Pulpits, Pews, & Presidents
It’s a new year. And it is an election year. As a lead pastor, this will be my second time navigating the political obstacle course of pews and presidential campaigns. As a church planter, my congregation is filled with people from all walks of the political spectrum; republican, democrat, libertarian, green party, Ralph Nader…it’s colorful to say the least. And, therefore, my position from the pulpit is less about evangelical rhetoric and more about reminding the people that we are to extend grace in the coming months, even more than normal.
I confess I struggle with the traditional evangelical stance myself. I am pro-life. Now wait. Before you delete me from Facebook or applaud my stance, I should clarify what I mean by pro-life.
I believe that God has created all people in His image and all life is precious to Him. And, as a believer, life should matter to me. I believe the life of an unborn child is precious to God. I also believe the life of a person on death row is equally precious to Him. I believe that if I am going to be pro-life, then I should be so across the board.
Therefore, I am against the death penalty and war and euthanasia. I’m against human trafficking and slavery. I’m against oppressing the poor and I’m for assisting the marginalized. I believe we should care for the widow and the foreigner and the exile/refugee. I believe the newborn infant and the teenage mom are precious to God, too.
But here is my problem; I see each candidate and political party and none of them fully reflect my values. The politician that claims to protect the unborn, threatens the life of the refugee. The one who appears to stand for rehabilitation over the death penalty, threatens to bomb my brothers and sisters oversees. The candidate who speaks out against euthanasia, cuts funding from programs to educate the poor. And I am left asking the question which are the lesser of all these evils?
So, in November, you and I will be asked to choose. We will put pen to paper to make a decision about what is most important to us. And we will be forced to choose one good thing over another. Therefore, I don’t think it is fair for us to say that one of us is right while the other one is wrong, as tempting as it may be. Instead, you and I, as believers in Christ, are called to be people of prayer over the next several months. Ask God for guidance when you step up to the polls to choose. Then, when you choose, trust God.
Trust God that, in the end, His plan always prevails. In the meantime, remember that the one sitting in the pew next to you is also praying and trusting God. And we would do well to keep our eyes fixed on the Author and Finisher of our faith rather than the politics of Man.