Politics in the Pulpit

I believe that we should trust in the Lord. The Bible is very clear on that principle. In addition, I believe that we should wait upon the Lord. I also believe that sometimes we must speak up, take action, and get involved. Solomon reminds us in Ecclesiastes that there is a time for every season and purpose under the heaven.

“…A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” –Eccl 3:7b

In our day and age when marxism, sexual anarchy, and general wickedness seem to be running rampant, I believe that it is time to speak out. Sadly, though, it seems many Christians use the concept of trusting in the Lord as an excuse to do nothing and say nothing. Or they might view speaking on politics in the church as somehow impure, worldly, or as a diversion from the true mission.

I’ve found that the people who believe this are sometimes judgmental toward those who do speak out or get involved in politics. They seem almost pharisaical in their attitude, as if they are somehow purer or more devoted than those wayward Christians whom they see as “trusting in princes.”

What I find surprising about all of this is that our Founding Fathers saw no problem with speaking about politics in the church. They trusted in the Lord and exercised their rights as citizens. An examination of Acts 22 shows us that the Apostle Paul did the same.

Consider the Reverend Jacob Duché’s The American Vine sermon, in July 1775, in which he blasts Britain for attempting to cut down “this branch of thine own vine.” He goes on to say:

“Go on, ye chosen band of Christian Patriots! Testify to the world, by your example as well as by your counsels, that ye are equally the foes of VICE and of SLAVERY.”

Or take for example the Reverend John Carmichael’s June 1775 sermon entitled, A Self-Defensive War Lawful:

“The angry tools of power who mislead government may call us American “rebels, who would throw off all government–would be independent and what not.” –But we can now, with great confidence, appeal to God that that is false — we desire no such things –we desire to be as we were in the beginning of the present unhappy reign –we have tried every lawful peaceable means in our power — but all in vain! . . .

. . . Therefore you can, GENTLEMEN SOLDIERS, appeal to GOD for the justice of your cause.”

Or the Reverend Samuel Langdon’s sermon before the Assembly of Massachusetts Bay at the end of May 1775:

“That ever memorable day, the nineteenth of April, is the date of an unhappy war openly begun by the Ministers of the King of Great Britain against his good subjects in this Colony, and implicitly against all the colonies. —-But for what? —- Because they have made a noble stand for their natural and constitutional rights, in opposition to the machinations of wicked men who are betraying their Royal Master, establishing popery in the British dominions, and aiming to enslave and ruin the whole nation [so] that they may enrich themselves and their vile dependents with the public treasures and the spoils of America.”

And perhaps most famously, John Witherspoon’s The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men on May 17, 1776:

“God grant that in America true religion and civil liberty may be inseparable, and that the unjust attempts to destroy the one, may in the issue tend to the support and establishment of both.

One of the results of shunning politics in churches is an increasing ignorance in the pews of moral and contemporary issues. Many parishioners may know how to become a Christian but very little about how to live as one. Sometimes I feel as though we are winning people to Jesus who then go on to live like the world because they never hear that transgenderism, abortion, pornography, and other evils are contrary to God’s will. Or they may support a party or a candidate that promotes values which are in opposition to godliness because their pastor declared a moral equivalence between the two opposing political parties.

So if you’re a Christian who turns his nose at politics and pretends to be above such worldly matters, you may not be superior in your faith. You may just be a bad citizen. Or at least an ignorant one.

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