Should churches and pastors stay out of politics?

There are some who say the church needs to stay out of politics. If this were a dictatorship, I might agree (but I like the thought of following John the Baptist’s example, so I doubt it). However, the USA is a representative democracy, where everyone has the right to speak their mind and vote for people who will represent them in the local, country, state, and federal governments. As such, there are groups who are free state what they want when they want, but churches are not – because of tax exempt status. If this status stops churches from speaking out for or against immoral behavior and people who commit immoral behavior, then this status must be forfeited.

When someone claims murder is wrong but simultaneously claims they have no right to stop others from murdering, that person is either lying, pandering, or is afraid to make decisions that protect the people. This not someone I want to be president.

If murder is wrong, the church should speak out against murder. The church should speak out against unrepentant murderers. The church should speak out against people who want to be in government and support murderers.

The same is true for abortion. If one says that life begins at conception and abortion is wrong (because it is murder), yet simultaneously claims to not have the right to make policy stopping people from murdering their children, that person is more concerned with votes than people. That person is unable to make wise decisions for the good of the nation. That person is not someone who should be president.

To say that sex outside of marriage is bad but that we do not have the right to influence others to not have sex outside of marriage is to be ignorant of how we influence people all the time. Laws are simply a codification of morals.

The church has the duty to speak out against immoral behavior and people who commit immoral behavior or who silently endorse people who commit immoral behavior – particularly people who would be leaders in the country, since they become role models for the country and they make laws that affect this country (both in the present and in the future).

On the other hand, the church also has the responsibilty to embrace those who ARE repentant, who have changed or are trying to change. The church has the responsibility to help any who truly need it. The church has the responsibility to show God’s love to everyone.

The two things are not contradictory. God loves everyone. But God is also righteous and holy and just. God will judge us all. The church is to help people understand their condition and help them turn to God. If people are living immoral lives, they are going to hell unless they change and turn to God. People need to learn about Christ and their need for Christ so they can make a choice to believe or not, and so choose to have eternal life or eternal death. The further people go down the road of immorality, the more they sear their minds, their conscience, their hearts, their souls. The more they harden their hearts, the harder it is for them to be saved. So the church has the responsibility to talk about immorality and people who would be leaders of the country that either immoral or moral as they will be role models and some will emulate the leaders. To not speak out for positive role models and speak out against negative role models is irresponsible and actually works against the goal of the church of glorifying God, and the secondary goals of helping people come to Christ and grow in their obedience to Him.

So no. The church should not stay out of politics. The church should lead the way in letting people know which candidates best exemplify Christ.

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