No politics in the pulpit, urges parishioner.
I’ve been observing a pattern taking place recently in Pennsylvania that I am certain isn’t new, but it’s disturbing to me nonetheless: pastors who use their pulpit to influence elections, most times even urging parishioners to vote for a particular candidate.
What is wrong with this you may ask?
Nothing, on the surface, because this kind of practice has been happening for decades in the black church and I’m certain it had its place during the civil rights movement, when church was the only place where activists could safely meet and discuss the atrocities that befell our people and develop solutions that’ll help them immensely.
But what I’m noticing is a tad more sinister: pastors so immersed in the political process that the lines are blurred on where the preaching ends and the lobbying begins. These types of pastors can be found making deals and becoming friends with politicians, claiming the relationship will benefit the church, but members will rarely see any tangible outcomes.
I’m all for wholeheartedly embracing people, but it becomes another thing entirely when one starts to see pastors sitting in private meetings aiming to determine the next Mayor or Governor before a single vote has been cast.
Should pastors tell their congregations to go out and vote? Sure. Should pastors hand the microphone over to certain politicians they endorse and give them an opportunity to address the audience from the pulpit? No, in my opinion, they should not.
I’ve gotten to a place now in my life that when I see this scenario happening, I do my own research and pay attention to the candidate’s platform so that I can make an informed, independent decision.Nothing is worse than being a blind sheep who doesn’t do any due diligence and just follows what the pastors says because he is the “Man of God.”
My heart is warmed by the Pastors who not only don’t allow politics in the pulpit, but when they attend community meetings it’s not a secret because they are openly speaking out against the injustices plaguing the community. To the pastors who are blurring the lines between hard politics and preaching, choose carefully because we are indeed watching you and aren’t hardly impressed.
Don’t take that collar and power for granted, because it’s the common man who eventually prevails as we move into action while praying your way out the door. Be the humble servant leader you were called to be. Speaking for all church-goers, we prefer to have one less slick politician in our midst and we definitely don’t want to see one in the pulpit every Sunday.
Thanks for reading the thoughtful musing of a DIVA!™
Photo: Dean Morley/Flickr