Politics in the Pulpit

Before I begin, I should say that I will not interject any of my own political viewpoints. The purpose of this article is only to encourage all who read it to rely on the wisdom of God in making decisions for their everyday life. We currently live in a nation where there is a great division in the political landscape. In addition to this, it has become more common for preachers and religious leaders to spread their political convictions in the pulpit or endorse political candidates. In response to this, some have decided that politics should not be involved with religion. The danger in this is that some take it to the extreme and make the statement, “I am a Christian first, but I’m an American second,” thus making a distinction that the decisions they make politically may differ from the decisions made as a Christian.

The truth is found more so in the middle. There is no need, nor should there be a place, for politics in the pulpit. The purpose of assembling together is for the edification and encouragement of brethren, as well as the worship of our God in Heaven. When reading Matthew 22, the Pharisees come to Jesus inquiring about paying taxes. At the end of verse 21, Jesus tells them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” This verse makes the point that there should be some separation between our political lives and spiritual lives. We can also consider Paul’s charge to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2: “Preach the word … reprove, rebuke, exhort with great patience and instruction.” There is no command for the preacher to make political stands in worship, but only that he spread the word of God.

On the other hand, we should not get carried away by separating our principles. Our life as a Christian should be what directly impacts every decision we make, including our association and who we support. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” As Christians, we are to condemn the act of homosexuality, but yet when it comes to politics we may support someone who encourages and sees no issue with gay marriage. We become a hypocrite when we say we live our life a certain way and then by our association we act differently.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion when it comes to politics. However, in the realm of worship or spreading the gospel to others, there is no place for politics. The only focus of worship and spreading the gospel is the truth that is found in scripture. In accordance with scripture, we should live by godly principles in every aspect of our lives, and this should include our political decisions. As a Christian, I cannot support or approve of someone running for office that is in favor of issues such as homosexual marriage, abortion, or any other platform that contradicts scripture. There has to be a balance in our lives. We are to be people that expose darkness, not agree with or accept in, even if it is a lesser of two evils.

Oren Caskey