Presidential Election

Pulpit Ministry & the Presidential Election, Part 2

Posted with persmission from Theologically Driven.

In my last post, I suggested that the role of the pulpit in preparing a congregation for the upcoming presidential election is more complex than simply identifying relevant biblical values at stake in the election and offering corroborating textual support. Instead, we need to offer a theological matrix whereby the believer may successfully identify the most relevant concerns and weigh them appropriately. In short, it is the pastor’s responsibility to develop and communicate a biblical worldview that allows the believer to recognize and promote God’s expectations in areas where specific biblical guidance is not forthcoming. Note the following:

(1) The matrix begins with the realization that, in this dispensation at least, the spheres governed by Caesar and the church, respectively, are distinct (Matt 22:21). The church has no place in normalizing the legislation, adjudication, or execution of civic initiatives; nor has civil government any place in normalizing the doctrine and praxis of the church.

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Pulpit Ministry & The Presidential Election: Part 1

Posted with permission from Theologically Driven.

As an interim pastor charged in part with exposing the Scriptures so as to inform the moral and ethical decision-making of a congregation, I have been forced to consider the role that the pulpit should play in the upcoming presidential election. The simplest model, and one that will no doubt feature prominently in many pulpits over the next few weeks, is what I’ll call the values/proof-text model. It has two basic variations:

  • One variation stresses the biblical emphasis on conservative Judeo-Christian moral values (e.g., abortion, the institution of marriage, work/reward, etc.) and influences the election toward one party.
  • The other variation stresses the biblical emphasis on generous Judeo-Christian social values (e.g., social justice, legislated neighborliness, and the welfare of the city) and influences the election toward the other party.

If one could manage to be completely objective with this approach, then it is probable that one party’s list of biblical values and the supporting proof-texts would be longer than the other’s. Or, alternately, one might decide that irrespective of the length of the lists, the weight of one or more of the items on the list (say, abortion) is such that the argument for one side or the other is sealed.

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