This subject may create angst but it’s been on my mind as of late. I’m hoping it strikes a chord with others and will bring about thought and discussion, as opposed to merely offending anyone.
I believe that pastors should stay out of politics.
I realize they are human beings with opinions, political views, and party affiliations. They have a personal life in which to express thoughts and proclaim who they will vote for. But should they use their position in the church to endorse candidates or influence people from the pulpit or through media? I say no.
There’s one well-known television evangelist going all out for Donald Trump. He touts him as a God-sent, miraculous, and extraordinary gift that will do wonders for our country. Some people believe that … I do not.
It might be easier to believe if we could see a Christian side to our current president. The following quote came from my 16-year-old granddaughter, “Your thoughts can’t be truly aligned with God’s and Donald Trump’s at the same time.”
I was surprised to hear that from a teenager, but delighted. Further into our conversation I learned there are lots of young people noticing the un-Christian actions of Trump as opposed to what they are being taught by parents, church leaders, and the Bible. What do Godly actions look like?
And there are some things to be curious about. Did Donald Trump attend worship services during his pre-White House life? Did he hold prayer meetings with no cameras present? Why the photo-op of him holding a Bible? Does he read that Bible before or after his nocuous tweets and ego trips to the podium? Why does a famous evangelist promote behaviors so unbecoming to the office of president?
I don’t think God is Republican or Democrat. I surely don’t think a pastor should be OK with the wrong-doing of his own party and so critical of another. My granddaughter explained what she’d been taught about that too. She said that we as people are on the ground and look at sin as we would look up at the skyline. We see buildings of varying degrees of height as we gaze. The shorter they are, the smaller the sin. The bigger sins are the larger buildings. But God is looking from above ... from his bird’s eye view all sins look the same. Sin is sin, no matter which sin it is. I was impressed with her insights. I began to have hope for the younger generation. However, she did reveal that amongst her friends there were two opposite sides who stand by their opinions just as stubbornly as we adults.
I once attended church where a situation became just like the scenario we witness today in our country. A very short version would be that at church meetings, we had to endure the rants and ego of a certain man. His anger was troubling to most but when confronted, he denied he was angry. He preferred the word “forceful.” He was the pastor, that was his church, and he owned all control. I could gift you with a rather lengthy conversation I had with him personally but will not. Bottom line is that his demeanor was so much like our current POTUS.
Members of the congregation were told our committees didn’t mean a thing because he would have the final say over all. When asked to curb his anger and speak to all of us respectfully, he refused. He said it was his right to speak as he chooses. Does any of this sound right to you, or familiar?
I know that there will be bad apples in every profession. Somehow, I just think pastors and presidents fall into a category of higher expectations. In most types of work people must do their jobs as expected or they will no longer have a job. Shouldn’t that include pastors, presidents, and everyone in between?
Most Trump fans and that television evangelist I spoke of will admit that Trump has his flaws but that God uses flawed people to do his work. Yes, I agree. For instance, I know the stories of Zacchaeus and Matthew, both tax collectors who cheated people. Jesus spent time with them and once knowing Jesus, they turned their lives around. Zacchaeus paid back all whom he’d cheated, and even more than he had taken. (Luke 19: 1-10) Matthew dropped everything and became a disciple. (Matthew 9:9) Just two of many examples but the point is they repented and because they came to know Jesus their lives became different. People could see evidence of their faith.
Is being a pastor a job ... or a calling? Either way, shouldn’t people expect better and get it? When a pastor is the bully at church many people will leave. I will compare this to being the bully of a country. I think it’s time to see Trump fans leaving “that church” and demand better for the good of our country.
I believe in praying for leaders and lawmakers. I pray they will be led to do the right thing and use wisdom in making decisions. As long as those decisions are for the betterment of all, not just themselves. But we are not to worship them.
The Bible tells us to stay away from idols (1 John 5:21) and that the devil walks about like a roaring lion. (1 Peter 5:8)
He sure does.
Author Carol Hartsoe writes from her home in Bear Creek.