong to be patriotic?

I think we should not mix patriotism and the church, but what is inherently wrong or sinful about being patriotic?

josh p's picture

Personally I don’t think patriotism is wrong but I don’t think it should have an emphasis in church since the New Testament doesn’t proscribe that type of thing.

T Howard's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

Are you guys saying it is wrong to be patriotic?

I think we should not mix patriotism and the church, but what is inherently wrong or sinful about being patriotic?

I pay respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed, but I don't pledge allegiance to the flag, and what love of and devotion to the United States I have is waning.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Mark_Smith wrote:

Are you guys saying it is wrong to be patriotic?

I think we should not mix patriotism and the church, but what is inherently wrong or sinful about being patriotic?

I'm certainly not saying that.  I'm as patriotic as any American, but like most here on SI I would agree with those who hold that a worship service is not the place for that.  As I mentioned in another thread, our church does have the US and Christian flags up front, but we never use church time for America, patriotism, politics, etc.  On the flip side, we always have a July 4th picnic fellowship (apart from any worship service), followed up by going to local July 4th events that may include patriotic music, flag waving, etc. along with the fireworks.  I also read the Declaration every year on July 4th, play a lot of patriotic music, and this year, I did watch the celebration at Rushmore on July 3rd, since local celebrations were all canceled due to Covid.  I almost wish I had had tickets for the Rushmore event.

As Christians, we owe our first allegiance to God, but I don't find it at all inconsistent to have a secondary loyalty to my country and to the principles on which it was founded.  It goes without saying I'll have nothing to do with those who want to redefine America in their own terms and tear it down.

Dave Barnhart

Ed Vasicek's picture

IMO, singing America the Beautiful or recognizing our Veteran';s on Memorial Day (or some might prefer to do so on Veteran's Day) is supporting our country without supporting any particular political party.  

We can overdo it and easily mix up our priorities, however.  We have to put the cross ahead of the flag and not confuse them. Like so many things, moderation is probably the best route.

Jeremiah 29:7 perhaps best states our attitude toward our country and city while we are "in exile"

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

"The Midrash Detective"