Rev. Gregory A. Boyd, an evangelical pastor of a church in Maplewood, Minnesota, preached a series of messages entitled “The Cross and the Sword” in which he stated that the church should stay out of politics.
According to the New York Times, the pastor is not a liberal; he opposes both abortion and gay marriage. His message, although presented for his conservative church, is intended for all politically-motivated churches, whether Republican or Democrat.
From the article, Boyd in his own words:
“America wasn’t founded as a theocracy,” he said. “America was founded by people trying to escape theocracies. Never in history have we had a Christian theocracy where it wasn’t bloody and barbaric. That’s why our Constitution wisely put in a separation of church and state.
“I am sorry to tell you,” he continued, “that America is not the light of the world and the hope of the world. The light of the world and the hope of the world is Jesus Christ.”
I have long maintained that separation of church and state is not the great evil that my Christian school teachers and pastors have made it out to be. In fact, separation of church and state is one of the things that makes this country great.
Think about it: Should you have to be a member of a certain church to vote? Should the government be collecting tithes in the same way they do the income tax? Should the government publish Bibles? What about Korans? Which church should the government promote?
Likewise, from the church’s side: Should your church promote the candidate that opposes abortion and gay marriage, or the one that supports feeding the poor and giving medicine to the sick?
Here is the primary reason that evangelical churches should not push politics from either side of the aisle: The goal of the church is to get as many people saved as possible and to get those people to follow Christ’s teachings to the best of their ability. But when the preacher starts, say, praising the war in Iraq, people who oppose the war are instantly turned off from the whole message. At best, it’s a distraction from the gospel. At worst, the people who oppose the war reject the gospel along with your politics. In other words, people are going to hell because you wouldn’t stop promoting your politics from the pulpit.
By all means, promote your politics with rallys, advertising, protests, and petitions. But for God’s sake–and I mean that literally–don’t try to affililate Christ with your political views. Stick to preaching about Christ and his teachings from the pulpits of your churches.
(Thanks to The Sycamore Tree for the link.)