Church Unity and The Presidential Election
We’re living in one of the most divisive years in American history, with a raging pandemic, racial tension and a contentious election.
When I talk to pastors, they’re grieved at the way brothers and sisters in Christ are so divided—grieved at the way people are talking to each other and about each other. So how do pastors lead people through this season?
I can’t say authoritatively how every pastor should lead in their own context, but here are three broad principles:
1. ADDRESS THE MOMENT
A temptation for pastors in this moment is to never mention politics or the moment we’re in.
The fear is that no matter what a pastor says, there will be opposition. This may be true, but as shepherds of God’s people we can’t afford to ignore what our people are talking about.
This doesn’t mean we have to rewrite our sermons every week to match Twitter timelines or cable news, but we should be ready to help people navigate politics as Christians.
This involves two things. First, we should address important issues where the Bible speaks: race, the sanctity of life, character, poverty, etc. Faithful Christians disagree on specific strategies and policy positions.
It’s not the pastor’s job to get in the weeds on marginal tax rates or the size of the social safety net, but should bring the Word of God to bear in a way that helps Christians live out their faith in our democracy.
Second, we need to guide people in navigating politics itself. It’s important we help people understand how to engage well in the public square, to make arguments—not enemies, to oppose evil, but love those with whom we disagree.
If we are to equip people to live on mission for God, we should equip them to approach politics in a redemptive way. We should do this by being both pastoral and prophetic.
A lifetime of faithful and present ministry helps us challenge people in ways that will help them think well.