Politics and The Pulpit

By Al Diestelkamp

While I am personally highly committed to a certain political philosophy, and though I have been known to vigorously express my political beliefs in private discussions, I do not believe “the pulpit” is the proper arena for partisan issues. However, as our society changes, political issues arise that also involve moral and/or doctrinal principles. When that happens it is necessary to teach vigorously and without compromise what God has revealed on the subject. It is difficult to do this without leaving the impression that you are “campaigning” for a particular candidate or political party.

We Americans have been blessed by the fact that we are living in a country that has been influenced by Gods word. Many of our countrymen are working hard to minimize, or possibly eliminate, that influence on our lives and our laws. In doing so, they are challenging and attacking many God-given decrees and principles of truth

Powerful forces are at work to convince people that sins which are an abomination to God should be allowed and even encouraged. Though it has become a political issue, I am not guilty of preaching politics when I teach that homosexuality is wrong. God, long ago, made it a moral issue by describing homosexuality as a “perversion” (Rom. 1:27, NIV). His “righteous judgment” declared that “those who practice such things are worthy of death,” and even warned against the temptation to “approve of them who practice them” (Rom. 1:32).

Another moral matter that has become an equally volatile political issue is the practice of killing unborn babies. Using the euphemism, “Pro-Choice,” advocates of abortion are merely ratifying the actions of men like Pharaoh and Herod who killed babies shortly after they were born. They simply didnt “do the job” before the babies were born. Had Planned Parenthood been on the job at the time, I sup-pose they would have offered Mary the option of removing the “fetus” in her womb. Even at the risk of being accused of preaching politics, the faithful gospel preacher must sound forth the truth that “hands that shed innocent blood” is listed as one of the things that the Lord hates (Prov. 6:17).

I am keenly aware of the danger, when preaching, of “stepping over the line” from moral and doctrinal matters into politics. I dont want to do that! I remember back in 1960, when John F. Kennedy was seeking the presidency, that some gospel preachers used the pulpit and church bulletins to try to persuade people to vote for his opponent. I recently re-read articles written by some of our brethren back then, and though I understand the concerns they had,

I dont believe it was sinful to vote for Kennedy. A vote for Kennedy was no more an endorsement of the errors of the Catholic faith than was a vote for Richard Nixon an endorsement of Quaker belief. However, the present situation is somewhat different. The issue then was whether or not Kennedys loyalty to the Roman Catholic faith would threaten our religious freedom. The issue today is whether by voting for a candidate we are lending endorsement to the evil that they propose.

Bottom line? Im not going to tell you how to vote, but I am going to tell you that someday you will give an account of your vote to God (Rom. 14:12). What will your answer be?

Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 14 p. 8
July 15, 1993