Friday, July 29, 2016

Pastors: People Need Christ, Not Our Political Opinions

It saddens me to see so many Facebook and Twitter posts about politics by pastors.*

We Christian pastors have a much more important message to share with the world than our political opinions, no matter how righteous we may feel our opinions are.

And what's our more important message?

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son." (John 3:16-18)

We're to lift Christ up to the world--not a candidate, not a party, not a philosophy.

Jesus alone can deliver hope, peace, purpose, grace, forgiveness, justice, and life.

And when Jesus gives us these things, they come without defect, adulteration, strings, or term limits.

They're free gifts that belong to all who seek to turn from sin and trust in Jesus Christ each day--who believe in or trust in Him--here in this imperfect world with all its challenges and beyond death in a perfect eternity with the crucified and risen Jesus.

That's the message. And it never gets old. It's one of which we all need to be constantly reminded. And it can change the way we think, the way we raise our kids, the way we treat our neighbors, the ways we face life and death, and the way we live as citizens.

As a Christian, I want people to know and follow Jesus so that they can have life with Him now and in eternity.

As a pastor I don't want my personal political opinions--which could, after all, be wrong--to get in the way of that eternity-changing message getting through.

*In the interest of full disclosure, I have not always been so reticent about expressing myself politically. I even ran for the Ohio House of Representatives. I wish that I never had. Although there were no negative ramifications of my run of which I'm aware, as I've matured in my faith and as a pastor, I've concluded it was a wrong move. I do occasionally talk about the politics of politics and the history of politics--I've been a student my entire life and majored in Social Studies Education at Ohio State, I haven't publicly shared my opinions on issues, parties, or candidates for some time.

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