Over the past several years (decades? centuries?), there has been debate among Christians as to what is appropriate when it comes to Christians involving themselves in political matters. More specifically, the debate has raged – with no sure winner – as to whether the pulpit ought to be involved.
Owen Strachan, newly minted executive director of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood as well as author, blogger, professor, and occasional rapper (seriously), has penned an open letter to the evangelical community that you should read and consider. And, I’m not just talking about pastors, Dr. Strachan – who will be an upcoming guest of mine on Engaging the Issues – is writing to evangelical Christians writ large.
Here’s how it starts:
When it comes to evangelical public engagement, many of us are metaphorically in rocking chairs. The culture’s sure shifting, we say as gaze at the sunset. In twenty years, you might lose your pulpit. We whistle low and shake our head.
When it comes to all that cultural rabble-rousing, we grimace. We don’t want to go all Moral Majority in our pastorates and our churches. We’re avoiding all those overheated controversies. We’re not going to lose our soul to politics. You see, we have found the third way, the option that allows you to hold biblical beliefs on politics, society, and culture but not make a major issue of them.
We believe accordingly that we can “sit out” the major moral challenges of our day. But our convictions are stronger than this: we actually think that these moral challenges may not even come to our doorstep. Sure, maybe in twenty years, pastors and churches will face serious threats to their pulpits. Not now, though. We can keep our heads down and they’ll pass us by.
The preaching of the gospel is the primary duty of the church and the central mission of all God’s people. It is our call to preach the gospel no matter what our society looks like and no matter where we are–in prison for hate speech, in closed countries evangelizing under threat of death, in huge suburban buildings where thousands of people come each weekend. Nothing will stop true believers from preaching the gospel. Nothing will shake our confidence that God will honor this preaching and build his church as we do so.
Yet I fear that some of my evangelical friends are not seeing reality even as it bears down on them. Do you realize that if you define marriage as the exclusive union of a man and a woman, you are already, even if you speak in the gentlest, softest, most nuanced, most hyper-qualified terms, considered a bigot by a vocal and highly influential contingent today?
About Jeremy Dys
Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.